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Configure layer attribute search in maps and apps

Search in Map Viewer is used to find places on a map. Search is located in the lower right, alongside the Settings (light) toolbar. By default, Map Viewer and ArcGIS Instant Apps use the ArcGIS World Geocoding Service locator to find addresses, places, landmarks, points of interest, and XY coordinates worldwide.

Search in Map Viewer and apps can be refined or extended in a several ways. For example, map authors can configure one or more layers and attribute fields in the map to be used in search. In a similar way, apps can also be configured with one or more layers and attribute search sources.

Follow this tutorial to learn more about configuring layer and attribute search source in maps and apps.

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Configure layer and attribute search in maps
Configure layer and attribute search in apps
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Configure layer and attribute search in maps

You can follow along using the Florida Springs example map, or use the Florida Springs layer to create and configure search in your own map. Whether starting with the example map or example layer, Sign in to save the map to your Content.

Step 1 — Sign in to your ArcGIS account and save the map.

Step 2 — Open the map item details and click Settings.


Web map settings

Step 3 — Scroll down in settings to locate the Application Settings section. Check the By Layer box to enable search using a map layer.

Enable search by layer

Step 4 — Complete the Application Settings.

(a) – Enter the hint text. This is the string that will be displayed when search is used.

(b) – Choose the layer and and search field from the drop-down. You can also choose from Contains or Equals for applying the search string.

When finished, click Save.

Step 5 — Open the web map and use search. The search tool displays the newly added layer attribute search along with the default ArcGIS World Geocoding Service (unless your organization has configured a custom locator). The default is to use All locators when searching.

Search options

Step 6 — Select Florida Springs: Spring Name from the search drop-down, as shown above.

Step 7 — At the Enter spring name prompt, begin typing to find matches.

Search for spring name

Choose a match to open its pop-up and zoom to the location.

Search match

Configure layer and attribute search apps

ArcGIS Instant Apps can be configured to use a layer attribute search similar to the one configured for the map described in the section above. The app can be configured to use the layer search in addition to the World Geocoding Service (or other locators configured in your organization), or you can restrict search to use only a single layer and attribute.

You can view the example Basic Instant App and configure your own by following the steps below.

Step 1 — Open the Florida Springs example map and sign in to your ArcGIS account. Save the map.

Step 2 — You can create a web app in two ways.

(a) – From the Overview tab in the map item details, click Create Web App and choose Instant Apps.

Create and Instant App

(b) – Open the map and click Create app from the Content (dark) toolbar, then choose Instant Apps.

Create an Instant App

Step 3 — Choose an Instant App. This tutorial uses Basic.

Choose Instant App

Step 4 — In the Create app pane, enter a title and (optionally) tags.

Create app pane

There are many options for configuring Instant Apps. For this example, the focus will be on Search configuration. The World Geocoding Service will be removed and layer search will be added.

Step 4 — In Step 3 in Express mode (or Interactivity > Search in full setup mode), locate the Search configuration section. Ensure that Search is toggled on (the default). Click Add a source.

Add search source

Step 5 — In the Add search source pane, configure as follows:

(a) – Choose Layer as the source.

(b) – From the Set up source drop-down, choose Map.

(c) – Choose the Florida Springs layer.

(d) – Choose Spring Name from the search field drop-down.

(e) – Click Add source when finished.

Add search source

Step 6 — Choose the field Spring Name in the Display field drop-down. Then open Additional search options.

Additional search options

Step 7 — Configure additional search options as desired. Click Done when finished.

Additional search options

Step 8 — Since we only want the app to search for springs by name, delete the ArcGIS World Geocoding Service source. If you want to use all sources, toggle All sources on.

Delete World Geocoding Service

Step 9 — Complete the rest of the app configuration as desired and click Publish, then Launch when done.

The configured example app includes an information window and open search tool. Begin entering text, when a match is selected the map will zoom to its location.

Search tool in configured app

More information

For more information, see:

About the author

Corporate technology evangelist and advocate at Esri, focusing on ways to broaden access to geographic information and helping customers succeed with the ArcGIS system. On a good day I'm making a map, on a great day I'm on one. Email or connect on LinkedIn (


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