ArcGIS Online at the University of Illinois

The dominant company in geographic information systems is ESRI, which was one of the pioneers of GIS in the late 1960s. ESRI's cloud-based service is called ArcGIS online. The ArcGIS Online web app makes web map creation comparatively easy by providing online access to a flexible visualization and analysis tool, as well as easy access to both public and proprietary data.

If you are a member of the University of Illinois community, you have access to an ArcGIS Online account at no additional cost to you through the university's site license.

Enterprise Login

To log in:

  1. Go to
  2. Click Sign In.
  3. Sign in with Your ArcGIS organization's URL, which is univofillinois.
  4. This will take you to the University of Illinois single sign-on page, where you can log in using your NetID and password.
Enterprise Account Login

Creating Your First Map

To create a map, you need geospatial data. For this example, we will use a layer of demographic data from the US Census Bureau's American Community Survey that has been uploaded to the university's ArcGIS Online organization.

  1. Select Map from the menu at the top of your home page.
  2. If you are placed in the new map viewer (with panels on both sides), click the link at the top to Open in Map Viewer Classic.
  3. Click the Add button and Search for Layers.
  4. Search in My Organization for Minn 2015-2019 ACS Counties.
  5. Click the plus sign at the bottom of the listing to add the layer to the map.
  6. By default, this creates a map of median household income by US county.
Adding a layer of data to your map

Displaying a Different Variable

This particular layer has a number of other variables that you can map.

  1. Click on the Change Style icon under the layer in the Contents pane of your map.
  2. Choose an attribute to show. For this example, we choose Median Age.
  3. If desired, you can also change the color scheme from the Symbol button.
  4. Click Done.
Changing the variable

Changing the Title and Sharing the Map

  1. Click Save.
  2. Enter a Title.
  3. You also have to enter some Tags that can help people find your map if they search for it. If you are not creating anything that you intend for the general public, you should just copy the title in here.
  4. Click Save Map.
  5. Click the Share button.
  6. Select who you want to share with. If you want anyone to be able to view this map, select Everyone. If you just want people in the university to be able to see it (instructors or your peers), select University of Illinois.
  7. The dialog box will give you a URL that you can e-mail or submit in your assignments.
Saving and sharing an ArcGIS Online map

Reopening a Map From Your Content

If you want to reopen a map to edit it or get the shared link again, you can open it from your ArcGIS Online Content page.

Reopening a map from your Content page