Create a map

Insights in ArcGIS Online
Insights in ArcGIS Enterprise
Insights desktop

To create a map, you must have added data to your page. A map is created by default when you add data from a feature layer, including layers from ArcGIS Living Atlas of the World. If the dataset you added doesn't contain a Location field, you must enable location before you can create a map.

To create interactive maps, select a location, string, number, or rate/ratio field, or a complete dataset, from the data pane and drag it onto the page, or use the Map button at the top of the data pane.

Drag to create a map
Tip:

Drag-N Drop You can copy a map card onto another page by dragging it to the New page tab New page or an already created page. If you want to copy the map onto the same page, use Ctrl+C to copy and Ctrl+V to paste.

The field type that you select determines the type of map you create. You can also switch to a map from an existing chart or table. The type of map you switch to depends on the data inputs from the existing card. For example, a bar chart switches to a category map. A histogram switches to a graduated symbol map.

To learn more about the data requirements for each map type, as well as examples and information on settings you can change and interact with, see the individual map topics, such as unique values maps and link maps.

After you have a map on your page, you can begin exploring your data using spatial analysis or change the style of your map.

A warning icon Warning indicates that the map is not displaying all of the features from the dataset. The warning will be displayed for maps with more than 100,000 features within the map extent. Click on the icon to display the number of features being rendered. The complete dataset will still be used for spatial analysis, provided there are no filters or selections, even if the full dataset is not being rendered.

Tip:

If you are using a point dataset, switching to a binned map will allow you to display all of the data.

Map types

There are several types of maps that can be created using ArcGIS Insights. Insights uses smart mapping to create the best type of map for the data you want to visualize, so you know you are always getting the best type of map for the field that you are mapping.

The table below indicates the inputs for each map, related visualizations you can switch to using the Visualization type button Visualization type, and questions the map can help you answer.

VisualizationData typesRelated visualization typesQuestions it can help you answer

Binned map

Point data (required) and number or rate/ratio field (optional).

  • Heat map
  • Location map
  • Summary table
  • Reference table
  • KPI
  • Histogram
  • Bar chart
  • Column chart
  • Treemap
  • Bubble chart
  • Line graph
  • Box plot
  • Donut chart

Where is it located?

How is it distributed?

Where are high values?

Where are low values?

Choropleth map

Number or rate/ratio field.

  • Graduated symbol map
  • Summary table
  • Reference table
  • KPI
  • Histogram
  • Box plot

How is it distributed?

Column chart symbols

Multipart features and a string field.

  • Unique values maps
  • Pie chart symbols
  • Summary table
  • Reference table
  • Bar chart
  • Stacked bar chart
  • Column chart
  • Stacked column chart
  • Treemap
  • Heat chart
  • Chord diagram
  • Data clock
  • Link chart
  • Line graph

Where is it located?

How is it distributed (by category)?

Heat map

Point data.

  • Binned map
  • Location map
  • Summary table
  • Reference table
  • KPI
  • Histogram
  • Box plot

How is it distributed?

Link map

Two location fields.

  • Summary table
  • Reference table
  • Bar chart
  • Stacked bar chart
  • Column chart
  • Stacked column chart
  • Treemap
  • Heat chart
  • Chord diagram
  • Data clock
  • Link chart
  • Line graph

How is it related?

Location map

One location field.

  • Binned map
  • Heat map
  • Summary table
  • Reference table
  • Bar chart
  • Column chart
  • Treemap
  • Bubble chart
  • Line graph
  • Donut chart

Where is it located?

How is it distributed?

Pie chart symbols

Multipart features and a string field.

  • Unique values maps
  • Column chart symbols
  • Summary table
  • Reference table
  • Bar chart
  • Stacked bar chart
  • Column chart
  • Stacked column chart
  • Treemap
  • Heat chart
  • Chord diagram
  • Data clock
  • Link chart
  • Line graph

Where is it located?

How is it distributed (by category)?

Graduated symbol map

One number field.

  • Choropleth map
  • Summary table
  • Reference table
  • KPI
  • Histogram
  • Box plot

Where is it located?

