Skip To Content

Content basics

Content refers to maps, datasets, apps, documents, and other items. For a full list of supported items see Prepare your content.


Items do not include images, videos, and external links, so you don't need to upload them or share them to groups. Instead, follow steps provided in Add text and images and Embed video, social media, and iframes to share these types of content on a site.

How do I add content?

To add content to a site or initiative, you can upload items, create something new, or share existing items using your site's or initiative's Content Library. Items added to a content library are automatically shared to the site's or initiative's content group and you can choose to share them with a wider audience using the item's sharing controls.

You can also add additional groups using the Groups Manager. For more information, see Add content to a site or initiative.

Where does content show up?

Content added to a site or initiative are available in the following places:

  • Unified search experience—People who have access to a site can use the site's search bar to discover content. Private audiences will be able to find content that has only been shared with them, even on public sites.

    Items shared to an open data group are also visible in searches entered at For more information, view Make public content more discoverable.

  • With your teams—You can share content privately with members of your core team so that they can review and make edits. You can also share content with certain stakeholder groups by creating supporting teams.
  • An item's preview page—Most items that are spatial data include an item preview page. A person can view an item's preview page by clicking the item's title in search results. This page displays spatial data on a map and a list of attributes which can be sorted and filtered. It also includes access to the API and option to download.
  • Site editing cards—Display individual items for people to find on a site or page, or choose an icon to visualize groups of related items by category (for example, hydrology, boundaries, or forestry). For more information, see Display apps, data, and web maps.

Who can add content?

Content can be added to a site or initiative at anytime by administrators, site/initiative managers, and core team members. For more information, see Configure roles and privileges.

What are best practices for adding content?

Review these best practices when adding content to your site or initiative.


If you don't have a site or initiative yet, learn how to create one by following the steps in Create a site.

  • Follow best practices for preparing your data. This step is recommended if you plan to make different types of data available for download.
  • Use your site's or initiative's content library or groups manager to add content.
  • Update each item's thumbnail and summaryArcGIS Online.
  • Ensure that each item you want to share has the correct sharing level.