ArcGIS Hub

What’s New on ArcGIS Hub Search

Searching for content is a foundational part of ArcGIS Hub. A good search empowers users to easily and quickly find the information they’re seeking as well as discover new content. We know how much work you put into curating your content and we are excited to unveil what we’ve been working on over the past several months to make Hub search a great experience.

Source: unDraw

Your Thumbnails: Front and Center

Since the beginning of ArcGIS Hub, we’ve shown search results as a list. The list provides all the critical metadata a user needs to find the right content they’re looking for, but it was missing something – a visual element. We’ve now created a gallery view of the search results that showcase your beautiful thumbnails. Users will have the option to search through the content in a more graphical way. Not only will this make searching more enjoyable, but also more efficient as well. 

Figure 1. View button allows users to switch between list and grid views.

Enhanced Filters 

The filters that show up in the left sidebar of the search catalog (tag, category, etc.) have always been sorted by frequency – the number of items that match each filter value. But now we’ve made that much more intuitive by showing the number of items for each filter in parentheses after the filter name.  

And we’ve now brought in nested organization categories! So the category hierarchy you establish in ArcGIS Online will be reflected in your search catalog.  

Further, a new location filter lets users search and navigate to a place or address and then filter results that intersect that location, bringing more geographic precision to search.

Figure 2. Nested organization categories along with filters that show item count.

Keeping Layers Together 

When Hub was created, we made the decision to split sublayers out as individual items. But we’ve had substantial feedback from users like you wanting those layers to be kept together within an item. We’ve listened, and we will no longer be splitting out sublayers as individual Hub items. Now the number of items on Hub’s search will match your site’s catalog without inflating result counts with separate sublayers. It’ll more closely match with ArcGIS Online’s content search view as well. In the future, Hub will be working on a way to indicate layers within an item, which will be searchable. 

If you’d prefer to keep each layer as its own search result, we recommend publishing new items for each of your layers. Depending on your workflow, this may include 1. Selecting each layer in ArcGIS Pro and publishing individually to your ArcGIS Server instance (see ArcGIS Server web help) or 2. Publishing individual layers directly from ArcGIS Pro to ArcGIS Online as a hosted web feature layer (see ArcGIS Pro web help).

Figure 3. Item sublayers will no longer be split out as individual items.

How Can I Start Using This New Search? 

In January 2024, the new search experience, which has been in beta since Spring 2023, will become the default search experience for all users. Any visitors to your ArcGIS Hub site’s search page will land on {siteURL}/search will automatically see the upgraded search experience. 

You can enable the new experience today for all users before the general availability release by clicking on the link in the search catalog.

Figure 4. Enable the new experience for all users.

We’re thrilled to bring these enhancements to you and excited to enable your users with more ways to find the content they’re seeking. Happy searching, Hubbers! 


This ArcGIS Blog post was edited on December 5, 2023 to reflect the latest enhancements to the new search experience (including the location filter), provide guidance on how to publish layers as individual items, and to include information on the transition from beta capability to the planned general availability release in 2024. 



Card Image is from Markus Winkler on Unsplash. Banner Image is from Mick Haupt on Unsplash.

About the authors

Emily Nilson

Emily is a Senior Product Manager for ArcGIS Hub and Enterprise Sites. She is a longtime proponent of open data and loves seeing the impactful and innovative ways customers are using Esri’s products. Emily enjoys international travel, hiking, and sustainability.


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