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Map Builder Template Overview

GFW Map Builder is an application template for ArcGIS online that lets you turn custom maps into interactive applications.


Global Forest Watch Map Builder lets you create custom web applications using ArcGIS Online. The Map Builder template turns web maps into interactive applications that include the same analysis power as Global Forest Watch. To get an idea of what your application will look like and how it will work, view our tutorial on the Map Builder Interactive Map. The process can be broken down into several steps, which vary depending on whether you have a (free) public ArcGIS account or an organizational ArcGIS account:

1. Create a web map in ArcGIS Online that you want to feature in your web application.

  • If you don’t have an account with ArcGIS, you can create a free public account for non-commercial use. See our tutorial on creating a map in ArcGIS if you need help.
  • The location, data sets, metadata, and styling of your web map will be carried over into your application.
  • You can also search in ArcGIS for any data sets from Global Forest Watch that you want to include in your web map.

2. Register the Map Builder Web Application Template with your ArcGIS Online account.

  • For public ArcGIS account holders, this means creating a new configurable application in ArcGIS and entering the Map Builder URL: http://my.gfw-mapbuilder.org/v1.latest/.
  • Organizational ArcGIS account holders will create a new group in your organization and then share the GFW Map Builder Template to that group. You will also edit the settings in your organizational account so that you can configure your web apps using application templates.

3. Configure, or customize, your web application.

  • Public ArcGIS account holders will copy a configuration code that you can edit in your application to customize it. You will also need to enter the ID of your web map.
  • For private ArcGIS account holders, you will open your web map and then share it as a web application using the Map Builder Template that you have added to your group. Then you can use the configuration panels in ArcGIS to customize your application.

4. Share your new custom web application.

  • Now you have a web application that includes the data sets you featured in your ArcGIS web map.
  • For organizational ArcGIS account holders, anyone with a link to your web application can explore your data and perform analyses.
  • Public ArcGIS account holders can share their application by copying the application URL once it’s open.

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