I have forms and reports in an MS Access front-end that reference tables in an Oracle ESRI.ST_GEOMETRY back end. The forms allow users to tabularly navigate through construction project attributes in a more intuitive way than can be done in ArcGIS Desktop. The forms and reports have hyperlinks that open a popup form that contains project details. Among other things, I would like the popups to contain a map of the project.

Sure, I could embed or link to a Google map or Bing map, but this would only show the general location. I would like the map to contain several GIS layers, such as road centerline, road right-of-way, sewers, sidewalks, bridges, etc. This is where an embedded GIS map would work well.

The common link could be the project number in the record in the form, and a project number in a polygon layer in the database.

Is it possible to embed some sort of Esri-based map (desktop, web, or otherwise) into an MS Access report or form? Or as a Plan B, somehow hyperlink to an Esri map?

  • 2
    Maybe look at Esri Maps for Office and embed the excel or powerpoint map somehow?
    – Midavalo
    Feb 17, 2017 at 3:30
  • This is an interesting idea, but I haven't come up with a way to do it.
    – User1974
    Feb 18, 2017 at 15:27
  • 1
    Similar to this question with several links to possible answers : gis.stackexchange.com/questions/26467/…
    – AnserGIS
    Feb 24, 2017 at 8:06

2 Answers 2


The thing to do these days would probably be to link to a map on ArcGIS Online. You could do this by providing a hyperlink to the Webmap viewer, https://www.arcgis.com/home/webmap/viewer.html?... It should be possible to pass parameters to set the center and scale of the map in the URL, see the documentation for more details.

A variation could be to embed a Web Control on your Access form, and open the same ArcGIS Online page in that control.

If you prefer a more traditional approach, or if you do not want to share your data on AGOL, you could use the map control provided with ArcGIS Engine. This is very similar to the map used in ArcMap.

Alternatively, use the SharpMap control to do the same thing. EDIT: I'm not quite sure if this can work, because it's a .NET control.

If you want to add a map to a report, you will problably have to export the map as an image, and embed it.

  • Thanks for your answer. I'm looking into the options. Have you ever tried making a PDF map book from Data Driven Pages, and then linking to a specific page in that pdf with VBA? stackoverflow.com/questions/6361706/… It has the potential to be a wonderfully simple solution (in theory).
    – User1974
    Feb 23, 2017 at 13:14

Data driven pages is a straight forward approach. It allows you to easily generate many custom maps with an index like you already have, project number. Make a single pdf per project, name the files like "projectNumber.pdf" (this is an option in the tool) and link to the files by project number. If you make one giant pdf and jump to the page number that's heavy on data transfer should a user only require one page.

You can also export the maps as an image rather than pdf. That may or may not be better to integrate into your application.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.