Use distributed collaborations

With collaborations, you can extend the reach of your GIS content by seamlessly sharing maps, apps, layers, and more with other organizations. Collaborations are based on a foundation of trust between participating organizations and are typically motivated by common goals and initiatives.

Two types of collaborations can be established with other organizations: partnered collaborations and distributed collaborations. The information provided below describes how content is shared in a distributed collaboration. To learn about sharing content in a partnered collaboration, see Use partnered collaborations.

Once administrators have created a distributed collaboration, users can share content with groups that have been linked to the collaboration workspace. The content is then discoverable for other collaboration participants in their own environment. In a collaboration, content is shared according to the sharing settings of the organization where the data originated.

Send content

You can send content from your organization to a participating organization if the collaboration host defined your access mode for the collaboration workspace as either Send or Send and Receive. To send content, share the items with the group that is associated with the collaboration workspace. The content will be sent based on the sync settings determined by the guest administrator.


Once content has been shared to the collaboration, participants can share the content again inside or outside their organization, including in any other collaborations in which they participate. Participants can also build on the shared items to create their own information products. However, once content has been shared, it cannot be shared back to its source.

If you remove items from a group associated with a collaboration workspace, unless they have delete protection enabled, the items are removed from the recipient's groups at the next sync.

Receive content

You can receive content from a participating organization if the collaboration host defined the access mode for the collaboration workspace as either Receive or Send and Receive. When another organization participating in the collaboration shares content, your organization will gain access to the content in the group associated with the collaboration workspace. Content will refresh and appear in the group according to the sync schedule.

Items received from other organizations display the Collaborated Content badge. This badge is not visible on items in the originating environment.

If you share content to a group in your organization and your access mode in the collaboration is Receive, the content remains in the group but is not shared to collaboration participants in other organizations.