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Deploy maps

The basic workflow in Explorer consists of opening or downloading a map, exploring the contents of the map, and using map tools—all done by a mobile worker within the app.

You may want to provide additional support to your mobile workers by providing them with a map of your data to use in the app.

There are other ways you may want to deploy additional information to your mobile workers. This topic covers these alternate ways to deploy, including:

Copy MMPKs to the device

In addition to downloading mobile map packages (MMPKs) for offline use within Explorer, you can copy (sideload) MMPKs directly to your Android, iOS, or Windows 10 devices.

Android

  1. Prepare a mobile map package (.mmpk) using ArcGIS Pro. For details, see Create an MMPK for offline use.
  2. If you are using a Mac, download the Android File Transfer Utility and follow the instructions provided. If you are using a Windows computer, skip this step.
  3. Plug your device into your computer.
  4. Browse to ArcGIS/mmpks on your Android device.
  5. Drag or copy and paste your .mmpk file from your computer to the ArcGIS/mmpks folder on your device.
    Note:

    To access an MMPK from your computer, you must either save the package to a file in ArcGIS Pro when you create it, or download the MMPK file from your ArcGIS Online content.

  6. Swipe down on the Explorer Maps list on your device to refresh it.

    The map appears under On Device in the Maps list.

iOS

  1. Prepare a mobile map package (.mmpk) using ArcGIS Pro. For details, see Create an MMPK for offline use.
  2. Copy your .mmpk file from your computer to the Explorer app on your device using iTunes.
    Connect your device to your computer. See Apple Support for details on using iTunes to share files between your computer and your device and follow the steps to copy your .mmpk file from your computer to the Explorer app on your device.
    Note:

    To access an MMPK from your computer, you must either save the package to a file in ArcGIS Pro when you create it, or download the MMPK file from your ArcGIS Online content.

  3. Swipe down on the Explorer Maps list on your device to refresh it.

    The map appears under On Device in the Maps list.

Windows 10

  1. Prepare a mobile map package (.mmpk) using ArcGIS Pro. For details, see Create an MMPK for offline use.
  2. Do one of the following:
    • Open Explorer. Open the Maps list, tap the Overflow menu, and tap Import Map. Navigate to the .mmpk you want to import and tap Import Map.
    • Drag or copy and paste your .mmpk file from your computer into the C:\Users\<username>\AppData\Local\Packages\Esri.<unique identifier>\LocalState\mappackages folder on your Windows device, where <username> is your Windows username, and <unique identifier> is the unique identifier associated with your installation of Explorer.
    Note:

    To access an MMPK from your computer, you must either save the package to a file in ArcGIS Pro when you create it, or download the MMPK file from your ArcGIS Online content.

  3. In the Maps list, tap the Overflow menu, then tap Refresh to refresh the maps list.

    The map appears under On Device in the Maps list.

Open Explorer from a link

Mobile workers can open or download a map in Explorer, or you can provide a URL directly to them. Make it easy for your mobile workers to open the right map by sharing a link directly to your map through an email, text message, web page, QR code, or another app. Use links to Explorer that, when tapped, open Explorer the map you want the mobile worker to use. Once you've created a link, be sure to test it before sending it to your mobile workers. If your mobile workers are working offline, don't worry—the links still work.

Explorer links

Explorer links have the following format: https://explorer.arcgis.app?parameter=value&parameter=value, where parameter and value pairs are replaced with the values you want to use to open or download a map. For example, https://explorer.arcgis.app?itemID=0c900ae2a1084d27b608233921ef1a84 uses the parameter itemID and the value 0c900ae2a1084d27b608233921ef1a84 to open a public web map with that ID.

Note:

If you're using Explorer on Android, you'll need to use the Explorer URL scheme documented in the Explorer Integration GitHub Repository.

Parameters

The following parameters are supported with Explorer links. If no parameters are passed, tapping the link opens Explorer (or prompts you to download the app).

ParameterValuesNotes

portalURL

The URL of the portal the mobile worker must be connected to

  • If specified and the mobile worker is signed out or connected to a different portal (including ArcGIS Online), they are signed out, taken directly to the sign-in screen for your organization, and prompted to sign in.
  • Provide the same URL you enter in the browser when you want to access the portal, for example, https://myportal.mycompany.com/arcgis.

itemID

The item ID of the web map to open or the mobile map package (MMPK) to download and open in Explorer

  • The item ID is in the URL of the item page for the web map or MMPK. For example, if the item page URL of the MMPK is https://www.arcgis.com/home/item.html?id=0c900ae2a1084d27b608233921ef1a84, the item ID of the MMPK is 0c900ae2a1084d27b608233921ef1a84.

center

A set of latitude, longitude (y, x) coordinates at which to center the map

  • Requires itemID and scale.
  • The center can be provided in the following formats:
    • Comma-separated latitude/longitude (y/x) pair in WGS84 (WKID: 4326).
    • Address (encode spaces as +) to be reverse geocoded by the organization's default geocoder (MMPKs with locators will not utilize geocoder).
    • Feature search result (encode spaces as +).Explorer will automatically center on the top search result.

scale

The scale (in map units) at which the map should be rendered

  • Requires itemID and center.

wkid

Specify center coordinates in a different spatial reference

  • Requires itemID, center, and scale.
  • Defaults to WKID: 4326 (WGS84) if the parameter is not specified.

rotation

Sets the rotation in degrees that the map should be rendered

  • Requires itemID, center, and scale.
  • The range of acceptable values is 0 - 360.

markup

Enter markup mode upon opening the map

  • Requires itemID, center, and scale.
  • Optionally set this value to true to enter markup mode when the map is opened.
  • Defaults to false.

bookmark

Specify a bookmark from the map

  • Requires itemID.
  • Open the map to a specific viewpoint by specifying a bookmark from the map. Encode spaces as +.
  • The link cannot include an parameters other than itemID and bookmark.

search

An address, place, coordinate, or feature to search for

  • Requires itemID.
  • Encode spaces as +.
  • Features are identified using the same terms used to search for them in the map.
  • On Android, the link can only include itemID, center, scale, and rotation. center cannot reference a feature from a layer that has been configured for search.

Continue reading for examples of using these parameters to achieve specific behavior with an Explorer link.

Note:

The mobile device must have an internet connection to open and download maps.

Open a web map or download and open an MMPK

Open a web map or download and open a mobile map package (MMPK) using the itemID parameter. If the mobile worker already has the MMPK downloaded on their device, no download occurs, and the specified map is opened in Explorer.

The following are examples:

Connect to a specific portal and open a map

Specify the URL of the portal the mobile worker must be connected to, and open a map.

The following example connects to a particular portal and opens the map:

https://explorer.arcgis.app?portalURL=https://myportal.mycompany.com/arcgis&itemID=0c900ae2a1084d27b608233921ef1a84

Center and scale the map

Specify the center and scale of the specified map instead of using the default map center and scale settings when the map is opened. The default coordinate system is WGS84, but this can be changed by using the wkid parameter.

The following are examples:

Rotate the map

Rotate the specified map between 0 and 360 degrees when the map is opened.

The following example link sets the map center and scale, and rotates the map 180 degrees:

https://explorer.arcgis.app?itemID=0c900ae2a1084d27b608233921ef1a84&center=41.780618,-88.179449&scale=1000&rotation=180

Open the map in markup mode

Open the specified map in markup mode.

The following example link opens the map in markup mode:

https://explorer.arcgis.app?itemID=0c900ae2a1084d27b608233921ef1a84&center=41.780618,-88.179449&scale=1000&markup=true

View a bookmark

View the location specified by a bookmark from the map.

The following example link opens the map to a bookmark named Centennial Park:

https://explorer.arcgis.app?itemID=0c900ae2a1084d27b608233921ef1a84&bookmark=Centennial+Park

Search in a map

Search for an address, place, or asset in the map.

The following are examples:

Mobile device management

Mobile device management (MDM) refers to software used for the administration of mobile devices in an organization. An MDM is used to enhance data and network security as well as to set and enforce mobile device policies. Additionally, using an MDM increases the efficiency of app deployments and management for mobile devices, including controlling how and when an app is updated. To learn more about how Esri approaches MDM, see ArcGIS Secure Mobile Implementation Patterns in the ArcGIS Trust Center.

When preparing to deploy Explorer to your organization's mobile devices via MDM, you may want to configure the per-app VPN settings.

Per-app virtual private network

Configuring a per-app virtual private network (per-app VPN) in your MDM allows you to restrict access to internal resources to specific managed apps. Explorer can be deployed with this configuration. To set up per-app VPN for use with Explorer, please see the software documentation for the MDM you are using.

Caution:

If you're on iOS and using ArcGIS Online or ArcGIS Enterprise 10.6.1 or later, Safari is used to display the portal sign-in screen in Explorer. For this to work correctly with a per-app VPN enabled, your portal domain (for example, mycompany.com) must be specified in the Safari Domains setting in the per-app VPN profile you're using. If Safari Domains is not set correctly, the assigned mobile devices cannot access the Explorer portal sign-in screen.

After you've configured the per-app VPN settings for Explorer in your MDM, when the app is launched on a managed mobile device, it will automatically connect to the designated per-app VPN. When Explorer is running in the background, the per-app VPN is still connected, but only to Explorer. When Explorer is closed, the mobile device automatically disconnects from the per-app VPN.