ArcGIS Instant Apps

Three, Two, One: Countdown (Beta) is the newest Instant App (June 2021)

New as part of the June 2021 release of ArcGIS Online is a new Instant App: Countdown! Show a specified number of top or bottom features in your map as sorted by a particular attribute. This enables data journalists, decision support analysts, and others to create an app that delivers an interactive, data-driven tour of features. In addition to the countdown experience itself, an interactive Leaderboard (sorted list) section provides an at-a-glance view of multiple features. Details sections help orient your viewers and tell a complete story by providing context alongside map.

Welcome page of app with map, right-side panel, and toolbar with Intro, Countdown, Leaderboard, and Conclusion buttons.

Countdown is the newest template in Instant Apps and is currently in Beta. Like all Instant Apps, you can easily place your web map in an app from within the New Map Viewer.

Within New Map Viewer: Create App -> Instant Apps.

Easy configuration experience


There are three major section types to choose from: Details, which is a text-based section appropriate for introductions, conclusions, or summaries, as well as Countdown and Leaderboard, both of which pull from your web map’s pop-up.

In this example app, there is a Details section titled Intro, followed by a Countdown section, Leaderboard section, and lastly a Details section titled Conclusion. Adding and reordering these sections is simple in the configuration panel:

"+ Add a section" button with existing sections below: Intro, Countdown, Leaderboard, and Conclusion. Each has three dots next to it for editing options.

In the app itself, the sections appear in the side toolbar. People viewing this app can experience each section and click Next at the bottom to navigate through, or click the sections on the side toolbar for a self-directed experience.


Details sections are text-based sections designed to help you provide context alongside your map. The name you give your details sections, such as Intro and Conclusion, will appear on the side toolbar of the app for your viewers to see. These details sections can be used to tell a narrative story around the trends and geographic differences you are presenting in your app, along with some key takeaways. These sections can also be used  is a great place to provide definitions, sources, and more information.


The Countdown section is the bread and butter of this focused Instant App experience. It’s a guided tour of the top (or bottom) features of the map. Sorting is based on the attribute chosen. In this example app, I’ve chosen 10 as the number of features, and I’ve chosen the attribute: Median Age of Total Population. Hence, the app shows the top 10 counties with the highest median age.

Countdown configuration section: name, ranking layer, number of features to display (currently set to 10), and ranking field.

The information displayed on the side comes directly from the web map’s pop-up, including any charts, images, or other media.

6. Charlotte County, FL. Map is zoomed to this county, and pop-up says "In this area, the median age of the population is 58.6" with a chart of male/female breakdown below.


Accompanying the map-based countdown experience is an optional list-based Leaderboard section. The Pin to Compare button allows the app’s viewers to pin a particular feature to compare with others on the list. The leaderboard section does not need to have the same number of features as the countdown. In this example, the leaderboard has a list of the top 25 oldest counties, whereas the countdown goes through the top 10.

With more features listed, the higher potential for ties in the data to show up. The numeric rankings on the list honor ties in the data. For example, there are two counties in the United States with a median age of 57.4. These two counties are both ranked 13, and the next ranking that displays is 15 (there is no county ranked 14).

List in Leaderboard: 12. Keweenaw County, Michigan, 13. Kalawao County, Hawaii, 13. Llano County, Texas, 15. Lancaster County, Virginia

Express vs. Full Setup

Upon entering the app configuration in any Instant App, you are taken to Express Setup, a quick way to get started by only configuring the core options. If you want more control over your app, enter Full Setup. Full Setup includes options such as:

Interactive viewing experience

Those viewing your app can interact with any feature in the map, not just those highlighted in the Countdown or Leaderboard sections. This allows viewers to view and dock the pop-up for their own feature of interest, such as their own county, school, etc. and compare it to those highlighted in the app. For example, I docked the pop-up for Esri’s home county of San Bernardino so as to compare it with others in the leaderboard:

Pop-up for San Bernardino County is docked next to #1, Sumter County, Florida for easy comparison.

I’ve used Geo List in the past, what does this mean for me?

If you are familiar with the Geo List app available in Configurable Apps, here’s what this means for you:

Try other Instant App templates

Countdown is the newest template to join the Instant Apps gallery, which also includes 3D ViewerAttachment ViewerCategory GalleryImagery ViewerInteractive LegendMedia MapMinimalistNearbyPortfolio, and Zone Lookup. Instant Apps offer the ease of fast, intuitive creation workflows along with the flexibility to build a custom app that is designed to be share a map through a focused experience. The apps are developed to detect the locale settings configured in the browser and to translate all text to the appropriate language. All apps are designed responsively to be used in browsers on desktops, mobile phones, and tabletsThe apps have been developed with support for keyboard-only navigation and screen reading software.

Want inspiration? Browse Esri Community  to see what others are doing with Instant Apps. Or share your own!

About the author

Diana loves working with data! She has over a decade of experience as a practitioner of demography, sociology, economics, policy analysis, and GIS. Diana holds a BA in quantitative economics and an MA in applied demography. She is a senior product engineer on ArcGIS Living Atlas of the World's Policy Maps team. Diana enjoys strong coffee and clean datasets, usually simultaneously.

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