Data publishing

To publish your data as a hosted layer, you can use interactive data management tools found in ArcGIS Online and the developer dashboard. For each dataset published, a new hosted layer and data service are created.

How data publishing works

There are three ways to publish data:

  1. Import data: Upload a file with your existing data to create a hosted feature layer.
  2. Create new data: Define a new empty hosted feature layer.
  3. Convert to new data: Create a new type of hosted layer from an existing hosted feature layer.

Data hosting

Publish your data as a data service by importing and managing it with tools.

Import data

Importing data is the process of uploading a data file to create a hosted feature layer. Data files are CSV, GeoJSON, or Shapefile files with attribute and geometry data. These files can be uploaded by data management tools to create a data service. Once hosted, you can query, edit, and update the data by accessing the feature layer in the feature service.

How to import data

To import files, you can use either of the following tools:

  1. Go to ArcGIS Online > Content > Add item.
  2. Go to ArcGIS for Developers > Dashboard > Layers > Import data.

When a file is imported, a new hosted feature layer is created with the following:

  1. Item: Feature layer (hosted) or Table (hosted)
  2. Layer and data service: Feature layer or table in a Feature service.

If the source file contains coordinate, geometry, or address information, a feature layer is created. If the source file does not contain coordinate information, a table and a layer are created.

Supported file types

You can upload file types such as CSV, XLS, GeoJSON, Shapefile, and File Geodatabase files. To see a full list, visit Supported types.

Tools, data, and services

Below is a description of the tools, input files, and the hosted layer created when importing data.

ToolInput File TypeInput Data formatOutput Item typeOutput Layer and Data ServiceUse Case
1. ArcGIS Online (Add item) 2. Developer dashboard (Import data)CSV or XLS(X) file Google sheetsCoordinate fields e.g. x, y, latitude, longitude Address field(s) Attribute fieldsFeature layer (hosted)Feature layer (Feature service)Access and display features, SQL and spatial queries, Edit features, Sync, Extract, Offline
1. ArcGIS Online (Add item) 2. Developer dashboard (Import data)CSV or XLS(X) file Google sheetsAttribute fieldsTable (hosted)Table (Feature Service)Access features, SQL Query, Update, Sync, Extract, Offline
1. ArcGIS Online (Add item) 2. Developer dashboard (Import data)GeoJSON file*Geometry (points, lines, and polygons) AttributesFeature layer (hosted)Feature layer (Feature service)Display features, SQL and spatial queries, Edit features, Sync, Extract, Offline
1. ArcGIS Online (Add item) 2. Developer dashboard (Import data)Shapefile (zipped)Geometry (points, lines, or polygons) AttributesFeature layer (hosted)Feature layer (Feature service)Display features, SQL and spatial queries, Edit features, Sync, Extract, Offline
1. ArcGIS Online (Add item) 2. Developer dashboard (Import data)File Geodatabase (zipped)*Geometry (points, lines, or polygons) and Attributes AttributesFeature layer (hosted) Table (hosted)Feature layer (hosted) (Feature service)Display features, SQL and spatial queries, Edit features, Sync, Extract, Offline

*If a file contains multiple geometry types, a separate layer is created for each type. Feature layers support only one geometry type per layer.

Create new data

Creating new data is the process of defining a new empty hosted feature layer.

You typically use this process when you need to publish an empty feature layer with with either point, line, or polygon geometry types with a specific data schema. You can then build custom applications such as a data collection application to add features to the layer.

How to create a new feature layer

To create a new feature layer, you can use either of the following tools:

  1. Go to ArcGIS Online > Content > Create > Feature layer. You can then create a layer from a template, an existing layer, or from a URL.
  2. Go to ArcGIS for Developers > Dashboard > Layers > Create data > New hosted layer (Feature layer). You can then define the geometry type and fields for the layer interactively.

Either tool will create a new hosted feature layer with the following:

  1. Item: Feature layer (hosted)
  2. Layer and data service: Feature layer in a Feature service.

Next, the most common step is to add data to the new layer. You can use tools such as the Map Viewer to add, update, and delete features.

Tools, data, and services

Below is a description of the tools, input data, and the hosted layer created.

ToolInput Data SourceInput Data FormatOutput Item typeOutput Layer and Data ServiceUse Case
ArcGIS Online (Create)Template Hosted feature layer Layer URLFeature layer (hosted)Feature layer (hosted)Feature layer (Feature service)Display features, SQL and spatial queries, Edit features, Sync, Extract, Offline
Developer dashboard (Add Data)None. The geometry type and fields are defined interactively.NoneFeature layer (hosted)Feature layer (Feature service)Display features, SQL and spatial queries, Edit features, Sync, Extract, Offline

Convert to new data

Converting data, also known as publishing a new hosted layer, is the process of accessing an existing hosted layer to create a new type of hosted layer.

You typically use this process to publish a new type of hosted layer that can be more easily accessed by applications or to optimize accessing data.

How to publish new types of hosted layers

To create a new layer from a feature layer, you can use the following tools:

  1. Go to ArcGIS Online > Content, click an existing feature layer, and then click Publish. Choose Vector tile layer, Tile layer, or WFS layer.
  2. Go to ArcGIS for Developers > Dashboard > Layers, click an existing feature layer. In the Overview, click Publish vector tile layer from the Publish as new layer box .

When you use these tools, the following are created:

  1. Item: An item that matches the type of new layer created.
  2. Layer and data service: One of the following types layers and/or service:
    • Tile layer in an image tile service.
    • Vector tile layer in a vector tile service.
    • WFS layer that references a feature service.
    • Scene layer (points only) that references a scene service.

Tools, data, and services

Below is a list of the tools, input data source, and the hosted layer created.

ToolInput Data SourceOutput Item typeOutput Layer and Data ServiceUse Case
1. ArcGIS Online (Publish) 2. Developer dashboard (Create data)Feature layer (hosted)Tile layer (Image tiles) (hosted)Image tile service (Map Service)Data accessDisplay static tiles
1. ArcGIS Online (Publish) 2. Developer dashboard (Create data)Feature layer (hosted)Tile layer (Vector tiles) (hosted)Vector tile serviceData accessDisplay vector tile data
1. ArcGIS Online (Publish) 2. Developer dashboard (Create data)Feature layer (hosted)WFS (hosted)Feature serviceData access, queryDisplay features as WFS
1. ArcGIS Online (Publish) 2. Developer dashboard (Create data)Feature layer (hosted)Scene Layer (hosted)Scene serviceData accessDisplay 3D data

Tutorials

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 API for JavaScriptNot supportedFully supportedFully supportedFully supported
ArcGIS Runtime API for AndroidNot supportedFully supportedFully supportedFully supported
ArcGIS Runtime API for iOSNot supportedFully supportedFully supportedFully supported
ArcGIS Runtime API for JavaNot supportedFully supportedFully supportedFully supported
ArcGIS Runtime API for .NETNot supportedFully supportedFully supportedFully supported
ArcGIS Runtime API for QtNot supportedFully supportedFully supportedFully supported
ArcGIS API for PythonFully 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

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