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Frequently asked questions

Listed below are common questions about ArcGIS Online. If you encounter an issue when working with ArcGIS Online, see Troubleshoot for recommended solutions.

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What is ArcGIS Online?

ArcGIS Online is a collaborative web GIS that allows you to use, create, and share maps, scenes, apps, layers, analytics, and data. You get access to content in Living Atlas of the World, apps, and cloud infrastructure where you can add items, publish web layers, and create maps, apps, and scenes. ArcGIS Online can be used as an integral part of the ArcGIS system, extending the capabilities of ArcGIS Desktop, ArcGIS Enterprise, ArcGIS Web APIs, and ArcGIS Runtime SDKs. It can also be used as a stand-alone Web GIS.

Does ArcGIS Online require a subscription?

Yes. To access all the capabilities of ArcGIS Online, your organization needs to purchase an annual subscription. Free trials can be used to test the full functionality before you buy it.

ArcGIS Online is based on an annual subscription that offers a set of plans from which you can choose. Each plan includes a number of members and credits. Credits are the currency for ArcGIS Online and are consumed when using certain functions, such as spatial analysis, routing, or geocoding. How you use ArcGIS Online determines the number of service credits you consume.

The remaining number of credits and members is based on the subscription your organization has purchased. Additional members and service credits are available as add-on features of any subscription plan. If you are in the United States, you can add additional members and credits by upgrading your subscription online, by calling 1-800-447-9778, or by contacting your local Esri office. If you are outside the United States, contact your local Esri office.

Can I use ArcGIS Online free?

Yes, if it is for noncommercial use. With a free public account, you can create, store, and manage maps, scenes, layers, and apps, and share them with others. You also get access to content shared by Esri and GIS users around the world.

Can I transfer my data directly from one organization to another?

No. Content published to ArcGIS Online is hosted in a specific organization and cannot be moved to another ArcGIS Online organization. Most content can be downloaded from an originating organization and uploaded and published in another organization. The following exceptions apply:

  • If you have a trial organization, the organization and content can be migrated to a purchased organization.
  • At the end of a trial period, accounts can be converted to public accounts, with any data that is supported in public accounts. Any hosted feature or tile layers you published during the trial are lost when you convert to a public account.
  • If you join an organization with an existing public account, content (web maps and apps) will be migrated into the organization.
  • Distributed collaboration provides the ability to copy content between ArcGIS Enterprise 10.6 base installations and ArcGIS Online organizations that are participating in the Enterprise to Online Collaboration early adopter program.

How much does it cost to use ArcGIS Online?

ArcGIS Online is based on an annual subscription that offers a set of plans from which you can choose. Each plan includes a number of named users and service credits. Service credits are used in exchange for premium hosted services such as storage of hosted web layers, performing analytics, and using demographic maps.

When should my organization consider using a premium feature data store?

By default, an organization has a standard feature data store. This meets the needs of most organizations performing common workflows.

With a standard feature data store, you share database resources such as memory, CPU, and input/output (I/O) equitably with other organizations. Database performance may fluctuate within limits based on load from other organizations. For improved performance under load for intensive query and editing workloads, Esri offers premium feature data store options that provide dedicated database resources for your organization. With a premium feature data store, your organization gets dedicated database resources. A premium feature data store ensures consistent and guaranteed database performance.

ArcGIS Online also supports tile layers (raster, vector, and scene) as a way to offload direct demand against features for a variety of visualization applications. These tile layers can be generated in ArcGIS Online or externally generated and uploaded using ArcGIS Pro. Your need for a premium feature data store may be reduced depending on the extent to which you leverage tiles in your workflows and applications.

Your organization should consider a premium hosted feature data store when you expect to perform the following workflows either temporarily or routinely:

  • Operations that demand heavy query, editing, or read/write workloads directly against features by many people, inside or outside the organization. Examples include heavy concurrent data exploration via smart mapping, heavy concurrent editing of features, heavy concurrent publishing of hosted feature layers, and heavy concurrent spatial analysis with lots of features being read from and written to the hosted feature data store.
  • Sharing feature layer data as copies between ArcGIS Enterprise 10.6 portals and ArcGIS Online organizations with large initial or subsequent transfers of data.

Premium feature data stores are available in three levels of performance: M1 (improved performance), M2 (higher performance), and M3 (highest performance).

Your organization can take advantage of the ArcGIS Online software-as-a-service (SaaS) platform by upgrading your feature data store for only the time periods for which you expect increased demand.

Premium feature data store costs are fixed per month as compared to the variable, storage-based costs of a standard feature data store.

Organizations using a premium feature data store do not consume any additional credits for feature storage. Credits are still consumed for other consumption-based activities such as generating and storing tiles and performing analytics.

Contact Customer Service or your account manager for pricing, performance information, and availability.

What is the difference between an ArcGIS account and an Esri Account?

An ArcGIS account gives you access to ArcGIS. It can be a public account or an organizational account. To access Esri web resources, such as My Esri and Geonet, an ArcGIS account with Esri access enabled, also called an Esri Account, is required. If your ArcGIS account is a public account, it is automatically enabled to have access to Esri web resources. If your ArcGIS account is an organizational account, your administrator can give you access to Esri web resources by enabling Esri access for your account.

How secure is ArcGIS Online?

