College of Agriculture and Natural Resources
Center for Land Use Education and Research

Map Services

A map service is published geographic data that is coming from a server. It is in a format so that others can connect to it, or "consume" it in different software. In this case, we use a fancy software called ArcGIS Server on a server computer to create our map services. We then consume them in an online mapping website called ArcGIS Online and then embed those maps in this website. If you know a thing or two about GIS or want to learn, then connecting to the map services is a way to create and customize a map without downloading actual files (like from our download data page). This saves you hassle and disc space.

Putting your data with our data and maybe other peoples data is called a mashup and is a powerful way to quickly make useful and informational maps.

REST Endpoint for these Map Services

is If you know what to do from here, go for it. If not, keep reading.

Connecting to a SINGLE Map Service in ArcGIS Online or ArcMap

The easiest way to do this is to follow the REST endpoint link, then select the map service you are interested in and click on it. Along the top of the page is the View In: option and it includes ArcMap, Google Earth and Map. Click on either of these to open the map service. ArcMap is a desktop GIS that is not free. If you don't know what it is, you probably don't have it and you should choose ArcGIS Online (or is a mapping website, created by Esri where you can make your own map mashups. It is free for "home" or personal use.

Add MULTIPLE Map Services to a single ArcGIS Online Map

If you have used ArcGIS Online before, go to the site, sign in and open a map.

If you have not used it before, click here to go to a new map inside the ArcGIS Online Map Viewer. Now or in the future, you may want to create a free account so you can save your map for later. Click here to create a new personal account.

Once you are in the ArcGIS Online Map Viewer, click Add, choose Search for Layers. Leave Find: blank, choose In: A GIS Server and under URL: type Add the Map Services from the list.

If you want to learn more about ArcGIS Online, consider watching the CLEAR webinar or sign up for a day-long, hands-on training.

Add MULTIPLE Map Services to a single ArcMap Document

In your ArcMap document, choose Add Data and scroll down to GIS Servers.

Click Add GIS Server. Choose Use GIS Services. Under Internet, type A new entry should appear under GIS Servers called arcgis on Double-click on it, then double-click on landcover. Click on any of the map services and click on Add.

Still confused?

Maybe you landed in the wrong section. Head back to the Land Cover, Riparian or Impervious Cover Maps. Or send us an email so we can help: and mention this page.