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Add a reference layer

Note:

Subscribed Plus users have access to premium content that is visible only to other users with a Plus subscription or those with an ArcGIS account. To view and interact with the map, unsubscribed users can sign up for Plus; the first 60 days are free. For more information, see What you get with Plus.

When you add Power BI data to your ArcGIS Maps for Power BI visualization, you're creating a data layer. You can change the styling options for this layer and add data field values to better tell your story.

When you add a reference layer to the map, you're providing context for the data you're already displaying. Reference layers can include demographic data, such as household income, age, or education. They can also include publicly shared feature layers available on ArcGIS Online that provide more information about areas surrounding the locations on your map. For example, if your data layer shows the location of fast-food restaurants, you could add a reference layer that shows the proximity of high schools and universities. Reference layers allow you to dig deeper into your data to provide a greater picture of your business information. Plus subscribers also have access to layers from Living Atlas. If you signed in using your ArcGIS account, you have access to content from your organization in addition to Plus content.

Note:

A reference layer must be a feature service that contains a single layer. ArcGIS Maps for Power BI filters out unsupported item types; if you don't see the item you're looking for, verify that the layer is saved as a single-layer feature service in ArcGIS.

Plus reference layers

Add a demographic layer

ArcGIS Maps for Power BI includes a variety of United States demographics layers that you can add to your map to provide additional information about the areas surrounding your locations. You can add only one reference layer at a time to your map.

To add a demographic layer to your map, do the following:

  1. With ArcGIS Maps for Power BI In-Focus Edit mode enabled, click Reference layer on the map toolbar.

    The Reference layer pane appears, showing thumbnails of the available demographics layers.

  2. Click the desired demographics layer and click Add.

    The reference layer appears on the map, rendered under the data layer. The check box below the thumbnail is checked and the button label changes to Remove.

  3. To view tooltips on the reference layer, click the Select button Select and click a feature on the layer.
  4. To select a feature based on the reference layer, click the Select by area button Select on reference layer and click a feature on the reference layer.
    Note:

    If your map also contains both a reference layer and a drive-time area layer, click the Select by area button Select on reference layer, choose Reference layer, and click a polygon on the reference layer.

  5. To delete the layer, click Remove below the thumbnail or click the Remove Layer button Delete at the top of the pane.

Add a layer from ArcGIS

ArcGIS Maps for Power BI allows you to search for publicly shared feature layers on ArcGIS Online, giving you access to thousands of reference layers that provide valuable information about the areas surrounding the locations on your data layer. Layers added from ArcGIS Online must be feature layers and must support HTTPS.

If you're signed in using your ArcGIS account, you can search for content in your organization, your organization's groups, or public content. If you're not signed in, only publicly shared content will appear in search results.

Note:

To make your own reference layer available in ArcGIS, see Add custom reference layers to ArcGIS.

  1. With ArcGIS Maps for Power BI In-Focus Edit mode enabled, click Reference layer on the map toolbar.

    The Reference layer pane appears, showing the Demographics tab.

  2. Click the ArcGIS tab.
  3. In the Search ArcGIS field, type one or more keywords and press Enter.

    If you're signed in using your ArcGIS account, choose the search location from the drop-down menu before pressing Enter.

    For more information about search fields and terms, see Use search.

    The search results appear in the pane, showing thumbnails of the feature layers.

    Note:

    The search results include only publicly shared, single-layer feature services. Web maps or other complex or raster objects do not appear.

  4. Scroll to browse through the thumbnails.
  5. Click Add on the desired reference layer.

    The reference layer appears on the map, rendered under the data layer. The check box below the thumbnail is checked and the button label changes to Remove.

  6. To view tooltips on the reference layer, click the Select button Select and click a feature on the layer.
  7. To select a feature based on the reference layer, click the Select by area button Select on reference layer and click a feature on the reference layer.
    Note:

    If your map also contains both a reference layer and a drive-time area layer, click the Select by area button Select on reference layer, choose Reference layer, and click a polygon on the reference layer.

  8. To delete the layer, click Remove below the thumbnail or click the Remove Layer button Delete at the top of the pane.

Add a Living Atlas layer

Subscribed Plus users and those with an ArcGIS account can access Esri Living Atlas reference layers; these are identified by a Plus badge Plus badge and are accessed from the Living Atlas tab. Maps that contain premium content are visible only to users with a Plus subscription or those with an ArcGIS account.

To add a Living Atlas reference layer, do the following:

  1. With ArcGIS Maps for Power BI In-Focus Edit mode enabled, click Reference layer on the map toolbar.

    The Reference layer pane appears, showing the Demographics tab.

  2. Click the Living Atlas tab.
  3. To narrow your search to a specific theme, click All themes to display a drop-down menu and choose a theme.
  4. In the Search Living Atlas field, type one or more keywords and press Enter.

    For more information about search fields and terms, see Use search.

    The search results appear in the pane, showing thumbnails of the feature layers. Living Atlas layers are premium content and are identified by a Plus badge Plus badge.

    Note:

    The search results include only publicly shared, single-layer feature services. Web maps or other complex or raster objects do not appear.

  5. Scroll to browse through the thumbnails.
  6. Click Add on the desired reference layer.

    The reference layer appears on the map, rendered under the data layer. The check box below the thumbnail is checked and the button label changes to Remove.

  7. To view tooltips on the reference layer, click the Select button Select and click a feature on the layer.
  8. To select a feature based on the reference layer, click the Select by area button Select on reference layer and click a feature on the reference layer.
    Note:

    If your map also contains both a reference layer and a drive-time area layer, click the Select by area button Select on reference layer, choose Reference layer, and click a polygon on the reference layer.

  9. To delete the layer, click Remove below the thumbnail or click the Remove Layer button Delete at the top of the pane.