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FAQ: Is it possible to calculate area in ArcGIS Online?

Question

Is it possible to calculate area in ArcGIS Online?

Answer

Yes, it is possible to calculate area in ArcGIS Online. There are two methods to do so:

Using the Measure Tool

The Measure tool uses the Geodesic method, which takes into account the curvature of the earth to create accurate measurements. It does not use any coordinate system information from items in the map to perform calculations.

Sample image of the Measure tool

For more information and detailed steps on how to use the Measure tool in ArcGIS Online, refer to ArcGIS Online: Measure.


Using Arcade expressions to calculate field values

This method uses Arcade to populate an attribute field with area values for different layers. Arcade is an expression language that can be used across the ArcGIS Platform. For more information, refer to ArcGIS Help: Arcade Function Index.

The two Arcade Geometry Functions that can be used to calculate area are:

  • Area - this function performs a planar measurement and the output depends on the Projected Coordinate System of the feature service.
  • AreaGeodetic - this function can be more accurate as it takes earth's curvature into account when calculating. However, it can only be used if a feature service uses the Web Mercator projection or a Geographic Coordinate System (WGS84).
Note: 
There are two important factors to be considered before using the Arcade Geometry Functions mentioned above.
The spatial reference information of hosted feature services is derived from the coordinate system of the data frame when the service is published. Therefore, to calculate a field with accurate area measurements in ArcGIS Online for a particular area, ensure the data frame and layers have the desired Projected Coordinate System defined when publishing the service.
Both the Area and AreaGeodetic Arcade functions produce results that are dependent on the extent used to view the feature in ArcGIS Online (output results can only be as precise as the scale resolution).


To calculate area with Arcade:

  1. In ArcGIS Online, open the desired layer in Map Viewer.
  2. Open the attribute table for the desired item.

    Image of the Attribute Table button
     
  3. Click the field name to be populated with the calculated area values.

    Image of the attribute table
     
  4. Click Calculate, and select Arcade.

    Image of the Calculate Field dialog box
     
  5. In the Arcade Calculator dialog box, click the Functions tab.

    Image of the Arcade Dialog box
     
  6. Depending on preference, click either Area or AreaGeodetic.
  7. Click Test, and wait for the results.

    Image of the calculate area results
     
  8. Click OK.

Related Information

Last Published: 1/16/2019

Article ID: 000019847