Problem: Receiving errors when uploading a shapefile to ArcGIS Online, Business Analyst Online, or Community Analyst


When uploading shapefiles to ArcGIS Online, Business Analyst Online, or Community Analyst, the service sometimes produces an error. There are several reasons as to why this happens.


This is most often caused by either invalid shapefile packaging, improper shapefile formatting, or because the shapefile does not meet the requirements for uploading to the online applications.

Solution or Workaround

The first two steps outline general required shapefile formatting and packaging that applies to all of the online applications. The third step goes into specific requirements for each.

  1. Check for improper packaging
    1. The ZIP file must contain one shapefile.
    2. The ZIP file must contain the .shp, .shx, .dbf, and .prj files that comprise the shapefile.
    3. The ZIP file must be created by selecting the required files and zipping them directly. If the files are moved to a folder and then the folder is zipped, it will cause an error upon uploading.
  2. Check for invalid formatting
    1. The shapefile must contain valid geometries. Currently, self-intersection in polygon shapefiles is not supported. If using ArcMap or ArcGIS Pro, the Repair Geometry Tool can be used to correct invalid geometries in shapefiles.
    2. The name of the shapefile and the field names of the shapefile must not contain any spaces or special characters (with the exception of the underscore).
  3. Make sure that the shapefile meets requirements.

ArcGIS Online

  • Compression formats other than a .zip archive are not supported.
  • Files containing more than 4,000 point features or 2,000 line or polygon features cannot be added directly to a map. If the data has more than 4,000 point features, or more than 2,000 line or polygon features, or is larger than 10 MB, publish it as a hosted feature layer.
  • The following features are not supported: multipoint geometries, geometries that cross the dateline and self-intersections in polygons. Shapefiles with these features cannot be added to a map. Multipatch layers are only supported in a scene layer.
  • Zip files over 10 MB cannot be added directly to the map.

Business Analyst Online / Community Analyst

  • A maximum of 100 records and a file size limit of 3 MB.
  • Only point and polygon geometry (no lines, multipoint or multi-part geometry) can be added.
  • Compression formats other than a .zip archive are not supported

Related Information

Last Published: 4/2/2019

Article ID: 000011508