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Sharing Content Without Downloading Layer

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04-06-2023 08:42 AM
AbigailEbelherr
New Contributor III

I would like to double check my understanding of something. 

Issue:  I have a layer that I want to share with the public in Survey123.  I do not want anyone to be able to download the layer and use it in any other program.

I created a View Layer from the Feature Layer.  In settings under Export Data, I have "Allow others to export to different formats" unchecked in both the View Layer and Feature Layer.  Is this enough to prevent anyone else from downloading the layer, itself, or does it only prevent them from downloading attribute data?

Thank you.

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5 Replies
jcarlson
MVP Esteemed Contributor

It makes it harder to download the data, but by itself isn't enough to prevent a download.

When a user interacts with your feature service, the features are literally being downloaded to their browser, albeit in a specific format the browser asks for, and only for the map extent. But any user who is persistent enough would be able to scrape the layer if they wanted to.

Now, is the Survey123 form just for collecting data? If that were the case, you could set access controls on it. Those are the settings like "editors can't see any data, even those they add". That setting would effectively hide all collected data from other users.

- Josh Carlson
Kendall County GIS
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AbigailEbelherr
New Contributor III

It is for collecting data, but I want users to be able to put a point on a map that has data already on it.  Basically, I have a shapefile of city parcels that I am allowed to let people view but not download.  I want them to be able to put a point on it in Survey123 and then fill out data about the parcel. 

In order to view the shapefile, I need to change its sharing permissions to public, correct?  If I do that, then I am worried users will be able to download the shapefile by finding it where it is hosted on ArcGIS.

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jcarlson
MVP Esteemed Contributor

Well, to be technical, they won't be able to find the shapefile itself, but yes, they'd be able to download the published feature layer data if it were made public. There's not really a great way around it unless you were to publish a map image layer with no direct query access.

- Josh Carlson
Kendall County GIS
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AbigailEbelherr
New Contributor III

Josh,

Thank you for all of your help.  What would publishing a map with no direct query access mean?

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jcarlson
MVP Esteemed Contributor

Through ArcGIS Server, you can publish a Map Image layer. It's basically just a visual though, and can't be interacted with, like with popups, etc.

- Josh Carlson
Kendall County GIS
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