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Living Atlas

The ArcGIS Living Atlas of the World is the foremost collection of geographic information from around the globe. It includes maps, apps, and data layers to support your work.


Living Atlas is considered the foremost collection of geographic information from around the globe, and it contains more than 7500 items (>2800 authoritative1) from different sources and types: layers, 2D maps, 3D scenes, tools, applications and storymaps.

Authoritative1: Organizations publishing this type of content, such as Esri (including our international distributors) and government agencies, are able to mark the best available content that they are sharing with everyone as ‘Authoritative’ and it will appear as authoritative from that organization. Users that are looking for this type of content can now filter their search results to just show content that is authoritative.

It is curated by Esri with contributions from its partner and user communities, the Living Atlas contains valuable maps, data layers, tools, services, and apps for geographic analysis. Organized by theme, this content strengthens the diverse and significant work of the GIS community at-large to address global and regional challenges. The Living Atlas is continually growing and evolving, featuring items such as weather, traffic, elevation, demographics, oceans, urban systems, and imagery, that impact people’s lives.

Community Maps program

The Community Maps Program is an effort to develop a suite of authoritative maps for use globally by the public in a wide variety of applications. It"s how data is contributed to the Living Atlas. With Community Maps your contributed data is hosted online as part of ArcGIS Online layers and basemaps, enriching the data available to the wider GIS community.

Community Maps Program - Common questions

Limited access content

As mentioned in the Content page, there are some ready-to-use 2D and 3D map, layers, apps, tools and services published by Esri that requires an ArcGIS account (organizational user or a free developer account) to access.

In the Living Atlas you will find three types of content:

Content type Example content Items Consume credits
Default content Any content shared publicly View items (+5900) No
Subscriber content NAIP imagery, landscape analysis layers, and historical maps Items (+1000) No
Premium content Demographic and lifestyle maps Items (+500) Yes

Note: Premium content like infographics and some Living Atlas Layers such as tapestry segmentation are charged based on the number of transactions of each item. 1,000 map requests (pan, zoom, and identify) costs 10 credits ($1). Find more at: Understanding credits consumption by capability.

Learn more: Using subscriber content in Web Apps and Story Maps

Content categories

We recommend that you dive in these categories.


See all Basemaps (+790 items). Most of them are free to access until 1 million map transactions per month, a few are Subscriber content.

Subcategory Items Example items
Reference maps +200 World Imagery, World Streets, ...
Creative maps +50 A Children's Map, Colored Pencil Map, ...
Vector tiles +90 Streets, Navigation, Streets (Night), ...
Component layers +80 World Transportation, Boundaries and Places, ...
Historical maps +450 World Globe 1812, United States 1862, ...

World Imagery Wayback: old basemap satellite imagery. Useful if you find undesirable color variations, or need previous versions that may align better with your GIS data, or there may be unwanted shadows or clouds (more info)


See all Imageries (+300 items).


See all Boundaries (+1180 items).


See all People (+1800 items).


See all Infrastructures (+1150 items).


See all Environments (+1300 items).


Localized resources


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