ArcGIS API for JavaScript Versions 4.4 and 3.21 Are Here!

The latest releases of the ArcGIS API for JavaScript are packed with useful new enhancements and capabilities. Version 4.4 gives you more control over visualizing and interacting with 3D data, includes deeper web map support, and brings in OGC layer types (WMS and WTMS). Both 3.21 and 4.4 also enable vector tile layer printing and the ability to script pop-up content using Arcade (which is particularly useful if you need to calculate a new value to display using your attribute data). Here are some of the highlights of these two new releases. For a complete list, see the 4.4 and 3.21 release notes.

ArcGIS API 4.4 for JavaScript

Better web map support

In this release, we’re adding three new layer types: MapNotesLayer, WMSLayer and WMTSLayer. This means most web maps can now be read using the 4.x API. Not yet supported web map features include full label support, heatmap rendering, KML, Bing, WFS, and time support.

New styles for points in city landscapes:

Visualizing point data in city scenes has been improved, making icons more clearly visible with respect to their actual locations. Point graphics can be configured to display above buildings with the new relative-to-scene elevation mode. Callout lines (a callout is essentially extended from the top of the scene) can be used to better understand point locations.


Highlight in 3D:

Highlight features in a 3D scene, with options to configure the color and opacity of the highlight effect.


Styling building data:

We added options for removing building textures and modifying their color. This allows you to better emphasize thematic visualizations or draw attention away from specific buildings by making them appear to have grayscale textures.

Smart Mapping

You can now automatically generate renderers for SceneLayers using SmartMapping. Generating type renderers with smart mapping is new to both 2D and 3D views.

Note: When we reference smart mapping/generating renderers, we mean that the API creates smart defaults for your map/scene styles on the fly. This capability is typically used in data exploration type apps (as opposed to defining the styling explicitly in code).


PointCloudLayer enhancements

Add natural lighting conditions to a point cloud layer in order to better distinguish objects.

OGC support

Added support for WMS and WMTS layers.

VectorTileLayer printing

This release of the JavaScript API includes support for vector tile layer printing through client-side image.

Arcade support in popups

Arcade expressions can now be applied in the popup’s content. This is useful when you want to display data that isn’t present as an attribute value in your FeatureLayer instance. Web maps that have been created in Portal or ArcGIS Online that contain popups with Arcade expressions will be honored in apps built with the JavaScript API. Developers can also write Arcade expressions directly in their code.


Widget standardization

In this release, the following widgets have been updated to the widget framework, initially introduced at 4.2: Legend, Popup and Search widgets.

ArcGIS API 3.21 for JavaScript

Arcade support in popups

As described above.

VectorTileLayer printing

As described above.

(… plus minor enhancements and bug fixes)

Check out the latest samples

A great way to explore the new features and capabilities of each release is to check out the latest interactive samples:

3.21 Latest Samples
4.4 Latest Samples

Come see us at the Esri User Conference!

The Esri JavaScript development team will be showcasing the latest technology during the Esri User Conference in San Diego next week (July 10th-14th). A few sessions that might be of interest are:

ArcGIS API for JavaScript: What’s New
Getting Started with ArcGIS API for JavaScript
2D Visualization with the ArcGIS API for JavaScript / 3D Visualization with the ArcGIS API for JavaScript
Patterns and Best Practices for Building Apps with the ArcGIS API 4.X for JavaScript
Building 3D GIS Applications with JavaScript
Optimizing Your JavaScript App for Performance
ArcGIS API for JavaScript: Customizing Widgets
Strategies for Building Mobile Apps Using ArcGIS API for JavaScript

See the agenda for a full list of tech sessions and demo theater presentations.

About the authors

Working daily to elevate user happiness about reading the ArcGIS Maps SDK for JavaScript documentation. Occasionally blogging about the ArcGIS Maps SDK for JavaScript, and technical presenter at the Esri Developer Summit and User's Conferences. A Product Engineer on the Esri ArcGIS Maps SDK for JavaScript team.


20+ years of experience with web mapping. Currently lead project engineer for the ArcGIS Maps SDK for JavaScript development team at Esri.


Julie Powell is a Principal Product Manager, focusing on Esri's web development technologies. She works to ensure developers can be successful in building state of the art, purposeful solutions using ArcGIS software. Julie brings 20 years of experience working with global leaders such as Hewlett-Packard and Esri, delivering a variety of software solutions for both the enterprise and consumer markets. Julie has worked on a wide range of projects and consulting endeavors, including serving as technical lead for web mapping solutions for strategic customers.


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