Sharing a layer so students can edit independently?

11-13-2014 01:45 PM
Occasional Contributor II

I am providing support to a class at my university that is using ArcGIS Online to create maps of world countries.  I have created a world countries feature layer that has empty fields where they can add their own data.

How do I allow the students to have their own copies of this feature layer so they can add their own personal data, independent of their classmates?  Right now, I have shared the feature layer to the class group and have made it editable but they are over-writing each others' edits.

Thanks in advance for your help,

Allen Risley

California State University San Marcos

4 Replies
by Anonymous User
Not applicable

Hi Allen,

If each of the students have their own usernames you can edit the item details for the web map and check the box "allow others to save a copy of this item". That way you can create the blank map and instruct the student to open and instead of directly editing they can do a save as which will create a copy of the map which they will own and exist in their "My Content" page.

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Occasional Contributor II

Hi Katie,

I don't see an option for "allow others to save a copy of this item" (possibly because it is a feature layer?), but I did check the box for "allow others to export this item".  That option allows other users to export a zipped copy of the shapefile.

So here's my work-around:

  1. Share the original shapefile to the class group.
  2. Instruct the students to download the zipped shapefile to their own computer/network space.
  3. Open a map and use the "Add layer from file" option to load the shapefile that they just downloaded.
  4. This will give them their own copy of the shapefile/layer.  They can then enable editing on this layer in order to add their own values.

Thanks for your help - got me moving in the right direction.


New Contributor III

Hi Allen,

I'm trying to find a workaround for the same issue - a whole class working individually on the same feature class. Did you have to get the students to rename the file when uploading, say, with their student number? I don't think AGOL will accept 100 hosted feature classes with same name, or perhaps it doesn't matter if it's uploaded to their own 'Content'? 


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Occasional Contributor II

Gosh, it's been a long time since I did this...but I generally have students add their names to items they create for the exact reason that you cite.  So, for example, when they use an analysis tool to create buffers they all add their name of initials to the buffer layer result name so the feature layer names will be unique.

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