Skip to Main Content

Geographic Information Systems: ArcGIS Online

Creating maps in ArcGIS Online


  1. Log on with your Bates username and password at
  2. Any shapefile you want to add will need to be packaged in a .zip file. You can create one in Windows by finding the file directory in the Windows Explorer window, highlighting all the files related to your shapefile, right-clicking, and then selecting Send To > Compressed (zipped) folder. On a Mac, find all files related to your shapefile in Finder, right-click, and select Compress Items. Related files have the same name as your shapefile and end in  .shp, .shx, .dbf, .prj, .xml, .sbn and .sbx.

Making the web map

  1. Once you have logged in to, click on Map to make a new web map.
  2. You should find a map with just a base map. Go to Add > Add Layer from File to choose a zipped shapefile from your local computer. Once you've clicked Add Layer, it will lead you through the process of changing the symbology. If you want to change the symbology later, you can find your layer again by clicking of Details > Content, finding the layer, and clicking on the shapes icon.
  3. Once the layer is listed under Details > Content, you can click on the three blue dots to rename the layer, configure the pop-up when the feature is clicked on, and other useful tasks.
  4. Data can also be added directly from Maine government sources. Go to Add > Add Layer from the Web, then paste in for the URL. Click on Browse for More Layers to see what is available. If it asks you for a password, click Cancel.
  5. Once your map is created, you'll need to save it in order to share it with others.