Open the ArcGIS app from the tap of a map!

Using ArcGIS Online it is easy to create and share maps that can be opened in either a web browser or inside the ArcGIS application on your smartphone/tablet device

Sharing a map can be as simple as sharing a link by email. Opening the web browser and a web application from a link is universal. Just simply paste the URL inside of your email and mobile mail clients will recognize it and open the web browser when you tap on it. For example, Ecological Footprints of Nations is a link you can tap on if reading this post on your iPad or Android tablet and it will open up the web browser and point it to

But did you know that you can share this same map via a link and have it open the ArcGIS app on your iPad, iPhone or Android device rather than use the web browser? It’s actually really easy to do! Simply…

Change this:

To this: arcgis://

Then when you tap on the link using your iPad or iPhone it will open the application directly. If you tap using an Android device you will see an Android launch screen that will ask you to choose which Application to use.

Organizations are doing this today by inserting links into their public web pages! Here are a couple of examples for you to look at:
Amherst GIS Gallery
Kentucky Geography Network

Mobile Team

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Leave a Reply


  1. rdunfey says:

    Any ideas how we can add a web map to an already open web map via a URL? We have an footprint service, with 3000 footprints. When a user clicks a hyperlink associated with a footprint, we want to add a new layer to the already open web map which references an image service with a definition applied. At the moment it opens a new map viewer window. Any ideas?

  2. davidraijmakers says:

    Is it also possible with the webmaps in the arcgis server mobile content directory + https?

  3. davidraijmakers says:

    Okay, but if i want to do this in ArcGIS Server (10.05) in our own MobileDirectory with https?

    If our link to that is:

    It doesnt work when we do: argis://

    What would work?

    • chrisolsen says:

      Just as an FYI to everyone- the limitation has been logged as an enhancement request for this issue, logged in January- #NIM088282 Enhancement Request: allow arcgis:// URI handler to use https:// protocol in arcgis mobile.

  4. davidraijmakers says:


  5. mattlane86 says:

    I would love to see a response to davidraijmakers question.

  6. robinsona says:

    I am looking to solve the same issue that davidraijmakers is asking about. Any suggestions out there?

  7. judylj60 says:

    What about when the map is not on arcgis online but is being hosted on our own arcserver … then how do you directly link to it?

  8. matthewk says:

    A head’s up….that URL example didn’t work for me. First, I was getting some kind of message about changing Portals (which is confusing to the lay person) and then I got an error message that the URL wasn’t valid. So, I looked at the links on the Amherst and Kentucky sites and they’re different than what’s in the blog. Instead, they used this link, which worked for me:


  9. kmiller65 says:

    Using the prefix to link to a web map on the ArcGIS Server mobile content folder will not work. The link can only be used with an ArcGIS Portal or ArcGIS Online web map. The blog should be updated to reflect this point.

  10. a.plata says:

    Works with Firefox. Seems not to work (anymore?) with Safari, IE and Chrome browsers.

  11. sgrenz says:

    (This was tested on iPhone 6 with iOS)

    In order to get the arcgis URI to work so that it opens the green ArcGIS mobile app, must use the below template. It does not work when using it like this: arcgis://

    —> arcgis://

    However, it is recommended to go towards the Explorer mobile application and you can access URI like the below template. Note: looks like this is only available on iOS and not yet on Android. (i.e. arcgis-explorer://open/?id=6e03e8c26aad4b9c92a87c1063ddb0e3).

    —> arcgis-explorer://open/?id=

  12. sgrenz says:

    Edit to above…..

    ARCGIS = arcgis://

    EXPLORER = arcgis-explorer://open/?id=6e03e8c26aad4b9c92a87c1063ddb0e3