ArcGIS Online secures all access to your information. Information is accessible to only those users with whom it has been shared. User identity is established through a login process that always takes place over HTTPS. Subsequent access to information requires authentication tokens acquired at sign in. Organizations can select an all-HTTPS solution that supports maximum security and ensures that all data (for example, features and tiles) as well as authentication tokens are encrypted during transport over the Internet. Trust ArcGIS is an informative website with in-depth security information for ArcGIS Online and all Esriproducts.

Why should my organization use HTTPS only?

Encrypting sensitive information is the primary reason to use HTTPS. HTTPS uses Transport Layer Security (TLS) or Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) encryption protocols that provide secure communication across networks. The ArcGIS platform uses TLS, which is a more recent and secure encryption protocol than SSL. ArcGIS Online still supports SSL, and you will often see SSL and TLS used interchangeably in documentation. When you send information over the Internet using HTTPS in your URL address, only the intended recipient can understand the information. This encryption is important because the information you send over the Internet is usually passed between many computers before it gets to the destination server. Any computer between you and the server can see sensitive information, such as passwords, if the information is not encrypted with a valid TLS or SSL certificate. When a valid TLS or SSL certificate is used, the information becomes unreadable to everyone except the server where you are sending the information. This protects it from malicious activity such as identity theft.

It is recommended that you enable your ArcGIS Online organization to only allow access to the organization through HTTPS and that you also enable TLS on all your on-premises services. When you add layers to maps or add layers as items, it is recommended that you use HTTPS URLs. HTTPS helps protect your data and also mitigates mixed content issues with browsers. Many websites today can only be accessed through HTTPS. HTTPS ensures that your data and all other communication between your browser and ArcGIS Online are encrypted.

For more information on TLS, SSL, HTTPS, and Internet security, visit Trust ArcGIS. Esri created Trust ArcGIS as your resource for security, privacy, and compliance information about the ArcGIS platform. Trust ArcGIS provides information about product security, security alerts, security compliance, best security practices for your organization, and more.

How can I update layers in my web map to use HTTPS?

As the owner or administrator of a web map, you can update all layers in the web map to use HTTPS from the Settings tab of the map's item page. It is recommended that you access all layers using HTTPS, which encrypts the information in the layer when it's transmitted over the Internet. When you update the layers in your map to use HTTPS, ArcGIS Online inspects each layer in the map to determine whether it needs to be updated to HTTPS. If any layers are found to use HTTP, ArcGIS Online attempts to make a request to the same layer using HTTPS and updates the map and any associated layer items you own or administer. If a layer does not support HTTPS, you are notified of this fact and the layer is not updated in the map. If you are notified that the layer does not support HTTPS, contact the owner of the layer, who can either configure the layer to support HTTPS or provide an alternative resource.

When you attempt to update layers in your map to use HTTPS, any custom symbols that use HTTP are automatically updated to use HTTPS if the source of the custom symbols supports it. Other layer customizations, such as images embedded in pop-ups, are not updated to HTTPS. To update these references to use HTTPS, open the layer (or map) in Map Viewer and update the references there.

For more information, see the following resources:

How can I update layers in a web map that reference my ArcGIS Server layers?

You can update any layers in a web map that reference your ArcGIS Server site from the Settings tab of the map's item page. Use the Update References utility to update the URL referenced by layers from a staging site to a production site, or to migrate your ArcGIS Server layers to a new domain. The utility inspects the layers in the map and presents the ArcGIS Server sites that are available to update. Layers that use the reference you select are updated to use the new site specified as the replacement. ArcGIS Online updates all ArcGIS Server layers referencing the site as well as any associated layer items you own or administer.

Note:

The layers at the specified replacement site must exactly match the existing layers. If the layers do not match, layers may not draw or perform as expected. ArcGIS Online makes a connection to the replacement site to confirm the layers are available there. If they are not available, you are notified, and the unavailable layers are not updated.

Can I back up my organization?

You can save local copies of data files you've added to your organization. From the My Content tab of the content page, open the item page for the data file you want to save and click Download. Browse to a location on your computer where you want to store the file.

If your hosted feature layer is updated frequently, you may want to periodically export the data—as a shapefile or CSV file, for example. From the My Content tab of the content page, open the item page of the hosted feature layer whose data you want to export. Click Export Data and choose the file type in which you want to store your data.

Distributed collaboration provides the ability to copy content between ArcGIS Enterprise 10.6 base installations and ArcGIS Online organizations that are participating in the Enterprise to Online Collaboration early adopter program. This workflow can be used to create scheduled backups of your data and web maps.

I need to provide my organization's subscription ID to Esri Support when reporting a problem I'm having with ArcGIS Online. Where can I find this information?

If you have privileges to view members in the organization, you can view your organization's subscription ID in the Subscription Status section of the Organization page.

How do I report data problems?

You can add notes about specific issues or errors you see through the following ArcGIS Online feedback maps: Imagery Map Feedback, Street Map Feedback, and Topographic Map Feedback. Your feedback will be reviewed by the ArcGIS Online team and considered for a future update. Data problems with other ArcGIS Online resources can be reported to Esri Support or on GeoNet.

I see inappropriate content on the website. What can I do?

To send a message to the website team about something you think is inappropriate, use the Report Abuse link at the bottom of the site. If that link is not available on your organization site, send an email to arcgisonline_feedback@esri.com with the URL to the item you think is inappropriate and a brief explanation of your concern.

