How To: Attach a file to a feature point in a shapefile in ArcGIS Online


The instructions provided describe how to attach files, such as images and PDFs, via a URL link to feature points in a shapefile in ArcGIS Online (www.arcgis.com).

ArcGIS Online is unable to store the physical file in the map pop-up. However, the file is referenced by using a static URL that has been published and shared publicly. The file may be uploaded to ArcGIS Online or an external site with a static URL, such as Dropbox or Google Docs.


Steps in ArcMap

1. Add a new text field to the attribute table of the features in the shapefile by following the instructions in ArcGIS Resources: Adding fields.

To store the URL in the attribute table, add the new text field with the following properties.

Name: URL
Type: Text
Length: 255

2. Sign in to ArcGIS Online by navigating to File > Sign In.
3. Publish the layer as a hosted feature service by following the instructions in ArcGIS Resources: Publishing a hosted feature service using an ArcMap document.

Steps in ArcGIS Online (www.arcgis.com)

1. Upload the file to ArcGIS Online (arcgis.com) by following the instructions in the ArcGIS Resources: ArcGIS Online Content Manager document.

If the file is uploaded to an external file hosting site, copy the URL address of the file and continue to Step 4.

2. Once the file has been uploaded, configure the Share settings to enable the file to be shared with everyone (public). Follow the instructions in ArcGIS Resources: Share items. This generates a static URL address of the file.
3. Copy the URL address of the file, and navigate to the My Content page.
4. Locate the published feature service and add it to the map with full editing control.

5. In the map viewer, select the desired feature point for the file attachment.
6. Click Edit and paste the copied URL address of the file into the URL field in the pop-up. Close the pop-up.
7. To open the attached file, click the feature again and click the 'More info' link to open the attached file.

Optional - Adding Thumbnails to Pop-Ups

To display a thumbnail within the pop-up, follow the instructions in the blog post, Tips for displaying photos in pop-ups.

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