Prepare your data

For ArcGIS Urban to function effectively, certain data is recommended. Although you can open Urban with empty layers, urban planning workflows are not possible without the following data:

  • Space Use Types
  • Zoning Types
  • Land Use Types
  • Building Types
  • Space Use Types
  • Project Status Types
  • Feedback Categories

When data is processed, some data uploads are required before other data can be configured. These dependencies are as follows:

  • Zoning Types is required before the Zoning layer can be added.
  • Land Use Types is required before the Land Use layer can be added.
  • Space Use Types is required before Building Types can be added.
  • Project Status Types is required before the Projects layer can be added.
  • The Projects layer is required before the Future Buildings layer can be added.
Your data needs to be in a certain format for ArcGIS Online to read it correctly. The data manager is a tool that allows you to add, edit, and configure your data in a simplified manner. It is accessed using the manage button gear icon in the upper right of the header in the overview and consists of the following key sections:

  • General Settings—General, 3D Base Layers, Public Engagement, and Street View
  • Types—Space Use, Zoning, Land Use, Building, Project Status, and Feedback Categories
  • Layers—Zoning Boundaries, Land Use Boundaries, Overlay Boundaries, and Parcel Boundaries
  • Plans & Projects—Plans, Projects, and Future Buildings
  • Indicators—Living Atlas Indicators and Custom Indicators

Use a template

In some data fields, data can be uploaded from a spreadsheet on your computer. In such cases, a template is available for download. The template includes default data (for example, the default building types) in a structured table format. This template will help you prepare your data. Use the template to structure your own data. Once you are satisfied with the table, you can add it to the data manager, and the contents will be visible.

To access the template, complete the following steps:

  1. Open the data manager.
  2. Click the section in which you want to upload data.
  3. Click the Add button at the upper right of the section you are in.
  4. Select From Spreadsheet.

    The From Spreadsheet dialog box appears.

  5. On the dialog box, click Download template.

    An Excel file is downloaded.

Alternatively, if your data has already been prepared and added to ArcGIS Online, you can upload it to the data manager using the From Feature Table/Layer upload (where possible). This workflow is outlined in Types, Layers, Plans and Projects, and Indicators. A table (hosted) is the Feature Layer type used for the Types tab and a Feature Layer (hosted) is the type used for Layers tab.


When editing the content in the download template make sure that you pay attention to the case of your strings. For example, in the BuildingTypes template there is a FootprintShape column. If you add "Parcel" in this column, the building footprint of the respective building type adapts to the parcel shape. However, if you type in “parcel” (lower-case), the data manager import does not interpret the string as the keyword for adjusting the building footprint according to the parcel's shape.

Tips and tricks

The following tips and tricks should help you preparing your data and uploading it through the data manager:

  • Make sure that there are neither duplicate nor overlapping features in your Zoning, Land Use and Parcel layers.
  • Make sure that the Feature Layer of your Zoning, Land Use, Overlays and Parcels boundaries only contains a single sublayer.
  • Make sure that the Zoning Type/Land Use Type field in your Zoning/Land Use boundaries layer refers to the Join ID of your Zoning Types/Land Use Types.
  • Some attributes require a JSON string as an input (e.g. Allowed Space Use Types in Zoning Types). Make sure that this JSON has the correct format. The schema is explained in detail in the corresponding spreadsheet templates. They can be downloaded in the data manager.
  • When you use spreadsheet templates to upload your data, pay attention that the string values are case sensitive. The schema is explained in detail in the template.
  • For the Parcels layer, make sure that the number of edges inside the EdgeInfos field matches the number of edges of the parcel's geometry.
  • Be aware that edits in the data manager don't affect existing Plans.