Browse layers

To add information to the map, search for layers from your content, your favorites, groups to which you belong, your organization, subscription content, ArcGIS Living Atlas of the World, or ArcGIS Online as follows:

  • My content—Layers you own.
  • My favorites—Layers you've marked as favorites.
  • My groups—Layers from groups to which you belong.
  • My organization—Layers from your organization.
  • Subscription content—Ready-to-use map layers and services that have been purchased for your organization from ArcGIS Marketplace.
  • Living Atlas—Selected layers from ArcGIS Living Atlas of the World, including traffic, demographics, and land-cover layers.

    Most ArcGIS Living Atlas layers are free to use in maps and can be viewed by anyone. Some layers contain subscriber content or premium content, which means they consume credits (these are identified in the item description) and can't be viewed by the public. However, if the map contains one or more of these layers and you want to share the map with the public, you can create a map-based app and configure it to allow access to the content through your organizational subscription. (Your subscription will incur any credit costs.)

  • ArcGIS Online—Layers you've added, layers from groups to which you belong, and public layers.

You will only see some of these options if you are not signed in or if you are signed in with a public account.

When searching for layers to add to the map, you can change the way the results are displayed and sort and filter the results to help you find the layers you need. You can also view details about each layer to learn more about it before adding it to the map.


You can use keyboard shortcuts to quickly complete common workflows in Map Viewer. To view the full list of keyboard shortcuts in Map Viewer, press Alt+? on Microsoft Windows or Option+? on Mac.

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, Subscription content, Living Atlas, or ArcGIS Online.

    If you are not signed in, only the ArcGIS Online and Living Atlas options are available. If you are signed in with a public account, all options are available except My organization.

  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.
    • Click Filter Filter to sort the layer results, change the sort direction, and narrow the search results.

      The filter options available depend on where you are searching for layers, and whether and how you are signed in.

      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 designated by the administrator as authoritative.


      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 an item to open the item pane. In the item pane, expand Overview, Description, and Details to learn more about the item. If the item contains multiple layers, expand Layers to learn more about each layer. Click View details to open the item page to see more information about the item.
  4. Click Add on the item results page to add the layer to the map. Alternatively, click Add to map in the item pane to add the layer to the map.
  5. Repeat the previous step for each layer you want to add.

    Once you add layers to Map Viewer, 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 on the item results page to remove the layer from the map. Alternatively, click Remove in the item pane to remove the layer from the map. To use the item as a basemap, click Use as basemap.

    Only tile layers, map image layers, imagery layers, and tiled imagery layers can be used as a basemap.