ArcGIS Online: What's New?

This regular column contains information about the latest updates to ArcGIS Online, including basemaps and content contributed by the global user community through the Community Maps Program, as well as new features and capabilities in ArcGIS Online.

ArcGIS Online Basemap Updates

Esri has entered into an agreement with DigitalGlobe for its Global Basemap layer that will add 100 million square kilometers of high-quality imagery at multiple, substantially higher resolutions to the World Imagery Map. The imagery will be added in batches over time, in addition to the GeoEye IKONOS imagery, some of which has already been released as part of the World Imagery Map. Recent updates include expanded coverage for parts of Europe, Russia, China, Canada, Mexico, Pakistan, Central America, Indonesia, and Malaysia. We will continue to update the World Imagery Map over the next few months as we process and publish the GeoEye IKONOS imagery.

World Imagery Map now includes expanded GeoEye IKONOS imagery for Shanghai, China.

As the Community Maps Program continues to grow, so do the contributions from the user community around the world. The World Topographic Map receives the most contributions of authoritative content. Updates since the last column was written include content for several areas in Canada at 1:9,000 to 1:1,000, including Banff and Camrose in Alberta; the City of Brampton, London, Niagara Falls, and University of Waterloo in Ontario; the City of Quebec, Quebec; the Rural Municipality of Headingley, Manitoba; and Kamloops, British Columbia, as well as the Hamlet of Enterprise, Northwest Territories, at 1:18,000. Other international content includes the Canton of Geneva, Switzerland, at 1:9,000 to 1:1,000; the country of the Netherlands at 1:72,000 to 1:1,000; the states of Rheinland-Pfalz, Nordrhein-Westfalen, and Schleswig-Holstein in Germany at 1:144,000 to 1:2,000, and the city of Hamburg, Germany, at 1:72,000 to 1:1,000; Japan at 1:577,000 to 1:1,000; Nigeria at 1:577,000 to 1:18,000; the cities of Maracaibo and San Francisco, Venezuela, at 1:72,000 to 1:1,000; major cities in Iceland at 1:9,000 to 1:1,000; and Warsaw University of Life Sciences, Warsaw and Rogow Campuses, in Poland at 1:9,000 to 1:1,000.

Several areas in the United States also include new and updated content at 1:9,000 to 1:1,000, such as Greenville County, South Carolina; Indian River County and Tampa, Florida; Teller County, Greenwood Village, and Denver, Colorado; Appleton and Polk County, Wisconsin; Old Dominion University, Virginia; Bakersfield, Riverside County, and Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks, California; Chester County, Pennsylvania; Des Moines, Iowa; Houston, Texas; Mecklenburg County, North Carolina; Nashua, New Hampshire; Sussex County, New Jersey; and more.

The Ocean Basemap, the latest addition to the Community Maps Program, has received contributions from the University of New Hampshire Center for Coast and Ocean Mapping/Joint Hydrographic Center at scales of 1:2,300,000 to 1:577,000 for several areas, including the Mariana Trench, Gulf of Alaska, and Sigsbee Escarpment; and from the Davey Jones’ Locker Seafloor Mapping/Marine GIS Lab at Oregon State University for a number of areas in both the Pacific and Atlantic Oceans, including more detailed bathymetry over American Samoa at 1:2,300,000-1:577,000. Other updates include bathymetric data from the Canadian Hydrographic Service for the east and west coasts of Canada. A large coastal area from Dixon Entrance north of Haida Gwaii (Queen Charlotte Islands, Queen Charlotte Sound) to the Strait of Juan de Fuca now includes bathymetry at a resolution of 1:500 meters. On the Atlantic Coast, in the Gulf of St. Lawrence, the St. Lawrence River, around the islands of Nova Scotia and Newfoundland (Notre Dame Bay), and further north along the Labrador coastline (Labrador Trough), an improved resolution of up to 1:100 meters is now available.

The Light Gray Canvas Map was updated to make it much more useful for thematic mapping. It now contains additional worldwide and detailed nationwide coverage for nearly 50 additional countries, including boundaries, city labels and outlines, and major roads worldwide from 1:591,000,000 to 1:72,000. More detailed nationwide coverage is now available in Europe, southern Africa, South America, and Australia, to be fully consistent with the World Street Map and World Topographic Map down to 1:9,000. The Light Gray Canvas Map was developed by Esri using NAVTEQ data for North America, DeLorme basemap layers, and Esri basemap data.

To stay up-to-date with the latest content updates and basemap releases, go to the ArcGIS Online blog.

New ArcGIS Online Features and Enhancements

At the International User Conference in San Diego this past July, Esri announced Esri Maps for Office, a new feature of ArcGIS Online. With Esri Maps for Office, ArcGIS Online subscribers can create interactive point maps, clustered point maps, and heat maps of data directly inside Excel and control how the maps are styled, so they can emphasize the information that’s important. Once done, users can share maps in ArcGIS Online with others in the organization or copy them into PowerPoint. Using Esri Maps for Office requires an ArcGIS Online trial subscription or a paid subscription. [Read more in “Esri Maps for Office Is Now Available“.]

We’ve added a Health Dashboard so users can check the service status and availability of ArcGIS Online. This includes the website (, basemap services, REST API, hosted feature and tile services, and more. To view the dashboard, go to Users can also subscribe to individual RSS feeds by service type to keep up-to-date. To help users monitor service credit usage within an organizational subscription, we added detailed reports about storage, computation, and bandwidth usage. Each report displays the number of units and credits used over a selected amount of time, for example, the last 24 hours or the current month, in a table, as well as charts. General information about the organizational ArcGIS Online subscription is also provided, including how many members are in the subscription and how many service credits remain. ArcGIS Online subscription administrators can view the status of their subscription by going to the My Organization link at the top of their ArcGIS Online site and then clicking the View Status link underneath the Subscription Status section of the page.

To better explain service credit usage in general, we’ve created a web page that provides an overview and examples of what does and does not use service credits in ArcGIS Online.

Other new features include the addition of configurable story map and mobile templates; the ability to choose whether to include a link that opens a larger view of a map; and giving administrators of the ArcGIS Online subscription the option to include social media links in their organizational ArcGIS Online site.

Other Improvements

We have created a number of short tutorial videos to guide users through the major features and functions of ArcGIS Online. These videos now include captions for all 16 languages supported in ArcGIS Online. These videos are accessible from ArcGIS Online Help by clicking Getting started and then clicking Videos in the table of contents. To see a complete list of all supported languages, click Setting language and region under Getting started.

Users whose organization doesn’t have an ArcGIS Online subscription yet can sign up for a free 30-day trial, invite up to five named users to participate, and get 200 service credits and Esri Maps for Office as part of the trial. When the trial is over, they can purchase a subscription and continue to use all the features and services in the same ArcGIS Online subscription account. To sign up for the trial, go to

See also “Esri Maps for Office Is Now Available.”