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Create groups

Groups are a collection of items, often related to a specific region, subject, or project, that are created and managed by the group owner. If you have privileges to create groups, you decide who can find your groups, whether others can request to join, whether members can update items shared with the group, and who can contribute content. You also have control over items shared with the group and can invite others to join, even if your group doesn't accept membership requests.

Organization administrators can create groups that allow members to update items that have been shared with the group. Groups created with this item update capability are useful in collaborative situations in which multiple people need to update the same item—for example, shift workers in operations centers who need to update the maps underlying their apps and dashboards.

When members share an item with a group created with the item update capability enabled, they remain the owner of the item. Other group members can update the item. Updates to an item include changes to the item details and updates to the content. For example, they can add layers to a map and save the map with the updated content.


At this time, the item update capability is intended for use with item details and the contents of maps, configurable apps, and scenes. Currently, most ArcGIS apps do not support the item update capability. To determine whether this capability is supported in a specific ArcGIS app, refer to the app documentation.

Organization administrators also use groups to configure the website with the organization's featured content, basemaps, and configurable apps.

Create a group

To create a group, complete the following steps:

  1. Verify that you are signed in and have privileges to create groups.
  2. Click Groups at the top of the site and click Create group on the My Groups tab.
  3. Add a thumbnail image to represent the group.

    You can drag an image or browse to a file. For best results, add an image that is 400 by 400 pixels or larger with an aspect ratio of 1:1 in a web file format such as PNG, JPEG, or GIF. Pan and zoom to what you want to appear in your thumbnail. Depending on the size and resolution of your image file and how far you zoom in to customize the thumbnail, the image may be resampled and scaled when it's saved. If you add an image in GIF or JPEG format, it will be converted to PNG when it's saved.

  4. Provide a group name and tags. You can also add a short summary.
  5. For Who can view this group?, select one of the following:
    • Only group members—Only members of the group can find and view the group. Members must be invited to join the group.
    • People in the organization—Only members of the organization can find and view the group. Members can be invited to the group or apply to join.
    • Everyone (public)—Anyone can find and view the group, even if they are not a member of the organization. This is the default.

    Your sharing privileges may determine the options you can select. If you have a public account, the Everyone (public) option is the only option and can't be changed.


    If your group will contain curated content to feature on your organization's Gallery page, select the option most appropriate for your intended audience. If you expect public visitors to view the gallery, select Everyone (public). Select People in the organization if you expect organization members to visit. Whether content items appear in the gallery also depends on how the items are shared.

  6. If you chose People in the organization or Everyone (public) in the previous step, select one of the following to specify who can join the group:
    • Those who request membership and are approved by a group manager—Only members who request to join the group and are approved by the group owner or a group manager can join the group.
    • Only those invited by a group manager—Only members who are invited by the group owner or a group manager can join the group.
    • Members of an enterprise group—Membership is controlled by an external enterprise group managed by a Security Assertion Markup Language 2.0 (SAML) identity provider (IDP). Each user's membership in the group is defined in the SAML assertion response received from the IDP every time the user successfully logs in.

      This option is only available if the following conditions are met:

      To define the enterprise group, type the exact name (case insensitive) of the group in the text box.


      The group name you enter must match the enterprise group name returned as the attribute value in the SAML assertion. If you aren't sure of the enterprise group name, contact the administrator who configured your organization's enterprise system.

    • Anyone—Any organization member can join the group without being invited or approved. Members of other organizations can join the group as long as they have privileges to join external groups. Members who click Join this Group on the group page are instantly granted membership in the group.

      You will see the above options if you have an organizational account. If you have a public account, the options you will see are slightly different; public users can choose between Those who request membership and are approved by you and Only those invited by you. The Anyone option is not available for users with public accounts as those users can't create (or join) groups with this option enabled.

  7. For Who can contribute content to the group?, select one of the following:
    • Group members—All group members can contribute content to the group.
    • Only group owner and managers—Only you (the group owner), group managers, and administrators in the organization can contribute content to the group. If you choose this option, members can view and access your items, but they can't share their own items with the group. This type of group is a good way to share your authoritative maps and data to a targeted audience. You control what items appear in the group and who can view them.
  8. For What items in the group can its members update?, select one of the following:

    This setting is only available if you have privileges to create groups with update capabilities. Updates to an item include changes to the item details and updates to the content. This setting is only available when creating new groups and when membership in the group is only open to those who are invited or request and are approved to join.

    • Only their own items—Group members can update only the items they own.
    • All items (group membership is limited to the organization)—Group members can update any items shared with the group, which includes modifying the item details and updating the content. If you choose this option, group membership will be limited to members of your organization who have privileges to create, update, and delete content.

      Only the owner (or administrator) of the item can perform the following actions on the item (not all actions apply to all item types): delete, share, move, change owner, change delete protection, publish, register an app, overwrite data in hosted feature layers, and manage tiles in hosted tile layers.

  9. To change how the items are sorted on the group page, select a field from the drop-down menu.

    You can choose to sort by title (default), owner, rating, view count, or date. To change how the items are ordered, check or uncheck the Ascending box. The sort field and order extend to your group when it is embedded in a website, shared as an app, and used to configure your organization's website (such as the basemap gallery). If you change the sort field or order, the item display is updated everywhere the group is used.

  10. If you chose to make your group accessible to everyone (the public), and if your organization is configured for Open Data and you have the required privileges, check the Allow this group to be accessed in Open Data sites box to make your public group available to open data sites.
  11. Click Create Group.

    Your new group is created with the basic information and properties you specified. It is recommended that you add a brief summary about the group (if you have not already done so), as well as an in-depth description.

    Your group is ready to be used. You can edit group properties on the Overview tab and group settings on the Settings tabs. Use the Invite Users button on the Overview tab or the Members tab to search for and invite members to the group.

Edit group properties and settings

After creating a group, you, any group managers you designate, and administrators with group privileges can edit its properties and settings. For example, you can modify the group title or description, as well as change settings such as who can contribute content. For more information on working with groups you own, including managing group content and members, see Own groups.

  1. Verify that you are signed in as the owner, group manager, or administrator of the group you want to edit.
  2. Click Groups at the top of the site, and use the tabs, filters, sort options, and search as needed to find the group you want to edit.
  3. Click the name of the group to open its group page and do any of the following:
    • On the Overview tab, click Edit next to the property you want to edit (for example, the description or tags), make your changes, and click Save to save your changes. You can edit the group name, summary, description, thumbnail, and tags.
    • On the Settings tab, modify the group settings (for example, who can view the group, who can join the group, or who can contribute content). You can also specify the type of items (for example, maps or layers) you want to display by default on the group's Content and Overview tabs. When you're finished, click Save on the Settings tab.

    Your ability to edit some settings depends on your privileges and group role. With existing groups, you cannot change the What items in the group can its members update? setting. You can only specify the update option on new groups. If you want to change this setting, you must delete the group and create a new one with the option you want.

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