Data hosting overview

Data hosting is the process of storing and managing your data as a data service. When data is hosted, you can build applications to easily access and display your data through data services.

You can use data hosting to:

  • Import data in CSV, XLS, GeoJSON, Shapefile and other formats.
  • Convert data to new data formats.
  • Access data through feature services, vector tile services, and image tile services.
  • Perform SQL and spatial queries on your data.
  • Edit and track edits for feature data.
  • Access feature data in JSON or GeoJSON format.
  • Optimize data with indexes and caching.
  • Upload and download data.
  • Take data offline.
  • Manage data security and access permissions.

How data hosting works?

To host data, you need an ArcGIS account. An account allows you to sign in and access data management tools in ArcGIS Online and the developer dashboard. It also gives you access to a number of tools such as Map Viewer and Scene Viewer, which can be used to view, edit, and perform analyses on any data you wish to use in your applications.

Data management tools allow you to import data, create new data, or convert existing data. Each time you add or create data, a new hosted layer is created with an item and a layer in a data service. The item manages the layer properties and capabilities, and the data service accesses the layer data. Each item has a unique ID. The type of item and service created depends upon the type of data and tool used.

After a hosted layer is created, applications can easily access and display its data by referencing the layer's item ID or data service URL.

Data hosting

Host your data by importing files and then accessing the data service with a URL or ID.

Types of hosted layers

You can store and manage different types of data as hosted layers in the ArcGIS Platform. Each type of hosted layer references a specific type of data service. Each data service supports a specific set of operations. Therefore, the functionality available in a hosted layer is determined by the type of data service it references. In general, all data services allow client applications to optimally access and display data in maps and scenes.

Hosted feature layer

A hosted feature layer is a reference to a feature layer in a feature service used to store your data. A feature layer is a spatially-enabled table that contains features with a geometry and attributes. Applications can use feature layers to access, query, edit, and display features in a map or scene.

You use a hosted feature layer when you want to:

  • Import files such as CSV, XLS, or Google Sheets with coordinate information.
  • Store collections of geometry and attribute data as features.
  • Access and display features in maps and scenes.
  • Securely share data with applications and users.
  • Optimize accessing and displaying large amounts of features.
  • Edit data and track edits.
  • Perform SQL or spatial queries.
  • Update or export data.
  • Use feature data in offline applications.

Hosted table

A hosted table is a reference to a table in a feature service used to store your data. It contains features with attributes but no geometry. Applications can use hosted tables to access, query, and edit data as stand-alone tables or as related tables.

Hosted tables are created by importing files such CSV, XLS, or Google Sheets that do not have spatial data associated with them. Learn more in Data publishing.

Use hosted tables when you want to:

  • Import files such as CSV, XLS, or Google Sheets without coordinate information.
  • Store collections of data.
  • Optimize accessing large amounts of data.
  • Create related tables for other hosted layers.
  • Edit features and track edits (add, update, and delete).
  • Perform SQL queries.
  • Update or export data.
  • Use non-spatial data in offline applications.

Hosted vector tile layer

A hosted vector tile layer is a reference to a vector tile layer in a vector tile service used to store your data. Applications can use a vector tile layer to access and display vector tiles in a map or scene.

You use hosted vector tile layers when you want to:

  • Convert feature layers to vector tile layers.
  • Store and access data as pre-cached (static) vector tiles in PFB format.
  • Provide styles for tiles that are rendered on the client and can be re-styled.
  • Provide high-resolution rendering on different devices.
  • Create and use your own basemap layer styles with the Vector Tile Style Editor.
  • Optimize accessing and displaying large amounts of data as tiles.
  • Use vector tile data in offline applications.

Hosted image tile layer

A hosted image tile layer is a reference to an image tile layer in an image tile service used to store your data. Applications can use image tile layers to display large amounts of geographic data in a map or scene with static image files.

