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Copy and save layers

Layer owners (or administrators) define a layer's properties. When you create a map that contains a layer owned by someone else, you can make a copy of the layer in your map so that you can configure different properties on the copied layer. If you have privileges to create content, you can save the layer as a new item in My Content, which allows you to take advantage of your layer configuration in other maps.

  • Copy—To customize the configuration of a layer without affecting the configuration of the source layer, make a copy of the layer in your web map. This creates a layer in your web map that references the source layer.*

    This copy is only available in the web map where you make the copy.

  • Save the copy—If you want to make the layer configuration changes available for use in other web maps, save your layer copy. This creates a layer item in My Content. Be aware that this new layer item still references the source layer.*

    The advantage to saving a copy of the layer is you can save configuration changes to your copy and use the copied layer with its altered configuration in other web maps.

Note:

*When you copy a feature collection or map notes layer, the data in the source layer is copied. No reference to the source layer is maintained. However, for all of the following layer source types, your layer copy references the data contained in the source layer:

  • ArcGIS Server layers
  • Hosted feature layers
  • Tile layers
  • Route layers
  • WFS, WMS, or WMTS layers

If you change the configuration of your copy of the layer, this does not affect the configuration of the source layer. If you delete your copy, the original data still exists in the source layer but you lose your layer configurations. If the owner of the source layer deletes it or removes access (in other words, they stop sharing it in a way that allows you to access it), and your copy references the source layer, the data is no longer available in your copy and will not display in your map.

Copy layer

Copy a layer in your map when you want to configure the properties of the layer in different ways. For example, a healthcare data layer aggregated by hospital service areas likely contains attributes for many types of diseases. You could create a copy of the layer and symbolize the data on the rate of depression. You could create another copy of the layer and symbolize that on the rate of Alzheimer's. If you save these layers, you could reuse them in different maps (and the data is already symbolized the way you like it). You do not need to be the owner of the layer to make a copy of it.

You can copy ArcGIS Server layers, files you imported to the map, hosted feature layers, tile layers, map notes, route layers, WFS layers, WMS layers, and WMTS layers. You cannot copy basemaps, CSV files from the web, GeoRSS, or KML.

If you copy an editable feature layer, the copied layer is also editable. Edits made to copies change the source data. If the owner of the source layer removes the ability to edit, your copy is no longer editable.

  1. Verify that you are signed in and have privileges to create content.
    Note:

    If you do not have privileges to create content, you can still copy layers by clicking Modify Map.

  2. Open the map in Map Viewer, click Details, and click Contents.
  3. Browse to the layer you want to copy, click More Options More Options, and click Copy.

    A copy of the layer is added to the map contents. You can now configure the properties of this layer and save the layer as a new item.

Save layer

If you have privileges to create content, you can save ArcGIS Server layers, files you imported to the map, hosted feature layers, tile layers, map notes, route layers, WFS layers, WMS layers, and WMTS layers as new items in My Content and use the layer in other maps. You cannot save basemaps, GeoRSS, KML, or CSV files from the web. When you save layers you imported from a file or save map notes, you save the actual data.

After you add your saved layer to Map Viewer from My Content, you can change the layer's display properties. For example, you can change style, configure pop-ups, set the visible range, set a refresh interval, hide the layer in the legend, and apply filters. You can save these changes as properties of the item so the properties apply to the layer anytime it appears in a map.

Note:

Configurations saved to the map override configurations saved to the item (configurations saved to the item are still saved to the item and can be used in other maps where the map author has not overwritten your item configurations).

Follow these steps to save a copy of a layer:

  1. Verify that you are signed in and have privileges to create content.
  2. Open the map in Map Viewer, click Details, and click Contents.
  3. Browse to the layer you want to save, click More Options More Options, and click Save Layer.
  4. If you are saving the layer for the first time or saving a copy of the layer, you create a new item in the site with your layer configurations:
    1. Type a title.
    2. If your organization has set up content categories, click Assign Category and select up to 20 categories to help people find your map. You can also use the Filter categories box to narrow the list of categories.
    3. Type tags and a summary that describe the layer.
    4. Choose a folder in My Content where you want to save the layer.
    5. Click Create Item.
  5. The new item with your property configurations is added to My Content.

In this topic
  1. Copy layer
  2. Save layer