I am creating a webgis system for a smaller municipality. They need 3 different webmap applications, all of them referencing the same data. 2 of the apps are for public view and only contain certain layers, while the third map is for staff use only and contains additional layers on easements, rights-of-way, encroachments, etc.

The city staff plan to make some edits to the webmap layers. How can I set it up so that if they make changes on the staff only webmap application, those changes are automatically shown on the 2 public app?

I guess another way to put it is: is there a way to set up these 3 applications so they are referencing the same data?

For some extra info, the data is being stored through ArcGIS online servers (storage credits).

2 Answers 2


Unless I am misunderstanding something, the situation shouldn't be that complicated.

Create a number of web maps which all refer to the same datasets that are stored in ArcGIS Online. Give edit permissions to the staff, and allow them to make changes. Something like this:

enter image description here

These changes will automatically be seen in all webmaps which refer to those ArcGIS Online layers.

Is there a way to set up these 3 applications so they are referencing the same data?

Yes, just specify the same layers when setting up all 3 applications.

  • 1
    Thanks Stephen. After reading my post I did leave a big introduction part out-I am a Landscape Architect and while I do know GIS quite well, I am by no means a GIS expert. This is actually my first foray into webGIS. I do have a GIS expert on my team who is leading the effort, but he is pretty overloaded right now and when asked about this, he said he needed to give it some thought about the best approach. I figured I would jump on here and try to get some advice. I will run this approach by him, and see what he says. Thank you again!
    – jaltschuld
    Jan 14, 2016 at 3:48

So if you want to be able to make edits to those layers without exposing editing of the services in the public maps and you are using ArcGIS Online hosted feature services I would recommend you share the layers to a group with shared ownership control enabled (admins of the org can set these up), then invite the members of your org that would be performing these edits to these layers. The group members can then open these layers into a map by adding the layer with full editing control which will allow the user performing the edits to only have editing capabilities for the session the layers are in the map you will not be exposing edit capabilities to the general public.

You can read about it here: https://doc.arcgis.com/en/arcgis-online/use-maps/edit-features.htm#ESRI_SECTION1_3FE5B0299EB54506BEDEAFA3C22088A3

and here has some more info but I clipped out the most important part below: https://doc.arcgis.com/en/arcgis-online/share-maps/manage-hosted-layers.htm#ESRI_SECTION1_FFEC223155964B2195C03F43BEC4D2B9

Restrict editing of public layers

Sometimes, you need to make a hosted feature layer available to the public for viewing, but you only want a few members of your organization to edit it. If you enabled editing on a public hosted feature layer, anyone could edit it. Instead, share the hosted feature layer with a group that an Esri-defined Administrator created and configured to allow editing of all contents. Add or invite organization members to this group who you want to edit items. All items shared to this group can be updated by group members, including hosted feature layers that do not have editing enabled.

When members need to edit the hosted feature layer, they open the hosted feature layer's details and click Open > Add layer to new map with full editing control.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.