Adding polygons to ArcGIS Online from CSV/text based file?

02-22-2018 09:06 AM
by Anonymous User
Not applicable

Hi guys,

I'm trying to find a way to add polygons/non-point based vector data to ArcGIS Online via a CSV file. However, the problem is when I export the layers from my desktop GIS (QGIS) as CSV these files do not work with ArcGIS Online as the co-ordinates for the polygons are listed in WTK format e.g. POLYGON (lat,long,lat,long,lat,long,lat,long etc).

Is there a way I can use CSV format to provide data to ArcGIS Online to generate polygons? I know I can do this with shapefiles, and have done so but I need some sort of text based entry. I work in an education centre and we are trying to enable students to map habitats by entering data in an spreadsheet (Google sheets), which can then be published as a CSV and added into Arc. I've worked this out so that they can add point data with attributes but can't work out how to progress it to polygons or even lines.

Hope that makes sense! Thanks in advance.

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5 Replies
Esri Frequent Contributor


When publishing to ArcGIS Online from a CSV file, the result will be point geometry. To publish line or polygon geometry you will need to use a different file format like a shapefile, File Geodatabase or GeoJson.

If you need to use a csv file for attributes, you may want to consider creating the polygon features from one of the above formats and use the join tool to add the csv data to the geometry.

This blog outlines the join tool option:

Table to App – Part 1: Create Data | ArcGIS Blog 


by Anonymous User
Not applicable

Thank you for the reply Kelly.

So there is no file format able to publish polygons/lines to ArcGIS Online that could be editable through a spreadsheet?

Would you suggest then that I have the polygon features already added to my map (via shapefile) but then students provide attributes for them via a CSV? 

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by Anonymous User
Not applicable

Hi Kelly,

After trying to use the join feature I realise I am not able to on a free account. Is there any other solution you can suggest?

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Esri Esteemed Contributor

If you would be working at a school (primary or secondary) you could apply for a free Schools Mapping Software Bundle: Schools Mapping Software Bundle for Grades K-12 | Esri 

by Anonymous User
Not applicable

Thank you Xander. We are in the UK but I will drop a line to the UK office.