Create an app

Sign in and create a web app

You'll start by signing in and opening the Predominant Generations in the United States web map you explored. The map is publicly available from Living Atlas of the World, but you must be signed in to ArcGIS Online to create an app.

  1. Sign in to your ArcGIS organizational account.

    If you don't have an organizational account, you can sign up for an ArcGIS free trial.

  2. On the ribbon, click the Map tab.

    Depending on your organizational and user settings, you may have opened Map Viewer Classic. ArcGIS Online offers two map viewers for viewing, using, and creating maps. For more information on the map viewers available and which to use, please see this FAQ.

    This lesson uses Map Viewer.

  3. If necessary, in the pop-up window, click Open in new Map Viewer or on the ribbon, click Open in new Map Viewer.

    Map Viewer opens.

  4. On the Contents (dark) toolbar, click the Save and open button and choose Open map.
  5. In the Open map pane, change My Content to Living Atlas.
  6. In the search box, type predominant generations and press Enter.

    You can also search by the map ID value: 866f3ab5307240d49f62ba95c2f452ca.

  7. Click the Open map button for the Predominant Generations web map by esri_demographics.

    Search results for Living Atlas maps with Open map button

    This web map highlights the predominant generations that comprise the population of the United States. The predominant generation is the generation with the highest population compared to the other generations in a given area.


    Demographic data is updated periodically, so the data values you see may differ from those specified in the lesson.

    In another lesson, you visually analyzed this map to compare the three location options for launching luxury travel services to baby boomers. Now you are ready to make a formal proposal to your business partners by creating a web app from the map to support your recommendations. You want to present the Predominant Generations in the United States map to your business partners and share your impressions of the three potential locations you analyzed. You also want to encourage your partners to explore the map themselves to determine whether their impressions match yours.

    Map-based apps provide a simplified interface that allows you to share a story or message in a focused way and allows others to explore the map with a specific purpose in mind. You'll create your map-based app using one of the app templates that are included with ArcGIS Instant Apps.

  8. On the Contents toolbar, click the Create app button and choose Instant Apps.

    Create app menu with Instant Apps chosen

    The Instant Apps gallery page that opens provides information and guidance to help you choose an appropriate app template. When browsing the available apps, you can click the button next to each name for more information. Instant Apps checks the data and configuration of your map. If your map doesn't meet the requirements for an app, it's moved to the bottom of the gallery and a warning message appears on the thumbnail to inform you. You can also search the apps for a particular capability or tool.

    You want the map to be the primary focus of your app because it's the basis of your recommendation to your business partners. You want the app to include the legend, bookmarks, and pop-ups that were configured for the map, while maximizing the screen real estate dedicated to the map.

  9. In the search box, type bookmarks and click the suggestion that appears.

    The gallery is now filtered to show only the apps that support bookmarks. Media Map is a good choice.

  10. On the Media Map card, click Choose.

    Click Preview to try an app before creating it. If the default settings meet your needs, you can publish it as is. If you want to make changes, you can configure the app and customize it before publishing.

  11. In the Create App window, for the title, type Predominant Generations in the United States. Accept the default tags and folder and click Create App.
  12. If necessary, review and close the welcome window.

    The app is created based on the template you chose. The app configuration window provides several app settings and an interactive preview of your app, including options to view how the app will appear on a mobile device.

Configure the app

Next, you'll specify the tools your app should include. You want to keep it simple and give your business partners only the tools they'll need to analyze the locations of interest, so you'll include the map's bookmarks and a splash screen.

When configuring the app, you can use the default Express setup mode, which offers a subset of the configurable options to facilitate creating an app with the most essential settings. Or you can turn off Express to access additional options and configure all the settings available for the template. If the default settings are acceptable for your use case, you don't need to go through each step in the setup.

  1. In the Express panel, click Step 3. Interactivity.

    The Interactivity settings include tools for exploring the map. You'll provide access to the spatial bookmarks saved with the map.

  2. Turn on Bookmarks.

    The app preview updates to include a new button to access the bookmarks for cities where you have agencies. The app automatically saves as noted next to the Draft badge that appears in the configuration panel. You can test the app as you configure it.

    Next, you'll configure a splash screen to record your impressions of the map instead of making your recommendations in the email to your business partners. The splash screen will appear when they open the app and will include a button they can use to close the splash screen and explore the map themselves.

    You'll search the settings to find where to configure this in the app.

  3. In the vertical toolbar, click Search settings, type splash, and click Introduction panel in the suggestions.

    Search settings results for splash keyword

  4. When prompted to turn off express mode, click Continue.

    The configuration panel updates to include all settings available for the app. The About settings panel opens to the App details section with a blue box on the Introduction panel setting.

