Improve quality of content

Improve the display of your content on a site and in search results by editing individual items using the following best practices.

Metadata quality

Improve the clarity and usefulness of your content by ensuring that it has complete metadata. Click the Edit button edit on an item's full details page or explore page (content views), to edit basic details. Editing basic metadata is supported for items in Data and Document families. Otherwise, edit the item in ArcGIS Online (any non-item resource such as a layer or a published service that is not an item but part of an item).

  • Thumbnail—The thumbnail image is displayed on layout cards and content views.
  • Title—Use a title that is succinct and informative. Avoid underscores as they will be removed. For public content shared to a hub site, Hub generates a user-friendly URL (with dataset name) shown in content views. Otherwise, the content item URL displays the item ID (a series of numbers). Details are in this Note.
  • Summary—Give an overview in several sentences that cover the key elements of the item.
  • Description—Write a description that is clear and informative, as it is shown on content views and in search results.
  • License—Choose a structured license or enter a custom one. You will see a warning if a chosen license is already set. The license displays on the full details page and on the explore page, if available. It also displays (and can be added) in ArcGIS Online, under Terms of use on the item details page. If you enter the license name (CC0) or URL here, Hub will consider it a structured license and users can filter by it when searching (limited to public, indexed content).
  • Tags—These help users discover your datasets through searches. For individual items, add tags in ArcGIS Online. All layers in map and feature services will have the same tags as those set for the entire service in ArcGIS Online..
  • Categories-These help organize items and facilitate their discovery and use.

ArcGIS Hub recognizes Creative Commons licenses (CC0, CC BY, CC BY-SA, etc.) and Open Data Commons licenses (PDDL, ODbL, ODC-By) as “structured licenses.” License metadata will link to the respective license details web page.


Certain fields in ArcGIS Hub allow rich-text editing (formatting) with the following HTML tags: h3, h4, h5, h6, img, blockquote, p, a, ul, ol, nl, li, b, i, strong, em, strike, code, hr, br, div, table, thead, caption, tbody, tr, th, td, pre. Text in other tags will appear inline.


Datasets can show three dates in a content view: Info Updated, Data Updated, and Published Date. Items in all other content families can show two dates: Data Updated (shown as Date Updated) and Published Date.

  • Published Date- Date item was created
  • Data Updated- Date item was last modified
  • Info Updated- Date metadata was last modified

Configure dates displayed

Below are the date values that display and their order of priority, when present (highest priority at top). Find these settings in the ArcGIS Online metadata editor as indicated in the following sections.

Published Date

  • Published Date (Resource- Citation- Titles & Dates)
  • Creation Date (Resource- Citation- Titles & Dates)
  • Date item created

Data Updated

  • Revision Date (Last modified if editor tracking enabled, for datasets only)
  • Revision Date (Resource- Citation- Titles & Dates)
  • Revision Date (Last opened or edited in ArcGIS Online)
  • Date item modified

Info Updated (for datasets only)

  • Custom date (Metadata- Metadata Date, date metadata last edited)
  • Date item modified

Set automatic date updates

To automatically show when a dataset was last updated, turn on editor tracking (the service must support it). This displays as Data Updated (for datasets) and overrides any other dates, as shown above.


Editor tracking applies only to items that are backed by a feature service. It is not supported in map services (including a feature service in a map service).

Set an update frequency

Select an Update frequency (Continual, Daily, Weekly, etc.) or enter a Custom frequency to show how often data or info (metadata) will be regularly updated.

Data Updated

  • If frequency is set and a revision date is present, frequency displays (Resource- Maintenance).

Info Updated

  • If both frequency (Metadata- Maintenance) and a Custom date (Metadata- Metadata Date) are set, both display.
  • If frequency is set (but not Custom date), frequency displays.
  • If neither are set, the date that the metadata was last modified displays.

Location and basemaps

By default, ArcGIS Hub zooms to a dataset's features on a content preview page. To set Location for items with no extent (geographic location covered), select Item's current extent and the map will show (if set) site extent, then organization extent. Select Edit edit to update or set an item location (extent). When needed, you can configure the location (extent) in ArcGIS Online.


If the item's explore view displays an extent that seems to cover the world or is anchored in Null Island, update the location (extent) in ArcGIS Hub for the item.

It's useful to set a location for an item so that it appears in map-based searches. Setting an extent also helps users understand the geographic area your content represents or to which it is relevant.

You can set the basemap (in site Settings) shown on the explore page for all spatial datasets on your site.

Verified organization badges

If your ArcGIS Online organization is verified, an authoritative badge appears on the side panel when viewing an item's content view. To verify your ArcGIS Online, see Organization verification.