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Get started with data

Step 1
1Add data
Step 2
2Manage settings
Step 3
3Use and edit data

1. Add data

Creating spatial information products, such as maps, scenes, and apps, requires data. While ArcGIS Online already provides an abundance of spatial data, you can also add, manage, and share your own data. Before adding your data, review best practices for using layers in maps that perform well on the web.

To make data available in your organization, you can add items from computer files, the web, or a cloud drive. You can also publish maps and data as hosted layers to ArcGIS Online without installing your own server. Depending on your data and needs, you can publish different types of hosted layers, such as feature layers, WFS layers, and scene layers. Publish hosted feature layers from a variety of data sources so you can explore, query, edit, and analyze the data on the web to answer spatial questions. You can also create hosted feature layer views for different audiences and to limit which features or attributes members can access.

Item details are generated for the data that you add, including title, content type, owner, size, and date. To help others understand the purpose of your content, you can provide additional information. Describe what the data represents, its source, and terms of use. Use tags and categories to help others find your data. Providing standards-based metadata with your item helps people learn about the item and decide if they want to use it.

2. Manage settings

From the item page, you can manage settings that determine how others can access and use your data when you share it. Depending on your privileges and the item type, you can configure various settings for the item. For example, you can allow others to save a copy of the item. Hosted feature layers include additional settings related to who can edit and export your layers.

To support quality assurance workflows, you can configure feature layers to track edits, including who edited the data and when. Additionally, you can work with the attribute data, visualize the layer, and monitor its usage to see how often it's being accessed.

3. Use and edit data

Once your data is available through a layer you've configured and shared, you and other people can start using the layers in maps, scenes, and apps. You can use the same layer in multiple maps and scenes without having to configure the layer multiple times. A map can have multiple layers that reference the same data but are styled and configured differently. For example, you can display the same data with different symbols and colors to discover patterns and apply filters to show only features that meet specific criteria. You can also configure pop-ups to show key values associated with features.

If you have privileges to edit the layer, you can edit or delete the attributes in the layer's attribute table and in any related tables. If you are the owner of a hosted feature layer, or an administrator of your organization, you can add or delete fields and calculate field values. If you need to be disconnected from the Internet, you can enable maps and layers for offline use to access them in ArcGIS apps such as Collector for ArcGIS.

Next stepsNext steps

Try these quick resources to learn more about adding and managing data in ArcGIS Online: