How discussions work

ArcGIS Hub discussions provides the ability to have private content-based conversations within groups. Group members can provide feedback, share information, and ask questions related to documents, images, datasets, web maps, and more. Read frequently asked questions.

The discussions feature requires a license to ArcGIS Hub Premium.

Start a discussion

Users can participate within their groups in discussions that are based on any item in the content library. Posts and replies will only be visible to members of the group.

  1. In live site mode (while signed-in), find and view a content item using your site's search tool.
  2. Select the discussions button discussions. You can view and contribute to an existing conversation or create one within your groups.
  3. To start a new discussion, select Create a post.
  4. Select one of your groups.

    Only members of this group can view and add posts and replies.

    A group signifies an ArcGIS Online group, including any Hub teams to which the user belongs.

  5. Add a title (optionally) as a summary of the post.

    Titles can help differentiate among separate sets of posts and replies that comprise the full discussion of a content item.

  6. Type the message in the post window. If needed, use @mentions (See Notify others by email), and select or draw map features to include in the post (See Add a location to a post).
  7. When finished, select Create a post (or Cancel if needed).

    You can return to a post or reply and edit or delete it.

Select the Add reaction button add reaction to add an emoji reaction (sentiment image) to a post or reply. Select the Plus sign plus sign to choose from an expanded set of reactions. You can add one reaction to each post or reply.

To view a discussion, go to the item of content it references. You can see the item's full discussion (connected sets of posts and replies) in the left sidebar. These are sorted chronologically with most recent at top. Select the Discussions button discussions again to view the content as full screen.

Add a location to a post

When the content item is geographic (map-based) and you are viewing the data, you can select an existing geographic feature or draw on the map to add to a post or reply. You can associate multiple drawn or selected features with each post and reply. From the map, you can view and explore posts and replies.

  1. While entering or editing a message, select the Add location button add a location on the post or reply window.
  2. Use the Select tool select to choose a geographic feature on the map (point, line, or area) in an existing data layer.
  3. Use a Draw tool to add a point, line, or area to the map.
    • Pin pin—Mark a location.
    • Freehand freehand—Draw a line.
    • Area freehand area—Draw a polygon.

    Selecting and drawing locations is currently desktop-only. For map-based content, you can select only dataset type items.

  4. After selecting or drawing features, choose to add, edit, or delete them.
  5. When finished, select Create post (or Cancel if needed).
  6. After creating a post or reply, select the More actions button more actions at bottom right on post or reply to edit or delete it. Choosing edit allows you to edit the message, or edit or delete locations.

Notify others by email

When contributing to a discussion, you can notify other group members via email by using @mentions. The email notification will contain a link that goes directly to the relevant post or reply. In a post or reply, type the @ symbol to search for @username and select a user to mention. This allows you to notify other group members of new posts or replies or that something needs attention, such as reviewing changes to a document or dataset.

You can manage preferences and change notification settings (opt-out) to stop receiving email notifications when you are mentioned in a group discussion. You can also resume (opt-in) to start receiving notifications again.

Manage discussions

Discussion moderators can hide or approve (show) individual posts or replies. The group owner and group managers of the group having the discussion are moderators. On a post or reply, select the More actions button more actions at bottom right to hide or show it.

Group members can edit or delete their own posts and replies. The organizational administrator can edit or delete any posts or replies within any group. Once deleted, they are no longer available. The owner of the group is by default the owner of the discussion occurring within that group. This owner (group manager) or the organizational administrator can delete the discussion.

Users with appropriate permissions can determine if discussions are allowed for an item or group. Those with edit access can make discussions unavailable for a particular item. In live site view while viewing a content item, select the Discussions button discussions, select Options options, and choose whether the item can be discussed. Group owners and managers can make discussions unavailable for the group. In site edit view, go to the Teams menu, select the group (team), select Edit Team profile, and choose whether the group can participate in discussions. Site managers can turn off the discussions capability for their sites within site Settings > Interactions.

Review the Discussions—A new way to communicate and collaborate within ArcGIS Hub blog post for an overview of discussions and its capabilities. Read the Have you heard about Hub discussions blog post to learn about sample use cases, work flows, and details about how discussions can apply to your work.