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ArcGIS Developers

Web map format

Please refer to the Web map specification topic for an updated version of the web map specification.

When you make and save a map using or Portal for ArcGIS, the map receives a unique ID. You can reference this ID to pull the entire map into any application you build with Esri APIs. This is made possible through the ArcGIS web map, a structured series of key-value pairs that describe all the layers, pop-up information, bookmarks, metadata, and other properties of the map.

Web maps are expressed in JavaScript Object Notation (JSON), a clear text format that can be easily transferred, stored, or manipulated. This section of the help explains how a web map is structured so that you can read or write web maps from custom clients.

The following two strings of JSON are associated with a web map:

  • Web map item information contains a title, description, and other metadata used to advertise the web map on or your own organization's portal.
  • Web map data contains information needed to display the map, including layers, pop-up information, and bookmarks.
A web map consists of item information and data

The web map and its specification should not be confused with the ExportWebMap specification, which is used by ArcGIS Server when printing maps. Although you may notice similarities in properties, they are two different specifications.