Feature layers

Feature layers are web-based datasets that contain a group of similar geographic features (for example, buildings, parcels, cities, roads, and earthquake epicenters). Features can be points, lines, or polygons (areas) and are used in Insights to create maps, charts, and tables; perform spatial and nonspatial analysis; create filters; and share results. The feature layers you use in Insights can be either hosted in your organization or accessed remotely.

In Insights, feature layers are available from the Datasets tab on the home page or from the Content, Groups, Organization, Living Atlas, and Boundaries tabs from the Add to page window.

Hosted feature layers

Hosted feature layers Dataset are feature layers that are stored within your organization's data store. These are layers that have been created in or published to your organization by you or members of your organization.

Remote feature layers

Remote feature layers Remote dataset are stored outside of your organization's data store. One commonly used example of remote feature layers is ArcGIS Living Atlas layers, which can be used by Insights but are hosted by ArcGIS Online. Datasets from the spatiotemporal big data store are also treated as remote layers. In Insights desktop, all data accessed from your ArcGIS content will be treated as remote feature layers.

Remote feature layers do not support all the functionality in Insights. You can copy a remote feature layer to your workbook to access all functionality of a hosted feature layer. The following functions are not supported for remote feature layers:

  • Create a relationship
  • Share a dataset
  • Use domains or subtypes

The following additional functions are not supported for remote feature layers that are accessed through a proxy (such as subscriber content from ArcGIS Living Atlas), layers accessed from an ArcGIS Enterprise deployment that does not have Insights installed, and layers whose hosting portal cannot be determined:

  • Apply an advanced filter
  • Filter by top or bottom n values
  • Apply a cross filter
  • Create a binned map
  • Create a chart using median or percentile as the statistic
  • Display R2 values for a scatter plot matrix
  • Use date/time subfields
  • Normalize a choropleth map or graduated symbols map using the Divide by parameter


Use the following resources to learn more about feature layers in Insights: