Demystifying ArcGIS Online | Questions & Answers

02-02-2015 10:49 AM
Labels (1)

Demystifying ArcGIS Online | Questions & Answers

Here are the Questions and Answers from the Demystifying ArcGIS Online Public Works Meetup.

  • Q2: Where is your data stored if you do not have server?
  • A2: If you publish services using the hosted tile and feature service capabilities of ArcGIS Online, or add shapefiles, CSV files, and other documents, the data is stored in the cloud.

  • Q3: How can I use a file geodatabase with ArcGIS online?
  • A3: You can use file geodatabases to publish services that you can use in ArcGIS Online.

  • Q4: Seeing the direction of lines drawn in GIS for sewers is very important for determining basin flow. ArcMap allows you to use arrow at end for symbology, is there a way to symbolize lines in ArcGIS Online with a direction arrow/arrow at end?
  • A4: You can rotate arrow symbols for points, but lines with arrows have not yet been implemented. You can publish content from ArcGIS for Desktop that includes directional arrows.

  • Q5: How can you link a photo taken out in the field to a feature using ArcGIS for Collector?
  • A5: ArcGIS Collector automatically links the photo to the feature, internally it is stored as an attachment to a feature in a feature service.

  • Q6: When you drop the excel spreadsheet in the map, does it automatically zoom to the area?
  • A6: Yes, it automatically zooms to an extent encompassing all features in the spreadsheet.

  • Q8: MS Internet explorer (IE) does not support editing feature services, correct? ( so Mozilla or Chrome are needed.  However our IT Dept only wants to us IE and won't widely deploy other browsers (our web filtering service only works with IE).  Any suggestions related to this?  Can we expect IE compatibility in the near future?
  • A8: Editable feature services publishing using the hosted service capabilities in ArcGIS Online can be edited in Internet Explorer (the document is about a limitation in ArcGIS for Server).

  • Q9: Can you elaborate on how you produced the Queensland .xlsx file that you used for the traffic cam demo?  Format of the file, where the data came from, etc?
  • A9: The Queensland CSV was formatted specifically to work automatically with the Story Map Tour. The template can be downloaded by clicking Build A Map Tour from here:
  • At the first dialog, click the gear symbols and then choose Download CSV template. Use that template for a Map Tour ready CSV file.

  • Q10: With a VPN connection inside the company firewall, one doesn't need to Register services do you?  Without the vpn connection, the data is not visible (assuming you had map that outsiders could even see)?
  • A10: Registering your services within your firewall enables them to be easily discovered and used for assembling maps using the map viewer. Even if those maps and subsequent apps are never shared outside your organization, it still makes it much easier to discover and use them.

  • Q11: Can you elaborate on the Credit Consumption Dashboard?  Where can I find it, etc?
  • A11: As an administrator in your organization go to My Organization. The upper right information box displays a summary of remaining credits.  Click View Status to view utilization and consumption in more detail.

  • Q12: In the Esri cloud storage capability, do they meet the government's security, backup and recovery requirements? Specifically Department of Defense?
  • A12: Detailed information about security and compliance can be found here:

  • Q13: How would you let other workers in your organization (Non-users of ArcGis) able to view the maps but not available to the public?
  • A13: Only public maps can be viewed by users that do not have a login to your organization. Private maps and apps require a login to view.

  • Q14: We have ArcGIS Server why use ArcGIS Online? Benefits & costs of each platform? What fees are incurred when using either platform?
  • A14: It is not an either or decision. In general, ArcGIS Online complements and extends what you already have with ArcGIS for Server.  ArcGIS Online hosted publishing services can streamline some workflows, and can enable those without access to ArcGIS for Server to publish data that can be used in web maps. ArcGIS Online can be used to provide scalability and performance for high demand use when existing ArcGIS for Server infrastructure can’t support that. Even if you do not want to use ArcGIS Online hosted publishing capabilities, simply registering your existing services in your organization makes them easier to discover, and use in web maps and apps.

