Publishing data in ArcGIS Open Data / Hub

Data Preparation

  • Preferably delete any unnecessary fields – for vector data, at a minimum, make them not visible in the map document.
  • For vector data, consider changing field names and aliases to the clearest possible names with 10 characters or less.  Open Data will make the data downloadable as a shape file, which will truncate field names.
  • If necessary, project the data to Web Mercator Auxiliary Sphere, and copy/import the data to a file geodatabase on the production GIS server, along with the corresponding map document (for vector data).
  • For raster data only, compress and copy the data to the Amazon S3.  Export a standalone metadata file to include with the compressed data, as downloads may occur outside of Open Data.  The S3 URL should be included in the metadata.

Metadata Preparation

  • For Open Data purposes, metadata may be created with EME, the USGS Metadata Wizard, or any of the ArcCatalog editing styles available in Customize \ ArcCatalog Options \ Metadata \ Metadata Style.
  • Regardless of how it is created, ensure that it is upgraded to the ArcGIS Metadata Format using the Upgrade Metadata tool in ArcToolbox \ Conversion Tools \ Metadata.
  • Metadata can be cleared for existing layers, if necessary, by creating an empty feature class and importing its metadata.

  • For raster data, include the link to the data on the S3 site.
  • Create new USGS template?
  • When entering tags/categories, include at least one of the following, which are used as data categories in Open Data.
    • Boundaries

    • Modeling

    • Monitoring

    • Land Resources

    • BMP
    • Water Quality
    • Toxic Contaminants
    • Healthy Watersheds
    • Sustainable Fisheries
    • Vital Habitats
    • Land Conservation
    • Public Access
    • Environmental Literacy
    • Stewardship
    • Climate Resiliency

Map Preparation

  • Metadata in map and layer properties
  • Need layer-specific description in Description field on General tab in Layer Properties
  • Web Mercator Auxiliary Sphere


  • Publish map service on gisage1p-solo
    • Service description comes from Item Description in Service Editor (available during publishing process or from Service Properties in ArcCatalog)
    • Keywords entered in Tags field in Service Editor automatically populate tag field in Add Item from Web dialog in ArcGIS Portal when registering a service.  These can be edited, if necessary, particularly if keywords should vary for layers within the same service.
    • When entering tags/categories, include at least one of the following, which are used as data categories in Open Data. See the detailed list in Metadata Preparation.
  • Register each layer separately with ArcGIS Portal
    • Description in map layer properties will carry through to ArcGIS Portal/Open Data entry automatically
    • When entering tags/categories, include at least one of the following, which are used as data categories in Open Data. See the detailed list in Metadata Preparation.
    • Once an Open Data URL is available, copy this URL into the metadata.
  • Import metadata to ArcGIS Portal so that it is available from a link on the corresponding Open Data page where users can download the data
    • ArcGIS Portal can only import metadata from an XML file in ArcGIS format
    • Exporting the metadata from the ArcCatalog item to a standalone XML file is a two-step process
      • First, right-click on the folder where you want the XML file to go, and select New \ XML Document
      • Then use the Import Metadata tool in ArcToolbox \ Conversion Tools \ Metadata to export the metadata from the source ArcCatalog item to the target XML document created in the previous step.
      • For some source formats, the content of the Description/Abstract may be enclosed in HTML tags.  This does not affect the readability of the Open Data metadata page.
      • This process is preferable to the Export Metadata tool available in ArcCatalog, because the Export tool requires the use of a Translator file, which work with a limited number of metadata standards and do not appear to be reliable.

  • Add URLs to apps/rasters/documents etc
    • Log into ArcGIS Portal, Content -> My Content -> Add Item -> From Web
    • Enter URL, Title, Description, Tags, Catergories from Web dialog

CKAN sites can be configured (via extension(s) to harvest data from ArcGIS Open Data.  This then somehow enables harvesting by