ArcGIS Blog

What's New in ArcGIS Online (June 2017)

ArcGIS Online has just been updated with the following new features and enhancements. This release includes a new enhanced user experience for content management and access, smart mapping in Scene Viewer, new Living Atlas content, and more.

For additional information see the What’s new help topic or ArcGIS blog posts specific to this release.


Map Viewer

Map Viewer is a built-in app that enables you to view and author maps, navigate, see map details, edit, perform analysis, and more (depending on your privileges). New for this release:

Arcade is now supported in pop-ups, enabling you to define and use attribute expressions to enhance and extend the pop-up display.

Arcade expressions allow you to dynamically create new values using feature attributes, and can be used anywhere you use regular attributes. For example, you can display a value in meters instead of feet, change text color based on conditions, or dynamically construct a link URL using attributes.

Input parameters for Analysis tools are now saved with the result layer. Click Rerun Analysis to open the tool with the saved parameters. See Use the analysis tools for more information.

Also new for the Map Viewer in this release:


Scene Viewer

The Scene Viewer is an app built into ArcGIS Online for creating and interacting with 3D scenes.

Points can be displayed more effectively by configuring them to display above buildings or terrain using the new relative to scene elevation mode. Callouts have been added to improve perspective to better visualize and understand point and label locations.

Declutter automatically removes overlapping features as you navigate the scene.

You can now stylize your buildings by colorizing textures, making textures grayscale, or setting a color to replace textures using the Color style.

Smart mapping has been added, providing data-driven exploration and rendering.

For example, you can use attributes (such as height) to create a color ramp using Counts & Amounts. Alternatively, you can use Types to symbolize each value uniquely, such as making residential buildings blue and commercial buildings orange.

Other new features and enhancements include the following:

For more information see View scenes in the Scene Viewer.


The Living Atlas

ArcGIS includes a Living Atlas of the World with beautiful, useful and authoritative maps on thousands of topics. Living Atlas is built into to ArcGIS, providing an easy way to access basemaps, maps, layers, and more.

The Living Atlas app has been updated with improved search capabilities and the ability to sort results by relevance, date, popularity, and name. The current filters are displayed as a logical expression.

Search now includes the ability to use location, person, or type of item in the search string. Use “in” before a place name to add a geographic filter. Living Atlas also appears in the apps button on, and is being updated to make it easier for users to browse featured content for use within their organization.

The World Imagery basemap has been updated with additional sets of DigitalGlobe imagery for several countries including the United States and Canada with detailed imagery for several hundred areas. This completes the initial set of updates for over 100 million sq. km. planned for the first year of the Esri partnership with DigitalGlobe.

World Imagery metadata has been updated to use an Arcade-styled pop-up that displays the source, acquisition date, accuracy, and resolution of the imagery. Add World Imagery as a layer, then click anywhere in the world at any zoom level to display the information.

Firefly (beta) is a new World Imagery basemap view that starts out nearly black and white, but progressively becomes more colorized as you zoom in. It is similar to the dark gray canvas, but offers the texture and context of imagery. It is especially useful as a basemap for brightly styled layers.

Clarity (beta) is a new World Imagery basemap view that offers the clearest imagery available from the Living Atlas imagery archive. The imagery in this view may be less current than the default imagery, but supports use cases (e.g. data collection) where the image clarity or accuracy is more important.

A new suite of maps and layers in Geographic Coordinate System (GCS) WGS84 are now available.  These maps and layers, initially released in beta over the last year, are now fully released and available to use in your web maps and apps.

Demographic maps have been updated for the United States and several other countries. The demographic maps now feature the latest 2017 current year estimates and 2022 five-year forecasts for the United States. In addition, updates have been released for more than 30 other countries using the latest Michael Bauer Research (MBR) data.

New time-enabled maps using GLDAS data, which provides global, historical meteorological data from NASA’s Land Data Assimilation system, are now available.

The NAIP image services have been updated with NAIP 2016 imagery for 24 states in the United States.

Organizations can choose to use Esri vector basemaps as the default in their Map Viewer and Scene Viewer basemap galleries. Administrators can check Use Esri vector basemaps in supported ArcGIS apps in the Map tab under Edit Settings.


Enhanced user experience

Access to your content has been redesigned, with a new layout intended to improve workflows and performance.

A new overall Content page now organizes all content, and includes tabs for My Content, My Favorites, My Groups,  and My Organization. You can view, search, sort, and filter the content found in each.

Search has been enhanced to be more focused, for example you can now search specific tabs of your content and group pages. Search results have an improved layout page and more precise filtering.

Item and group thumbnails have been enhanced to include support for auto-scaling, larger image sizes, drag-and-drop, and thumbnail placement adjustments using pan and zoom.

Support for adding, calculating, and deleting fields on hosted feature layers has been added to the item page Data tab. This enhancement brings the attribute table capabilities of the item page into equivalency with Map Viewer attribute table functionality.

Group pages have been redesigned with a new layout and organization, intended to improve workflows and performance. You can now search for and filter group members and content, and administrators can configure groups to allow organization members to join without invitation or approval.

In addition, owners can now add delete protection to prevent accidental deletion of the group and can also promote group members to group managers to get help with management tasks.

Relevant ArcGIS Desktop content is now included in all search results and group pages, and is no longer an optional checkbox.

When switching between your accounts you now have the option to stay signed in to your current account. When you are ready to sign out, you can choose to sign out of all linked accounts or only the current account.


Hosted web layers

You can publish your maps and data as hosted layers to ArcGIS Online, leveraging cloud-based publishing without the need to manage these services on your own infrastructure. See About hosted layers for more information.

Hosted tile layers have been enhanced to be more efficient, automatic, and economical. When publishing hosted tile layers from hosted feature layers you can now create tiles automatically. This means the tiles are created only when needed, such as when a user zooms to an area on the map.

Once the tiles are created, they are cached in your hosted storage. Tiles will also automatically update when the features in the source feature layer are updated. To help you take advantage of these enhancements, the cost of publishing tiles has been reduced to 1 credit to generate 10,000 tiles.

When creating hosted feature layers, you can enable a new option for collecting high accuracy metadata with Collector for ArcGIS. This option adds preconfigured fields and associated domains to the feature layer template schema that Collector for ArcGIS uses to write metadata about the collected data.

Ground Control is a new feature layer template available for collecting ground control points that can be used for georeferencing aerial drone imagery.

Publishing hosted scene layers from hosted feature layers is no longer in beta, and now consumes credits. When publishing scene layers from hosted feature layers you can choose between publishing to a global or local scene.

Hosted feature layers can now be published from Microsoft Excel files and exported as KML and Excel files.

Publishing is faster when creating hosted feature layers from shapefiles, file geodatabases, ArcMap, and ArcGIS Pro.


Configurable apps

Configurable apps provide an easy and fast way to go from a web map to an application, with no coding required. The following are new for this release.

The configuration pane is more consistent across all apps, making it easier to find and change configuration options, and providing a more uniform configuration experience.

Impact Summary highlights an area, and shows a summary of data related to the location. It can be used to present the impact of an event or a proposal on the local population. Impact Summary now supports sharing subscriber content with anonymous users.

Information Lookup now supports the Shared Theme organizational setting. Shared Theme allows an administrator to set color and logo setting shared across applications.

Use the new Minimal Gallery (beta) to create a basic card-based gallery of items in groups.

For the latest information, see the configurable apps posts on the ArcGIS Blog.


Story Maps

Story Maps let you combine authoritative maps with narrative text, images, and multimedia content, making it easy to harness the power of maps and geography to tell your story.

Story Map Cascade supports uncropped tall images, linking to MP3 audio files, and better sizing of embedded media. It now adds a dark theme and font choices, and authors can improve how their stories look on mobile devices by specifying alternate images that display for complex or unsupported content. See the Story Map Cascade gallery to view examples.

Authors can customize the look of their Story Map Shortlist (beta) stories by choosing a header color in the builder. See the Story Map Shortlist gallery to view examples.

Story Map Cascade, Story Map Shortlist (beta), Story Map Journal, and Story Map Series support the click-through link that is now part of the Shared Theme organizational settings.

For more information see the Story Maps website and Story Maps blog.


Web AppBuilder for ArcGIS

Web AppBuilder offers a way for you to easily create HTML/JavaScript apps that run on any device, using a gallery of ready-use-widgets. You can customize the look of your apps with configurable themes, and can host your apps online or on your own server.

