Does the Data Catalog create a copy of my data?
No. Your data stays where you put it! The InstantAtlas Data catalog allows you to create a central catalog of all your data in ArcGIS Online, to help you and others in your organisation quickly find it and use it. To do this we use a “master table” that holds information about what your data is called and where it is – but the data stays in the feature layers!
Can I have more than one Data Catalog?
You can, but we don’t generally recommend it. Unless you have an extremely large amount of data it’s usually easier to add one or more themes to your catalog instead. If you need separate catalogs to provide different data to different groups of people in your organization you can force the creation of a new catalog by changing your Manager URL from
Do I have to provide aliases for all my field names in data layers?
No – but you should! You can override all the names/labels via the Data Catalog Manager. However, finding, adding and updating indicators will be much faster if you provide aliases for each field in the format <Indicator Name>|<Date>, for example Unemployment Rate|May 2018. This enables the Manager app to quickly split multiple fields into Indicators and Dates without your input. Without these aliases you would have to manually associate each field with the correct indicator, then override its date label. If you omit aliases it also makes it much more difficult to use your data in web maps.
How many dates can I have per indicator?
The only limit on the number of dates you can have is the number of fields in your feature layer. One of the Data Catalog rules is that all data for an indicator for a given core layer must come from one feature layer. In practical terms this means you can have several hundred dates per indicator.
My data is currently stored as CSVs and Excel files. Can I use these?
Not directly, no. The InstantAtlas Data Catalog uses ArcGIS feature layers (either hosted online or on-premise) so that you can easily make web maps, apps or reports without worrying about how to join your data together. However, ArcGIS Online has a number of ways to publish data or join attribute data to geographic data that will enable you to convert your CSV or similar data into hosted feature layer views . Once you have those layers/views you can use them in your data catalog.
Do I have to make my data publicly available to use InstantAtlas Data Catalog?
No. The InstantAtlas Data Catalog respects any restrictions you have applied to your data using ArcGIS Online . If your data is only shared with your organisation anything referenced in the data catalog (and in fact the data catalog itself) will still require users to sign in. Any web maps, apps or reports you build using the data catalog will obey the same resrictions. In fact you can use internal network URLs in your data catalog if you are only going to use it “in house” (see next entry).
I have ArcGIS Server(s) running in my company/organization. Can I use these with InstantAtlas Data Catalog on ArcGIS Online?
Yes. The InstantAtlas Data Catalog uses ArcGIS Online to store its “master table” but all data is referenced, not copied. So as long as your ArcGIS Server endpoints are visible then you can use them within your data catalog. This can give a very easy way to let your users see what data is available, or to mix and match your own data with data from an InstantAtlas national data service.