While the full and filtered dataset downloads feature provided in the Open Data site is a brilliant feature, we have had trouble get the functionality to work with a number of our datasets. After working with ESRI Support, the issue was identified as some of our data containing polygons with too many vertices (see https://blogs.esri.com/esri/arcgis/2010/07/23/dicing-godzillas-features-with-too-many-vertices/).
The only way to get this feature to work would be to simplify the polygons, however, as a government organisation many of our boundaries are based upon other geographies defined in legislation and delineated by Ordnance Survey. It would not be appropriate to generalise the data to make it available to download from the REST service as people wouldn’t be getting the actual data, but a modified version of it. For our needs the downloaded data must be suitable for analytical purposes, not just cartographic – and I’m not keen on modifying data to suit technical limitations.
I realise that a static zipped shapefile could be added as an item on the Open Data site, but then we would lose the other features (i.e. viewing attributes, previewing the geography in a map, etc.). What would be preferred is that if you could disable the full and filtered dataset downloads for large datasets and just include a pointer to a static download under the additional resources. Without this feature the Open Data site isn’t of much use to us.