How is it distributed?

Where are high values?

Where are low values?

Unique values map

One string field.

  • Summary table
  • Reference table
  • KPI
  • Bar chart
  • Column chart
  • Treemap
  • Bubble chart
  • Line graph
  • Donut chart

Where is it located?

How is it distributed (by category)?

Change a basemap

For Insights in ArcGIS Online and Insights in ArcGIS Enterprise, the default basemap used for your map cards will be the same as the default basemap in your ArcGIS organization. For Insights desktop, the Light Gray Canvas and Dark Gray Canvas basemaps are included in the install, but other basemaps are available when signed in to an ArcGIS organization.

You can change the basemap for your map cards using the Basemaps menu button Basemaps on the page toolbar.

Note:

If a map card is activated then changing the basemap will update only the active card. If no map cards are active then all of the maps will have their basemap changed. A map card is active when you see the map toolbar and the Action button Action.

Add or remove a layer

Maps represent data from different datasets as separate layers. A new layer can be added to the map by dragging a field from a different dataset to the Add new layer drop zone on an existing map.

A layer can be deleted from a map by expanding the Layer options pane Expand legend and clicking the Delete button Delete. You can also temporarily turn off a layer on a map by clicking the layer symbol next to the layer name in the legend.

Use the map toolbar

Every map has a toolbar that can be used to find more information or manipulate the data or card.

ToolDescription

Layer options Legend

The Layer options button can be used to show or hide the name and symbol of datasets being displayed on the map. The Layer options pane gives access to the legend, symbology, and appearance for the layer.

Note:

Hidden layers will remain hidden if the page is shared.

Card filter Card filter

The Card filter button can be used to remove any unwanted data from your chart. Filters can be applied to all string, number, rate/ratio, and date/time fields. A card filter does not affect other cards using the same dataset.

For more information, see Filter data.

Selection tools Selection tools

Selections can be used to highlight important features. Selections on one card are reflected on any other card using the same data. The following selection tools are available on map cards:

  • Select
  • Box select
  • Lasso
  • Zoom to selection
  • Invert selection

For more information, see Make selections.

Zoom tools Zoom tools

The Zoom tools can be used to change the extent of your data. The following Zoom tools can be used on map cards:

  • Zoom in
  • Zoom out
  • Zoom to selection
  • Set default extent and Clear default extent
  • Zoom to layer
  • Lock navigation and Unlock navigation

Tip:

You can also zoom using Shift + click + drag.

For more information, see Navigate maps.

Visualization type Visualization type

The Visualization type drop-down menu shows all available card types. The drop-down list can be used to quickly change your card to a summary table or chart. The availability of visualizations depends on what type of data is being displayed on your card.

Sync extents Sync extents

The Sync extents button can be used to display all maps at the same extent and zoom level.

Maximize Maximize

The Maximize button is used to enlarge the card. Other cards on the page will be reduced to thumbnails. The card can be returned to its previous size using the Restore down button Restore down.

Enable cross filters Enable cross filters

The Enable cross filters button is used to allow filters to be created on the card using selections on other cards. Cross filters can be removed using the Disable cross filters button Disable cross filters.

For more information, see Filter data.

Flip card Flip card

The Flip card button flips the card to display information about the layers on your map, such as the count of features, the timestamp for when the data was last updated, and the references for the basemap. There is also a space for you to describe the analysis on the card.

Delete Delete

The Delete button removes the card from your page. If you did not intend to delete your card, you can retrieve it using the Undo button.

Change the layer options

The Layer options pane can be accessed by clicking the arrow Expand legend in the layer list. The options in the Layer options pane are dependent on the type of data being mapped.

The following tabs are available in the Layer options pane:

Legend tab

Each layer includes a legend, which can be found on the Legend tab of the Layer options pane. For layers styled by the Counts and amounts (Size), Counts and amounts (Color), Types (Unique symbols), and Bins symbol types, the legend will be interactive, meaning any selections you make in the legend will be reflected on the map. Each entry in the legend also includes a count of features and may include category or range values, depending on the Symbol type. Null values (called <No Data> in the legend) are displayed with a gray symbol for string, number, and rate/ratio fields and are listed last in the Legend tab.