  • Q15: Do you need to register services coming from a server? What does "register" mean?
  • A15: Register simply means to add those services as service items, so they can be discovered and used to make web maps and apps.

  • Q16: How do you connect ArcGIS Online to a secure WMS service? Is that possible?
  • A16: Secure WMS services are currently not supported.

  • Q17: If an error is discovered in the Esri base map content, how does one get it corrected?
  • A17: You can let our Community Map Program administrators know by sending email to:

  • Q18: We have been using the ArcGIS app for iOS.  ArcGIS Collector was mentioned but what is the best mobile app for viewing AGOL maps and data?
  • A18: The ArcGIS for iOS app has been deprecated. Your best solution for field data collection is Collector for ArcGIS, or one of the web app templates designed for collaboration. Your Esri account representative can help you find the best solution for your needs.

  • Q19: If a feature layer is shared with everyone and editing is enable, does that mean anyone can edit this feature layer?
  • A19: No, you can restrict feature editing to only those that can access the application or editable layer, and can control whether all users can edit features, or whether features can only be edited by their owners.

  • Q20: Will this presentation be available after this seminar?
  • A20: Yes, this video will be available on

  • Q21: How do Portal and ArcGIS Online integrate with each other?
  • A21: Portal for ArcGIS is part of ArcGIS for Server, and is intended to provide on-premises capabilities for those that do not wish to leverage the cloud. Using Portal for ArcGIS means that you can still use the available public cloud services, like basemaps and layers from Esri and other users, but enabled you to maintain your organization’s critical data on your on-premises infrastructure.

  • Q22: What about geocoding data that is confidential on ArcGIS Online?
  • A22: Using geocoding services does not mean that the result are available to others. Hosted services, including geocoding, are up to you as to how the results are shared.

  • Q23: Is there a specific license (standard or basic) to be able to use the story map with ArcGIS online?
  • A23: Story Maps can be used by any ArcGIS Online account (including public accounts). Story Maps do not consume credits, however storing photos or creating new features can incur (very low) credit consumption.

  • Q24: Can I get some insight on how to setup an excel spreadsheet to drag and drop onto a map? Does the latitude and longitude need to be in degrees or minute, second?
  • A24: Lattitude and longitude coordinates must currently be expressed in decimal degrees, or addresses can be used.

  • Q25: When you use an aerial photo basemap, why are you limited to zooming?
  • A25: Each basemap has an inherent limit to its resolution, and zooming in beyond that limit will be disabled. However, you can use your own basemap layers to zoom in further, beyond the limits set in the default basemaps.

  • Q26: Is there a way to keep your ArcGIS Desktop and ArcGIS Online linked together, so if you edit one, the other is edited? If you zip the file, it's no longer current. So they both are live and up-to-date.
  • A26: When working with shapefiles or spreadsheets that have been used to create services, when the spreadsheet or shapefile is update so will the service. Typically, in an enterprise environment, both ArcGIS for Desktop and other users will edit a common service, so changes are automatically reflected in any app or map which uses those services.

  • Q27: When will related table data be available to use in web applications?
  • A27: Related tables are newly supported for use in pop-ups. More updates regarding related tables are planned in the next release.

  • Q28: Is there a way to save pop-up configurations when changes need to be made to a service? (For example, when you add another feature class to it?)
  • A28: When you register a service you can save the pop-up configuration with the service layer. If changes are made to the services, such as adding another feature class, the pop-up will need to be reconfigured.

  • Q29: How do you register existing maps? What does it mean to register?
  • A29: You register existing maps and services by adding them as items to ArcGIS Online.

  • Q30: Do you have to have credits to store more than 1000 features?
  • A30: You can store as many features as you want, credit consumption if very minimal for storage. If you want to publish features as services, credit consumption will be incurred to publish those as feature or tile services.

  • Q31: What does register your services mean?
  • A31: Registering your services means adding them as items to your organization, so that others can discover and use them.

