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Best practices for sharing

The web has had an impact on how we obtain information, connect with others, and accomplish our daily work. GIS has also been transformed by the web—it’s now easier to access content, create diverse maps and apps, and share results. But the web has also added new challenges for verifying what is authoritative and relevant. You have a compelling set of maps, layers, scenes, analytics, and layers. How do you make sure your content stands out?

Below are some best practices for making sure your content stands out as authoritative and compelling.

Relevant information

Relevant information is a key component of a great map or app. Whether topical, general interest, operational, or a showcase, great shared items convey useful information in an attractive and usable format. Some examples include an imagery map of a current environmental disaster, a layer showing county-level federal spending on health care, and a JavaScript routing sample that includes a code attachment.

Attractive thumbnail image

A beautiful thumbnail image will help your item stand out in a list of search results. Check the image that the website adds by default. If it doesn't seem inspiring or accurate, replace it with your own. The best-looking images fit into the thumbnail space (200 pixels by 133 pixels) without having to be resized. Be sure to use a format supported by web browsers: PNG, GIF, or JPEG.

Informative item details

Aim to be clear and specific in describing your item details. Spend some time coming up with an informative title, summary, description, and tags so others understand the purpose of your content. Be sure to include accurate access and use constraints, credits, and spatial extent. Finally, be sure to respond to any comments somebody adds about your item. You might even proactively add comments to promote a specific feature of your map or app. For example, you could encourage users to check out a new aerial image you've just added to your map.

Descriptive profile

Take advantage of your profile to establish your authority in geographic information, map design, app development, and so on. Useful descriptive information includes your first and last name, the organization you belong to, contact information, and your areas of expertise and interests. Adding an image that represents you or your organization will help personalize your description.

Usable sharing properties

Before you share your item, consider your sharing privileges and the security settings of your organization. Then consider the format and your audience. Do you want to share a map, an app, embed a map in your website, add a file to a group? For example, if you want to share data with your constituents who probably don't have ArcGIS Desktop but do have access to the Internet, you could publish your data as a web layer, create a story map, and embed the app in your website. If you need to share service definitions with other map makers in your organization, you could create a group, package the data in a file, and share the file to that group. Regardless of the format or audience, be sure all the resources in your item have the correct sharing properties. For example, if you want to share a gallery app with everyone, be sure the group, all the items in the group, and the app are public.