What are the terms of use for maps, apps, layers, and tools I find on the website?

The specific terms of use for items are provided in the Terms of Use field on the item page for each item. There are also terms of use for the site.

How can I make my profile private?

If you do not want others to search for your user name, click your name on the top banner to open your profile and choose the No One (Private) option.

What does beta mean?

Beta components may have incomplete functionality or documentation and may undergo some minor, unannounced changes. Beta components are usually available in English only. If you have issues or are experiencing problems with any of the beta functionality, contact Esri Support or visit the Esri Community.

What does it mean when a configurable app is labeled Mature?

A configurable app is moved to mature status when an improved comparable app replaces it. When a configurable app is moved to mature status, existing apps you created with the configurable app continue to work and remain accessible to users, and you can still edit and update your apps. You can also create new apps with a mature configurable app; however, this is not recommended as Esri doesn't add new features or fix issues in mature apps. For example, mature apps are not updated to support browser changes or changes in ArcGIS that affect app functionality. Nevertheless, if you want to create an app based on a mature configurable app, you can do so by clicking the Create a Web App button on the item page of the mature app.

Who can edit features?

Anyone, including anonymous users and level 1 organization members assigned the default Viewer role, can edit features in a public feature layer if the layer is editable. To edit features in editable feature layers that are not public, you must have privileges to edit features. Feature layer edits include creating, updating, or deleting the features, as well as creating, updating, or deleting the information (attribute values) associated with the features.

When do I get email notifications related to ArcGIS Online?

  • Members of an organization—You make changes to your profile; you request a password reset or user name reminder; your administrator invites you to join the organization; your administrator disables your multifactor authentication; your password is reset; your administrator assigns you a license for one or more ArcGIS apps and opts to notify you; you have used 100 percent of your credit allocation limit; someone leaves a comment about an item you own or replies to one of your comments.
  • Administrator-specific emails—Immediately after the subscription request is processed; the subscription is renewed or upgraded; immediately before and 1 day after the subscription expires; the organization has used 75 percent and 100 percent of credits; a member has used 100 percent of their credit allocation limit; members need their multifactor authentication disabled; members who haven't set up a security question and answer attempt to reset their password.
  • Public account users—You make changes to your profile; you request a password reset or user name reminder; someone leaves a comment about an item you own or replies to one of your comments.
    Note:

    If you change the email address associated with your public account, you will receive a notification email with a link to click to confirm the change. Once you confirm the email address change, the new address will be applied to your account. If you don't confirm the change within 60 minutes of your change request, your account won't be updated.

  • Trial-specific emails—Immediately after you request to start a trial; during a trial with information on ArcGIS apps and notices when you have used 75 percent and 100 percent of service credits; 10 days, 5 days, and 1 day before the trial ends; 1 day after the trial ends.

Email notifications related to ArcGIS Online are sent from notifications@arcgis.com to either the email address in your profile or the email address your administrator entered into your invitation to join the organization. Designated administrators are notified when the organization sends an email that isn't delivered. Review common notification troubleshooting tips for additional information on why you may not be receiving these emails.

When do members see contact information for the administrator of their organization?

The name and email address of the administrator is included in the invitation to join the organization; the notification that the profile changed; requests to reset password, retrieve forgotten user name, and help with multifactor authentication; and the notifications related to reaching or exceeding the credit allocation limit. Specifying administrative contacts determines which administrators will be included in the emails.

Can I change the default styles in my map?

Yes, you can change both the type of map used to show your data (for example, color maps versus size maps) as well as the styling characteristics of those maps, such as layer transparency, symbol colors, and line weights. To change the style of your map, hover over the layer in the Contents pane and click the Change style button Change Style. You can choose either a different map type (using the Select button) or change the style of the current map (using the Options button).

Why did Esri change the authoring tools in Map Viewer?

Esri was motivated to improve the authoring experience in two ways: 1) Streamline the map authoring process by placing interface controls that are related in a single integrated styling pane, and 2) Embed cartographic expertise into ArcGIS Online so the default styling applied to your data (if no styling was previously defined) embodies best practices from the mapping sciences and not merely static (dumb) defaults.

When I use the Change Style option, why don’t I see the same choices every time?

The choices are determined by the nature of the data you are mapping. For example, you will see different styling choices if your map layer is composed of point, line, or area features. The kind of data associated with your points, lines, and areas is also considered. For example, a point feature may have only geographic coordinates (location), categorical information (such as tree species), or numerical information (such as air temperature). Not every map type can be used for every kind of data. By discerning these facts about your map layer, ArcGIS Online can present the best mapping choices.

What is the source of the Disasters, General Infrastructure, and Damage symbols?

The Disasters, General Infrastructure, and Damage symbols include humanitarian icons from the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs. Source: OCHA.

What kinds of layers can I add to a map?

For the full list, see What layers can you add?.

What is the coordinate system of the web maps in Map Viewer, and can I change it?

In Map Viewer, all layers in a web map inherit the coordinate system of the basemap. Web Mercator is the coordinate system of basemaps in the default basemap gallery. If you want to use a coordinate system other than Web Mercator for your web map, you can add your own layer as a basemap directly to the map to create a custom basemap. Alternatively, an administrator can configure your organization to use a custom basemap gallery with basemaps in a coordinate system other than Web Mercator.

