Problem: Zipped shapefiles and CSVs published to ArcGIS Online offset from services published from ArcMap


Zipped shapefiles and CSV files published to ArcGIS Online appear offset from the same features published via ArcMap, when viewing in the ArcGIS Online map viewer.


This issue occurs due to the measurement and coordinate system used in the shapefiles as ArcGIS Online only uses the WGS 1984 Web Mercator (Auxiliary Sphere) coordinate system. The geographic transformation process is only applied during the publishing phase. Hence, when publishing a layer with a different projection, the layers appear offset from the layers published via ArcMap when viewing it in the ArcGIS Online map viewer. The ArcGIS Online map viewer does not support geographic transformations.

Solution or Workaround

The following are some pointers to ensure zipped shapefiles, and CSV files published in both ArcMap and ArcGIS Online do not appear offset when viewed in the ArcGIS Online map viewer.

  • For zipped shapefiles
When publishing a zipped shapefile to ArcGIS Online, ensure that the .PRJ file is included in the zipped file. The publishing process then applies a geographic transformation and the service is in the WGS 1984 Web Mercator (Auxiliary Sphere) coordinate system.
Image of uploading a zipped shapefile
  • For CSV files
Ensure the X and Y coordinates are defined as Longitude and Latitude, respectively. Latitude and longitude information must be in decimal degrees. The points are then published in the WGS 1984 Web Mercator (Auxiliary Sphere) coordinate system.
Image of uploading a CSV file
  • Publishing from ArcMap
When publishing from ArcMap, the coordinate system of the data frame is maintained in the published feature service. Define the coordinate systems used as the WGS 1984 Web Mercator (Auxiliary Sphere) prior to publishing.
When a CSV file containing latitude and longitude information is added to a map, the latitude, longitude coordinates are converted to the spatial reference of the current basemap. Hence, users may also publish the layers from ArcMap using any coordinate system, and must ensure the basemap in the map viewer matches the same coordinate system.

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