Smart Map Search

Smart Map Search allows you to view geography areas that match your criteria. This section shows you how to select up to five criteria, set your ranges and view your results on the map.


If you aren't able to access functionalities of this feature, you may be limited by custom roles defined by your organization and set up by your administrator. See Custom Roles for privileges and check with your administrator to set up roles specific to your work.

When working with Smart Map Search, it is useful to select a location on the map. You can view a specific location such as an address or you can zoom in to an area and use different geography levels including state and county. See Navigate the Map to change the map background, zooming in or out, printing, and so on.

  1. From the Create Maps tab, click Smart Map Search.
  2. Click Get Started in the Smart Map Search dialog box.

    You can check the Skip this in the future check box to bypass this introduction page and go directly to Smart Map Search.

Choose up to five variables

You can choose up to five variables to include in your Smart Map Search. You can select a variable list, browse variables in the Data Browser, or use a combination of both ways to choose up to 5 variables.

Select a variable list

You can select an available list under the Popular lists tab. If an administrator in your ArcGIS Online organization created variables lists, those will also be listed here. To view the variables included in any list, click Options and Show list.

Popular lists

Under My lists, you can select a list of variables that you created. For these lists, the additional options Edit list and Delete list are available.

My lists options

Browse all variables

Click Browse all variables.

Browse all variables

The Data Browser appears with options to search variables or browse by category. You can create a custom variable if you need a specific type, range or combination of data.

Selecting a variable using any of these options applies the variable and displays it on the map. For more information on working with the map, see Set your ranges and View results table.

Set your ranges

Once you've made your selection, the variables are applied and displayed on the map. You can select the geographic view and use the lock feature to set the view, use the sliders to adjust the variable range and save the criteria.

Set your ranges

You can click Add variables to add more variables to the selection. If five variables have already been selected, you can click Change variables to change any of the selected variables. To save the selected variables as a list under My lists, click Save variable list- you can name the list, and optionally choose an icon for it.

You can choose the geography level for your analysis from States, Counties, ZIP Codes, Census Tracts, and Block Groups. You can use the lock to set the geography levels for your maps. By default, the map is displayed in the geography based on the zoom level and updates when zooming in or out. You can set the analysis geography by locking and unlocking geography levels by clicking on the lock icon. Lock

You can use the Current Map Extent drop-down menu, which is the default, or you can select study areas on the map to filter your Smart Map Search results to the specific area.


Small geographies are not available at all zoom levels. When zooming out, a pop-up window indicates that the selected geography can't be viewed at this scale. You must zoom in to make the geography visible.

You can use the sliders to adjust your results or uncheck a variable to remove it from the map. Changes appear immediately on the map.

To save your criteria list, click Save Criteria. The Save Criteria dialog box appears for you to name the list. Once saved, the list appears in Saved List.

Saved List

View Results Table

With the results of the search, you can use the table for a different view of the criteria with the ability to view by number or graph. You can also change the transparency and color, and save.

  1. Click View Results Table.
  2. Hover the pointer over an item in the table and the corresponding area on the map is highlighted.
  3. To view the graph, click the Graph button.
  4. Hover the pointer over an item in the graph and the corresponding area on the map is highlighted.


The Transparency slider allows you to change the transparency percentage of the map view.

  1. To change the transparency, use the Transparency slider.
    Adjust your transparency
  2. Hover the pointer over the transparency line and slide it to the left to decrease the transparency percentage or to the right to increase the transparency percentage.

Overlay color

You can change the overlay color of the map.

To change the colors in the legend, click the color. A color palette appears. Color overlay

Click a color and the map changes.

Export to Excel

You can export the results of your search to an Excel file.

  1. Click Export to Excel.
    Export to Excel