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Create and use projects

A project is a collection of content, such as sites, layers, and reports. Using projects, you can manage your work and group your content. You can organize sites using project layers, filter and find content in the project pane, and move or share sites between projects. Projects are stored as groups and folders in your organization. Project content can be accessed in ArcGIS Community Analyst and as individual items in your organization.

Create a project

The first time you sign in to ArcGIS Community Analyst, you are guided through the process of creating your first project. Subsequently, you create projects yourself. To create a project, you must be signed in to an account with the privileges to create projects. If you do not have the required privileges, you can open projects shared with you.


Every project you create also creates a group in your organization. An organization can have a maximum of 512 groups. If you reach this limit, to create a new project, you must first delete an existing project or leave a group. For more information, see ArcGIS Community Analyst content in your organization.

To create a project, do the following:

  1. On the Home tab, click Create New Project. Alternatively, on the Maps tab, click All Projects All Projects and click Create Project.

    The Create Project window appears.

  2. In the Project name field, enter a name for the project.
  3. Optionally, expand Customize project attributes and add, remove, or modify project attributes. For more information, see the Customize project attributes section below.
  4. Click Create.

    The project is created. If you previously selected the option to open new projects right away, the project opens automatically.

  5. Click OK to open the project. Optionally, check the Open new projects as soon as they are created check box.

Customize project attributes

When creating a project, you can set project attributes. Attributes are the fields used to describe sites in a project. For example, if the project is related to real estate, you can set attributes to keep track of the square footage of buildings and access to parking at the sites. You can also add new attributes. Attributes appear in site information, reports, and infographics.

Setting attributes during project creation sets the attributes for any point layers you create. To set the attributes for other layer types, you can edit the attributes individually for each layer. Administrators can view and customize the default project attributes for the organization.

Open a project

When you sign in to ArcGIS Community Analyst, your most recently used project is open. To open a different project, do the following:

  1. On the Home tab, hover over a project and click Open. Alternatively, on the Maps tab, click All Projects All Projects, hover over a project, and click Switch to this Project.

    The Home tab displays the most recently used projects. Click Show all projects to view the All Projects window.

    The selected project opens.

  2. If you have content (such as sites and layers) on the map, the Clear Map window appears. Click Yes to remove items from the previous project.

    The Clear Map window only appears if the Clear map when projects are switched option in the project preferences is set to Ask every time.

Project content

Once you have created a project, it is populated with layers to store your content. You can view your project content by clicking your project name and opening the project pane. Project layers are organized in sections. Sites and analysis results are stored in layers. Layers can be expanded to view their contents and turned on or off using the check boxes.

Project content is grouped in the following sections:

  • Point Locations (Sites)—All layers containing point locations. By default, an empty layer named My Point Locations is also created.
  • Polygons (Sites)—All layers containing polygons. By default, an empty layer named My Polygons is also created.
  • Geographies (Sites)—All layers containing geographies. By default, an empty layer named My Geographies is also created.
  • Threshold Areas (Sites)—All layers containing threshold areas.
  • Suitability Analysis—All layers containing suitability analysis results.
  • Territories—All layers containing territories.
  • Web Maps and Layers—All web maps and layers added to the project.
  • Other Layers—All other layers, including color-coded maps, Points of Interest Search results, Smart Map Search results, and imported point files not converted to sites.
  • Previously Run Reports—All reports run on sites in the project.

Search and filter project content

You can search or filter a project's content to locate items or limit the view of its content.

To search and filter project content, do the following:

  1. In the project pane, click Search Search, enter search terms, and press Enter to search for items.

    The search results display any project layer containing the search term.

  2. To close the search, click Close.

    The project pane displays all project content, with the layers containing your search terms automatically expanded.

  3. In the project pane, click Filter Filter.

    The filter pane appears, showing all sections of the project with toggle buttons.

  4. Use the toggle buttons to turn sections of the project on or off. To restore all sections, click Reset.

    You can hover over a section and click Hide others to hide all sections except for the one selected.

    When you turn a section off, its contents remain on the map but do not appear in the project pane. When filters are applied, the Filter button displays an On indicator.

  5. Click Close to finish filtering.

Share a project

Sharing projects with other users in your organization allows you to collaborate. From ArcGIS Community Analyst, you can share projects with your organization or with specific users.

To share a project, do the following:

  1. In the project pane, click Share project Share. Alternatively, open the All Projects All Projects pane and click Share the project with other users for any project.
  2. If the project is already shared, you can modify the sharing settings by clicking Share project Share.
  3. Choose who to share the project with. Select Add entire organization or Add individual users from your organization.
  4. If you selected Add individual users from your organization, use the check boxes to select users. You can use the Search button and Sort by drop-down menu to find users.
  5. Click Apply.

    The project is shared with the selected users. Shared projects are accessible through the Projects shared with me tab in the All projects window.

Create a layer

By default, projects contain empty layers for point locations, polygons, and geographies called My Point Locations, My Polygons, and My Geographies. As you add sites to your project, they are stored in these layers depending on their type. For example, if you are working on a transit project, sites you create from the point locations of train stations are added to the My Point Locations layer in your project. In addition to the three default layers, you can create additional layers, which can be useful for organizing your sites. When you create a layer, you can choose to set it as the target layer for all new sites you create.

To create a layer, do the following:

  1. In the project pane, click the Action menu Action menu next to the Point Locations (Sites), Polygons (Sites), or Geographies (Sites) section.
  2. Click Add new locations layer, Add new polygons layer, or Add new geographies layer and enter a name for the new layer.
  3. Check or uncheck the check box to specify whether the new layer should be the target layer.

    The target layer is where all new sites of this type are automatically stored.

  4. Click Save.

    The new layer is saved in the corresponding section of the project pane.

Work with layers

Project content is stored in layers, which you can modify and use to organize and learn more about your content.

To work with project layers, do the following:

  1. In the project pane, optionally expand a layer to view the sites it contains.
  2. Check the check box next to a section, layer, or individual item, to add or remove it from the map.
  3. Click the Action menu Action menu next to a layer and do any of the following:
    • Make target—Choose the target layer for new sites. The target layer is where new sites you create are saved by default.
    • Zoom to layer—Zoom the map extent to the selected layer.
    • Zoom to web map—Zoom to the web map extent. This option is available for web maps you add to the project.
    • Rename item—Rename the layer.
    • Show attribute table—Open the attribute table for the layer.
    • Filter by attributes—Filter the items in the layer based on the attribute values. To save the filtered version of the layer, click Save as New Layer. When a filter is applied, a red dot appears next to the layer name, and you can turn the filter on and off.
    • Edit attributes—Edit the attributes and validation rules for the layer. See the Edit layer attributes section below.
    • Setup layer—Set up a layer for use in analysis and reports. This option is available for data layers that are added to the project, for example, imported or saved points.
    • Delete item—Delete the layer. This option is available for layers you created.
    • Remove from project—Remove the layer from the project. This option is available for web map layers you added to the project.
    • Open map—Open color-coded maps and Smart Map Searches in the project.
    • View in ArcGIS—Open the item details page for a web map you added to the project.
    • Share with project users / Unshare from project—Share or unshare a web map you added to the project with other project users.

Edit layer attributes

Attributes are the fields used to describe sites in a project. Attributes for sites are set at the layer level in your project and are applied to all sites in that layer. Attributes appear in site information, reports, and infographics.

When you first create a project, you can set the attributes for all layers in the Point Locations (Sites) section, including the default My Point Locations layer, and any layers you create. Point locations include default attributes, including building area, site area, frontage, and parking. Once your project is created, you can customize attributes for each layer, including polygon- and geography-based layers.

To customize layer attributes, do the following:

  1. In the project pane, click the Action menu Action menu next to a layer and select Edit attributes.
  2. To add an attribute, click Add attribute and enter a name for your attribute.

    Attribute names have a limit of 80 characters. Some attribute names are reserved. When adding an attribute using a reserved name, an underscore is automatically added to the end of the attribute name.

  3. To specify the type of value for an attribute, use the drop-down menu next to the attribute name and select Number, Text, or Date. Click Edit Edit to change the number type or text length.

    The type of value for an attribute determines what information can be entered for this attribute.

  4. To view attribute details, click Expand.
  5. To specify permitted values or a range of values for an attribute, use the Set validation drop-down menu. For the Number and Date fields, you can choose Range or Preset values. For the Text fields, you can choose Preset values.
    • For Range, enter values in the Minimum and Maximum fields to set the range.
    • For Preset values, enter a value in the Value field and a name for the value in the Name field. The value names appear as options in a drop-down menu. Click Add value to add more values.

    Editing the validation rules may cause attribute values for existing sites in that layer to become invalid and result in errors for items you created in this project, such as infographics and reports. For example, if you create a site with a value of 250,000 for the Building Area attribute, then edit the validation rule to lower the maximum value to 230,000, that site will have an invalid attribute value.

  6. To rename an attribute, hover over the attribute and click Edit Edit.
  7. To delete an attribute, hover over the attribute and click Delete.
  8. Click Apply. If you are customizing the attributes during project creation, click Create when you are done.

Once your layer attributes have been customized, any new sites you add to that layer include the configured attributes. Configured attributes do not apply to sites already added to the layer.

Manage projects

You can rename, delete, and share projects from the All Projects pane. You can also manage the items in projects from this pane. To manage projects, do the following:

  1. From the Home tab, click Show all projects. Alternatively, from the Maps tab, click All Projects.

    The All Projects pane appears.

  2. To rename a project, hover over it and click Edit Edit.
  3. To delete a project, hover over it and click Delete Delete.
  4. To share a project, hover over it and click Share the project with other users Share. Follow the instructions in the Share a project section above.
  5. To access the items in a project, hover over it and click Manage Items and do the following:
    1. Check the check box next to an item to add it to the map.
    2. Click the Action menu next to a layer for options.
    3. Click the Action menu next to a site to use site options. When available, you can use the Move item option to move an item to another layer within the same project or to a different project.

Set preferences

You can set preferences for ArcGIS Community Analyst in the application preferences. For creating and using projects, you can specify preferences for the projects page, opening new projects, clearing the map when switching projects, and the Save Created Sites window. Administrators can set preferences for the entire organization.

  1. On the top ribbon, click Preferences Preferences.

    The Preferences window appears.

  2. Expand the General section and click Projects.
  3. Set the following preferences:
    • Use the Show projects page on start check box to display or skip the All Projects window when you sign in to the application.
    • Use the Open new projects as soon as they are created check box to open a new project immediately when you create it. When this is unchecked, you must switch to a new project manually.
    • For Clear map when projects are switched, select Always, Never, or Ask every time.
    • Check the Show Save Created Sites dialog for choosing layers check box to open the Save created sites window when sites are created from imported points or polygons. This allows you to select a layer where your sites are saved. If this check box is unchecked, created sites are saved to the default layer.
  4. To restore the default settings, click Restore Defaults.
  5. To save your changes, click Save or, optionally, click Save and Close to close the Preferences window. To view your changes, refresh the app.

Workflow video


This video was created using ArcGIS Business Analyst Web App, where the user experience and workflows are identical to ArcGIS Community Analyst.