I'm a GIS professional. One of my clients (an ArcMap user) has asked our firm to teach some of his staff about ArcGIS online. In so doing, we are to provide an overview of GIS-- how to think spatially, how to visualize data, etc.

My first instinct when teaching "GIS 101" is joining data. You (the client/user) has a dataset (i.e. median income by zipcode), and you want to make a map. Is this possible using only ArcGIS Online?

I think this is one of the most exciting aspects of learning GIS, and I can think of a million ways to achieve this using ArcMap, python, geojson, etc., but I can't seem to figure out an easy to do this using ArcGIS Online. What are my options?

  • 3
    not currently possible geonet.esri.com/thread/37165
    – Mapperz
    Feb 10, 2015 at 21:34
  • 1
    Since the client is an ArcMap user, you could just do the join in ArcMap. Then incorporate ArcGIS Online by publishing the map that you create and viewing it online, on your phone, etc Feb 10, 2015 at 23:32
  • Sorry-- should have been more clear. The client is an ArcMap user, but is asking me to train non-GIS users. Thanks for the help! Feb 11, 2015 at 11:29
  • Id recommend checking out some of the ArcGIS Online videos on the Esri site for inspiration on how to train non GIS users in the ArcGIS Online platform. Use the Esri Maps for Office as a starter in the worklow always helps them understand how typical data can be mapped out.
    – jakc
    Feb 19, 2015 at 11:05

2 Answers 2


This is possible since the March 2017 release of ArcGIS Online via the Join Features tool. The tool can be accessed via the Analysis tools in the standard Map Viewer, along with in the Web AppBuilder Analysis widget).


This is now possible (as of May 2016) according to ESRI's FAQ article on join and relate support in Online, though it requires the use of ArcMap:

Relating tables, via relationship classes, may be performed in ArcMap and then published as a service. Related records may then be displayed in pop-up windows in ArcGIS Online.

Depending on how the relationship class is created, users are able to add or update features and have the related data be updated in the pop-up as well.

However, related tables cannot natively be created in ArcGIS Online, and the in-memory joins or relates are not supported in a feature service.

  • Joins have always been possible by creating them in ArcMap and uploading the exported shapefile to Arc Online. But in the documentation you reference I think they’re talking about publishing to your own ArcServer, e.g. server.arcgis.com/en/server/latest/publish-services/windows/… . So this won't help most people, including the questioner.
    – Andy
    Dec 9, 2016 at 21:14
  • @Andy I am pretty certain that Online has not always had this functionality; in 2013 I was building Online support into an application for a company with an ESRI partnership, and multiple ESRI tech/dev support people told me it wasn't possible but that it was being worked on. I also was never able to find anything in the docs until the article referenced was published - would have to go through the release note archives to pinpoint the date it was first available. As for exactly how Online supports relates (consuming from Server vs hosted), it's been so long I'd have to go test it.
    – brichins
    Dec 9, 2016 at 23:33
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    Please re-read my comment, you seem to be attributing my statement about ArcMap (i.e. ArcGIS Desktop) to ArcGIS Online.
    – Andy
    Apr 9, 2017 at 17:09

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