Legend tab

The Legend tab can be used to change the color of individual categories for maps symbolized by Types (Unique symbols) or for <No Data> values. To change the color associated with a category, click the symbol and choose a color from the palette or enter a hex value.

The map legend can be added to the page as a separate card. To create a legend, click the Pop out legend button Pop out legend on the Legend tab.

Symbology tab

The Symbology tab is used to change the field and type of symbols being used to style your map.

Symbology tab

The following table summarizes all of the potential parameters for all types of data.

ParameterDescription

Style by

The Style by parameter depicts which field is being used to display the data on the map.

This setting is available for all features with location, string, number, or rate/ratio field types.

Symbol type

The Symbol type parameter determines how the points, lines, or areas appear on the map. Symbol type options depend on the type of features and field type being mapped.

This setting is available for all features.

Classification type

Classification type is the method of grouping numeric data into ranges. The classification methods include Natural breaks, Equal interval, Quantile, Standard deviation, Unclassed, and Manual.

This setting is available when using the Counts and amounts (Color) or Counts and amounts (Size) symbol type.

Style by

The Style by parameter depicts which field is being used to display the data on the map. You can use the drop-down menu to change the Style by parameter to a different field. You can also select a field from the layer being mapped in the data pane and drag the layer to the map to change the style.

If the mapped dataset had location enabled without the Repeat identical features parameter checked or was created through spatial aggregation, the Style by parameter will have statistic options including sum, minimum, maximum, and average.

Any field with a location, string, number, or rate/ratio field type can be used to style a layer. Date/Time fields cannot be styled on a map.

Symbol type

Symbol types determine how symbols are rendered on your map. Options in the Symbol type parameter reflect the supported map renderers in Insights. Smart mapping defines how symbol types are shown on a map based on the type of field you are showing. The following table lists smart mapping symbol types supported by Insights, as well as the applicable field types, and the maps they produce:

Symbol typeFeaturesDescription

Counts and amounts (Color)

Feature types: Points, lines, and areas

Field types: Number and rate/ratio

The Counts and amounts (Color) symbol type uses graduated colors to style numeric values. The color ramp used can be either sequential or diverging:

  • Sequential—A single color that ranges from light to dark is used to display data. Usually the data that has a more neutral meaning will be light, while higher values or values with more meaning will be dark.
  • Diverging—Two colors are used to display data with important meaning at both the low and high extremes. The colors have dark shades at the lower and upper extremes and neutral colors in the middle.

Using Counts and amounts (Color) as the symbol type results in a choropleth map.

This is the default symbol type for rate/ratio fields.

Counts and amounts (Size)

Feature types: Points, lines, and areas

Field types: Number and rate/ratio

The Counts and amounts (Size) symbol type uses graduated symbols to style numeric values. The symbol size will reflect the size of the numbers, with the smallest numbers being styled with the smallest symbols and the largest numbers being styled with the largest symbols.

Using Counts and amounts (Size) as the symbol type results in a graduated symbol map.

This is the default symbol type for number fields.

Types (Unique symbols)

Field types: Location, string, number, and rate/ratio

The Types (Unique symbols) symbol type uses a different color for every unique value in the field being symbolized. It is most common to use Types (Unique symbols) when mapping categorical data (string fields) with relatively few unique field values.

Using Types (Unique symbols) as the symbol type results in a unique values map.

This is the default symbol type for string fields.

Location (Single symbol)

Feature types: Points, lines, and areas

Field types: Location

The Location (Single symbol) symbol type uses uniform symbols for all features. Styling features by location only helps you to focus on the distribution of features, rather than field values.

Using Location (Single symbol) as the symbol type results in a location map.

This is the default symbol type for location fields.

Bins

Feature types: Points

Field types: Location and number

The Bins symbol type uses points in the layer to calculate and display the relative density of points on the map as a set of polygonal bins. Binned maps are styled by graduated colors. The color ramp used can be either sequential or diverging.