You use hosted image tile layers when you want to:

  • Convert feature layers to image tile layers.
  • Store and access data as pre-cached image tiles in different formats e.g. JPEG or PNG.
  • Optimize accessing and displaying large amounts of data as tiles.
  • Use image tile data in offline applications.

Hosted WFS layer

A hosted WFS layer is a reference to a layer in a feature service that returns data as OGC-compliant WFS features. Applications use hosted WFS layers to access, query, and display features in a map or scene.

You can publish a hosted WFS layer from a hosted feature layer.

You use hosted WFS layers when you want to:

  • Access data as OGC-compliant features.
  • Optimize accessing and displaying large amounts of data as WFS features.

Hosted scene layer

A hosted scene layer is a reference to a scene service with data that conforms to the I3S specification. Applications can use a scene layer to access and display 3D data in scenes.

You can create hosted scene layers from hosted feature layers (points only), or you can publish different types of 3D data as hosted scene layers from ArcGIS Pro. ArcGIS Pro can publish 3D data such as 3D objects, buildings, point clouds, or integrated meshes.

You use hosted scene layers when you want to:

  • Store 3D in I3S format.
  • Access and view 3D data in different clients.
  • Optimize accessing and displaying large amounts of 3D data.
  • Use 3D data in offline applications.

Hosted layers comparison

The following compares the different types of hosted layers.

Hosted Layer TypeData Service (Source)Data TypeCapabilities
Hosted feature layerFeature serviceFeatureAccess and display features, SQL and spatial queries, Edit features, Sync, Extract, Offline
Hosted tableFeature serviceFeatureAccess, SQL queries, Edit features, Sync, Extract, Offline
Hosted vector tile layerVector tile serviceVector tileAccess and display features, Offline
Hosted image tile layerImage tile service (MapService)Image tileAccess and display by LODs
Hosted WFSFeature ServiceWFS featureAccess and display features, SQL and spatial queries
Hosted scene layerScene serviceI3SAccess and display 3D features

Tutorials

Tools
APIs

Services

Feature service

Add, update, delete, and query feature data.


Vector tile service

Store and access vector tile data.


Image tile service

Store and access image tile data.

API support

Tools
Import and create dataManage data accessManage data propertiesDisplay dataQuery dataEdit data
Developer dashboardFully supportedLayers only.Layers and services only.Fully supportedNot supportedNot supported
ArcGIS OnlineFully supportedFully supportedFully supportedFully supportedFully supportedFully supported
Map ViewerCreate layers.Web maps only.Web maps and layers only.Fully supportedFully supportedFully supported
Scene ViewerNot supportedWeb scenes only.Web scenes and layers only.Fully supportedFully supportedNot supported
ArcGIS Pro (desktop)Fully supportedFully supportedFully supportedFully supportedFully supportedFully supported
Full supportPartial support (see notes)Not supported
APIs
Import and create dataDisplay dataQuery dataEdit data
ArcGIS JS APINot supportedFully supportedFully supportedFully supported
ArcGIS Android APINot supportedFully supportedFully supportedFully supported
ArcGIS iOS APINot supportedFully supportedFully supportedFully supported
ArcGIS .NET APINot supportedFully supportedFully supportedFully supported
ArcGIS Qt APINot supportedFully supportedFully supportedFully supported
ArcGIS Java APINot supportedFully supportedFully supportedFully supported
ArcGIS Python APIFully supportedNot supportedFully supportedFully supported
Esri LeafletNot supportedFully supportedRequires ArcGIS REST JSRequires ArcGIS REST JS
MapBox GL JSNot supportedFully supportedRequires ArcGIS REST JSRequires ArcGIS REST JS
OpenLayersNot supportedFully supportedRequires ArcGIS REST JSRequires ArcGIS REST JS
ArcGIS REST JSAuthentication and portal access.Not supportedFully supportedFully supported
Full supportPartial support (see notes)Not supported

Tools