Data preparation


You need the following account and license types to prepare ArcGIS for Microsoft 365 data:

  • Microsoft license—You need a Microsoft 365 license, with the Contributor role or higher, to prepare ArcGIS for Microsoft 365 data.
  • ArcGIS account type—Standard users can perform the basic functions of data preparation; you do not need to sign in.

ArcGIS for Microsoft 365 matches locations in the data to locations on a map. The more you organize and prepare the data before you add it to the map, the more accurate the map results will be.

See Data and geocoding to learn more about data.

When you add a data layer to a map, you choose the location type that best represents the information. Location information from the data is used to create a relationship between the data and the specified location type. Although ArcGIS for Microsoft 365 includes functionality to provide a location on the map based on the best possible available location data, preparing and organizing the data to align with expected location types helps ensure greater accuracy.

Location types

The following location types are used:

Location typeValueDescription


Latitude, Longitude

  • Latitude and longitude values represent an x,y coordinate location on the map.
  • You can map x,y coordinate data in either the WGS84 or the Web Mercator coordinate systems.
  • If the latitude (y) values fall between -90 and 90 and the longitude (x) values range from -180 to 180, use WGS84.
  • If the latitude and longitude values are in meters and have six, seven, or eight digits before (to the left of) the decimal point, use Web Mercator.
  • Data from the identified x and y location columns is used to generate points.
  • You can also choose one of the other coordinate systems that ArcGIS supports. For more information, see Supported notation formats.



  • The more address elements the data contains, the more accurate the results will be.
  • A complete list of countries for which there is address coverage is available in the supported countries list on the ArcGIS World Geocoding Service coverage page.
  • Your ArcGIS administrator may impose user credit limits on some features and you may receive a message indicating that you have insufficient credits to perform a request. If so, contact your administrator.
  • Cities (U.S. cities and world cities) are added to the map as points.
  • States, ZIP Codes, and countries are added to the map as points by default or as polygons if using the Custom location type.
  • Address elements can be in separate fields, or they can be contained in one field (single-line address). Both methods of finding addresses are supported, but the highest quality results are obtained using all address elements and storing them in separate fields.
  • By default, ArcGIS Online uses the ArcGIS World Geocoding Service to locate addresses, but you can specify multiple locators and you can set any one of those as the default locator. Your ArcGIS administrator may also have configured other locators for your organization and set one of those as the default. To learn more about locators, see Introduction to locators in the ArcGIS Pro help.







Postal code

United States ZIP Code


Custom location types

  • This allows you to use a hosted feature service from ArcGIS to specify a location type. For example, if your organization has its own boundaries (water districts, sales districts, or zoning boundaries) shared on ArcGIS, you can map your spreadsheet data using those locations instead of the default location types.


  • EsriJSON encodes both geometry and feature information into objects.
  • An Esri feature set is a collection of features with the same geometry type and coordinate system.
  • In a JSON document, a feature set is represented by a JSON object. The JSON object has three keys: geometryType, spatialReference, and features. For more information, see EsriJSON.
  • You can use the ArcGIS Connectors for Power Automate Get geometry from feature layer action to get geometry or boundary information from a feature layer and export it as EsriJSON.


See the Geography section below.


This location type allows you to select an ArcGIS feature service showing boundaries and join it with a layer. Boundaries include states, provinces, United States ZIP Codes, postal codes, and countries.

You can search for geographies in your content, your organization, ArcGIS Living Atlas of the World, or from a curated set of administrative boundaries. Geographies are joined to the data and added to the map as polygons, which represent both the shape and the location of the place.

When you specify a geography, the appropriate shapes are located and retrieved using the specified column or columns for the location type. This is done by associating the rows of data with the location type through a common column, known as a key.

The name of the column in the data does not need to match the column name in the location type; however, the information in the column must be in the same order to produce a match. When a row of data cannot be located—that is, the shape cannot be retrieved from the location type-it's assigned a null shape and is not drawn on the map. The following table lists the supported keys for each location type:

Location typeShape typeSupported key

U.S. state


The following is required:

  • State—The state name. This can be the full name, two-letter abbreviation, or the state FIPS code (for example, New York, NY, or 36).

U.S. ZIP Code


One of the following is required:

  • ZipCode—The ZIP Code (for example, 92373).
  • ZipCodePlus4—The ZIP Code + 4 (for example, 92373-8100).

World city


The following is required:

  • City—The city name (for example, Budapest).

Optionally, you can specify the following:

  • Country—The country name or ISO-3166 alpha 2 code (for example, Hungary or HU).



The following is required:

  • Country—The country name or ISO-3166 alpha 2 code (for example, Bolivia or BO).


Point, line, or polygon (determined by the selected map or feature service layer)

Configured by your ArcGIS Online or ArcGIS Enterprise administrator and specified for use in ArcGIS for Excel when adding a layer to a map.

When locating data using geography, ensure that there is a one-to-one relationship between the rows of input data and the shapes in the specified location type. In a one-to-one relationship, each row of input data corresponds to a single shape on the map. The shape for each row of input data can be determined and drawn on the map.

Specifying an inappropriate location type can cause unexpected results. This is because the wrong location type often leads to a many-to-one or a one-to-many relationship between the input data and the shapes in the location type.

If the data contains duplicate areas, such as multiple ZIP Codes in a state, you can summarize the values of the locations. If you don't summarize the data, features are rendered on the map stacked on one another. For example, polygon shapes corresponding to multiple input rows are drawn directly on top of one another on a map.

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  1. Location types