Apps that showcase your maps

Configurable app templates and Story Maps are a great way to share your web maps with others. Many of these templates offer tools and capabilities targeted towards specific uses and workflows, and all offer configurable options that don’t require any coding. But sometimes you’ve got a great web map that speaks for itself, and just want to find a great app that showcases your map without unneeded extras. Here are some options for delivering a map-centric app experience.

A great app starts with a great map

Especially when the map must speak for itself, it’s true that a great app starts with a great web map. Using tradecraft in choosing a basemap, applying styles to layers, configuring expressive pop-ups, and making use of transparency, scale dependencies, and other elements of web cartography are key to the final experience. See Maps We Love for inspiration.

Craft the map, Share it, and choose Create A Web App.

What do you want to do?

One of the configurable app categories you can choose in the Create A New Web App gallery is Showcase a Map. Click to view a collection of apps that offer a simple user interface that places the focus on the map.

Using the apps

Hover over the app and click to select it.

Once you click to select the app, you’ll see a thumbnail and a brief description, and several options to click:

Create Web App: Prompts for a title, tags, and summary to create a new application item, then opens the map in the app configuration panel so you can make changes. You can choose the desired tools, override default text, choose colors, and more. Note that each configuration panel will be different, since each app is unique.

Preview: Opens the map in the app with the default configuration. Note that some tools and settings may not be enabled or apparent using preview.

Download: Download the source code for the app. If you download the source and modify it, you’ll have to self-host the application. It’s recommended to use the hosted app unless you have strong reasons to host your own.

A map showcase

Here’s a showcase of apps from the Showcase a Map gallery that place the focus on the map. Job Accessibility by Walking and Transit was used in all examples and is displayed using the default configuration for each app (using Preview – see Using the apps above).

Additional configuration changes can be made easily, without coding, via each app’s configuration panel. View the app item details for more information on configuration options.

Click the screenshot to view the live app.

Basic Viewer

Basic Viewer presents a map in a general purpose app with a collection of essential tools, including a basemap gallery, bookmarks, layer list, measure, search (which can be constrained to the map extent), edit, print, and more. These are presented in a configurable toolbar, and also via a unique scrolling panel. View details.

Map Styler

Map Styler displays a web map with a configurable menu using Calcite colors, themes, and layouts. It includes a navigation bar, dropdown menu, and a set of window panels for common operations like changing basemaps. View details.

Map Tools

Map Tools displays a collection of commonly used tools on a toolbar, and includes an optional table view. It also enables you to constrain a search within the current map extent only. View details.


Minimalist lets your map speak for itself with a very simple user interface. By default it presents just a map with a scalebar and zoom, but it can be configured to show a content panel, legend, map details, and pop-ups.  Mouse scroll is also disabled by default to better support embedding the app in websites. A configuration option lets you display the pop-up content in an info panel instead of over the map. View details.

Simple Map Viewer

Simple Map Viewer keeps things simple, with a legend, map description, and basic navigation tools. View details.

Story Map Basic

Story Map Basic features your map with only a title, subtitle, optional legend, and basic navigation tools. View details.

Other options for showcasing a map

Story Map Journal

Story Map Journal is used for telling stories that often involve multiple maps, and lots of text and media, that are organized into sections. A single-section Map Journal can be used to keep the focus on a single map. View details.

Web AppBuilder

Web AppBuilder enables you to assemble an app using themes, layouts, and a collection of configurable widgets. By keeping the number of widgets used to a minimum, you can create a streamlined app that keeps the focus on the map itself.

For more information

This post was originally published on January 26, 2017, and has been updated.

About the author

Tech evangelist and product strategist at Esri, focusing on ways to broaden access to geographic information and helping users succeed with the ArcGIS Platform. On a good day I'm making a map, on a great day I'm on one. Follow @bernszukalski or email


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