  • Q32: Can we author that time slider map with tools we are familiar with (i.e. ArcMap)?
  • A32: The web map viewer and several of the templates are “time-aware,” meaning that if the web map contains time-enabled layers the slider will automatically appear.

  • Q33: What is Esri doing to prevent hacking online content?
  • A33: Esri maintains compliance under several standards. While the Esri platform is secure, it is up to the user to decide how to share data. Interestingly, most recent high profile hacking attacks (e.g., Sony, Target) were against on-premises infrastructure, not cloud-based. For more information:

  • Q34: Are we going to be able to show more than 1000 features in the future?
  • A34: The 1000 feature limit only comes into play when you import local data sources into your web map (due to browser limitations). There are no inherent limits when using services.

  • Q35: Are services published from tables limited to 1000 records or features?
  • A35: No, when you create services there are no limits to the number of features that the service can publish.

  • Q36: Can you access the online content from within ArcMap?
  • A36: Yes, ArcGIS Online is an integrated part of the ArcGIS Platform, and ArcGIS for Desktop users can connect to and use basemaps and other layers available in ArcGIS Online, or can use ArcGIS Online to download layer packages and tool packages, or can use ArcGIS Online hosted service capabilities to publish services directly without needing ArcGIS for Server.

  • Q37: I want to know if there is a program that is offered to K-8 schools for letting kids get their first exposure to GIS via AGOL. I wanted to do a Chatuqua for some kids at the school my boys go to in late spring. It would be in a computer lab environment for about 20 - 30 seats. Is there a program, a package, or some sort of person to liaison with for such?
  • A37: Yes, contact the Esri Education team for more information.

  • Q38: When updating an mxd, how do I republish and "over-write" without breaking the previously published version of my web map in ArcGIS online?
  • A38: At present existing web services must be deleted and replaced.

  • Q39: Is ArcPro a separate fee?
  • A39: No, ArcGIS Pro is included with ArcGIS for Desktop.

  • Q40: Is what you are showing free?  Are there any copyright restrictions?
  • A40: What was shown is free, and does not include copyright restrictions. However some capabilities do require an ArcGIS subscriptions and may consume credits.

  • Q41: How can we get and use the Web App templates without having an ArcGIS Online Account
  • A41: Web App templates leverage web maps, and therefore an ArcGIS Online account is needed. Template use is free.

  • Q42: How can you be sure that you are getting quality data from a reputable source?
  • A42: Stick with known, trusted sources such as Esri or other users that you recognize and trust.

  • Q43: Does ArgGIS online have offline data collection capabilities?
  • A43: Yes, you can set data to be cached on local devices for offline use, and to update once connected again.

  • Q45: Can you change the angle of the photos?
  • A45: I am not sure where your photos are being used, but auto-rotate is not supported, so your photos will display in their native rotation.

  • Q46: If my published organization to public can I lock the data so it cannot be changed? I expect visibility and symbology can be changed but can the table data be changed.
  • A46: You can protect your map so that other viewers cannot make a local copy into their own account. In any case, changes with respect to symbology would be made to copies of your map, and would not affect the original map.

  • Q47: How do I connect AGOL to my data in SDE on my server?
  • A47: By publishing services that connect to SDE sources.

  • Q48: Will Esri provide the ability to federate local ArcGIS Servers with ArcGIS Online so services that are on ArcGIS Servers are readily available on ArcGIS Online or items that are uploaded to ArcGIS Online are actually stored and managed by the local ArcGIS Servers?
  • A48: ArcGIS Server services can be added/registered in ArcGIS Online. ArcGIS Server does not provide management capabilities for maps/apps/layers, however Portal for ArcGIS does, and can interoperate with the public ArcGIS Online.

  • Q49: Is there a way to add a secure service that has track changes enabled from ArcGIS Server to ArcGIS Online where users don't have to sign in to ArcGIS Server every time they open the web map in ArcGIS Online?
  • A49: If the map is public, no sign-in is needed. If private, then a login is required to view it.

  • Q50: If I don’t have ArcGIS Server, where is the data stored if I use ArcGIS online?
  • A50: If you use ArcGIS Online, your data is stored in the Esri cloud.

