Admin Tools: Update Web Maps Service URLs to the rescue!

Recently a client of ours, who has been on ArcGIS Online for a few years now, migrated their data to a new datamodel.  This, naturally, had a cascading domino effect on all the ArcGIS Online content they had created over the years.  I relied heavily on our Admin Tools’ “Update Web Maps Service URLs” to salvage all their content.  However, along the way, I noticed a strange quirk in ArcGIS Online.  When the basemap that a web map is referencing no longer exists, and you try to open that web map, you lose all the content! ArcGIS Online, instead, brings you to a brand new web map.

<ATTENTION>— If this happens to you, whatever you do, DO NOT hit save.  Slowly back away and everything will be cool.—<ATTENTION>

This wouldn’t be so bad if you were only referencing data from your online services, but this web map had embedded Map Notes that needed to be preserved.  Admin Tools – Update Web Maps Service URLs to the rescue! Since I knew that I needed to replace the basemap URL I went into ArcGIS Online and copied the URL for a working basemap.  I chose the Esri World Imagery. (

To salvage this web map I opened Admin Tools and opened the “Browse Item Tools” under the Quick Links section.

Home Page

I then opened the “Update Web Maps Service URLs” under the Update section

Update Web Map Service URLs

and added some queries to locate the map I was looking for and simply selected that map and hit Next.

Update Web Map Service URLs Tool

This brought up the page where you actually change the URLs.  I located the URL I needed to change in the list and copied in the Esri World Imagery basemap I had copied earlier and hit Next.

Update Web Map Service URLs Tool 2


Went back into ArcGIS Online to open the map that was broken, and everything came in as it should!

Hope this helps anyone else who runs into that problem.

Nick Lawalin

Solutions Engineer

Nick Lawalin is a Solution Engineer for GEO Jobe. Follow him on twitter: @nicklawalin

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