What's the difference between features stored in the map and features stored in an ArcGIS Server feature service layer?

Features stored in the map come from creating a map notes layer or from an uploaded file that can only be edited by the map author. Map notes are useful when you want to provide more information associated with a particular location. You can include a pop-up with images, photos, and links to video and other useful sites. Features from feature service layers are served from ArcGIS Server and are stored in the layer that comprises a map. If the service is configured to allow editing, the features can be edited by anyone viewing the map. This is useful when you are seeking input from a broad community, including the public, and you want one map to reflect all the edits that have been made. For example, you might include a feature service layer in a map when you want citizens to report damaged property, blocked streets, graffiti, and so on.

What's the best way to add features to a map?

It depends. If you have large amounts of data and you have access to ArcGIS Server, an effective approach is to create a feature service and add it as a layer to your map. You should also add feature layers if you want others to edit the features and their attribute information. By default, your features will be editable by anybody viewing your map.

If you do not have access to ArcGIS Server, you can publish your data as a hosted feature layer and add it to a map. If you only want to add a handful of features, add a map notes layer with Map Viewer. Map Viewer provides several templates from which you can choose shapes and symbols. However, it's not practical to add large numbers of features, since you have to create each one in Map Viewer—you cannot, for example, upload a file of predefined features. These layers are read-only, so others cannot change the features or edit related attribute information.

If you have features in a delimited text file (.txt or .csv), a GPS Exchange Format file (.gpx), or a shapefile (compressed into a .zip), you can import them into your map. This is a convenient way to add features you have stored in a file on your computer. Once you've added them to your map, you can change the symbols and configure pop-ups.

How do I save an individual feature layer as an item?

To save an individual feature layer from a multilayer feature layer, complete the following steps:

  1. Open the item page of the multilayer feature layer and go to the Visualization tab.
  2. Choose the layer you want to save from the Layer drop-down menu.
  3. Click Save as new layer to save a copy of the layer as a new item in My Content.
  4. Type a title, tags, and a summary, and optionally choose a different folder to save the layer.
  5. Select to create the new item with Just the current layer and click Save.

Can I add Living Atlas analysis layers to a group that contains my own analysis layers?

Yes. To add a Living Atlas analysis layer to your group, complete the following steps:

  1. Search for the group Living Atlas Analysis Layers.
  2. Toggle off the Only search in <name of your organization> option.
  3. Open the Living Atlas Analysis Layers group and find the layer you want to add.
  4. Open the item page of the layer, click Share, and check the box next to the group with which you want to share the layer.

How can I tell if a map is time enabled?

If you see a time slider at the bottom of a map, that map includes one or more temporal layers, and you can play the map to see how the information changes over time.

What's the difference between Save and Save As?

Save updates an existing map you own. Save As creates a copy of the map, and you see the original Save Map window where you can update the title, tags, and so on. You can save a copy of any map that is not owned by you; you cannot update an existing one you do not own.

What is the difference between building a map with ArcGIS API for JavaScript and Map Viewer?

ArcGIS API for JavaScript and Map Viewer are intended for building maps.

Maps created with Map Viewer are targeted to a nondeveloper web audience since no programming is required, but the capabilities are limited.

ArcGIS API for JavaScript, on the other hand, is intended for developers who want to build web apps. These apps can be created inside or outside the ArcGIS Online website, shared with ArcGIS Online, and viewed inside or outside the website. ArcGIS API for JavaScript is designed to maximize your productivity for building engaging and beautiful web mapping apps. The API combines modern web technology and powerful geospatial capabilities, enabling you to create high-performing apps and smarter visualizations of your data.

What is a scene?

A scene is a 3D representation of a collection of layers, styles, and configurations that allow you to share symbolized 2D and 3D geospatial content with others over the Internet. You can create 3D scenes through ArcGIS Pro or Scene Viewer in ArcGIS Online.

What is Scene Viewer?

Scene Viewer is an app built into the ArcGIS Online website for creating and interacting with 3D scenes. Scene Viewer works with desktop web browsers that support WebGL, a web technology standard built into most modern browsers for rendering 3D graphics.

How do I open a scene?

You can view scenes in ArcGIS Online with Scene Viewer or sign in and create scenes. You can also open scenes in ArcGIS Pro.

How do I create a scene?

You can sign in to ArcGIS Online to create a scene with Scene Viewer, or you can use ArcGIS Pro to create and share a scene.

What's the difference between a scene and a map?

A scene is similar to a map in that they are a mashup of data layers you can view in a browser. Scenes are different from maps because, unlike maps, scenes display 3D data and allow 3D navigation in any direction and angle.

Do I need ArcGIS Pro to create a scene?

No. You can create scenes by mashing up layers shared with you in ArcGIS Online using Scene Viewer.

How can I use Scene Viewer with my 2D data?

You can bring your 2D data into a 3D environment and get a better understanding of the data. For example, you can create 3D symbols from your 2D symbols by applying a size and height. You can zoom in and out and rotate the surface to see the data from different angles. You can also add elevation to overlapping 2D layers so you more easily view the data in each layer.

What is the difference between Scene Viewer and the CityEngine Web Viewer?

Scene Viewer and the CityEngine Web Viewer are two different applications available in ArcGIS Online with each having unique functionality and purpose.

In Scene Viewer, you can do the following:

  • View scenes created from Scene Viewer or ArcGIS Pro. Scene Viewer doesn't support CityEngine web scenes.
  • Author scenes, for example, you can add and remove layers, modify symbology, or capture slides.
  • Display a collection of portal layers, such as scene layers, feature layers, image layers, or tile layers.
  • View scenes rendered in world-extent with basemaps in a spherical globe view (global scene) or a planar view (local scene).
  • Navigate scenes where data loading and image-graphic rendering are performed progressively.

In the CityEngine Web Viewer, you can do the following:

  • Display static CityEngine web scenes (3ws) exported from CityEngine or ArcScene. The CityEngine Web Viewer doesn't support scenes.
  • View CityEngine web scenes that are rendered in a small local extent with a Cartesian coordinate system.
  • Comment and compare scenarios, for example, you can use the swipe tool to see the differences between two scenarios.
  • The CityEngine Web Viewer loads CityEngine web scenes as an initial download on opening and does not load any streaming data afterwards.
  • The CityEngine Web Viewer is a viewing tool and doesn't support authoring, such as adding basemaps, changing symbology, or configuring layers.

Can I share 3D geometry in feature layers?

Yes. You can share 3D points, lines, and polygons.

Can I share my own terrain models in scenes?

Yes. You can share custom terrains through ArcGIS Server. Use ArcGIS 10.3 for Desktop and later to create a cached elevation image service and share the service through ArcGIS Server. You can also use ArcGIS Pro to build a tile package from your elevation data to create a hosted elevation layer in ArcGIS Online. You can then add these elevation services and layers to your scene.

Can I still use extended and mature configurable app templates?

Yes, you can continue to use extended and mature app templates. With extended templates, Esri updates the code when critical issues are discovered. However, extended templates are no longer available in the Esri-default gallery, and Esri does not certify that they will work with new versions of browsers or operating systems. Mature templates are also not available in the Esri-default gallery and are not certified to work with new versions of browsers and operations systems. In addition, Esri no longer maintains the code for mature templates. However, existing apps created with a mature template will continue to work, and the source code can be downloaded and hosted on your own web server. For more information about product life cycles, see Esri Product Lifecycle Support Policy.

Which ArcGIS apps support vector basemaps in the basemap gallery?

Vector basemaps are available in Map Viewer and Scene Viewer, as well as in ArcGIS Pro, configurable apps that include a basemap gallery, Workforce for ArcGIS, Explorer for ArcGIS, and apps created using Web AppBuilder. To find out whether vector basemaps are available in a specific ArcGIS app, refer to the app documentation.

To learn more about vector basemaps and how they compare to raster basemaps, see Tile layers.

How much storage space do I get?

There is no limit on the amount of storage an organization can have. If you are an administrator, you can view detailed reports about your organization's storage of tiles, features, and files from the Organization tab.

A public account comes with 2 GB of total storage space.

How large a file can I upload?

You can upload files up to 1 GB in size to My Content through a web browser. You can upload larger files through ArcGIS Pro and ArcMap to support publishing layers to ArcGIS Online.

Tip:

To publish large tile packages, it is recommended that you use the Share Package geoprocessing tool, which can take advantage of multiple processing cores.

What can I share?

You can share supported types of maps, apps, layers, tools, and files.

What's the best way to share my ArcGIS Desktop content?

It depends.

If you want to share data, such as shapefiles, feature classes, and other data sources you use in your maps, share a layer package. A layer package includes the data inside the package, so it is self-contained and can be opened by any other ArcGIS user. People will be able to download your file and work with the data in ArcGIS Desktop.

If you own geospatial data that you want to publish as a map, you can do this by publishing a map service using ArcGIS Server. By sharing a reference to your map service through the website, you make it immediately available for others to use in their maps and apps. Each of your registered services appears as its own map, which users can find, open, and use as a layer in their own maps.

Only share your map document file (.mxd), layer file (.lyr), and so forth, if the file references server-based services that the people you are sharing your file with will be able to access on the web. When you upload one of these ArcGIS Desktop files, only the file is uploaded, so if your map, globe, or layer references any local data on your machine or your enterprise network, it will not be included, and your map may appear broken to somebody viewing it in an ArcGIS app.

If you want to share your work with the widest audience, consider creating a map in Map Viewer. These maps can be viewed in web browsers, mobile devices, and desktop map viewers.

Can I share a URL of my map or app?

Yes. Content items, search results, and groups can be accessed directly by a URL. For example, the URL https://www.arcgis.com/home/item.html?id=10df2279f9684e4a9f6a7f08febac2a9 opens to the World Imagery Map Service published by Esri. Anybody can open the URL to a public item or group, including people who are not signed in to ArcGIS Online.

Do common search engines find the items I've added to ArcGIS Online?

Yes. Items that are uploaded and shared as public are automatically indexed by popular search engines and can be discovered by common search methods. If you are on the website, you can also use its search function to find items.

What happens if I delete the source item used to publish a hosted layer?

If the source item used to publish a hosted layer is deleted, the layer continues to draw as expected. However, certain functionality that requires access to the source data may no longer work as expected. The specific functionality can vary from layer to layer. Impacted functionality includes the following:

  • If you delete a service definition file, the Overwrite an existing service option in ArcMap may no longer work as expected.
  • If you delete a shapefile, file geodatabase, or CSV file, the Overwrite option on the hosted feature layer's item page is no longer available.
  • If you delete a tile package (.tpk), the hosted tile layer published from it can no longer be taken offline.