  • Q51: We use the rest endpoints a lot on our servers, do you have rest services online?
  • A51: Yes, all services created using ArcGIS Online hosted services have a REST endpoint. Existing ArcGIS for Server REST endpoint are used when you register your services.

  • Q52: If I set up an ArcGIS online application and want to share with my colleagues will they need an ArcGIS online account, any kind of login's, licenses or will they just be able to access with a simple URL?
  • A52: Only if private sharing is required will an account be necessary, otherwise any publicly shared content can be viewed by anyone and an account is not needed.

  • Q53: Hi, how do you update the edits from AGOL back to desktop?
  • A53: If ArcGIS Desktop and web maps are working against the same services, the updating is automatic.

  • Q54: Can you talk about disconnected editing in Collector?
  • A54: Editable maps can be set up for offline use in your ArcGIS Online organization. Data is cached while on the device, then reconciled when reconnected and used to update the database.

  • Q55: Can you briefly talk about publishing a Flicker feed.
  • A55: Esri provides access to Flickr feeds via the Flickr API. Those feeds can be accessed via the Public Information Map template, and can be used against any web map.

  • Q56: I’m familiar with ArcGIS Desktop, but haven’t used ArcGIS Online. What is the best and/or most efficient way to get started? Is there a quick-start or tutorial available?
  • A56: See the getting started help topics and videos in the ARcGIS Online Help:

  • Q57: How do we get data out of our network into ArcGIS Online, do we need to provide a public-facing webserver?
  • A57: No, services registered on ArcGIS Online can be secure and private. ArcGIS Online rests atop any local security in place.

  • Q59: I’m familiar with ArcGIS Desktop, but haven’t used ArcGIS Online. What is the best and/or most efficient way to get started? Is there a quick-start or tutorial available?
  • A59: See the getting started help topics and videos in the ARcGIS Online Help:

  • Q60: Is there a way to pull in a secure WMS service elsewhere into ArcGIS online? Like if I wanted to pull in a web service from something like a Geoserver instance in the Amazon cloud that is behind https?
  • A60: Secure WMS services are not currently supported.

  • Q61: Is there a way to pull in an ArcGIS Online layer into another web application without going through the ArcGIS online interface. Is there a way security can be verified with a token or something using my AGOL credentials to get the layer I’m interested in?
  • A61: You can add the REST endpoint directly in custom applications.

  • Q62: If you load data to the online site does it create a rest endpoint that you can use for mobile devices? 
  • A62: All services published using hosted service capabilities have a REST endpoint similar to those from ARcGIS for Server.

  • Q63: Nothing was said about the coordinate system.  I normally have mxd’s in state plane and would love to know if those can be publish as is or do I need to convert them to WGS 1984 Web Mercator (auxiliary sphere)?
  • A63: The web map projection is determined by the basemap. All Esri basemaps are published in Web Mercator Auxilary Sphere, the defacto standard originated by Google, Microsoft, Yahoo!, and others. However you can add a layer in a different project, and set that layer as your basemap, and your web map will assume the projection of the basemap layer.

  • Q64: I understand ArcGIS Online does not support directly uploading raster data.  I have one question aimed at small business/small NGO/non-profits who want to integrate home-grown raster images (scanned maps, enhanced satellite & airborne images, etc) into ArcGIS Online – but don’t have access to ArcGIS Server.  Is there an Esri business plan to offer such a service for those who have a subscription, either hosted in ArcGIS Online or some 3rd party ArcGIS Server?
  • A64:  You can store raster data locally, but services for use in web map cannot currently be published using ArcGIS Online. However, ArcGIS for Server does provide publishing capabilities for raster services, which can be used in the ArcGIS Online ecosystem.
Labels (1)

Very helpful Q&A describing the benefits of ArcGIS and AGOL.

Good Job!

Version history
Revision #:
1 of 1
Last update:
‎02-02-2015 10:49 AM
Updated by: