A shapefile is an Esri vector data storage format for storing the location, shape, and attributes of geographic features. It is stored as a set of related files and contains one feature class. Shapefiles often contain large features with a lot of associated data and historically have been used in GIS desktop applications such as ArcMap.
The primary way to make shapefile data available for others to view through a web browser is to add it to a .zip file, upload it, and publish a hosted feature layer. The .zip file must contain at least the .shp, .shx, .dbf, and .prj files components of the shapefile.
The following list summarizes how you can use shapefiles in ArcGIS Online and provides links to instructions:
- Publish a hosted feature layer from a shapefile (.zip).
- For hosted feature layers that have export enabled, the people who have access to the hosted feature layer can export the layer data to a shapefile.
- Add shapefiles (in a .zip file) to My Content, and share the file with others so they can download it.
- Add a shapefile (.zip) as a layer to Map Viewer Classic.
This functionality is currently only supported in Map Viewer Classic (formerly known as Map Viewer). It will be available in a future release of the new Map Viewer (formerly known as Map Viewer Beta).
Considerations for adding and publishing shapefiles
Keep the following information in mind when working with shapefiles in ArcGIS Online.
- Compression formats other than a .zip archive are not supported.
- When you create a .zip file that contains the .shp, .shx, .dbf, and .prj files that comprise the shapefile, store your shapefile directly in the root (the central directory) of the .zip archive, not in directories within the archive. If your .zip file viewer shows path information, the path should be blank.
- The shapefile must contain valid geometries. If you have ArcGIS Pro or ArcMap, you can use the Repair Geometry geoprocessing tool to correct invalid geometries in shapefiles. Invalid geometries cannot be published or drawn in Map Viewer Classic.
- The following features are not supported: multipatch or multipoint geometries, geometries that cross the dateline, and self-intersections in polygons. Shapefiles with these features cannot be added to Map Viewer Classic.
- You cannot drag shapefiles directly onto Map Viewer Classic; you must use the Add button in Map Viewer Classic.