With this release, the following new widgets are available:

Parcel Drafter—Allows mapping technicians to enter metes-and-bounds descriptions and check for closure errors. It is typically used by Assessing Offices and Register of Deeds to verify deeds and recorded documents but can also be used by surveyors and title companies to verify survey information prior to submission.

Full Screen—Enables a web app to open in full screen mode in your browser.

Basemap Gallery (3D)—Displays a basemap gallery that viewers can choose from when displaying web scenes.

Screening—Allows you to analyze configured layers for potential impacts within a specified area of interest. The widget reports results of the analysis by summarizing a count of intersecting features and length or area of overlap. Analysis results can then be shared via a printed report, a CSV file, and file geodatabase or shapefile download.

Grid Overlay—Supports client-side MGRS grid.

Coordinate Conversion—Allows analysts to input coordinates and convert them between several common formats including UTM, Military MGRS, DDM, DMS, DD, and USNG.

Suitability Modeler—Helps you find the best location for an activity and predict susceptibility to risk, or identify where something is likely to occur. This widget allows you to combine and weight different layers so you can evaluate multiple factors at once.

Infographic—Displays various charting styles including number, gauge, pie, column, bar, and line. Provides eight infographic templates, including number, gauge, pie, column, bar and line, to visualize and monitor attributes and data from feature layers in the map and other data sources. The infographics are dynamic, refreshing when the map extent or data source changes.

For more information, see What’s new in Web AppBuilder for ArcGIS.


Apps for the field

ArcGIS apps for the field help you use the power of location to improve coordination and achieve operational efficiencies in field workforce activities. Apps for the field have had numerous enhancements since the previous ArcGIS Online update including the following new features and capabilities.

Collector for ArcGIS

Collector for ArcGIS enables the use of your smartphone or tablet to collect and update information in the field, whether connected or disconnected.

For this release enhancements have focused on collecting higher quality data. GPS averaging is now supported and can be used to improve the precision of your high-accuracy collection workflows; you can capture a number of positions and create a location from the average of the positions captured.

Collector has also added the ability to rename attachments with meaningful names, and to use basemaps on an SD card for easier, faster field deployment.

Convenient time-saving and error-reducing workflows for copying features and continuously collecting data are no longer restricted when your map has layers that participate in a relationship.

For more information, see What’s new in Collector for ArcGIS.

Explorer for ArcGIS

Explorer for ArcGIS allows everyone in your organization to discover, use, and share maps on their Mac, iOS, or Android device. With Explorer you can use maps online, or download maps packaged for offline use. You can also mark up your map and share your sketches with your organization, get directions, or use the compass to find your assets.

Explorer now supports more responsive vector basemaps, maps created with smart mapping, related records, and Arcade labels. A new, simplified experience for discovering maps in your organization enables you to readily access the maps that matter most.

These new features are currently in beta on iOS and Android. Look for the release on iOS in July 2017, with Android coming later. For the latest information, see the Explorer for ArcGIS blog posts.

Survey123 for ArcGIS

Survey123 for ArcGIS is a simple and intuitive form-centric data gathering solution that makes creating, sharing, and analyzing surveys possible in three easy steps.

Survey123 for ArcGIS has had a major release since the last ArcGIS Online update. Editing existing data is now supported, allowing you to update features already captured—this includes both data captured in previous surveys, and data from existing feature layers for which you’ve created a survey.

The web designer has added support for modifying questions on already published surveys, and sharing survey results through a link.

In Survey123 Connect you can create surveys with aggregate functions that return values derived from responses across repeats.

For more information see What’s new in Survey123.


Apps for the office

ArcGIS Apps for the Office enable you to put powerful, user-friendly tools and data into the hands of data analysts to gain location-based insights and make decisions that save money and time.

ArcGIS Maps for Adobe Creative Cloud

ArcGIS Maps for Adobe Creative Cloud gives you access to data-driven maps inside Adobe Illustrator and Photoshop. ArcGIS Maps for Adobe Creative Cloud is now released and is no longer in beta.

You can load ArcGIS Online content, including community content from the Living Atlas of the World, editable vector layers, and high-resolution images to collaborate with GIS departments and other designers to create and share maps.

For more information, see the ArcGIS Maps for Adobe Creative Cloud help.

