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Maps & Geospatial: ArcGIS Online

This guide provides an introduction to using ArcGIS Online. ArcGIS Online enables the creation of web maps, web applications, and geospatial analysis projects to communicate with broad audiences related to spatial topics.


Users can create new layers, web maps, and applications within ArcGIS Online. With the ability to quickly to create multiple options for geospatial visualization of projects and topics, review of content created can be helpful in the management of ArcGIS Online items, ease the identification of appropriate items, and help to minimize storage issues in the long term. These resources and recommendations provide users with a greater understanding of how data and content management can help to improve your experience with working within the ArcGIS Online environment for both short term and long term projects. Common types of ArcGIS online content items areFeature Layers, Tile Layers, Web Maps, Web Map Applications, Map packages, Tile packages, and StoryMaps Data management for content within ArcGIS online can be helpful to apply to other file and storage areas.  

Content Characteristics

Item Details

Title, Summary, Description, Terms of Use, Sharing Level, Tags, Credits 


Create Naming Conventions for content: Example: Geographic Location and topic of file. Addition of a relevant year applicable 


This is brief statement about the purpose and/or topic of the item.


This would be include information on the following topics relevant to another user of the content item, such as: 

  • Description of the original purpose for creation of the item: Example: This layer was created as part of a semester project for SOC 490. 

  • Procedures and/or processed used in the creation of the item: Example: This layer was created by the collection of addresses from a primary tourism brochure in order to locate historical landmarks. 

  • Descriptors of the attributes contained within an item (as applicable): Example: Attributes included in this feature layer of landmarks include: 

    • Landmark Name: Name of Landmark 

    • Date: Date of origin of Landmark 

    • County: County 

    • State: State 

    • Description: Brief Description of Landmark 

  • Considerations of biases, errors, or omissions within the item: Example: This item includes landmarks selected by the created and is not a complete list of all landmarks within the geographic location

Terms of Use

Statement regarding use.


Terms used when searching for content.


Organization, and/or source credit/attribution information.

Sharing Level

Set to individual, organization, or public. Sharing can also occur to specific groups.


Folders and Sorting Content

Sorting content

  • Can view older/newer content 
  • Can sort by Title 

Folder Names 

  • Suggestions for Specific folders: Specific Projects, Class Specifics by Semester 

Item Preservation 

  • Saving original files used for the creation of the item 

  • Export of item in multiple formats for use in other applications (as applicable) 

  • Export of StoryMap as a pdf 

  • Export of map and/or screencapture of map in image format  

Review Frequency

  • On a periodic basis review content for unused, outdated, and/or unneeded content.