Frequently asked questions


The ArcGIS API for JavaScript is Esri's flagship product for building web applications to visualize, edit, map and analyze geospatial data. It is a feature complete client side API for working with ArcGIS location services. The ArcGIS API for JavaScript includes significant client side functionality including smart mapping, 3D rendering, geometric analysis and feature editing, as well as full support for working with web maps and web scenes.

However, the goal of ArcGIS REST JS is to provide a convenient and light-weight binding to the ArcGIS location services REST APIs for developers who need to work directly with it using JavaScript or TypeScript. This includes functional equivalents of the low-level request methods, identity management, server federation, along with additional thin wrappers to assist developers in scripting against the ArcGIS REST APIs directly in Node.js and browser applications.

ArcGIS REST JSArcGIS API for JavaScript
Display maps and layers
Complete mapping library
Support for a wide variety of ArcGIS services1
Support for additional authentication options
Geometry engine
Light-weight package footprint
Full supportPartial supportNo support
  • 1. Not all ArcGIS location services are currently supported

This project is similar to the ArcGIS API for Python in many ways. Like the ArcGIS API for Python, this library aims to be a scripting tool that simplifies interacting with ArcGIS services. However, the ArcGIS API for Python highlights integration with dataframes and Jupyter Notebooks for visualization and sharing, whereas ArcGIS REST JS provides APIs for TypeScript or JavaScript applications running on a server, CLI, in a browser, or as a script.

ArcGIS REST JS attempts for as few tradeoffs as possible over making requests with tools like fetch. ArcGIS REST JS automatically handles proper parameter encoding for ArcGIS REST APIs, has error handling, token management and more.

Before tree shaking, all of this logic is ~8kb. Additional methods are around 1kb each or less, making the cost of adding ArcGIS REST JS to your application low.

Yes, ArcGIS REST JS is officially supported for application development with ArcGIS services. Developers with a technical support plan can log issues with Esri Technical Support.

ArcGIS REST JS is open-source software and you do not need a license to develop or deploy your app. However, to deploy your app with ArcGIS location services, review the Deployment chapter in the Mapping APIs and location services guide.


Go to the Glossary.

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