ArcGIS Earth

ArcGIS Earth enables you to explore any part of the world, and work with a variety or 2D and 3D map data formats. New for this release is the capability to export measurements. Customized KML icons are designed for use in a disconnected environment. Users can also set ArcGIS Earth as the default KML viewer from the configuration file.

For more information, see What’s new in ArcGIS Earth.

ArcGIS Maps for Power BI

ArcGIS geo-enables Microsoft Power BI, and was promoted from a preview feature and is now a core visual in Microsoft Power BI Service and Power BI Desktop. This release is a sequential update with improved speed, better usability, and the ability to manually set the data midpoint for classified data.

For more information, see What’s new in ArcGIS Maps for Power BI.


ArcGIS Business Analyst Web

This ArcGIS Business Analyst Web update includes Esri’s 2017/2022 demographic estimates and projections for the U.S., new options to visualize data, access to historical traffic data, the ability to customize the app’s branding, and several improved workflows.

For more information, see What’s new in ArcGIS Business Analyst Web.

GeoPlanner for ArcGIS

GeoPlanner for ArcGIS incorporates each aspect of a complete planning workflow—project creation, data identification, comparative analysis, and reporting—into a single web-based application. The app helps planners from a wide range of industries create and report on alternative planning scenarios to make geographically informed decisions.

GeoPlanner now enables you to focus on specific planning areas by allowing you to design, evaluate, and report using selection sets and study areas. This update also helps you generate reports to support the conservation element of a comprehensive plan or other natural asset information products. You can also create environmental screening reports that show how scenario features summarize data from suitability models and assessment layers. All reports can be downloaded to PDF or a CSV file.

For more information, see What’s new in GeoPlanner for ArcGIS.


ArcGIS Open Data and ArcGIS Hub

ArcGIS Hub is a new framework that enables governments and communities to organize and engage together around policy initiatives. It brings data-driven policy to life by combining data, visualization, analytics, and collaboration to enable governments and citizens to work together on real-world initiatives that tackle the most pressing issues in their communities. ArcGIS Hub consists of the following; Open Data, Initiatives, and Community.

ArcGIS Open Data is a free, configurable site within your ArcGIS organization that enables you to share your authoritative data and provides an easy way to create public-facing websites where people can easily find and download your open data in a variety of open formats.

With this release, organizations now access and manage their Open Data site through ArcGIS Hub, with all the Open Data functionality and capabilities as before.

ArcGIS Hub Initiatives and ArcGIS Hub Community are not yet released, and will be licensed separately. To learn more see ArcGIS Hub.


Organization administration

Organization administrators can choose to use Esri vector basemaps as the default in the Map Viewer and Scene Viewer basemap galleries. Check Use Esri vector basemaps in supported ArcGIS apps in the Map tab under Edit Settings.

Using the new Allow Origins security setting, organizations can now limit the web app domains that can connect via Cross-Origin Resource Sharing (CORS) to the ArcGIS REST API.

Organization URLs now support HTTP Strict Transport Security (HSTS) for HTTPS-only organizations. This ensures that any client that supports HSTS will always use HTTPS to communicate with the custom URL of the organization.

Designated administrators are now notified when the organization sends an email that isn’t delivered. This allows the administrator to correct and resend the email to join the organization, reset the password, and so on.

A new tutorial demonstrates how to configure Okta as your identity provider for enterprise logins.

You can now share content between ArcGIS Enterprise 10.5.1 portals and ArcGIS Online organizations using distributed collaboration capabilities. Distributed collaboration allows organizations working in both online and on-premises systems to establish a trusted environment with defined rules for sharing maps, layers, and files across participating systems using item and data replication. This capability is provided as part of an early adopter program available to interested ArcGIS Online organizations. For more information and to apply for the program, visit the Enterprise to Online Collaboration early adopter web site.

Organizations with heavy data workloads can upgrade to a premium feature data store to get dedicated compute resources for higher and more consistent performance.

The Esri User Experience Improvement program allows organizations to contribute to the design and development of ArcGIS Online. Check the box to allow ArcGIS Online to collect usage information from members of your organization to improve the user experience.


For more information about the June 2017 release

For more information about the June 2017 release, see the What’s new help topic or view other ArcGIS Blog posts specific to this release.

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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