What is ArcGIS Online?

ArcGIS Online is an online, collaborative web GIS that allows you to use, create, and share maps, scenes, apps, layers, analytics, and data. You get access to ready-to-use maps, apps, and Esri’s secure cloud, where you can add items and publish web layers. Because ArcGIS Online is an integral part of the ArcGIS system, you can use it to extend the capabilities of ArcGIS for Desktop, ArcGIS for Server, ArcGIS Web APIs, and ArcGIS Runtime SDKs.

What can you do with ArcGIS Online?

ArcGIS Online is the place to explore data, create maps, and share stories. With ArcGIS Online, you can use and create maps and scenes, access ready-to-use maps, layers and analytics, publish data as web layers, collaborate and share, access maps from any device, make maps with your business data, customize the ArcGIS Online website, and view status reports.

Explore data

ArcGIS Online includes interactive maps and scenes that allow your whole organization to explore, understand, and measure your geographic data. Access ready-to-use maps and enrich them with your own data to reveal patterns, answers, and relationships about your community and the world. Use the analysis tools included in the map viewer to reveal new patterns, find suitable locations, enrich your data, find out what's nearby, and summarize your data.

Create maps, scenes, and apps

ArcGIS Online includes everything you need to create maps, create scenes, and create apps. Through the map viewer and scene viewer, you can access a gallery of basemaps and tools for adding your own layers and configuring mashups that you can share with others. You also have access to easy-to-use tools for creating apps that you can publish to ArcGIS Online.

Collaborate and share

Enable interaction with your organizational data by sharing content related to a common activity. You can set up groups that are private and by invitation only, or public groups that are open to everyone. You can also share maps by embedding them in web pages, on blogs, in web apps, and through social media. ArcGIS Online includes a number of configurable apps and builders. With just a few steps and no programming, you can publish a web app that anyone can access through a browser.

Publish data as web layers

You can publish your features and map tiles as web layers on ArcGIS Online. This frees up your internal resources, since these web layers are hosted in Esri’s cloud and scale dynamically as demand goes up or down. You can add your layers to web, desktop, and mobile apps and allow others to use them as well. You can publish your data directly from ArcGIS for Desktop or the ArcGIS Online website without needing to install your own server and share them with others inside your organization who can add map layers or geoprocessing tools to their own maps and apps.

Administer your ArcGIS Online organization

ArcGIS Online includes tools and settings that allow the administrator of the organization to not only customize the home page but also manage the organization as a whole. This includes configuring the website, inviting and adding members and determining their roles, managing content and groups, and setting the security policy.

Take advantage of apps

ArcGIS Online includes a wide range of apps that help you interact with the maps and data in your organization.

Access additional resources

As a member of an organization, you can visit ArcGIS Marketplace to discover apps by Esri partners and distributors. Developers can also access ArcGIS Web APIs, ArcGIS Runtime SDKs, and other tools on ArcGIS for Developers to build apps.

How do you access ArcGIS Online?

You can access ArcGIS Online through web browsers, mobile devices, and desktop map viewers, as well as directly through other components of the ArcGIS system, for example, the ArcGIS apps and ArcGIS for Desktop. By joining an organization and signing in with your organizational account, you see the organization's customized view of the website and have access to the organization's authoritative data and other geospatial content that you can use to create maps and apps. With your organizational account, you can also share your work with other members of your organization, participate in groups, and save your work.

If an organization has enabled anonymous access to their site, you can access any resources they have shared with the general public without signing in. For example, they may have embedded a group of maps and apps they authored in ArcGIS Online and into their own website and shared those resources with the general public.

A public account is another way to access ArcGIS Online. These accounts are not associated with an organization and offer a limited set of functionality. A public account allows you to use and create maps and share your maps and apps with others. Public accounts are for noncommercial use only.