Open Data Download Attribute "Alias" Oh where have you gone??

Idea created by MichaelSemenek on Sep 14, 2017
    • Hornbydd
    • MichaelSemenek
    • arundoss
    • tpcolson
    • enok

    Well my ideas title pretty much sums up my problem (and much needed ArcGIS online "Open Data" enhancement). Any Open Data feature layer field attributes that have an "Alias" setup on them, are not honored when you download the data to a shapefile. The "Alias" is gone.


    We really need the "Alias" capability to be honored in any downloads for two reasons:

    First - We need the capability to be able to help with the shapefile field truncation issue.

    A long field name is fine in SQL or in a file geodatabase, but not a shapefile. Example: REA017_PROP_CLASS truncated becomes REA017_PRO. If you read the truncated field name in the downloaded shapefile, you will have no idea what “REA017_PRO” stands for, or what it represents. Which leads to the second reason.

    Second reason – We simplified several field names with an alias to “keep it simple” or easy to understand.

    Example: In our ParcelsRealEstate feature layer I have a field called “REA017_PROP_CLASS” which stands for real estate 2017 parcels property class. I set an alias of "PropClass" on the field to make it even easier for people to understand. But this PropClass alias (Which simply stands for Property Class) is not honored, I end up with a downloaded shapefile field called REA017_PRO… 


    I can guarantee you more and more agencies will need this "Alias" capability, when they setup and/or provide free geospatial data using “Open Data” on  


    Update to my original post above.  What I hope we can do is utilize the alias for the field name conversion to the shape file. The shape file its self does not need the alias built in. I'm looking to have the existing field name be replaced with the alias as the new field name in the shape file output.