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Add a service or document from a URL

Provide the URL of one of the following to create an item that references the service or file stored on the web:

  • ArcGIS Server web service
  • KML
  • Open Geospatial Consortium (OGC) web feature service (WFS)
  • OGC web map service (WMS)
  • OGC web map tile service (WMTS)
  • OGC feature layer
  • GeoJSON file on the web

    For instructions to publish a hosted feature layer from a GeoJSON file on the web, see Publish hosted feature layers.

  • Documents stored on the web
  • Images stored on the web

When you add an item that references the REST endpoint URL of a service or file, the item references the service or file on the web; the data from the service or the file is not copied to your organization.

Follow these steps to add an item that references the URL you provide:

  1. Verify that you are signed in and have the privilege to create content.
  2. From the My Content tab of the content page, click New item and click URL.
  3. Type or paste the layer's URL into the URL text box.

    ArcGIS Server web service URLs are in the format https://<fully qualified web adaptor machine name>/<web adaptor name>/rest/services/<folder name>/<service name>/<service type>. If the service is in the root folder, you do not need to include the folder name in the URL. The URL format in that case is https://<fully qualified web adaptor machine name>/<web adaptor name>/rest/services/<service name>/<service type>.

    To find the REST URL of an ArcGIS Server service, open the ArcGIS Server Services Directory and browse to the service you want to share. You can then copy the URL from the browser's address bar. Do not append any parameters, such as a token, to the URL.

    For more information and examples of ArcGIS Server service URLs, see Components of ArcGIS URLs.

    For example, a map service URL is in the format

  4. Verify that the item type is correct. If the type is different than the one selected, choose the correct type of item:
  5. If you added a secure service that is available externally, choose whether you want the credentials stored with the service item. If the credentials are not stored with the item, everyone who accesses the item will be prompted for credentials every time they access the service item. If the credentials are stored with the item, you will not be prompted for credentials.
  6. Optionally, do the following to append custom parameters to requests made to the service:
    1. Under Custom parameters, click Add custom parameter.
    2. Type the name of the parameter you want to append in the Parameter text box.
    3. Type the parameter value in the Value text box.
    4. Repeat these steps for each parameter you want to append.

    The specified custom parameters are automatically applied to all requests made to the service.

  7. Click Next.
  8. If you added a secure service that is available externally, provide a username and password for an account that has access to the service.

    Usernames may be case sensitive depending on how your identity systems are managed. If you store the credentials and plan to share the service in a public app, you may want to enable rate limiting to limit use on the service.


    If you do not see the username and password fields or the options to store or not store credentials, or if you receive an error when attempting to add the secure service, there may be an issue with your HTTPS configuration. The ArcGIS Server site providing the service for which you are attempting to store credentials must support HTTPS and have a valid certificate signed from a well-known certificate authority. For additional troubleshooting, contact Esri Support (in the USA) or your international distributor (outside the USA).

  9. If you added a WMS layer, choose the layers you want to be visible.
  10. If you added a WFS or WMTS layer, select the layer that will be drawn when the item is added to a map. To add multiple layers from a WFS or WMTS service, you must create individual items for each layer.

    If the WMTS service supports multiple projections, you must select a specific projection. By default, the first available projection is selected.

  11. Click Next.
  12. If you are creating a hosted feature layer from a GeoJSON file, follow these steps to define the hosted feature layer:
    1. Review the included fields and make changes as needed.

      If the field types can be identified, they are set automatically. You can remove fields, change the display name of the field, and change the field type.

    2. Click Next.
  13. Type a title.
  14. Choose a folder in My Content where you want to save the item.
  15. If your organization administrator configured content categories, click Assign categories and select up to 20 categories to help people find the item.

    You can also start typing a category name to narrow the list of categories.

  16. Optionally, type tags that describe the item.

    Separate the terms with commas (for example, Federal land is considered one tag; Federal, land is considered two tags).

    As you type, you can select any of the suggested tags that appear; suggestions are generated from tags you have added previously.

  17. Optionally, provide a summary that describes the item.
  18. Click Save.

Once you add the item from the web using its URL, the item appears in your content.

Configure item details and share the item if you have sharing privileges.