When the source item used to publish a hosted layer is a hosted layer itself, the hosted layer used as the source item cannot be deleted until all hosted layers published from it are deleted.

What is the difference between a map and a web app within the context of the website?

A map is an interactive display of geographic information, for example, satellite imagery of streets, houses, and open space within Los Angeles County. You can view it in a browser, mobile device, or desktop app and use tools to change the extent, find places, and see detailed data about a specific location. In addition, you can build your own map by defining an area of interest, choosing a basemap, and adding layers. You can save maps and share them with everyone or with specific groups to which you belong.

A web app runs in a browser and combines maps, data, and tools for a targeted use such as a polling stations app. It might be as simple as a map embedded in a blog or as complex as a GPS navigation app or operational dashboard. Apps can be based on standard templates, which are configured using maps and other properties and developed with ArcGIS Web APIs. In general, apps are constructed from information in maps, supplemented with additional app-specific configuration and customization. Apps can be hosted as a part of your content in the system, or they can be managed independently and registered with the system.

How can I control how hosted feature layers are reprojected when viewed against ArcGIS Online basemaps?

When you add layers to ArcGIS apps such as Map Viewer, Scene Viewer, ArcGIS Pro, and ArcMap, the apps perform on-the-fly reprojection of the layers so the data lines up with the basemap. ArcGIS chooses the appropriate default transformation for the on-the-fly reprojection based on the coordinate system of the basemap. Sometimes the default choice is not as precise as you need, which can make it look as though the features are shifted slightly in one direction. Or the default choice might not match with the transformation you use as part of your GIS best practices for your organization.

When you publish a hosted feature layer from ArcMap and you know people will use the hosted feature layer in maps that contain ArcGIS Online basemaps, you can do one of the following:

  • Option 1: Preserve the projection of your data but define a geographic transformation that ArcGIS Online can use when performing on-the-fly reprojections of the hosted feature layer.

    With this option, your source data and hosted feature layer data remain in the same projection. You define what geographic transformation should be used when on-the-fly reprojection is required.

    The following steps summarize how to keep your data's original projection and define a geographic transformation to control how the layer is reprojected when viewed on an ArcGIS Online basemap.

    1. In ArcMap, open the map you want to publish as a hosted feature layer.
    2. Open the data frame properties for the map and set the data frame's coordinate system to match the coordinate system of the source data in your map.
    3. Click Apply.
    4. Leave the Data Frame Properties dialog box open and click Transformations to define a geographic transformation. This involves defining what the transformation will project to and the projection used to perform the transformation.
      1. To set the Into value, click Add, choose WGS 1984, and click OK. This sets what the data is reprojected to during on-the-fly reprojections.
      2. To set what projection to use for the transformation, choose the projection used by the data in your map from the Using (choices are sorted by suitability for the layer's extent) drop-down list.
    5. Click OK on the Geographic Coordinate Systems Transformation dialog box.
    6. Click OK on the Data Frame Properties dialog box to apply your changes.

    When you publish, the hosted feature layer stores the geographic transformation you set and uses that when reprojecting the layer to view against an ArcGIS Online basemap.

    Note:

    If ArcGIS Online doesn't support the transformation you define for the layer, it either uses the default transformation or fails to reproject. ArcGIS Online supports the transformations installed by default in ArcMap and ArcGIS Pro.

  • Option 2: Configure the map so that the feature class data is reprojected into WGS 1984 Web Mercator (auxiliary sphere) when it is copied to ArcGIS Online.

    With this option, the hosted feature layer data is stored in ArcGIS Online in the same coordinate system as the ArcGIS Online basemaps; therefore, no on-the-fly reprojection is needed when viewed against these basemaps. However, this means the hosted feature layer data and the data in your data source are now in two different projections.

    The following steps summarize how to configure the map so the publishing process reprojects the hosted feature layer data so it is stored in WGS 1984 Web Mercator (auxiliary sphere):

    1. In ArcMap, open the map you want to publish as a hosted feature layer.
    2. Open the data frame properties for the map and set the data frame's coordinate system to WGS 1984 Web Mercator (auxiliary sphere). This is the projection in which the hosted feature layer data will be stored.
    3. Click Apply.
    4. Leave the Data Frame Properties dialog box open and click Transformations to define a geographic transformation.
    5. From the Using (choices are sorted by suitability for the layer's extent) drop-down list, choose the projection used by the source data in your map. This lets
    6. Click OK on the Geographic Coordinate Systems Transformation dialog box.
    7. Click OK on the Data Frame Properties dialog box to apply your changes.

    When you publish, the data copied to ArcGIS Online is stored in WGS 1984 Web Mercator (auxiliary sphere).

When searching for locations, I get too many results outside my area of interest. How can my organization create a more targeted geosearch experience?

By default, ArcGIS Online uses Esri World Geocoding Service to find locations. If your organization wants to optimize search results for addresses and places of interest, members with privileges to create content can create a new view of Esri World Geocoding Service to search only for specific types of locations within an area of interest. For example, you might create a locator view to limit search results to particular areas, or to enforce a specific level of precision when members perform batch geocoding of addresses. Once you've created a locator view, share it with the public (everyone) and ask your administrator to configure the organization to include your locator view as an option for performing searches.

Alternatively, if organization members need to search for locations based on your own data, administrators can configure your organization to use your own locators running on ArcGIS Server. For example, an oil organization could add locators to search their oil wells.

What is Living Atlas of the World?

Living Atlas of the World is an evolving collection of authoritative, ready-to-use global geographic information from Esri and other contributors and curators. It includes imagery, basemaps, demographics and lifestyle, landscape, boundaries and places, transportation, earth observations, urban systems, oceans, and historical maps that can be combined with your own data to create maps, scenes, and apps and perform analysis.

What is subscriber content?

Subscriber content is the collection of ready-to-use map layers, analytic tools, and services published by Esri that requires an organizational subscription account to access. This includes layers from Esri such as NAIP imagery, landscape analysis layers, and historical maps. Subscriber content is provided as part of your organizational subscription and does not consume any credits.

What is premium content?

Premium content is the collection of ready-to-use map layers, analytic tools, apps, and services published by Esri that requires an organizational account to access and consumes credits. This includes layers from Esri such as demographic and lifestyle maps as well as tools for geocoding, geoenrichment, network analysis, elevation analysis, and spatial analysis. Privileges to use geoenrichment and spatial analysis can be assigned to members with level 2 accounts only. Any member can be assigned privileges to use demographics, elevation analysis, geocoding, and network analysis. Access and credit information is listed on the item page description for each item. Premium apps require an additional purchase and must be licensed to members by the administrator. Premium content is a type of subscriber content.

What are hexbins?

Hexbins are a mesh of connected hexagons commonly used for aggregating and summarizing spatial data. For example, in this tornado map, hexbins are used to show the connection between tornado strikes and injuries and fatalities. For more information, see blog posts about thematic mapping with hexagons and using the binning technique. You might also consider searching for hexbin images in popular search engines to see visual examples of connected hexagons.

How do I find out when aerial photos were taken for a specific location?

You can get resolution, collection date, and imagery source by using the Imagery with Metadata map zoomed in to a large scale (generally about 1:50k and below). Open the map in Map Viewer or ArcGIS Desktop. To get the aerial imagery information, be sure you are zoomed in to a large scale. In Map Viewer, click the map to see a pop-up with the information. In ArcGIS Desktop, click Identify and click the map to see a pop-up with the information.

Can I use Bing Maps with ArcGIS?

Yes. ArcGIS products are Bing Maps-ready. To use Bing Maps, you must first contact Microsoft to obtain a Bing Maps key. Once you have a key, input it into your product or application. Once you input your Bing Maps key, your ArcGIS product or application will be able to access Bing Maps. If you have questions about using Bing Maps with ArcGIS, contact your account manager or local Esri office.

How do I contact Microsoft to get pricing information?

Send an email to bing4esri@microsoft.com. Microsoft set up the email address specifically for Esri customers. A Microsoft account representative will get in touch with you. Microsoft provides specialized pricing based on the type and amount of usage. To help them with their assessment, the following information will be helpful:

  • The number of ArcGIS Desktop users in your organization who would use Bing Maps. (Note: Microsoft bases their known user licensing on the actual number of users and does not license on a concurrent basis.)
  • A summary of web-based apps used for internal purposes.
  • A summary of any public web-based apps. A description of each app and an estimate of daily visitors will help in the assessment.
  • The number of mobile devices that might access Bing Maps.

Is there a fee to use Bing Maps?

There may be a fee based on your usage level and use cases.

How do I add a Bing Maps key to ArcGIS Desktop?

  • ArcGIS 10.2 for Desktop and later—See Using Bing Maps in the ArcGIS Desktop help.
  • ArcGIS 10.1 for Desktop—Download patch from Esri Support (requires Service Pack 1).
  • ArcGIS Desktop 10—Download patch from Esri Support (requires Service Pack 5).
  • ArcGIS Desktop 9.3.1—Download patch from Esri Support.

How do I add a Bing Maps key to my web app?

In your code, you need to search for the Bing Maps key you are currently using. You will need to replace this key with the one you get from Microsoft.

How do I add a Bing Maps key to my ArcGIS Online organization?

An administrator in your organization needs to configure the map with your Bing Maps key. Once Map Viewer is configured for Bing Maps, you can add Bing basemaps to your maps.

Can I take Bing Maps offline?

No. Bing Maps is not supported for offline use.

What maps other than Bing Maps can I use?

ArcGIS Online includes a number of maps you can use free of charge.

  • World Imagery is updated frequently and provides 1-meter or better satellite imagery for many parts of the world.
  • Imagery with Labels and Transportation is the World Imagery basemap with layers for labels and streets. If you have your own streets and labels, you can turn off these layers.
  • ArcGIS Online gives you access to a number of different basemaps that you can use in your projects. The World Street Map, World Topographic Map, Light Gray Canvas Map, and National Geographic World Map provide a range of cartographic options to meet your needs.

For the latest content updates, see the ArcGIS Online blog.

What environments are available for building custom apps?

You can use ArcGIS API for JavaScript, ArcGIS Runtime SDKs, configurable apps, and app builders to create your own interactive and compelling mapping apps. For more information, see ArcGIS for Developers.

Do I need an account to use ArcGIS API for JavaScript and ArcGIS Runtime SDKs?

Yes. Sign in to ArcGIS for Developers with your ArcGIS organizational account to access ArcGIS API for JavaScript and ArcGIS Runtime SDKs. To use these resources for development and testing only, you can sign up for a free account at developers.arcgis.com. Before your apps go to production, you will need to upgrade your free account to a paid plan.

How do I give my colleagues permission to modify content I share with them?

You can allow other people in your organization to update your maps, apps, layers, and files, as well as their item details, by sharing the items with a group that has the item update capability enabled. When you share items to a group with this capability enabled, you allow group members to update any items shared with the group.

Allowing other members of your organization to update your shared content is useful in many scenarios. For instance, it makes it easy for a team of shift workers to share responsibility for updating a critical web map—adding or removing layers, changing symbols, updating the map's description, and so on.

To allow others to update your shared items, do the following:

  1. Create a group with the item update capability enabled as follows:
    1. Ensure you have privileges to create groups with update capabilities.
    2. Create a new group. For the What items in the group can its members update? setting, select All items (group membership is limited to the organization).
      Note:

      This option is only available when creating new groups and when membership in the group is only open to those who are invited or request and are approved to join.

    3. Add yourself and the colleagues with whom you want to collaborate to the group.
  2. Share your items with the group using the Access and update capabilities option.

    You remain the owner of the items, and other group members can update them.

Note:

Only members with level 2 accounts in the same organization can belong to the group. All members of this group can update the item regardless of the privileges for their role. However, they cannot perform other actions that are outside their privileges. For example, if they do not have privileges to create content, they cannot save a copy of a map they update. Only the owner (or administrator) of the item can perform the following actions on the item (not all actions apply to all item types): delete, share, move, change owner, change delete protection, publish, register an app, overwrite data in hosted feature layers, and manage tiles in hosted tile layers.

How can I share my data with a member of another organization?

You can share content with members of a different organization by inviting them to a group you belong to or own and sharing your items with the group. You can invite a user to the group if the following conditions are met:

  • The person you are inviting has an ArcGIS Online account.
  • The person you are inviting has privileges to join groups.
  • The person you are inviting has the same type of account that you have. For example, if you have an organizational account, you can only invite people with organizational accounts to join your group.
  • The group does not have the item update capability enabled.
    Tip:

    When you invite a member from another organization to your group, only those who have set their profiles to be visible to the public will be found in a search. However, you can still invite users who haven't set their profiles to be public if you enter their exact user name.

What is the best way to give some organization members the ability to edit a publicly visible hosted feature layer without enabling editing on the layer for everyone?

The recommended way to manage editing permissions on hosted feature layers you own is to use feature layer views.

What are the considerations for changing the short name of my organization and what should I do after I change it?

Changing the short name is intended for new organizations with little content or customization. Consider this change carefully if your organization is more mature and has extensive content. You cannot change the short name if any member has a license checked out or if your organization has Open Data enabled.

If you do change the short name, inform your members that the URL has changed and that they may need to sign in again and update any bookmarks pointing to the organization. You may also need to manually update the URLs of your hosted content and resources, including web apps. For example, you can update the URL of your hosted web apps through the Settings tab of the item page.

How can I limit access to content for some organization members such as external contractors?

When you want to limit access to content—for example, content of a highly sensitive nature—for some members of your organization, you can assign them a custom role with the following privileges turned off:

  • Content: View content shared with the organization
  • Groups: View groups shared with the organization

Members who are not granted these privileges will only be able to view content shared with groups they belong to, while being restricted from viewing other organization content.

When you want to restrict certain members from seeing a list of members in the organization and accessing the Organization page, you can turn off the following privilege:

  • Members: View

How does the Esri User Experience Improvement program work?

ArcGIS Online works continuously to improve its products, and one of the best ways to find out what needs improvement is through customer feedback. The Esri User Experience Improvement program (EUEI) allows your organization to contribute to the design and development of ArcGIS Online. The program collects information about the usage of ArcGIS Online, including hardware and browser characteristics, without interrupting work. The program is completely optional and anonymous; none of the information collected is used to identify or contact members of your organization.

The collection and submission of information is completely unobtrusive and has no impact on members' use of the software. Examples of the data that is collected include whether search results were clicked, how often users cancel out of a window, errors encountered in workflows, session length, and hardware and browser details.

The Esri User Experience Improvement program does not collect any personal information related to your organization or its members, such as your IP address, login information, and specifics about any data you may be using. The program does not actively collect any information outside ArcGIS Online.

Note:

Regardless of your organization's participation in this program, ArcGIS Online, by its very nature as a cloud offering, does have information about usage such as credits used and items created. Esri values the privacy of its customers, distributors, and business partners, as it is a principal component of establishing trust. All information collected by Esri is protected by Esri's Privacy Policy.

How do I make a layer available as a basemap in my organization's basemap gallery?

If you have privileges to create and share content with your organization and have access to your organization's basemap gallery group, you can add certain types of layers to the basemap gallery. This is accomplished as follows:

  1. Sign in to your organization and open Map Viewer.
  2. Add the layer to your map as a basemap. You can add an ArcGIS Server layer, an OGC layer, or a tile layer.
  3. Save the map.
  4. Click Share and share the map with the basemap gallery group and with your organization. If necessary, update the sharing properties to share the layer in the same way.
    Note:

    The basemap gallery group is specified through the Basemap Gallery configuration setting.