ArcGIS Enterprise

Using Living Atlas subscriber content in public maps and apps

The Living Atlas of the World is a collection of thousands of maps, data, imagery, tools, and apps produced by Esri and its partners, as well as ArcGIS users worldwide. It is a curated subset of ArcGIS Online items contributed and maintained by Esri, and the ArcGIS community.

Using Esri Living Atlas subscriber content

When you author a map, one of the places you can search for layers is the Living Atlas. Click Add, then choose Browse Living Atlas Layers.

Check the box to Show Esri Layers Only.

Esri layers are compiled and built from a variety of the best available and authoritative sources, and the data are published by Esri to ensure quality and reliability. In some cases the layers are published online directly by the source organization, and Esri reviews and curates selected ones in the Living Atlas.

Subscriber vs Premium Content

Much of the content found in the Living Atlas is available publicly, with no restrictions. Other content is not publicly available by default, and falls into two categories:

Subscriber content is the collection of layers published by Esri that requires an organizational subscription account to access. These are layers such as Landsat 8 imagery, NAIP imagery, landscape analysis layers, and historical maps. Subscriber content is provided as part of your organizational subscription and does not consume any credits.

Premium content is a type of subscriber content. It’s the collection of layers published by Esri that requires an organizational account to access, and also consumes credits. These are layers such as demographic and lifestyle layers.

Identifying subscriber content

When adding layers from the Living Atlas to your map, you’ll see these subscription layers indicated in the hover information for Living Atlas content. Mouse over any thumbnail, and a short description will be displayed.

Subscription and Premium content include an icon and text describing the type of content.

Authorizing subscriber content for public use

After authoring your map you’ll want to share it with others, or use it in apps or story maps. When you share a web map using subscription content, you’ll be notified that others may not be able to view the map.

If you are sharing your map within your organization, using subscription content is transparent since you are sharing it with others that are logged in. If you share the web map outside your organization, viewers will experience an error.

You can’t use the map viewer to share subscriber content with a public audience, but you can use apps. Follow the steps outlined below to share your map in different ways.

Using subscriber content in public applications

One of the best ways to share subscriber content with a public audience, is to share it within a configurable app. Not only do you get a better viewer experience than that offered by the Map Viewer, but built-in options let you authorize subscriber content on behalf of public, anonymous viewers.

Use subscriber content in configurable app templates

In the example below, a map that includes subscriber and premium content is being publicly shared using the Public Information Map (PIM) configurable app template. The configuration panel provides notification that the map uses subscriber content, and provides an opportunity for the app author to authorize access on behalf of public (anonymous) users.

Check the box for the layers you want to authorize, typically that will be all of the subcriber layers in your map. While the exact appearance and location of this setting may differ from app to app, most, but not all, of the configurable apps supports this capability.

Use subscriber content in Story Maps

When you use subscriber content in a story map, the story map builder will detect the subscriber content and prompt you to resolve the issue. Below an issue (in this case subscriber content) has been identified. Click Fix to authorize subscription content for public viewers.

The content in the story map is scanned to identify any subscriber content. Shown below is what appears when a map using subscription content is used in the story map. Note that subscriber vs. premium content is listed separately.

Click Confirm to authorize the subscriber content for public viewers.

Use subscriber content in Web AppBuilder

Web AppBuilder will also identify subscriber content, and provide a way to authorize their public use. In Web AppBuilder, click Attribute and then click the arrow next to Premium content access, as shown below:

Subscriber content will be listed, check the box for Use proxy for each layer you want to authorize.

Using subscriber content in embedded web maps

When using subscriber content in a map you want to embed, you are warned that the map may have subscriber content not viewable by others.

However you cannot authorize subscriber content in the HTML generated for embedding the web map. To work around this limitation, embed the map using the Minimalist configurable app by following the steps detailed in Use subscriber content in configurable app templates above.

Authorize the layer

You can also authorize subscriber content at the layer source; its REST service endpoint. It’s much easier to do this in a configurable app, story map, or Web AppBuilder as described above, but there may be use cases where you want to pre-authorize layers for public use.

In this example, we will use the 2016 USA Median Household Income layer, a premium service. Follow the steps below to authorize a subscription layer:

Step 1. In the item details Overview, look on the right hand side for the URL of the service, and click Copy.

Step 2. In My Contents, click Add Item, then choose From the web:

Step 3. The default option is to add a Type of ArcGIS Server web service. Paste the URL obtained in Step 1 above in the URL input, then click Add Item.

Step 4. Subscriber content will be detected (a). Enter your username and password to authorize the layer for use in public apps (b). Click to store the credentials, so users of the layer will not be prompted to authenticate (c). Finally, click Add Item to add the item to My Content (d).

The new item can be shared publicly, using your account credentials to authorize its use for public viewers.

Note: you can restrict usage of this new layer if you’d like, which is something you should consider since usage of premium content will consume credits, and your authorized layer is discoverable, and therefore can be used by others.

On the item details page for the layer, go to Settings.

Click Limit Usage

For options to restrict usage based on rate limit or referrer URL. For example, you can limit the usage to only come from a particular website. See ArcGIS Server web services and Share secure services for more information.

More information

For more information see:


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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