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FAQ: Is it possible to remove basemap labels in ArcGIS Online?

Question

Is it possible to remove basemap labels in ArcGIS Online?

Answer

No, it is not possible to remove or modify basemap labels as they are part of the imagery. However, it is possible to use a basemap with less labels or customize a vector basemap to meet the desired specification. Choose one of the workarounds below, depending on the need, to have a basemap with minimal or no labels in ArcGIS Online.


Use a base basemap
A base basemap has minimal or no labels compared to the default basemap or most basemap selections. To use a base basemap:
  1. In ArcGIS Online, click Add > Browse Living Atlas Layers.
  2. In the search bar, type base or minimal basemap to search for a base basemap.
  3. Browse for a base basemap and click the desired one to open the basemap information window.
  4. Select Use as Basemap. For more information, refer to ArcGIS Blog: ArcGIS Online - Using basemaps without reference layers.

    Type 'base' to search for base basemaps.

Create a blank basemap in ArcGIS Online
If a blank basemap is preferred, create a blank basemap and add it to the basemap gallery according to the steps outlined in How To: Create a blank basemap for ArcGIS Online.


Customize Esri Vector Basemaps by modifying the JSON code
A vector basemap is customizable and the properties of the Esri basemap can be changed. This method requires users to download, validate the code using an online app such as JSON Lint, edit labels in a text editor or a code editor, and update the basemap using the modified JSON code. Below are the resources for steps to modify the JSON code:
Customize the ArcGIS Vector Tile Style Editor (Beta) app
The ArcGIS Vector Tile Style Editor (Beta) app is a user-friendly alternative to customize Esri Vector Basemaps. However, as of January 2019, this editing app is still in beta release. Minor changes may be expected when the app is officially released. For additional information, refer to ArcGIS Blog: Design custom basemaps with the new ArcGIS Vector Tile Style Editor.

The ArcGIS Vector Tile Style Editor (Beta) app contains multiple selections of base basemaps. To use a base basemap in this app:
  1. From the ArcGIS Vector Tile Style Editor (Beta) app page, click View Application.

    This is the ArcGIS Vector Tile Style Editor app page.
     
  2. In the Select a style to start editing window, select the Base tab.
  3. Select the desired base basemap and click Select Style.

    This is selections of the base basemap.
     
  4. Customize the properties (appearance, position, and visibility) as needed.

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