Manage a feature layer

Learn how to set the properties and capabilities for a hosted feature layer.

You can manage hosted feature layers by using the item page in ArcGIS Online. You can use this tool to set properties such as the name and description, drawing style, field visibility, editing capabilities, and private vs public access settings. These settings control how the data is presented to applications. For example, you can limit fields that are visible or change the layer style, which also affects the fields and style in client applications. Managing feature layer properties through an item page gives you a way to centrally control how client applications view and access data.

In this tutorial, you use the item page to set the properties and capabilities for the Trails feature layer.


You need an ArcGIS Developer or ArcGIS Online account to access and manage hosted layers.


Import the Trails feature layer

Before you get started, you need your own Trails feature layer in ArcGIS Online. Only the owner of a layer can change the settings. If you don't have this layer, follow the steps below.

  1. Go to the Import data as a feature layer tutorial and follow the steps to create a new Trails feature layer.

  2. You only need to import the Trails GeoJSON file to create the feature layer for this tutorial.

Go to the Trails item page in ArcGIS Online

Use the item page in ArcGIS Online to access the Trails feature layer.

  1. Go to ArcGIS Online and sign in.

  2. Click Content and click the Trails feature layer to open the item page.

  3. In the item page, note the following tabs available:

    • Overview: Contains information and links to view the feature layer and metadata.
    • Data : View and edit attributes in a table.
    • Visualization: Access feature layer fields, values, and records.
    • Usage: View feature service requests.
    • Settings: Set default and advanced permissions as well as capabilities.

Set sharing permission (Overview tab)

In the Import data as a feature layer tutorial, you made the Trails feature layer accessible to everyone (public). The item page allows you to modify sharing options.

  1. Click the Overview tab.

  2. On the right side, click Share > Owner > Save. This limits access to your layer to only you.

Set field properties (Data tab)

Use the Data tab to access feature layer fields, values, and records. You can sort, calculate, edit (if you have permissions), and limit the fields displayed.

  1. Click the Data tab. You will see a table with attributes.

  2. At the top-right of the table, click the menu bar > Show/Hide Columns and only show the following fields:

    • TRL_NAME
    • ELEV_MIN
    • ELEV_MAX

Limiting the columns will restrict client applications to only access four of the existing fields.

Set style and filter features (Visualization tab)

Use the Visualization tab to control the features that are displayed. You can style, configure pop-ups, and display labels on a map. You can also filter the data displayed on the client using one or more SQL expressions.

  1. Click the Visualization tab.

  2. In the top-left panel, click the Change style icon > Options > Symbols.

  3. Select a color (such as purple) for the polyline, then click OK > OK > Done to apply the new styling.

  4. In the top-left panel, click the Filter icon.

  5. Filter trails by entering: TRL_NAME contains Backbone.

  6. Click Apply Filter. All trails that do not match the query will be filtered out.

Client applications will only be able to access the feature that is available in the filter.

Set additional properties (Settings tab)

Use the Settings tab to set permissions, editing, layer drawing, and extent.

  1. Click the Settings tab.

  2. Content Status

    • If the layer is an official source, you can mark the feature layer as authoritative.
    • If the feature layer is out of date, then you can mark it as deprecated.
  3. Delete Protection: Select to prevent accidental deletion of the feature layer.

  4. Public Data Collection: If you have an application that relies on public data editing, then select this option. You must also enable public access to your layer using the Share button in the Overview.

  5. Set Extent: If you want to set a new extent for the layer.

  6. Uncheck Enable Editing for your feature layer. The following will be hidden:

    • The ability to add, delete, and update attributes and geometry.
    • The permission to allow editors to see and edit features.
    • The permission to allow anonymous editors the same access as signed in editors.
  7. To enhance drawing performance, you have the following options:

    • Optimize layer drawing: This allows increased drawing speed of line and polygon layers. However, it requires additional storage space.
    • Spatial Indexes: To increase performance when drawing features on a map when data changes frequently.
  8. Export Data: To allow users to export your data to different formats.

Access the layer with Map Viewer

To verify the settings of your feature layer, access the layer with Map Viewer.

  1. Click the Overview tab.

  2. On the bottom right of the page, click View to view the service URL.

  3. Find the Service item ID, for example: 69e12682738e467eb509d8b54dc73cbd.

  4. Sign out of your ArcGIS account.

  5. Go to Map Viewer and enter the item ID:<YOUR_ITEM_ID> and ensure that it prompts for credentials.

You are now able to manage the settings of your feature layer using the tabs in the item detail page in ArcGIS Online. All clients accessing the layer will access and view the data the same way.

What's next?

Learn how to use additional tools, APIs, and location services in these tutorials:

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