Skip To Content

Manage data in ArcGIS Online

ArcGIS Online provides a central location to store, manage, and share spatial data in the form of files and web layers. The files and layers you add to your organization provide the base for your visualization, analysis, and editing workflows.

Data as a building block

The items you add to your organization represent data. You can add many types of files or links to existing web layers. Some files you add are packages that help you move data from one location to another. Others are sources for layers you publish or add directly to maps.

In most cases, people interact with your ArcGIS Online data through layers. Layers represent data and the visualization settings (such as styles and labels) you apply to them. They are categorized based on the type of data they store, which in turn affects their purpose.

Add data to your organization

To make data available in your organization, you can add files from your local drive, add layers from other providers, and publish layers directly to your ArcGIS Online organization.

When you add data and create layers, you need to consider what purpose you want the data to serve.

Once you've added layers, you need to manage the information associated with them and configure how others can use them.

Manage settings and details

Manage the details associated with your layer items. When you've configured the layers for use, you and those with whom you've shared the layers can start using them.

Use the layers

Once your data is available through a layer you've configured and shared, you and others can start using the layers in maps, scenes, and apps.

Maps and scenes are aggregations of different layers that allow you to focus the map or scene user's attention on a particular area or theme. You can then use these maps and scenes in apps that offer the tools app users need to interact with the data.

Data and your role

How you interact with data in ArcGIS Online is related to what role you're assigned within the organization. Administrators assign roles based on the work you need to do.

The following list shows how your role relates to how you interact with data in ArcGIS Online. As you can see from this list, users and publishers are the primary managers of data.

  • Viewers and anonymous users
    • View and search data in apps, maps, and scenes.
  • Users
    • View and search data in apps, maps, and scenes.
    • Add files and manage them.
    • Create and save maps, scenes, and apps.
    • Edit feature layers.
  • Publishers
    • View and search data in apps, maps, and scenes.
    • Add files and manage them.
    • Create and save maps, scenes, and apps.
    • Edit feature layers.
    • Publish hosted web layers to the organization and manage those layers.
  • Administrators
    • Administrators have the same access as publishers, but they also have the ability to manage all user's data, not just data they own.

Dive-in:

Administrators can create custom roles that provide finer-grained control over individual privileges within these broad categories. For example, you might be in a custom role that can edit feature layers but not add or save items of your own, or you might be a member of a custom role that can publish only certain types of hosted layers.