What's new

The March 2016 update introduces 3D web apps. It also includes enhancements to smart mapping, vector tile layers, and organization administration.

3D web apps

You can now create 3D web apps based on a scene. Web AppBuilder for ArcGIS includes a set of new widgets and themes with specific 3D tools and layouts. New 3D configurable apps allow you to compare, visualize, and showcase scenes.

Smart mapping

Smart mapping adds map styles that illuminate multiple attributes in your data. Use the new Predominant Category and Predominant Category & Size styles to compare multiple related attributes in a layer and show which attribute is predominant. For example, in a layer that shows crop production by county, it is useful to know which crop has the highest value and the degree of its predominance compared to other crops.

Vector tile layers

  • You can now use ArcGIS Pro 1.2 to publish vector tile layers to ArcGIS Online as hosted tile layers. These tile layers can be displayed in the map viewer and used to publish web apps using configurable apps. You can also update the styles for these tile layers to create a variety of maps and apps.
  • Beta versions of Esri vector basemaps have data updates for several areas, additional layers such as elevation points and physiographic places, and have addressed several known limitations. These vector basemaps are available as vector tile layers and maps for display in the map viewer and for use in custom basemap galleries.

Organization administration

  • Administrators have more control over the security settings in their organization. They can choose to allow members to edit biographical information and who can see their profiles. They can also choose to show social media links on item details and group pages.
  • Custom roles includes a new privilege to publish hosted scene layers. To take advantage of this new privilege in an existing custom role, edit the role, add in the new privilege, and save the role.
  • Member reports include a new option to download a CSV file with information about the selected member's credit usage.
  • Guides are available to help administrators learn more about launching, promoting, and administering their organization.


A new Choose Best Facilities tool finds the set of facilities that best serve demand from surrounding areas. Facilities might be public institutions that offer a service, such as fire stations, schools, or libraries, or they might be commercial ones, such as drug stores or distribution centers for a parcel delivery service. Demand represents the need for a service that the facilities can meet. Demand is associated with point locations, with each location representing a given amount of demand.

Map viewer

  • You can now create a basemap containing multiple layers from your map. This is useful when you have two or more layers that you want to use together as a background, or context, for your map—for example, if you have a base imagery layer and want to add a map image layer that includes reference labels on top of it, or if you want to combine multiple base layers, such as a hillshade imagery layer with a topographic map image layer. Layer types that are currently supported as basemap layers—such as tiles and WMS—can be added to a multilayer basemap in the Contents pane.
  • When using the map viewer to get driving directions, you can now make changes to the route. Drag on the map to dynamically alter the route and the turn-by-turn directions.
  • Advanced offline options added to the item details page for maps allow you to optimize the amount of data downloaded when taking a map offline. For example, you can choose to only upload attachments when synchronizing, without having to download attachments from the layer.

Hosted web layers

  • Organizations have a new option to publish hosted scene layers from scene packages. Scene layers support fast map visualization of 3D data using a collection of cached tiles.
  • Vector tile packages can now be published as hosted tile layers.
  • When publishing CSV files as hosted feature layers, you can now specify the time zone of your date and time data. The specified time zone is used to mitigate the offset introduced when converting your date and time data to Universal Time Coordinated (UTC).
  • A new debris report data collection template is available for creating hosted feature layers to use with Collector for ArcGIS. For example, you can create a map based on the template to monitor and track locations of debris for recovery efforts within a community.

Workflow and design

  • Users can now create new ArcGIS public accounts using their Facebook or Google credentials. Once users have created a public account, they can sign in to ArcGIS Online and other Esri sites, such as GeoNet and Story Maps, using their social network login.
  • From your profile page, you can manage communications from Esri. Sign up to receive emails about the latest ArcGIS software best practices, GIS news in your industry, and customer stories. Your account needs to have Esri access enabled.
  • The style name for showing unique symbols and size has changed to Types & Size.
  • ArcGIS Marketplace provider contact information has moved to the new Marketplace tab.
  • When you search the help, you can choose to include Learn ArcGIS lessons and ArcGIS Book chapters in your results.

ArcGIS content

  • The categories for Esri Featured Content from the Living Atlas have been updated to better reflect the current content.
  • The World Imagery map has been updated at small-to-medium scales with the latest available 15-meter TerraColor imagery, with several updates in Arctic region, Asia, and other parts of the world using recent Landsat 8 imagery. The Arctic Imagery map has also been updated with the latest imagery.
  • The upcoming release of GeoEnrichment and demographic maps will include more recent data for numerous countries.
  • For the latest information, see the ArcGIS Online blog.

Configurable apps

  • The configuration pane has been redesigned to make it easier to find options.
  • Three new 3D apps allow you to compare, visualize, and showcase scenes.

Web AppBuilder for ArcGIS

  • An improved building experience allows you to modify the map from within Web AppBuilder for ArcGIS; you no longer need to leave the app.
  • You can now build 3D apps with scenes.
  • The Attribute tab has a new app state option. This option allows you to choose if you want to keep the map extent and layers visibility when you leave the app.
  • The Edit widget includes a display field in the setting page so you can choose attributes for display only when performing editing.
  • The Situational Awareness widget has been released. It is no longer in beta. This widget allows you to create or select an incident on the map and analyze information from feature layers, either within the incident area or within a specified distance of the incident.
  • Use the new Plateau theme to create a modern and minimalist-styled app with flat toolbars and widget containers.
  • Use the new Near Me widget to find features near a specified location, view more detailed information about those features, and get directions to a selected feature.
  • Use the new District Lookup widget to find point features related to a selected polygon, view more detailed information about the related point features, and get directions to a selected point feature.
  • For more information, see the Web AppBuilder for ArcGIS help.

ArcGIS Marketplace

  • Providers can now sell apps that are licensed per member. Organizations configure the per-member licenses through the Manage Licenses page.
  • There are several usability and design improvements on the console page and throughout ArcGIS Marketplace.
  • For more information, see the ArcGIS Marketplace help.

ArcGIS Maps for Office

The next update of ArcGIS Maps for Office will include the following enhancements:

  • Use smart mapping to quickly create beautiful maps.
  • Find patterns in your locations over time with time-based animations.
  • Communicate your work more effectively with an all-new experience in PowerPoint.
  • Focus on the rows that are important by using map-based filtering.
  • Keep track of changing data by setting a refresh interval.
  • For more information, see the ArcGIS Maps for Office help.

Esri Maps for IBM Cognos

  • Edit IBM Cognos layer properties after data has been added.
  • Style data using manual breaks classification.
  • View a new floating, resizable map legend.
  • Change the order of groups in the legend.
  • Customize the availability of map tools and elements in the map.
  • Change the map look and feel using predefined or custom themes.
  • Modify the default symbols and color ramps available for styling layers, or add your own custom symbol sets.
  • Improved heat map algorithm with support for weighted measure heat maps.
  • Improved user experience for working with feature attribute tables.
  • Support for transparency in PDF reports.
  • Support for ArcGIS Web Map Service (WMS) layers.
  • For more information, see the Esri Maps for IBM Cognos help.