Tips and Tricks for Administrating your ArcGIS Online Account

You may have been given access to an ArcGIS Online Account as part of the free entitlement with ArcGIS Desktop licenses or you might be ahead of the game and already trying to pioneer it in your company as a corporate GIS, but what are the best ways of organising your data and maximising uptake? Based on feedback from some of our customers who are already using ArcGIS Online, I've put together this some handy tips to help you out to make the most of your ArcGIS Online account!


Giving people the right access to data is an important part of an Administrator’s role. Groups allow you to not only organise your content based on user groups, but also control access privileges to content. This includes providing access to those users within your organisation and also to external partners.

Collaboration with partners is becoming an increasingly important way of working. With AGOL you can do this without granting them access to all your data or letting them use up your credits or user accounts. Create a private group and add them as a member of the group by searching for their ArcGIS Online Username. Via this group you can share all the data you want them to access.

If you would like some inspiration as to how to organise your groups and your organisation as a whole see here for some organisation templates that are industry themed.


A picture paints a thousand words so make the thumbnails of your content intuitive, to speed up finding data. Consider using a continuous styling throughout, whether that be to distinguish; different types of data, different departments or years of data. In order to do this upload pictures or screengrabs instead of using the default thumbnail.

Gallery App

Never underestimate the power of great design! Having your data in a well presented and clearly structured way will ensure an intuitive, easy and fast user experience. A Gallery App allows you to not only group all your data together but provides an intuitive interface to view it.

To make a Gallery App, create a group in your ArcGIS Online account. Then share with it all the content you want included in the Gallery App. From within the Group, click the Share button and from here you can “Make a Gallery Application”.


From here you can choose to have either a Map Carousel, or the more popular Public Gallery. You can also customise the layout of the maps and even download the template to add your own corporate styling using CSS.     


An interesting idea for creating a directory of data would be to create multiple gallery apps, share them all into one group and then use this as the group in your Gallery section in the Organisational Settings. So when you clicked on the Gallery Tab you would have all your data grouped and easily viewable in a grid format.

Knowing Your Users

Knowing who is a user on your ArcGIS Online account is important so you know who is taking up your user slots. If you have a large number of users, instead of navigating through the pages of users, there is now a GitHub project available which allows you export the list of users as a spreadsheet amongst other useful tools. See here for more info.