The September 2020 ArcGIS Online update introduces the new Define Visible Map Extent tool into the configurable app experience. Setting an extent that map viewers will see is one of the first things that cartographers and GIS professionals are taught to do when building a printed map. This new capability in configurable apps brings this concept to interactive mapping by focusing viewers on the relevant locations and minimizing distractions from other areas of the map.
The Define Visible Map Extent tool allows application authors to define an extent that only includes areas relevant to the data in the map. For instance, if a map contains data about Yosemite National Park, defining the visible extent prevents map viewers from navigating out of the park boundaries and into surrounding national forests. The area an author chooses can be as small as a neighborhood or as large as a continent depending on how they prefer to tailor the experience of the app.
Use the steps below to get started with the Define Visible Map Extent tool in the Media Map application template.
Step 1: Create a map
Building a configurable app with a defined extent starts with creating a map. Add data that is concentrated in a specific geographic region to your web map. This example uses historic maps and imagery data for the city of Redlands, California (Image 1). Set your map to the view that you want to be the default extent of your application and save the map.
Step 2: Choose an app template
Browse to the Item Details page of your map, click Create Web App, and choose Configurable Apps. While this example uses Media Map, Define Visible Map Extent is also available in Attachment Viewer, Interactive Legend, Minimalist, Nearby, and Zone Lookup. Select Media Map and click Create Web App (Image 2).
Step 3: Configure Define Extent settings
As a part of the updated configuration experience, the application opens in Express Setup, which contains the most essential settings for configuring the app. The Define Visible Map Extent settings are located in Full Setup, which contains all settings available in this application. To switch to the Full Setup experience, click Switch to Full Setup at the bottom of the Express Setup menu (Image 3).
Once in the Full Setup experience, click Interactivity and browse to the Navigate section to locate the Define visible map extent setting (Image 4).
Enabling define visible map extent opens the following configuration options (Image 5):
- Enable or disable Define visible map extent
- Open the Choose Extent window to choose the map area to constrain panning around map
- Set the visibility range slider to specify maximum and minimum zoom levels in the map
Click the Define Extent button to open the Choose Extent window. In this window, the drawing tool is used to specify the geographic area to which panning on the map is limited. In this example, the map area is set to include only the city of Redlands. Click Confirm to save this setting (Image 6).
Next, use the visibility range slider to set the range within which viewers can to zoom in and out of the map area (Image 7). This example sets the visibility range from the Neighborhood zoom level (1:20,000) to the Room zoom level (1:400).
Step 4: Complete and publish app
Explore the remaining settings in Media Map to add more functionality to your app. In this example, the Layer List is enabled and set to open at the start of the application, giving viewers the option to view multiple imagery layers and turn them on and off. The Bookmark tool allows viewers to navigate to notable areas in city using bookmarks configured in Map Viewer. The Basemap toggle button allows viewers to observe the data on a different basemap. Finally, the Swipe tool is configured to allow viewers to swipe the most recent imagery over the historic imagery. The completed sample application can be found here (Image 8).
Once remaining settings are configured in the app, the app is ready to be published and shared. Browse to the bottom of the configuration panel and click Publish to open the Publish window (Image 9).
Click Confirm to save all settings and publish the application. The app is now ready to be shared. You can share what you build and keep sharing your ideas with us on GeoNet.