ArcGIS Online: What's New?

This regular column contains information about the latest updates to ArcGIS Online basemaps, including content contributed by the user community through the Community Maps Program, and new features and capabilities in ArcGIS Online.

Basemap Updates

Last year Esri announced the acquisition of a large set of high-resolution imagery from GeoEye IKONOS, which will add almost 50 million square kilometers of one-meter-resolution imagery to the World Imagery Map. The first updates have been released; they include expanded coverage for Korea, Nigeria, multiple countries in the Middle East, Northern Africa, and Southeast Asia. In addition, more recent and detailed imagery from the National Agricultural Imagery Program and other data sources was added for the United States and Puerto Rico from 1:36K down to 1:1K.

GeoEye's IKONOS one-meter resolution imagery expands coverage and adds more detail to the World Imagery Map.

GeoEye's IKONOS one-meter resolution imagery expands coverage and adds more detail to the World Imagery Map.

The World Topographic Map was updated with several contributions from the global user community, which include new and updated content for the country of Slovakia from 1:577K to 1:4K; the country of Ghana from 1:9K to 1:1K; and the state of Maryland from 1:577K to 1:18K. Content was updated for several areas in Canada, including the Northwest Territories, Ontario, and British Columbia, as well as for Alaska and other areas in the United States.

World coverage for the Ocean Basemap has been expanded to 1:577K, and the basemap now also includes the Great Lakes region of North America down to 1:72K. Originally released in June 2011, the Ocean Basemap is now being used by many ocean GIS users around the world. Due to its great success and to enrich and improve data resolution, the Ocean Basemap is now part of the Community Maps Program and open to receive bathymetric data contributions from users and organizations worldwide. If you are interested in contributing your bathymetric data, e-mail us at

Esri maintains and expands the level of detail of World Topographic, World Street, and World Imagery maps through the contributions of GIS organizations around the world. Authoritative data from these organizations is contributed through the Community Maps Program, blended into one of the three basemaps that are published and hosted by Esri, and made freely available to anyone. The World Topographic Map is updated on a monthly basis, and the World Street Map is updated at least twice annually. To get the IKONOS imagery into the hands of users faster, the release schedule for the World Imagery Map has been accelerated to a monthly release schedule. For a complete list of all Community Maps updates and more details, visit the Community Maps resource center.

For users who cannot access these online maps or need to provide these maps securely behind their organization's firewall, Data Appliance for ArcGIS is a great solution. It provides the same mapping content on a network-attached storage device that plugs right into the organization's internal network.

Give Us Feedback

Users who see a problem or think something is incorrect in the World Imagery Map, World Street Map, or World Topographic Map can easily give us feedback. Enter the keyword Feedback in the search box on (make sure the search preference is set to Search for Maps) and follow the steps outlined under Description. All feedback is reviewed by the ArcGIS Online team and considered for inclusion in one of the future updates.

Map Viewer Improvements

New templates have been added to the map viewer. These include three configurable story map templates that provide different layout options for telling better stories with maps, and the Elevation Profile template, which includes a service that has been integrated into the template and provides the elevation data for any map used with the template. There are now a number of preconfigured templates in the template gallery users can choose from to quickly and easily embed and share their maps with others. Some templates have been retired from the gallery but are still available in the Web Application Templates group in ArcGIS Online. These can be found by entering the group name in the search box on The search preference must be set to Search for Groups.

Users can now add a CSV or text file that contains up to 250 addresses to their web maps. Previously, addresses were not supported in the map viewer; the file needed latitude and longitude information. Now features can be added from files based on address or latitude-longitude.

Because of user feedback, the ArcGIS Online team has added the ability to set the visibility (or scale) range on an editable layer. Before, users could only set a scale range on feature layers in ArcGIS for Server map and feature services. Now they can also set the scale range on editable layers they create in the map viewer.

ArcGIS Online Is Now Localized

In addition to English, ArcGIS Online is now available in 14 languages, including Arabic, Chinese (Simplified Han), French, German, Polish, Spanish, and more. Specific content for 40 regions around the world is now also available. This includes Argentina, Belgium, Bolivia, Iraq, Ireland, Kenya, Morocco, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Russia, South Korea, and many other regions. The language users see when signing in to ArcGIS Online will automatically be presented based on the browser/machine language settings. Users can switch to the language of their choice simply by changing those settings. Regional content, such as featured maps and applications, also becomes visible after signing in and updating an ArcGIS Online account profile with a region preference. Once users have updated their profile, the ArcGIS Online home page and gallery will be updated with content for the preferred region, and the map viewer basemap will default to a country-specific basemap extent as a starting point for authoring new web maps. The ArcGIS Online team worked with Esri's international distributors to identify and feature numerous maps and applications for each region and will be adding support for more languages and content for different regions in upcoming releases. For a complete list of all supported languages and regions, visit Help on and go to "Getting started: Setting language and region" in the table of contents.

To start using ArcGIS Online basemaps, content, and capabilities, visit For more details on what's new, go to Help.

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