What’s new in ArcGIS Online since the December Update?

The December 2016 ArcGIS Online update has just taken place providing many minor updates as well as some the new functionality and features. In this blog we will look at some of the updates which the Education Team think are of most interest. If you want to find out a bit more about all the changes that have occurred, please use the ‘what’s new help’ document.  


  • Join Features has been added into ArcGIS Online as an analysis tool. This is a capability many people have been waiting a while for and a something that we are very excited about. Joining features will allow you to transfer attributes from one layers or table to another, based upon a spatial or attribute relationship.  
  • A new Find Outliers tool has also been added to the Analyse Patterns tool set. It allows you to create maps showing any statistically significant clusters and spatial outliers present in the area. 

Hosted web layers

  • The ability to publish OGC-compliant WFS layers from an existing hosted feature layers in ArcGIS Online has been added as a capability.  Additionally, you can now access hosted tile layers as OGC Web Tile Map Service (WMTS) layers.
  • You can also create multiple views of a hosted feature layer allowing you to publish the data once, then create tailored views for each audience. Everyone would be looking at the same underlying data but with different capabilities enabled. 

Web Apps

  • Story Map Journal and Story Map Series now support dragging and dropping local images from your computer directly into the application.
  • The configuration pane in many of the apps has been redesigned.
  • New themes have been added to the Basic Viewer, Elevation Profile and Map Tools applications.
  • There have been many minor updates to Web App Builder but some of the most substantial updates are:
    • A new Extent Navigate widget has been added for navigating the map to its previous or next extent.
    • You can now add data layers from groups and local files, including shapefiles, CSV, GPX and GeoJSON.
    • The Basemap Gallery now has the option to synchronize with the basemap gallery settings of the organisation.                                                                              

Map Viewer

A new lightweight expression language has been introduced into web maps in this release. This is Arcade and it allows you to write expressions to style and label features in the map.

Organisation Administration

You may have noticed on your My Organisation page that the users have been classed as level 1 or level 2 members. In summary, level 1 users can view content shared with them, but cannot create, own or share content. A level 2 user can view, create and share content. Please see the levels, roles and privilege page for more information.