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What are the symbology considerations when publishing to ArcGIS Online?
When publishing a feature service from ArcMap to ArcGIS Online, most symbol types can be used although downgrades may happen in some cases.
To ensure symbology used on a map document in ArcMap is maintained when published as a feature service in ArcGIS Online, one of the considerations is to use supported symbol types.
For example, picture marker and simple marker symbols are supported for point layers. When layers are merged to become a single layer, multilayer marker symbols are downgraded to picture marker symbols.
For polygon layers, a published feature service supports picture fill and simple fill symbols. Additionally, simple line symbols are supported for line layers. If other symbols are applied in line layers, the symbols are converted to a simple line symbols to represent the original symbol. For more information, refer to the following ArcGIS document, ArcGIS Help: Author feature services.
If downgrading the symbology is not desired then another option is to create a tile service. When a tile service is created, tiles are created exactly as seen in ArcMap. To avoid credit usage for tile generation, users can build tiles for their map in ArcMap by creating a tile package (.tpk) first and then uploading the tile package to ArcGIS Online to publish as a tile service. For more information, refer the section entitled 'Build and publish a tile package' in the following ArcGIS document, ArcGIS Help: Publish tiles.