ArcGIS Online

What's new in Map Viewer (December 2021)

The December 2021 Map Viewer update is here! The update includes many enhancements, such as HTML source editing for pop-ups, feature-specific effects, an improved sketch experience, and many more. Read below to learn more about the recent features and enhancements now available in Map Viewer.


Feature-specific effects

With the latest update, you can now use effects to emphasize specific features in a layer. Effects such as Bloom and Grayscale, Drop Shadow and Blur, and more are used to apply effects to highlight some features in a layer based on conditions that you define.

Feature-specific effects
Bloom + Blur effect in Map Viewer

See Feature-Specific Effects: The next enhancement for Map Effects for more details and inspiration for your maps.


The December release also includes several enhancements for pop-ups.

Editing source HTML

Whether starting from an existing map previously authored in Map Viewer Classic, or starting fresh in Map Viewer, you can add or modify the source HTML for your pop-ups. Improved integration with supported HTML helps provide a consistent WYSWYG.

To access the source HTML, use the source button on the pop-up text editor.

Source HTML for pop-ups
Accessing source HTML for pop-ups

Arcade-driven clustering pop-ups

Previously, only cluster attributes like average value, count, and predominant value were available with clustering pop-ups. With the latest update, you can use a few lines of Arcade to display additional information about the features in the cluster, such as all of the features contained in the cluster, or minimum / maximum values.

Stay tuned for an upcoming blog for more details on using Arcade to drive your clustering pop-ups.

Arcade-driven content elements

The December Map Viewer update provides even more control and flexibility to build the pop-up you envision. In addition to using Arcade expressions to return attributes, you can now use Arcade to define an entire block of content whether that is rich text, charts, formatted list of fields or any combination of these pop-up content elements.

arcade content element templates

For more details, check out Introducing Arcade pop-up content elements.

Smart Mapping

The December 2021 Map Viewer update includes several enhancements in Smart Mapping.

Performance updates

Smart mapping optimizations in the JavaScript API for ArcGIS mean better performance in Map Viewer. Statistics, class breaks, and other internal computations are handled in a more efficient manner, providing improved responsiveness when styling your layer and adjusting class breaks or working with the Smart Mapping histogram.

Smart mapping calculates summary statistics and histograms to help you understand your data better. The speed of these calculations significantly improved for Arcade-based styles in the latest update of ArcGIS Online.
Smart mapping calculates summary statistics and histograms to help you understand your data better. The speed of these calculations significantly improved for many styles in the latest update of ArcGIS Online.

For a deeper dive into the performance improvements, check out A better experience for styling layers using Arcade in ArcGIS Online.

More color ramps!

167 colorblind-friendly color ramps have been added to Map Viewer’s gallery, bringing the total to over 500. The new ramps include many that are designed for highlighting middle values in above and below visualization styles. Previously, color ramps for above and below styles use a transparent or neutral color where middle values were de-emphasized. However, sometimes the data values in the middle are what should be emphasized.  With both approaches available in Map Viewer now, you can use the approach that works best for visualizing your data.

New color ramps
New color ramps in Map Viewer offer ramps with three colors that emphasize middle values, as well as above and below values.

Check out New Map Viewer color ramps for more details.

Sketch enhancements

Sketch enhancements include easier access with a Sketch button on the (light) toolbar, as well as improved snapping controls improved and updated default symbology for lines and polygons.

For more details, see An enhanced sketch experience in Map Viewer.

An image showing the updated full pane sketch UI


Labels this release received several enhancements:

If you’ve used the layer effect drop shadow you have seen the XY slider already. We have added the XY Slider to help with label placement. As you move the point around in the XY slider you will see the label placement update in the map.

Label offset

Labels on lines have been updated with the ability to control how a label repeats along features. You can now disable label repetition completely, or use a distance interval. Line labels also support label overrun, which allows labels that are larger than the feature being labeled to be displayed on the map.

A new FGDC GeoAge font has been added to label styles, a standard font for geologic map symbolization.


For feature layer tables, you can now select rows in the table and zoom to the location of the extent of all the selected features on the map.


You can now add GeoJSON feeds from a url in Map Viewer. Have a link for GeoJSON from a data hub? Or an earthquake feed? With Map Viewer, you can use smart mapping to style these layers, as well as configure effects, blend modes, filtering and more.

Imagery Layer enhancements

The latest update includes a couple enhancements for Imagery Layers as well. Time can be displayed (and configured!) for time-enabled Tiled Imagery layers. Additionally, you can now  browse for Raster Function Templates to apply to your Imagery Layer.


Imagery Layer processing templates

Managing layer properties

The December Map Viewer release includes improved authoring tools for managing layer properties. All layers include properties that can be configured in Map Viewer. For a feature layer, these properties include the layer’s style, pop-ups, filter, and more. Often, these properties are already configured and stored with the layer. When you open them in Map Viewer, you immediately see those configurations made by the layer owner. From there, you can further modify the layer as you see fit. When you save the web map, the configured properties for the layer are stored with the web map rather than the layer. Anyone viewing your web map will now see the changes you made to the layer’s properties. Any properties that haven’t been changed in the web map would continue being referenced from the source layer.

The latest update provides helpful indicators that tell which properties are stored in the web map (and are not referenced from the source), and which are stored with the source layer meaning any updates to layer properties will be automatically displayed in the web map. Currently, only feature layers display layer property status. Future updates will include support for more layer types.


In addition to reporting the status for each layer property, you have the option to Reset to source layer properties, which will discard all properties that are stored in the web map and revert the layer to the properties that are stored with the layer. Along with the reset to source option, you can now Disconnect layer properties which will store all properties in the current web map. This effectively overrides any inheritance from the source layer properties, ensuring the web map remains exactly as authored. Note, however, that the data contained in the layer will continue to be referenced from the source layer.

Manage layer properties in Map Viewer

Form authoring

You can now author forms directly in Map Viewer to create a tailored editing experience for your editors.


Improved support for location tracking layers

Location tracking layers have improved interaction in Map Viewer. When adding tracks to Map Viewer, they are automatically grouped,

Group Tracking Layer
Last Known Locations, Track Lines, and Tracks are added automatically to Map Viewer as a group.

Additionally, pop-ups automatically display location information similar to Track Viewer.

Other enhancements

Time-enabled bookmarks
Previously, overlapping polygons were rendered with outlines of underlying polygons displaying on top (left). With the latest release, outlines are only displayed in the order that each feature is displayed on the map.

More resources

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About the author

Chris is a product engineer for ArcGIS Online.

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