Introducing the Find, Edit, and Filter app for ArcGIS Online

As part of the March release of ArcGIS Online, the ArcGIS for Local Government team released a new configurable web app template called  Find, Edit, and Filter. With the Find, Edit, and Filter application , map features can be filtered to those which are of immediate interest; new features can be created and existing features edited or deleted; and features can be located by searching for specific attribute values.

Viewing and editing data

Many maps contain data that is inherently layered or categorized, such as building floors or the status of maintenance activities. Using Find, Edit, and Filter, these datasets can be viewed and edited one layer or category at a time.

For example, fire departments often create pre-incident plans showing the locations of hazards and risks within buildings.  In a multi-story building, it can be difficult to map and view hazards and risks in the context of a building floor.  Using the Find, Edit, and Filter app, these hazards and risks can be mapped and viewed floor-by-floor.

Using the app’s search capabilities, a line fireman can locate a specific pre-incident plan and use the filter to restrict the visible features to only the floor of interest. If editing is enabled on the map layers, they can add, edit, and delete assets on that floor by opening the editing palette and either clicking an existing feature or choosing a template and adding a new one. By default, the current filter value (in this case the floor number) is applied to each newly created feature.

Some situations or users, like a fire battalion chief, may require view-only or restricted editing access to the information in the web map.  In these cases, the same data can be published in a web map with editing disabled on some (or all) map layers. The editing status of the map layers is honored when the map is shared as a Find, Edit, and Filter application. Even if editing is disabled on all layers, map features can still be searched and filtered.

Find, Edit, and Filter is configurable…

After sharing your map as a Find, Edit, and Filter application, the app needs to be configured to search and filter your data. This configuration also includes several basic options for configuring the appearance of the app to suit your organization.

Title: This title is displayed at the top of the application and is included with the URL when sharing the application through the Share widget.

Icon URL:  The URL to a 48px tall image to display in the upper left corner of the application.

Color Scheme: The color of the application title bar, message windows, and widget panels.

Web Map: Choose a web map to be displayed by the application.

Basemap group: Maps from the organizations basemap group (set in the organization settings) are displayed by default in the Switch Basemaps widget. A different group can be specified by providing the group name and username of the group owner. This group should be shared with, at minimum, the entire audience of the application. For example, if the application will be shared with Everyone, the basemaps and basemap group must also be shared with Everyone.

Find Hint: Search hint message displayed in the search text box.

Find Fields and Layers: These parameters accept a comma-separated list of field names (not aliases), and map layer names, respectively. One or many values may be specified and the fields and layers may be listed in any order. The application searches any field with a listed name that occurs in a listed layer. One result is returned for each occurrence of the search term.

Result Display Field: If this field exists in a layer where a search result was found, the value from this field appears in the search results list. If this field doesn’t exist in the layer where a result was found, the value of the searched field is displayed in the search results list. For example, the searched field may contain Building IDs, but the names of the buildings could be displayed in the search results list if the Results Display Field is set to the field containing the names of each building. If multiple Result Display fields are specified they must be listed in the same order as the layers to which they are being applied. Only one Result Display Field can be defined for each Find Layer.

Zoom Level: The zoom level the map moves to when displaying a selected search result.

Filter Hint: Filter hint message displayed in the Filter text box when no filter is applied.

Filter Field: Field with values used to filter the features, for example, floor numbers. For best performance this should be an integer or text field.

Help Text: Text to display in the Help widget for the end users of the application.

…Very configurable

Find, Edit, Filter, like the Finder app, provides a second level of configuration that gives you almost complete control over the configuration experience– with no web server required. These changes allow you to create your own version of the Find, Edit, and Filter application template for other users in your organization. You can then push these configuration changes back to your version of the ArcGIS Online hosted application.

Here are some examples of modifications to the application that are possible though this second layer of configuration:

 Set default configuration values

Encourage your users to set the best parameter values for your organization’s data by defining default parameter values. For example, the default zoom level of 16 may be too large-scale for the datasets typically handled by your organization, or you may want to encourage your organization members to use a particular app icon. The default values provided with the app can be modified to suit your organization.

Learn how set default configuration values

Hide configuration parameters

Simplify the configuration experience for your users. Many of the configuration parameters such as basemaps and the icon are not data-specific. If the users of your app template won’t need to change these values you can remove them from the configuration panel. The default values specified in the configuration file will be used for these parameters.

Learn how to hide configuration parameters

Modify the application appearance

Take configuring the application appearance to the next level. The options for application colors are much greater than the list available in the configuration panel. Hex values can be used to define exactly the right shade for your apps.

Learn how to modify the application appearance

Show splash screen on launch

Present your users with a welcome message, disclaimer, or other information immediately when they launch your application.

Learn how to show a splash screen when the app launches

Add geocode services to the search

Search not only the attributes of features, but also addresses using the ArcGIS Online World Geocode service, or another geocode service of your choosing.

Learn how to search addresses as well as features

Send us your feedback!

Find, Edit, and Filter is the second configurable web mapping application from the Local Government team to be made available through ArcGIS Online. As we work to develop new apps for this platform, your feedback helps make sure we’re building apps that will be useful to you, so send us your comments! Keep an eye out for new Local Government apps in future releases of ArcGIS Online, and we look forward to seeing how you leverage the Find, Edit, and Filter app in your organization.

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Leave a Reply


  1. bellm says:

    Does this support polygon editing? Have tried but can’t get it working :-/

  2. iharry says:

    Is it possible to filter based on more than one field. I’d like to configure it so that its a multi attribute filter

  3. carolinevallieres says:

    This app is great; however, I can’t get it to work.

    For the FIND SETTINGS configuration, I enter my layers, however, it does not recognize any of them. Is there a special way to enter their name? I am using commas to seperate each layer and writing it exactly as shown in the pop up that shows me all the fields and layers in the map. Same goes for the find fields configuration.

    • Allison Muise says:

      Hi Caroline,
      It sounds like you’re entering everything correctly, so I suspect the issue is that the app can’t read the layer. This can happen for several reasons:

      1) The layer is a dynamic map service published using ArcGIS for Server, and the full service was added to the map. To get around this, add each of the layers to the map individually (the REST URL should end with an index number).

      2) The layer was published from an ArcMap document that contained group layers in the TOC. If possible, avoid using group layers in services with these apps. Try adding each of the layers to the map individually (the REST URL should end with an index number).

      3) The web map layer was created by adding a layer from a file directly to the web mapp. To get around this, add the item to your content and publish it, then add the resulting feature layer to the web map.

      Does one of these apply to your layers?


      • carolinevallieres says:

        Hi Allison,

        Thanks for the reply :) I uploaded it again and it works now!


      • bhoobler says:

        Hi! I think I’m having the same issue as Caroline. I think the 3rd bullet is my issue but I’m not sure about fixing it. If I add and item, then add it to a layer and publish it I only have the option to create tile service? Or am I missing how to add the content and publish it? Thanks!

      • seanbdioptra says:

        I keep getting the message:
        Fields could not be found for the map layer.

        Verify that this layer exists at the root of the map Contents. Nested services, such as ArcGIS for Server dynamic map services, must be added to the map one layer at a time (including layer index number) to be used as Find Layers. Tiled services cannot be used as Find Layers.

        I have verified the layer has fields and the name is correct. It was created from a published feature collection. Any help would be greatly appreciated.

  4. sroberts says:

    Thanks for this great new app. I have just one suggestion for an enhancement to the finder app. I’d like to use it as a Recreation app to search trails, campgrounds, and parks. Perhaps I’m overlooking a configuration option, but the find results can be confusing if searching multiple layers. It would be nice to let a user check a box to only search one layer, and/or allow for a second field in the find resuts window (feature searcher display fields) so we could display both the name of the feature and the type of feature (park, trail, camp) for each result.

  5. sroberts says:

    Also the option to add a locate and feedback button would be great

    • Allison Muise says:

      Thanks for the feedback sroberts! We are looking at different ways to organize Finder’s search results in a future release and will certainly consider your use case. Also – while it’s true the app doesn’t currently have a feedback button, one option is to provide contact information in the help window.

  6. conservelakecounty says:

    Good Morning Allison,

    I believe that I am encountering an issue not dissimilar to the one carolinevallieres found last month, and to which you responded with advice. While I have uploaded a dataset to ArcGIS Online and used it to the create a Features file, the template does not appear to accept this file as valid for purposes of filtering.

    Upon the creation of the web application, the filter popup displays two adjacent sets of parentheses, with the subsequent text reading “This field does not exist in any of the map layers”. This is followed by a line, below which the text reads “Map Layers:”, followed by the name of the imported layer in question, and the names of each of the fields from the tabular portion of the dataset.

    Clearly, I am missing some (most likely obvious) step. At your convenience, I would greatly appreciate any insight you may have into what that step may be. The post above is quite detailed and informative when it comes to editing the look and feel of the template itself, but prior to utilizing the creative freedom the ESRI team has built into the template’s user-facing side, I first need to, well, get to a point where said template actually works!

    • Allison Muise says:

      It sounds like your app has not yet been configured. This app needs to be told which layers and fields you would like to use for searching and filtering. From the item details page of your app click the ‘Configure App’ link to get to the configuration panel. The information in this blog post should help you not only modify the user experience of your application, but also configure the application to correctly read your data.

      • conservelakecounty says:

        You are of course correct Allison. I misread the relevant portion of the blog post, and must beg your forgiveness for wasting your time with such a foolish question. My sincere thanks for your assistance.