Heat map

Feature types: Points

Field types: Location, string, number, and rate/ratio

The Heat map symbol type uses points in the layer to calculate and display the relative density of points on the map as smoothly varying sets of colors ranging from cool (low density of points) to hot (many points).

While smart mapping symbol types provide effective maps right away, sometimes you may want your map to use a predefined symbol type from an ArcGIS dataset (for example, an ArcGIS feature layer that shows crime incidents as point data in red). If your dataset originated from Portal for ArcGIS or ArcGIS Online, you'll see the Original symbol type. This option allows you to revert to the original symbol settings for symbol color, shape, size, and transparency.

Classification

When you map numeric data using Counts and amounts (Size) or Counts and amounts (Color), numbers are automatically grouped into classes using the natural breaks classification method. Classification allocates observations into each class and uses graduated symbol size or color to represent the classes.

Classification methodDescription

Natural breaks

Classes are based on natural groupings inherent in the data. This is the default classification.

The default number of bins is 5.

Equal interval

Divides the range of attribute values into equal-sized subranges.

The default number of bins is 5.

Quantile

Divides the attributes into bins with equal numbers of features.

The default number of bins is 5.

Standard deviation

Classifies a feature based on how much the feature's attributes vary from the mean.

The number of bins used will depend on your data.

Unclassed

Numeric data is displayed on a continuous scale, rather than in discrete classes.

There are no bins used in the Unclassed method.

Manual

Manually add class breaks that are appropriate for your data.

There are no bins used in the Manual method.

Divide by calculates a rate/ratio by dividing the number field you used to style your map by the number field you select from the list. This allows you to calculate a rate/ratio on the fly if your dataset doesn't already contain normalized data.

Note:
  • If you used a rate/ratio field, Divide by is not available because the field is already identified as a normalized field.
  • An error will occur if an aggregated field is used to normalize database data using the Divide by setting. Normalizing an aggregated field from a database dataset will also cause an error.

Annotation tab

The Annotation tab is used to enable and disable pop-ups and labels on your map.

Note:

The Annotation tab is not available on heat maps or link maps.

Annotation tab

Show pop-ups

The Show pop-ups parameter allows you to enable or disable pop-ups when hovering over features on a map. If pop-ups are enabled, there is an additional option to view the pop-ups with statistics (for example, minimum, maximum, and average values) or without statistics (display field and feature value only).

Show pop-ups is available on all map types except heat maps. The With statistics button With statistics and Without statistics button Without statistics are available for all map types except location maps and heat maps.

Show labels

Note:

Show labels is not available for heat maps, binned maps, maps with pie chart symbols, maps with column symbols, or link maps.

The Show labels parameter allows you to enable or disable labels for features on the map. If labels are enabled, there are additional options to configure the labels. The following table summarizes the label configurations:

SettingDescription

Label by

The field used to create the labels. The default Label by field is the same as the Display field. The Label by field can be a string, number, or rate/ratio.

Font

The font variant, color, and size of the label text.

Note:

Labels using non-Latin characters may not support all fonts. If an unsupported font is chosen, the labels may appear incorrectly or revert to the default font.

Placement

The position of the labels in relation to the labeled features. The nine placement options are a combination of horizontal alignment (left, center, and right) and vertical alignment (above, center, and below).

This setting is only available for point features.

Curve text

Enable or disable curved label text. If enabled (default), the labels follow the shape of the lines. If disabled, the labels appear straight regardless of the shape of the line.

This setting is only available for line features.

Offset

The distance between the labels and their associated features. The Offset setting includes both a horizontal offset (x) and a vertical offset (y).

This setting is available for point and polygon features. For point features, the offset distance is in addition to the offset from the Placement setting.

Show halo

Enable or disable a halo around the label text. If enabled, you can choose the color and size of the halo.

Visible range

The scale range at which map labels are visible. The slider shows descriptions of the scale values and the arrow beneath the slider shows the current scale of the map. By default, the labels are visible at all scales.

Note:

The scale descriptions are a guideline to indicate how the change in scale corresponds to the visible extent on the map. Depending on the size of the map card, the descriptions may not match exactly with the extent of the map.

