Announcing Explorer for ArcGIS Beta

UPDATE: This beta program has concluded. Explorer for ArcGIS 17.1.0 on iOS has been releasedRead the announcement.

The Android beta of Explorer for ArcGIS is currently available for testing, see this post on GeoNet: Android Explorer Beta: Signup and Install Info

We are very excited to announce that the next generation of Explorer for ArcGIS is available in beta on the iOS platform today and will be coming to Android this spring!

Where are we now?

Executives and decision makers use Explorer to see where their assets are and brief others on future plans. Residents are discovering city planning initiatives, new trails, and recreational sites through maps published by ArcGIS organizations and made available on City websites. 

Where are we headed?

We are bringing Explorer to the field where it can be used by engineers, project managers, and service technicians that need all of their asset and project data online and offline. We’re also providing new capabilities to markup those maps and share the markup with others in the field or people back to the office.

For those executives and decision makers using Explorer today, their maps just get better. Not only can they take them on the road with them, but the visual quality of the maps is dramatically improved with support for labeling, vector tiles and smart map rendering.

Some of the highlights include:

  • New, simplified experience for discovering maps within your organization
  • Ability to download and use maps packaged for offline use
  • Markup capabilities to aide in editing and communication
  • Better integration points via a URL scheme allowing your apps and processes to seamlessly integrate with Explorer.
  • Beautiful and efficient vector tile maps and visualization

For a complete list, see details on our Geonet post here.

How do I join the beta program and get started?

This is an open beta program but we will need to provide you access to the app and really need your feedback so we ask you to:

  1. Email with your contact information and the platform you would be interested in beta testing (iOS or Android). iOS users will be able to get started with the beta today, while Android users will get access when the app is ready in March.
  2. Join our Beta GeoNet Group. Here you will learn how to take advantage of the new capabilities like packaging an offline map and creating/sharing markup and you can share your feedback and learn from others in the beta community.

What are the release plans?

We are moving fast! We are planning to release these exciting new capabilities in time for the 2017 Esri Users Conference (July 10-14). Between now and then, we will push a number of beta drops starting now with the iOS platform and then this spring we will release a beta on Android platform.

This is your opportunity to help craft the next generation of Explorer, and our development team would love to work directly with you on this exciting new release so please come and join us!!

If you are attending the Dev Summit in Palm Springs be sure to attend the “Explorer for ArcGIS Sneak Peak” session to hear from the dev team and find out more about what’s coming with Explorer.
Explorer for ArcGIS Sneak Peak – Tues March 7th 2:30-3:30pm in Mesquite G-H

Explorer Team

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Leave a Reply


  1. joyoung_kerrvilletx says:

    Will a Windows 10 version of Explorer for ArcGIS launch at the 2017 Esri Users Conference?

  2. nswrfs says:

    What are the point(s) of difference between Explorer and Collector?
    Why not focus effort on one of the apps?

    • Chris LeSueur says:

      In a nutshell…
      Collector is all about performing data collection in the field. It uses your device GPS or an external GPS to capture locations and create new points, lines, and polygons or edit existing features. The features edited with Collector are coming from a well structured GIS database (feature service). With Collector you can also edit the attribute table of the GIS features.

      Explorer for ArcGIS (the new version coming) is focused on taking your maps into the field using a mobile device. You can think of it as taking a digital version of a paper map out with you. Except this map has access to feature information and searching capabilities. Collector will allow you to work with connected maps or an offline map created in ArcGIS Pro. The new markup functionality gives users the ability to draw and make notes on the map, and this markup can be shared with other users in your organization. This allows field staff to communicate information via the map without changing the underlying GIS data (something many users have asked for).

  3. BPronovost says:

    How can we join the open beta? is not a valid email…

  4. jgb0607 says:

    In regards to the markup capability…… Would a level 1 user be able to perform markups or would this require a level 2 named user account?

    • nielsvem says:

      As a viewing only app Explorer should be available to L1 users also in the long term. Including all new functionality.
      I hope that ESRI can confirm this?

  5. falloj says:

    We support field users with Windows 10 who only need to view maps, not edit. Collector works with Windows 10, but you have to have an editable layer in the map for it to be viewed in Collector. If you publish an editable map, but set the user’s access level to Level 1 (viewing only), they cannot login to collector. Explorer is great for viewing maps, but does not work with Windows 10. Is there a solution for field users who only need to view maps with Windows 10 OS? Thank you.

  6. jordan.miller says:

    Is there any scope for capability to share with members of the public, i.e. who don’t have an ArcGIS Online account? I know with the app studio one can create an app and share on the Google Play or iOS store. Is it likely that there will be a template to create your own branded app with data that can be used offline?