Add layers to maps (Map Viewer)


Some functionality is not yet supported in the new Map Viewer. (The new Map Viewer was previously available as a separate beta installation but is now available in the portal automatically.) See the compatibility guide for more information, and use Map Viewer Classic (formerly known as Map Viewer) as needed for unsupported workflows.

Layers are the contents of a map. They include a wide range of information about people, the earth, life, and so on, and are composed of imagery, tiles, features, and more. To add layers to a map, sign in to your organization and open Map Viewer. You can search for layers in your content or organization, or public layers in ArcGIS Online. You can also add layers from a URL.

When you save a map, the layers you added are saved with it, and the map appears on the My Content tab of the Content page.

Browse layers

By default, layers are searched from My Content, but you can also search for layers from the following:

  • My Favorites—Layers you've marked as favorites.
  • My Groups—Layers from groups to which you belong.
  • My Organization—Layers from your organization.
  • Living Atlas—Selected layers from ArcGIS Living Atlas of the World, including traffic, demographics, and land-cover layers. This option is only available if ArcGIS Enterprise is configured to use ArcGIS Living Atlas of the World content.

  • ArcGIS Online—Public content from ArcGIS Online.

Supported layers

You can search for and add the following layers to a map in Map Viewer:

  • Layers you own or that have been shared with you
  • Layers from ArcGIS Living Atlas of the World
  • Public layers on ArcGIS Online
  • Table layers
  • Sketch layers

You can also add some types of layers using a URL.

Find and add layers

To find and add layers in Map Viewer, complete the following steps:

  1. On the Contents (dark) toolbar, do one of the following:
    • Click Add Add and click Browse layers Browse layers to search for spatial layers.
    • Click Tables Tables and click Add table to search for table layers.

      The Add table pane is prefiltered to show only table layers.

  2. Choose where you want to search for layers: My Content, My Favorites, My Groups, My Organization, Living Atlas, or ArcGIS Online.

    If you are not signed in, only public layers from the portal and public ArcGIS Online layers are available.

  3. Optionally, do any of the following to help you find layers:
    • Type search terms in the search box. You can also use advanced search to help narrow the search results.
    • Display layer results in different ways using the view buttons (Table Table and List List).
    • Click Sort Sort to sort the layer results and change the sort direction.
    • Click Filter Filter to narrow the search results. For example, if you are searching for layers in an organization and content categories have been set up, you can use the Categories filter to narrow the results. Use the Status filter to only return layers that have been marked as authoritative. The filter options available depend on where you are searching for layers, and whether and how you are signed in.

      To limit search results based on the current map extent, turn on the Only show content within map area toggle button. For example, if the map is zoomed to Nevada, USA, the search results are ordered and based on the map extent. Changing the map extent to Pennsylvania typically returns different results (depending on your keywords). All layers that overlap the current map extent (and match your keywords) are returned.

    • Click the title of a layer to see its details. In the layer details pane, click View full item details Share map to open the item page to see more information about the layer.
  4. Click Add Add on the layer result to add the layer to the map.
  5. Repeat the previous step for each layer you want to add.

    To add any of the layer results to your favorites, click Add to Favorites under the layer thumbnail in the layer details pane. To view your complete list of favorites, choose My Favorites when searching for layers in Map Viewer or on the My Favorites tab on the Content page.

    Once you've added layers to Map Viewer Classic, you can configure each layer. For example, you can change the style, create labels, and configure pop-ups on each layer you added to the map.

  6. Click Remove Remove on the layer in the search result list to remove the layer from the map.
  7. Click Back to close the search pane.

Add layers from a URL

You can add some types of layers using a URL. To add a layer using a URL, complete the following steps:

  1. On the Contents (dark) toolbar, click Add Add. From the options that appear, choose the layer type to add:
    • CSV CSV—A web-based, comma-separated values text file that typically includes location information
    • KML KML—An XML-based file format used to represent geographic features
    • Web service Web service—A map, image, or feature resource that is located on an ArcGIS Server site
    • GeoRSS GeoRSS—A live web feed that includes geographic features and locations
    • Tile layer Tile layer—A set of web-accessible tiles that reside on a server
    • OGC API - Features OGC API - Features—A feature service that follows the OGC API - Features specification

    The OGC API - Features layer must contain a spatial field.

  2. Copy the layer's URL into the URL text box.
    • To add an ArcGIS Server web service layer, use the following URL format if you have ArcGIS Web Adaptor configured: If the service is in the root folder, you do not need to include the folder name in the URL. The URL format in that case is

      For example, to connect to an ArcGIS Server map service, enter a URL similar to the following: https://webadaptorhost/webadaptorname/rest/services/service/MapServer. For more information and examples, see Components of ArcGIS URLs.

    • To add a tile layer, enter a URL that contains the level, column, and row placeholders in the following format: https:// ... /{level}/{col}/{row}.png or https:// ... / {z}/{x}/{y}.png. The URL can also contain a placeholder for the subdomains where the map tiles are stored. You can get this URL from the data provider.

      For example, the URL for the OpenCycleMap tile layer contains parameterized values in braces {}:{subdomain}{level}/{col}/{row}.png.


      Tile layers added from the web must use the Web Mercator (Auxiliary Sphere) coordinate system to ensure proper display in Map Viewer.

  3. For web service layers only, do the following to append custom parameters to requests made to the service:
    1. Under Custom parameters, click Add parameter.
    2. Type the name of the parameter you want to append in the Parameter text box.
    3. Type the parameter value in the Value text box.
    4. Click Add.

    The specified custom parameters will be automatically applied to all requests made to the service.

  4. For tile layers only, do the following:
    1. In the Title text box, type a title for the layer.

      The specified title will be displayed in the Layers pane (or the Basemap pane if you add it as a basemap).

    2. In the Attribution text box, enter any copyright information or required attribution information for the tile layer provider.

      The attribution information will be displayed at the bottom of the map.

    3. If the tile layer contains one or more subdomains, use a comma-separated list to specify the tile layer's subdomain labels in the Subdomains text box.

      Subdomains are used by the tile layer provider to distribute tile requests across multiple servers. Not all tile layers have subdomains. If the tile layer does not have subdomains, the Add tile layer window does not display the subdomain field. If you are unsure of the subdomain labels, contact the tile layer provider.

      If the tiles are distributed across multiple servers, you must provide subdomain information.

    4. Optionally, check the Set tile extent to the current extent of the map check box.

      When you check this option, Map Viewer sets the tile extent to include only those tiles visible in the map at the time that you enable the option. Map Viewer will only display tiles in that extent. However, because the tiles are not clipped to fit the extent, tiles may extend beyond the extent.

  5. For OGC API - Features only, click the Layers drop-down arrow and choose a layer to add.

    You can only select one layer.

  6. For OGC API - Features only, optionally append custom parameters to requests made to the service, as follows:
    1. Click Custom parameters and click Add parameter.
    2. Type the name of the parameter you want to append in the Parameter text box.
    3. Type the parameter value in the Value text box.
    4. Click Add.

    The specified custom parameters will be automatically applied to all requests made to the service.

  7. Do one of the following:
    • Click Add to map to add the data as an operational layer.
    • Click Use as basemap to use the data as a basemap layer. This option is available for web service and tile layers only.

    The data is added to the map and now appears in the Layers pane Layers or the Basemap pane Basemap.