Making a Group Map

Discussion created by cfitzpatrick-esristaff Employee on Oct 15, 2015
Latest reply on Jul 31, 2016 by cfitzpatrick-esristaff

Many educators ask how to make a map as a group. There are several strategies for this.

  1. The simplest method, which I recommend for people who are just starting, is to use map notes, which can be done even with just a public account. A document by the Geoporter group explains the process (English:; Spanish:
  2. Another method is to publish a CSV into an Org as a feature service, push it into a map, and have people access either the map or (better) a web app (such as a GeoForm) in which they add their own content. This is simple and can be a little more elegant because it's all in one service, and can have attachments, but the CSV cannot constrain the type of content entered. This route requires an Org for the service, and the creator can decide if contributors must belong to the Org and sign in, or any Org and sign in, or have any AGO account and sign in, or not sign in at all.
  3. A more robust version of #2 is to use a feature service published via the publishing service at (accessible only if/when you are logged into an Org with publishing credentials). This lets you define the field types (text, number, etc) but not constrain a field to specific choices. See the graphic below to know what to look for on that page: developers.jpg
  4. A more robust version of #3 is to use a feature service published via ArcMap with domains established. There is an "older" blog and map that describes this ( and a wonderful recent course on the Esri Virtual Campus that walks users thru this process (
  5. The next step up is to work with some of the various field data collection apps that Esri has made available. See and go to "06.Apps&Programming". [[See Survey123 notes added below.]]


As with much of GIS, especially online GIS, there are multiple ways to accomplish an important task. Again, for novices, I recommend starting with Route#1 above, because it is doable, fast, with minimal knowledge, and will lead users to discover the value of learning the more powerful methods if they want more standardized content and broader participation.