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Prepare your data

Learn what components of your datasets will be carried over to ArcGIS Hub, and determine best practices for preparing and publishing these datasets.

Supported data types

The following data types are supported in ArcGIS Hub:

  • Hosted feature services
  • ArcGIS for Server feature services
  • ArcGIS for Server map services
  • Image services
  • CSVs
  • Web maps
  • PDFs


ArcGIS Hub does not currently support raster layers within map services.

The following data types are supported in ArcGIS Hub but do not have their own dataset page. Users can search for these items within a site and access them directly from the search results page. These items will not appear on

  • URLs—The registered URL will open in a new tab
  • Documents—Word and PowerPoint documents will download in the browser
  • CSVs greater than 5 MB-The file will download in the browser

Improving data quality

A large variety of users access ArcGIS Hub. It is important that your data is complete with an accessible title, description, attribute aliases, license, and tags.

  • Title—For individual layers, change the title in ArcGIS Online to be clear and informative. For layers within map or feature services, change the title locally, and publish the service with clean titles. ArcGIS Hub will remove any underscores in your title.
  • Description—Change the description in ArcGIS Online. Layers within map or feature services will take the description of the entire service. If you do not enter a description, Hub will automatically provide "The organization that shared this dataset did not provide a description."
  • Field aliases—Change complex GIS data field names to a more user-friendly description of the content of the field. Dataset downloads will supply the field name, not the field alias.
  • License—You can add a license in the Access and Use Constraints section of your item on ArcGIS Online. If you do not add a license to a dataset, there will be a warning in the administrator's Data Report page.

    If you add a Creative Commons license (CC0, CC BY, CC BY-SA) by either the name or URL, the dataset page will display the Creative Commons license icon and will link to the appropriate license details web page. If you add an Open Data Commons license (PDDL, ODbL, ODC-By) the dataset page will display the license name and link to the appropriate license details web page.

  • Tags—Tags help users discover your datasets through searches. For individual layers, add tags in ArcGIS Online. All layers within map and feature services will have the same tags as set for the entire service in ArcGIS Online.
  • Thumbnails—ArcGIS Online item thumbnails will appear beside the dataset in the search results. All layers within map and feature services will have the same thumbnail.
  • Structured Metadata—Add official metadata files to the ArcGIS Online item and users can access it via ArcGIS Hub. It will also be included in shapefile downloads.

Hub downloads will change the data schema so that all values will be within the signed range of integer values that can be stored in 32 bits. This means that field lengths, field precision and scale may be altered in the download. The data itself will not change.


Only the following HTML tags will be respected in Description and License fields on ArcGIS Hub. Text in other tags will appear in-line: 'h3', 'h4', 'h5', 'h6', 'img', 'blockquote', 'p', 'a', 'ul', 'ol', 'nl', 'li', 'b', 'i', 'strong', 'em', 'strike', 'code', 'hr', 'br', 'div', 'table', 'thead', 'caption', 'tbody', 'tr', 'th', 'td', 'pre'.

Registering services

Services must be registered to ArcGIS Online to be added to Hub. When working with map and feature services, you can register services containing multiple layers, or register the individual layers themselves.

Registering services with multiple layers

This is a quicker way of getting your data live, but it gives you less control over search results and an item's metadata. All layers within the service will have the same description and the same tags, and all layers will appear in search results when a tag or the service name is called.

Registering individual layers

Individual layers provide greater control over the item's metadata—you can edit individual titles and descriptions within ArcGIS Online. Each layer will have different tags as set in ArcGIS Online, which will provide better search results for the end user.


To learn more about registering services and service configuration, read the server configuration details section.

Adding additional download files

All (vector) datasets are automatically available for download as CSV, KML, Shapefile, and accessible via the GeoJSON and GeoService APIs. You can add additional download files or related documents by adding custom distributions to the dataset's structured metadata. This is a good way to support downloads CAD file formats or file geodatabases for non-hosted feature services. Additional download files that you add in the metadata will appear as options in the download section of the dataset page on ArcGIS Hub.

Add additional download files:

  1. On the ArcGIS Online item page, click Metadata.
  2. On the metadata form, click Distribution.
  3. In the Online Resource page that appears, click the + sign.
  4. Enter a URL to your download file, or external related link.
  5. Enter a name for the file. This name will appear on ArcGIS Hub.
  6. Change the Function to Download.

You can add as many additional download files as you like by repeating steps three through six.


Entering additional distributions in the metadata will expose the entire metadata to the user in ArcGIS Hub. Datasets are encouraged to have complete, structured metadata.

Enabling file geodatabase downloads

File geodatabase downloads can be automatically generated for hosted feature services that have allowed data exports. Each hosted feature service will need to individually be set to allow data exports. To learn how to allow data exports, refer to the ArcGIS Online help on managing hosted web layers.

After you have enabled data exports on your hosted feature service, you will need to reindex the dataset before the file geodatabase option appears on the dataset on your site. Once you have done this, the dataset will have additional download option under "Additional Resources" where users can download the dataset as a file geodatabase. If there is an error exporting the file geodatabase you will be notified in the Data Manager.

To remove the file geodatabase download option you must turn off data exports for the item and reindex the dataset.