Introduction to ArcGIS Online

This repository is associated with the workshop introducing ArcGIS Online using Laura Secord as the subject matter.

Introduction to ArcGIS Online - Tutorial

…a step-by-step tutorial to accompany the workshop.

Section 1: Signing in

If you are an organization affiliate (i.e. a member of the Brock University community) follow these steps:

  1. Go to
  2. Click Sign in
  3. Click Your ArcGIS Organization’s URL
  4. Complete the URL by entering the text brock

    Brock organization

  5. Click Continue
  7. This action should direct you to the Brock University authentication page. Enter your Brock credentials and click Sign in.

    AGOL homepage

Section 2: The Interface

  1. From the menus at the top, click Map. This action opens the default map viewer and should look like this:

    map interface

NOTE: If the default viewer does not look like the above screenshot, you may have to click ‘Open in new map viewer’ at the top right.

The New Map Viewer is composed of a dark toolbar on the left and a light toolbar on the right. Depending on the tool you have selected, various panels will appear.

At the bottom of each toolbar there is a ‘collapse/expand’ button collapse_expand.

  1. Click these buttons to collapse or expand the menus.
  2. Click the ‘hide/show interface’ button hide interface (bottom right of the map view) to hide/show all menus and panels at once.
  3. To search for a location, click the magnifying glass search tool magnifying glass from the lower right options. Type in a place or address and make a selection from the results. search The map zooms to the location.
  4. Use the mouse scroll wheel or the zoom tools to pan and zoom on the map.

    map zoom

  5. The map viewer provides ready-made basemaps to choose from. Click the basemap button map zoom on the left and explore the options. Before continuing, select the Light Gray Canvas option.
  6. At the top of the Basemap listing options, click Current basemap >
  7. Click the eyeball icon to turn off the Light Gray Reference layer.
    image This action turns off the placename labels.


  1. To save your map, click the Save > Save as button map save
  2. Enter a unique map name that does not include special characters.
  3. Click save. All of your work is saved in the cloud, making it accessible from any device with internet connection.

Section 3: Layers & Symbology

There are a variety of ways to add data to your map. This tutorial will describe adding layers from within ArcGIS Online.

  1. Click the layers button layers image
  2. Click image add layer
  3. Click the dropdown beside My Content and select ArcGIS Online. This action will allow you to search all of ArcGIS Online for data layers. For the purposes of this tutorial, 2 layers have been created representing Laura Secord’s walking route and the destinations of each of the 5 phases.
  4. Enter the search term Secord walking route.
  5. Look for the results that match this image:


  6. Click the small plus sign to add each layer to the map. You should have 2 layers: “Secord Walking Route” and “Secord Walking Destinations”.
  7. Click the back arrow beside Add layer at the top left of the panel.

    add layer
    - image -

  8. If necessary, drag and drop the layers such that the ‘destinations’ layer is on top of the ‘route’ layer.
  9. A layer is selected when there is a vertical blue bar along the side. With the ‘Destinations’ layer selected, click Edit layer style from the right side panel.
  10. From the Styles panel, under step 2, click Style options below Pick a style.
  11. Click the symbol below Symbol style.
  12. Click the dropdown for Basic Point > Basic shapes > Vector Symbols and select Pins.
  13. Select a pin, click Done then increase the size to 25.
  14. Click the X at the top of the Symbol style panel and click Done twice.
  15. Now, let’s touch up the symbols for the walking route. Click the walking route layer to select it.
  16. From the Styles panel, click Unique symbols > Style options. image pick a style

  17. Click the colour ramp below “Symbol style” image of symbol style colour ramp

  18. Adjust the width to 3.
  19. Select an Arrow to add an arrowhead to the end of each segment.

    image or arrow options

  20. Click Done twice.
  21. Save your map image of save map button.

  22. Your map should look similar to the screenshot below.

    image of map view showing pushpins

Section 4: Labels

  1. Select the Destinations layer.
  2. From the menu down the right side of the map, click the Labels tool image. The Label features panel opens.
  3. Click image
  4. Under Label Field select the field Destination and click Replace.
  5. Click Label style > Edit Label Style to open this panel.
  6. Change the colour to black.
  7. Adjust the placement so the Offset Y is 10.


Section 5: Pop-ups

The features on the map have corresponding attributes in a joined table. These particular layers include a Description field that we will use to populate the pop-ups.

  1. With the Destinations layer selected, click the Pop-ups tool image from the right side menu.
  2. Click Title and replace the default entry with {Destin}. This will give each pop-up the title that correlates to the destination name.
  3. Delete the Fields list by clicking the 3 dots and selecting Delete.
  4. Click Add Content and select Text. In the text box enter {Descript} and click OK. The curly brackets tell the software to pull the information from the field in the table that holds the description.


  5. Save your map.

Section 6: Access

  1. To access the map at a later time, sign in to using the same credentials you used to create the map.
  2. Click Content at the top of the window. You will see a listing of all your ArcGIS Online items.
  3. Click the title of an item to access the Item Description page.
  4. Click the thumbnail image to open in the map viewer.

Section 7: Next Steps

  1. Now that you have a map created, why not try out ArcGIS StoryMaps for sharing your story with others? Check out the tutorial.

Contact for assistance with the technology or to inquire about using ArcGIS Online or ArcGIS StoryMaps at Brock University.