Mapping with ArcGIS Online

After logging in ArcGIS Online, you may start mapping by clicking the “Map” on the top bar:

Here is an Esri tutorial that helps you to start exploring ArcGIS Online Mapping!

Various types of data may be added to your online map as different layers, here is a brief introduction of how to do it:

Adding Layers

In the ArcGIS Online map, you may add data layers by clicking the “(+)” button on the top left of the interface.

Or, alternatively, you may add data directly in the “Layers” section by clicking the second ” Layer” button and “Add.”

There are serval forms of data that may be added to ArcGIS Online maps. You could add existing data layers that Esri or you have from “Browse Layers,” add Web service data by “Add layer from URL,” upload data from your computer by “Add layer from file,” or even create your own layers by “Create Sketch layer” or “Create Route layer.”

Adding data from Living Atlas

ArcGIS Living Atlas is Esri’s evolving collection which contains ready-to-use geographic content from around the globe. To access Living Atlas:

1. Click “Browse Layers,” then “My Content”

2. Find “Living Atlas” at the drop-down.

3. search the layers according to your need, then click the “(+)” button to add the layer to your map.

Adding layer from URL

A number of potentially useful data sources can be found on the internet in formats that the ArcGIS Online map viewer can display on your map. These are GIS “layers” published and made available on the internet which can be added to your map using their URLs. It has become common practice for some federal and state agencies to publish these services for professionals and the public to use in their own maps and applications.

Take the civil boundaries layer from the NYS GIS Clearinghouse as an example:

1. Click “Adding layer from URL,” then paste the URL to the pop-up.

2. ArcGIS Online should automatically match the “Type” for you; if so, click “Add to map” to add the data layer to your map.

3. If not, or if you need to change the URL type, click the drop-down arrow and you can browse through and change the type accordingly.

Here are the various types of URLs that ArcGIS Online supports: CSV, GeoJSON, OGC WFS web service, OGC WMS web service, OGC WMTS web service, OGC API – Features, ArcGIS Server web service, KML, GeoRSS, tile layer

4. Some of the URLs contain multiple layers, as you may see from this NYS GIS Clearinghouse example:

After adding multiple layers to your map, you may find them under “Properties” -> “Symbology.”

You can also add KML or KMZ files (Google Earth’s file format) published on the internet to your map using their URLs, or they can be downloaded and added to the map as files. The EPA’s Facility Registry Service (FRS) data ( – a listing of sites regulated under various EPA programs – is an example of data provided in KMZ format. Other EPA programs provide data that may be of interest to you (TRI – Toxics Release Inventory, SEMS – Superfund Sites, etc.). See the links under “System Data Searches” on the right side of the FRS data page linked above.