7 features we love in the new ArcGIS Online Map Viewer Beta

If you’ve used ArcGIS Online recently, you may have noticed a new option when you’re opening a map: Open in Map Viewer Beta. Esri has been working hard the last couple of years on redesigning the ArcGIS Online Map Viewer. There are a few new features that have us very excited and we wanted to share them with you.

Group layers!!

I should have probably left the best for last, but I’ve never been the patient type. Group layers in ArcGIS Online has been one of the most requested features on the ArcGIS Ideas page. And they’re finally here. You can create groups and re-arrange your map layers for a more user-friendly experience. 

arcgis online group layers

Popup docking

This is a personal favorite of mine. The behavior of the popup in the Map Viewer Classic is ideal for smaller popups. With larger popups, being able to dock them allows for better utilization of the map. 

Multiple labels

Another much-requested improvement to the ArcGIS Online Map Viewer is the ability to add multiple labels. Labels are a challenging feature, as their placement is dependent on so many factors. An ill-placed label can ruin an otherwise beautiful map. In ArcGIS Online, labels have been second-class citizens until now. We don’t expect ArcGIS Online labels will ever reach Maplex levels, but it’s very nice to see that they’re being given some attention. 

arcgis online multiple labels

Instant preview for map viewer changes

In the new Map Viewer Beta, any changes you make to labels, symbology, styles, filters, etc are immediately reflected on the map. This makes for a much more enjoyable experience editing your maps. And it’s a lot easier to undo a small change if you don’t like it. We especially like the popup instant preview. Now you can see exactly what your popup will look like as you are editing it. 

Improved bookmarks

In the new Map Viewer Beta, bookmarks got a huge upgrade. In addition to being able to edit a bookmark’s title, now you can set a thumbnail and edit its extent, scale, and rotation. And in case you were wondering, yes, you can now rotate the map. Because who doesn’t want to look at the world upside down every once in a while. 

map viewer beta bookmarks

Browse existing webmaps without leaving the map viewer

Ever had to search for an existing webmap while you were working on one webmap? Yep, so have we, and it can be frustrating. You have to open ArcGIS Online in a new tab, go to content, filter it, and scroll through all the content until you find your webmap. In the new Map Viewer Beta, you can see all existing webmaps in a side panel without leaving the active map viewer! You can even select a webmap to view its properties. Hopefully, we’ll be able to view 2 maps side by side soon as we can in ArcGIS Pro. 

Modern look and feel

This may not necessarily count as a feature, but nonetheless, it makes the overall experience of using the map viewer much more enjoyable, and we love that. The new Map Viewer Beta is better laid out, with toolbars and panels that collapse to allow for more map real estate. Given the multitude of supported data sources, adding data is a confusing process. The new Map Viewer Beta adds clarity by separating the data sources. 

map viewer beta

What's next for the ArcGIS Online Map Viewer Beta?

The ArcGIS Online Map Viewer Classic was a wonderful tool, and it has served the Esri community well for many years. And we are happy to hear that Esri has announced that the Map Viewer Classic will remain in place until the new Map Viewer Beta achieves feature parity. If you’d like to learn more about the development progress and perhaps submit your own ideas visit Esri’s ArcGIS Map Viewer Beta Community Page. And check back with us often as we’ll be posting new content about it. 

6 comments

  1. Emily Lambert
    January 28, 2022 at 5:09 pm

    Struggling to find the option in Map Viewer calculate a field from the attribute table, as you are able to do in Map Viewer Classic. Could you provide an update on where to find this feature?

    1. Christopher Moravec
      January 28, 2022 at 5:46 pm

      Oh, that’s a great question. This is one of the things that has not made it into the new map viewer (I couldn’t find it either just now). Other than the Classic Viewer, the best way to do this is via the `Data` tab on the Item details page. You can click on the field and get a menu that will let you do a “Calculate.” It works exactly the same from there as it did in the Classic Viewer.

  2. Jake Lloyd
    February 1, 2022 at 5:37 pm

    How do I save the visualization of a feature layer in the new map viewer? In classic map viewer, you can change/update the visualization (symbology, pop-ups, etc) and then click on the three dots of the layer in the table of contents and go to ‘Save Layer’ at the bottom. This saves the default visualization. Im trying to figure out how to do this same thing from the new map viewer.

    What I would like to do is take advantage of the new symbology effects available, specifically the drop shadow. Im attempting to open a feature layer in the new map viewer, enable the drop shadow, and then save it with the thought that anyone who then accesses that feature layer from the ArcGIS Online for Maryland platform would see the symbology shown with the drop shadow.

    However, im also wondering if the drop shadow symbology would only show up when using the new map viewer, or will it show up to someone who attempts to use the feature layer while in classic? I was hoping the drop shadows would show up even when in classic once the visualization of the feature layer had been updated, and SAVED with default symbology that includes that drop shadow.

    1. Christopher Moravec
      February 3, 2022 at 5:36 pm

      Hi there! This one is frustrating, there are so many things that are so great about the new map viewer, but the rest of the app ecosystem doesn’t support it all yet! Even some apps like WebApp Builder don’t yet support some of the settings in the new map viewer, for example, group layers.

      The “save to layer” feature isn’t in the new map viewer yet. I think it will be there eventually, but it will take some time before all of the apps catch up to the new viewer’s capabilities. Right now, the state of things is like this:

      1. Only “classic” symbology is supported within a saved layer. You can also see that the classic symbology toolbar is still in use on the “Visualization” tab of the item in ArcGIS Online.
      2. Any new symbology, like the drop-shadow, won’t work in the classic viewer. If you try to open a map with advanced symbology, you will get a message prompting you to open the map in the new viewer.

      There is an ArcGIS Ideas post related to this that you might want to check out: https://community.esri.com/t5/arcgis-online-questions/copy-layer-in-new-map-viewer/m-p/1112536/highlight/true#M42781

  3. Max
    February 3, 2022 at 4:38 pm

    I am looking for a way to duplicate a layer including its settings. This functionality was really useful in the classic viewer.

    1. Christopher Moravec
      February 3, 2022 at 5:38 pm

      Me too! I can’t wait for this feature; it will make things like changing symbology at different zoom levels so much easier!

      There’s an ArcGIS Ideas page about this, it looks like it’s in the works but isn’t ready yet: https://community.esri.com/t5/arcgis-online-questions/copy-layer-in-new-map-viewer/m-p/1048681

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