  5. Turn on Introduction panel.

    Additional options appear and the preview updates with a splash window that includes the map details. You'll modify the default content to share your impressions of the location options and your proposal.

  6. For Introduction panel title, type Where are the Baby Boomers?
  7. For Introduction panel content, click Edit. Copy and paste the following paragraphs:

    This map highlights the predominant generations that make up the population of the United States. As the legend shows, each generation is represented by a different colored symbol. The baby boomer generation, which is our target market, is purple. The millennial generation is teal. The color of a symbol on the map reflects the predominant generation in that area.

    Use the Bookmarks tool to zoom to cities where we have agencies. Here are my impressions:

    • The Los Angeles area has a predominance of millennials over baby boomers and a relatively low population of baby boomers in areas near our travel agency.
    • Washington, D.C. has a predominance of millennials near the agency, but the baby boomer populations are higher in these areas than in areas near our Los Angeles agency. Washington, D.C. is a better candidate for marketing luxury travel services to baby boomers.
    • Most of Chicago has a predominance of millennials, but there are several predominantly baby boomer areas in Near North Side close to our agency. The total number of baby boomers in Near North Side is significant.

    Proposal: I recommend that we launch our luxury travel services in the Chicago agency due to the predominance and significant populations of baby boomers in the surrounding areas.

    Explore the map and let me know your impressions.

  8. Click OK.
  9. For Introduction panel button text, type Explore the map.

    Your splash screen content refers to the legend, so you'll choose a legend style for the app.

  10. Click Back. In the About settings, click Location details.
  11. Verify that the Legend setting is turned on. For Legend style and Layout option, experiment to find a legend style that works best in the app preview.

    On the vertical toolbar, click the Theme & Layout button and click Position Manager to move the tools to a different position in the app.

  12. Click Publish and click Confirm.

    A success message appears when publishing is completed and the Draft badge changes to a Published badge with the date and time you published. The Share window appears, which includes a link to the app.

  13. Click Launch to open your app in a new window.
  14. Test your app. For example, review and test your introduction panel. Click features on the map to display pop-ups. Zoom and pan the map, use the Bookmarks tool to zoom to the locations of interest, and click the Default map view button to return to the default extent of the map.

    Preview of the app with bookmarks open

    Now that you've configured and tested your app, you're ready to share it with your business partners. You'll also fill in a few details on the item page.

  15. Close the web app window and return to the app configuration.
  16. Close the Share window. Click Exit. When prompted, confirm that you want to exit.

    The app's item page appears where you can change the share status and add additional details.

Edit the item details

The title and tags are already completed from when you first created the app. You'll add more information, such as a description and terms of use.


You can use the Item Information bar to help you provide complete information for your app. The Item Information bar shows your progress toward providing high-quality information, and also indicates the most important improvement you can make.

  1. Click Add a brief summary about the item, copy and paste the following summary text, and click Save:

    This app highlights the predominant generations that make up the population of the United States. The map forms the basis of an analysis of travel agency locations to determine the best one for launching luxury travel services to baby boomers.

  2. For Description, copy and paste the following text, and click Save:

    This app highlights the predominant generations that make up the population of the United States, using country to block group geographies that vary according to zoom level. The map, which was featured in Esri's Living Atlas gallery, forms the basis of an analysis of travel agency locations to determine the best one for launching luxury travel services to baby boomers. Use the Bookmarks tool to see the predominant generations in the census tract areas in and around Los Angeles, Chicago, and Washington, D.C. Click individual census tracts on the map to see pop-up information, including the population of each generation in a given census tract.

    This app was created for instructional purposes only and should not be used as an authoritative resource.

  3. For Terms of Use, click Edit, copy and paste the following text, and click Save:

    This app was created for instructional purposes using a publicly available web map featured in ArcGIS Living Atlas of the World.

  4. For Credits (Attribution), click Edit, type Esri, Living Atlas, and click Save.

    You've finished configuring your app and updating the item details. Now you can share it and send your business partners an email with a link to your app.

  5. Click Share. In the Share window, for Set sharing level, choose Everyone (public) and click Save.
  6. Under URL, click the Copy button to copy the app's URL to your computer's clipboard. Paste the URL into an email.

    URL setting with a green box surrounding the Copy button

After only 15 minutes working in ArcGIS Online, you've created and configured an app to present your findings and recommendations to your business partners. What's next?

Explore ArcGIS Online on your own and discover what else is possible. A few ideas are as follows:

You can find more lessons in the Learn ArcGIS Lesson Gallery.