Complex Symbology on ArcGIS Online

11-27-2017 12:24 PM
Status: Open
New Contributor II

I know a lot of fields have complex symbology they are using for polyline and polygon features, which would be great as web feature services for collaboration.

I have found that this is a major show-stopper for my organisation (85,000 pers) in adopting ArcGIS Online as a mainstream tool in day-to-day planning. We have a team committed to making this work, but without complex symbology drawing options, we are limited in expanding our consumer-base to the bulk of the organisation.

For example, we have line features with triangles, boxes with circles in them and specific markers on the contour lines... all of which are fairly hard to draw on a computer to start with. They also have to made on a map, at certain scales and with coordinate systems. Our current GIS software is dating and only allows GIS users to use it effectively. We now have Portal and ArcGIS Online, but without that final representation, we cannot empower our end-users to conduct the work themselves.




I agree that this is a major limitation.  Symbolizing using "Unique Values, Many Fields" is also something that would expand the functionality of ArcGIS Online.  


Hi Both,

Are you ESRI UK clients? 

We were told the same back when AGOL was a beta in 2014, however after many many hours with the GIS team we cracked it. The issue is the symbology is being controlled by an integer field rather than the Symboloy_Text field which is a string.. If you convert the Symbology to Representation you can use any symbology you use like. We taught this back to ESRI so it's sad to see it's not widely known.

We built an “Advanced sample map to show it can be done - This is just uploading from Arcgis desktop.

by Anonymous User

Can you please give some more details about how you used Representations in order to set complex symbology in a feature service?


any update on this procedure? this info would be very helpful for complex symbology.


This would be a bigger deal than y'all must realize. It can't be that difficult to add. 


Is there some document explaining how to do this? I created a representation and uploaded the feature service, but the complex symbology is lost..

Thanks in advance,



This is an issue with Server as well. I'm currently trying to publish a feature with complex symbology for an EMS evacuation/incident map that was created way back in 2012. Pro is telling me that the symbology will be "downgraded" before publishing to server. Why is this still an issue? 


I would like this to be upgraded in ArcGIS Online.  After attending the UC last week, I asked about it.  I changed the solid strokes and shape markers to picture stoke and picture marker, which did not work.  The symbology was downgraded when attempting to publish to AGOL.  I would like to avoid using representation as well.  Thanks