Allow overlap

Enable or disable overlapping labels. If enabled, a label is displayed for all visible features on the map. If disabled (default), overlapping labels are removed.

Reset

Reset the labels to the default settings.

Appearance tab

The Appearance tab is used to change the symbol style and add layer effects.

Appearance tab

Symbols

The symbol options in the Appearance tab are used to adjust the style settings, such as color, shape, and transparency. The available options depend on the symbol type and the type of features.

Layer effects

Note:

Layer effects are supported for all maps except link maps.

Layer effects are used to create eye-catching maps and draw attention to specific features. The available layer effects include bloom and drop shadow.

EffectDescriptionSettings

Bloom

The Bloom effect adds a colored neon-like glow. It produces fringes of light extending from the borders of bright areas in a layer.

This effect is useful for mapping fires, volcanic eruptions, and so on.

Bloom has the following presets options:

  • Gaslamp—A soft glow that highlights smaller features. Works best with mid-toned or dark basemaps, such as Dark Gray Canvas.
  • City lights—A strong center glow with soft edges. Works best with small features with no outline and a dark or imagery basemap, such as Dark Gray Canvas or Imagery (WGS84).
  • LED— A bright center glow with a small blur radius. Works best with small points and a dark or imagery basemap, such as Dark Gray Canvas or Imagery (WGS84).
  • Brighten—A subtle glow that maintains the appearance of the symbols. Works well with any contrasting basemap.
  • Custom—Create a custom bloom effect specifically for your map and features. You can also start with one of the other preset options and adjust the settings for a custom effect.

Bloom has the following settings:

  • Strength—Determines the intensity of the effect. The higher the value, the brighter the glow.
  • Blur—Determines the radius of the blur surrounding the features. The features inside the radius remain untouched.

Drop shadow

The Drop shadow effect makes objects look like they are floating. It applies a drop shadow that follows the outline of the feature.

This effect is useful when you want some features to stand out from the rest of the features on a busy map. For example, you can apply this effect to elevate proportional symbols above the basemap and make them more legible.

Drop shadow has the following presets options:

  • Classic—A subtle drop shadow effect designed to work well for most features. Works best with light or mid-toned basemaps, such as Light Gray Canvas.
  • Soft focus—A subtle blue drop shadow that works well as a region locator map or to emphasize area extent. Works best with light or mid-toned basemaps, such as Light Gray Canvas.
  • Bold—A strong drop shadow that adds emphasis or increased contrast between features and the basemap or other layers. Works best with light or mid-toned basemaps, such as Light Gray Canvas.
  • Halo—A subtle white drop shadow that creates a glow effect around the features. Works best with dark basemaps, such as Dark Gray Canvas.
  • Custom—Create a custom drop shadow effect specifically for your map and features. You can also start with one of the other preset options and adjust the settings for a custom effect.

Drop shadow has the following settings:

  • Color and offset— Determines the color of the drop shadow and the distance between the drop shadow and its associated feature. The offset setting includes both a horizontal offset (x) and a vertical offset (y).
  • Blur— Determines the width of the drop shadow. The larger the value, the larger and more blurred the shadow is.

All effects

Layer effects are automatically adjusted when the map is zoomed in and out based on the map scale at the time they were set. The Base effects on current scale button recalibrates the scaling based on the current map scale.

Attributes tab

The Attributes tab is used to view a list of attributes and values for one or more features selected in the layer. The Attributes tab will only list simple attributes for selected features in the current layer.

Attributes tab

Copy a map

A map card can be duplicated on a page by activating the card (a card is active when the Action button Action is visible) and using Ctrl+C to copy the card and Ctrl+V to paste it on the page.

A map card can be copied to a different page by dragging the card to the New page tab New page or to an existing page. When a map is copied to a new page, the dataset will also be copied, if necessary, along with all of the processes used to create the map. The dataset will not be copied if it already exists on the new page unless one of the datasets contains a dataset filter, a calculated field, or a location field created by enabling location.

Next stepsNext steps

Use the following resources to learn more about maps: