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I'm considering purchasing ArcGIS as an ArcGIS noob. (Their trial is currently limited to Coronavirus support clients).

I would be using the software to generate shapefiles of US zip codes by state. i.e. I will have 50 separate files. I looked at the US Census Bureau's shapefile offerings and they only have a single shapefile available with all US Zip codes. (Actually they are ZCTAs - zip code tabulation areas). The resulting file is very large and slow for our website to handle. That's why we want state by state zip code shapefiles.

I played around with ArcGIS online and see it's possible to import a US Zip codes layer to my map and then filter by state.

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Please correct me if I'm mistaken, but I read it is not possible to download shapefiles from ArcGIS online. That being said, I am curious if I will be able to create this same filtered layer map in ArcGIS Desktop and then download the resulting map as a shapefile. If so, please point me toward a tutorial or documentation on how to do so.

Here is an article describing how to do something similar. And some other potentially relevant information.

At a more detailed level, we are actually first converting our shapefiles to vector tile sets with MapTiler and then importing these tile sets as protocol buffer files into our client. If it's possible to directly convert a filtered layer in ArcGIS into a vector tile set (i.e. skip the shapefile step) that we can then use in our site as a protocol buffer, that would be ideal.

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  1. Use the Feature Class to Feature Class tool, and use an expression to select the features you're interested in.

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  1. Alternatively, you can use the Select Layer by Attribute tool and use the same expression as in the previous option to define which features you want to export. After the selection is complete, you can simply right-click the layer from the 'Contents' pane, go to 'Data' -> 'Export Features', and select a location to save your shapefile.

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  • And @Antonio, is it true this feature is only possible in ArcGIS desktop and not in the free ArcGIS online? – GNG Apr 15 '20 at 18:28
  • It is possible, but certain conditions must be met. You can see the procedure and the conditions here: doc.arcgis.com/en/arcgis-online/analyze/extract-data.htm. This operation consumes credits, so it might not be sufficient with a free account. – antonio.ha Apr 15 '20 at 22:16

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