Map the highest mountains

Open and save a map

First, you'll create a map, choose a basemap, and save the map.

  1. Sign in to your ArcGIS organizational account or into ArcGIS Enterprise using a named user account.

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

  2. On the ribbon, click Map.

    A new map appears. It uses your organization's default basemap.


    Whether you are working in ArcGIS Online or in ArcGIS Enterprise, the experience should be similar. However, the account credentials will be different and the portal will be your organizations, not ArcGIS Online.

  3. In the About pane, click Content.

    In the Contents pane, the name of the basemap is shown. For most organizations, the default basemap is Topographic.

  4. On the ribbon, click Basemap and choose Charted Territory Map.

    Charted Territory Map basemap

    The basemap changes to Charted Territory on the map and in the Contents pane.

    Charted Territory Map basemap on the map

    Before you continue, you'll save the map.

  5. On the ribbon, click Save and choose Save As.

    Save As option

  6. In the Save Map window, for Title, type Map the highest mountains and add your initials.
  7. For Tags, type Elevation, Peaks, Himalayas and press Enter.
  8. For Summary, type Information about the highest mountains in the world.

    Save Map window

  9. Click Save Map.

    The map is saved to your ArcGIS Online account.

Add mountain data to the map

You've created a map, but other than the basemap, it has no data. Next, you'll create a text file with data about five of the highest mountains in the world. Then, you'll add the file to the map as a layer that shows the locations of the mountains.

You can add a layer to a map from data saved in a comma-separated values (CSV) format text file (.csv or .txt). A CSV format file has a row of data for each item with a comma between each value. The first row in the file contains the field names, which describe the type of data in the file. For instance, the first row of your text file will contain the lat, lon, name, range, elev_ft, thumb_url, and photo_credit fields.

The fields are described as follows:

  • The lat field contains the latitude of the mountain.
  • The lon field contains the longitude of the mountain.
  • The name field contains the name of the mountain.
  • The range field contains the parent range of the mountain.
  • The elev_ft field contains the elevation of the mountain in feet.
  • The thumb_url field includes a URL to an image of the mountain.
  • The photo_credit field includes a URL to the source of the image of the mountain.

To appear on a map, text file must include location data. In your text file, the first two fields contain the latitude (which describes the location north and south on the globe) and longitude (which describes the location east and west on the globe) of each mountain. The other items provide details about the mountain that aren't necessary for mapping the mountain but can be useful in other ways.

After the first row, which contains the field names, all subsequent rows contain information about a mountain. For instance, the row for Mount Everest contains the following information:


The first number, 27.9879, is the latitude of the mountain, and the second number, 86.9250, is the longitude. The remaining information, separated by commas, corresponds to the field names. Your text file will contain six rows: one for the field names and five for the five mountain you'll map.

  1. Copy the following data into an application where it can be saved as a .txt or .csv file, such as Notepad, Notepad++, Microsoft Excel, or a similar program:
    35.8825,76.513333, K2Qogir,Karakoram,28251,, 

    If you use Microsoft Excel, you may need to use the Text to Columns tool to separate the rows into columns.

  2. Save the file on your computer with the name mountains.txt.

    Next, you'll add the file to your map.

  3. On your map, on the ribbon, click Add and choose Add Layer from File.

    Add Layer from File option

  4. In the Add Layer from File window, click Choose File.

    Choose File button

  5. Browse to the location where you saved mountains.txt and double-click it.
  6. Click Import Layer.

    A new layer with default symbols is added to the map. The Change Style pane appears.

    The map's extent changes to show the new layer and its features. The mountain features are drawn with small round symbols of different colors by default.

    Mountains on the map with default symbology

    You may need to zoom in to see all five symbols because four are located close together in Nepal.

    Four mountains close together in Nepal

    Next, you'll change the symbols to better represent the mountains. Symbols in the shape of triangles are more appropriate.

  7. In the Change Style pane, for Choose an attribute to show, choose Show location only.

    Show location only option

  8. For Select a drawing style, confirm that Location (Single symbol) is selected. Click Options.

    Options button

  9. In the Change Style pane, click Symbols.

    Symbols button

  10. In the Symbols window, confirm that Shape is chosen.
  11. For Shapes, choose the Points of Interest symbol set.

    Points of Interest symbol set

  12. For Symbol, choose the black triangle. For Symbol Size, change the value to 30 px.

    Parameters for the black triangle symbol

  13. Click OK.

    The symbols on the map change to black triangles.

  14. In the Change Style pane, click OK. Click Done.

    Mountains with black triangle symbols

  15. On the ribbon, click Save and choose Save to save the map.

Configure custom pop-ups

Next, you'll configure pop-ups to display a sentence that identifies the name of the mountain, the mountain range it's in, and its elevation. First, you'll look at the default pop-up and see how it can be improved.

  1. On the map, click a mountain feature.

    The feature's pop-up appears.

    Default pop-up

    The pop-up shows the attribute values for each mountain based on the information in the original text file. Attributes provide information about a map feature. Currently, the pop-up displays the attributes as a list and only provides a URL to the image of the mountain. First, you'll configure the pop-up to display important attributes as part of a single sentence. Later, you'll also display the picture of the mountain in the pop-up instead of only providing a link.

  2. Close the pop-up.
  3. In the Contents pane, point to the mountains layer and click More Options. Choose Configure Pop-up.

    Configure Pop-up option

    The Configure Pop-up pane appears.

  4. Under Pop-up Contents, for Display, choose A custom attribute display.
  5. Click Configure.

    Configure button

    The Custom Attribute Display window appears. You'll use the text editor in this window to create a sentence that will appear in the pop-up. Your pop-up can also include attribute information that changes depending on which mountain feature is clicked. You'll create the following sentence:

    {name} is located in the {range} range and has an elevation of {elev_ft} feet.

    In this sentence, the words in braces, such as name, range, and elev_ft, refer to attribute information.

  6. In the Custom Attribute Display window, click the Add field name button and choose name {name}.

    Add name field

    The name field is added to the text editor.

  7. In the text editor, after {name}, add a space and type is located in the range.

    Text added to the text editor

  8. Add a space. Click the Add field name button and click range {range}.

    The range field is added to the text editor.

    Range field added to the text editor

  9. Add a space and type and has an elevation of.
  10. Add a space. Click the Add field name button and choose elev_ft {elev_ft}.

    Text and elev_ft field added to the text editor

  11. Add a space and type feet.

    The text is complete.

    Completed sentence

  12. Click OK. In the Configure Pop-up pane, click OK.
  13. On the map, click a mountain feature.

    Configured pop-up

    The sentence you created is displayed, with the fields replaced by the specific values for the mountain you clicked.

  14. Close the pop-up. Save the map.

Configure images of the mountains

Next, you'll configure the pop-up to show a photo of each mountain and its photo credit.

  1. In the Contents pane, point to the mountains layer, click More Options, and choose Configure Pop-up.

    You'll add an image to the existing pop-up.

  2. In the Configure Pop-up pane, under Pop-up Media, click Add and choose Image.

    Image option

    The Image window appears. Your photo does not need a title, so you'll delete the default text.

  3. In the Configure Image window, for Title, delete the default title so the box is empty.

    Next, you'll configure the URL so the small (thumbnail) image appears in the pop-up. You'll add a link to the image, so that when the small image is clicked, a larger image appears.

  4. For URL, click the Add field name or expression button and choose thumb_url {thumb_url}.
  5. For Link (optional), click the Add field name or expression button and choose thumb_url {thumb_url}.

    Configure Image window

  6. Click OK.

    You'll also add a link to the photo credit. You'll add this link to the sentence you configured previously.

  7. In the Configure Pop-up pane, for Pop-up Contents, click Configure.

    The Custom Attribute Display window appears. It shows the sentence that you configured in the previous section.

  8. In the text editor, place the pointer at the end of the existing text and press Enter twice.
  9. Type Photo Credit.

    Photo Credit text added to text editor

  10. Select the Photo Credit text to highlight it.
  11. Click the Link button.

    Link button

    The Link window appears. The Text field includes the Photo Credit text. You'll fill in the URL field with the name of the field that includes the URL for the credit.

  12. In the Link window, for URL, type {photo_credit}.

    Link window

  13. Click Update.

    The Photo Credit text turns blue and becomes underlined, indicating the link is active.

  14. Click OK. In the Configure Pop-up pane, click OK.

    Your pop-up is configured. Now, you'll see how it looks.

  15. On the map, click a mountain feature to see its pop-up.

    Completed pop-up

  16. Click the image.

    The full size image appears in a new browser tab.

  17. Close the full size image. In the pop-up, click the Photo Credit link.

    The source of the image appears in a new browser tab.

  18. Close the image source and the pop-up. Save the map.

In this lesson, you saved data about mountains as a text file. Then, you added the file to ArcGIS Online to create a layer in a map locating each mountain. You configured custom pop-ups for the layer to display information about the mountain's name, range, and elevation. You also added a photo and a photo source link to each pop-up.

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