Portal: When a user adds an item from file, where is it stored?

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06-30-2021 09:52 AM
RickVillarreal
New Contributor II

I am unable to locate a layer that one of my users added from file (zipped .shp) to a web map. The layer is functioning as expected, but my concern is that the file does not show up in the Content/My Organization tab. I also checked server manager and it is not showing up there either. I added an item myself in the same manner and it is the same... I can only find the item as a layer in my saved web map, and there is no link to the items details. I understand that I can save this item as a layer and it will show up in the content tabs, but this isn't my concern. Ultimately, I am concerned that my users may be able to store information on my system that I am unable to locate and/or manage.

Does it get stored in the Web Map only somehow? 

RickVillarreal_1-1625071876176.png

 

RickVillarreal_0-1625070901639.png

 

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jcarlson
MVP Notable Contributor

Adding a layer to a map is not the same as adding it from the My Content page. Until you click Save Layer, it is, in fact, being stored in your web map's JSON.

Normally, you can't quite see "where" the file is. But if you look at the JSON definition of the map (via Python or the ArcGIS Online Assistant), you can see it. Under the Data section, within the list of operationalLayers, you'll find the features themselves defined as a FeatureSet:

"featureSet": {
  "features": [
    {
      "geometry": {
        "rings": [
          [
            [
              -9855113.41786555,
              5109307.69077386
            ],
            ...
          ]
        ],
      "attributes": {
        "ObjectID": 1,
        ...
      }
    }
  ]
}

 

As you may imagine, a large embedded layer like this can make the map quite a bit larger than a standard web map. For example, I embedded a single GeoJSON in my map with only 4 features, and the map came in at 27kb, compared to a webmap with no embedded layers being less than 2kb.

If you wanted to track down these sort of "hidden" layers that users may be adding, you can do so somewhat easily with Python or a very specific content search. Either iterating over web maps looking for FeatureSet layers, or simply searching for web maps over a certain size. But that's a different question.

- Josh Carlson
Kendall County GIS

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2 Replies
jcarlson
MVP Notable Contributor

Adding a layer to a map is not the same as adding it from the My Content page. Until you click Save Layer, it is, in fact, being stored in your web map's JSON.

Normally, you can't quite see "where" the file is. But if you look at the JSON definition of the map (via Python or the ArcGIS Online Assistant), you can see it. Under the Data section, within the list of operationalLayers, you'll find the features themselves defined as a FeatureSet:

"featureSet": {
  "features": [
    {
      "geometry": {
        "rings": [
          [
            [
              -9855113.41786555,
              5109307.69077386
            ],
            ...
          ]
        ],
      "attributes": {
        "ObjectID": 1,
        ...
      }
    }
  ]
}

 

As you may imagine, a large embedded layer like this can make the map quite a bit larger than a standard web map. For example, I embedded a single GeoJSON in my map with only 4 features, and the map came in at 27kb, compared to a webmap with no embedded layers being less than 2kb.

If you wanted to track down these sort of "hidden" layers that users may be adding, you can do so somewhat easily with Python or a very specific content search. Either iterating over web maps looking for FeatureSet layers, or simply searching for web maps over a certain size. But that's a different question.

- Josh Carlson
Kendall County GIS
RickVillarreal
New Contributor II

Thank you for the insight. I figured this was the case, but was still hoping there would be a more intuitive solution that I could use in Portal without getting too fancy... :grinning_face_with_sweat:

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