How to Participate

Each organization that uses ArcGIS has compiled data that can be used to update and improve the maps and layers in Esri Community Maps.

You can contribute your organization's geographic content and become part of the Community Maps that Esri hosts and publishes online. This program is available to all ArcGIS users and other data providers interested in making their map data broadly available for use by the ArcGIS community and other users. If you are interested, just follow these simple steps to get started:

  1. Explore the program
  2. Determine if you are a potential contributor
  3. Prepare your data
  4. Apply and upload your data

Explore the program

New to the Community Maps Program?

Already familiar with Community Maps, but want to know more about our recent enhancements to the program?

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Determine if you are a potential contributor

The Community Maps Program is open to authoritative contributors of map data layers. By authoritative, we mean that the contributing organization either creates or maintains the data layers they intend to contribute and should be responsible for their currency and accuracy. To determine if you meet the requirements to be a Community Maps contributor, ask yourself these questions:

  • Do you maintain any of the map data layers accepted by the Community Maps Program?
  • Do you have ownership of the data and the rights to publish it in an online map service?
  • Are you willing to permit Esri to host your content in a public map service through ArcGIS Online?

If you answer yes to these questions then you are a perfect candidate for the Community Maps Program. Welcome to the club!

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Prepare your data

Esri Community Maps accepts basemap layer contributions in two different formats - as output from the Community Maps data preparation tools, and as a file geodatabase in the Local Government Information Model schema.

Learn about the Local Government Information Model.

For some organizations the easiest way to contribute content to the Community Maps Program is to migrate their map data layers into the Local Government Information Model. There are plenty of resources and free training available to assist with the migration, and many contributors find that the benefits of the Local Government model extend far beyond Community Maps.

Use the Community Maps data preparation tools

If your organization has not adopted the Local Government Information Model, the Community Maps data preparation tools offer a fast and simple alternative contribution option. With these tools you can migrate your basemap data layers into a Community Maps file geodatabase which can be quickly uploaded and processed by the Esri Community Maps team. With this option there is no need to adopt a new data schema. You simply open the tool for the layer you intend to contribute, select the appropriate features from your source data, designate a label field, if necessary, and execute the tool. The migration and reformatting of the data to the Community Maps schema are taken care of for you. To learn more about these easy to use tools, explore the following resources:

Special note for elevation data contributors

If you are interested in contribution your high resolution digital elevation model (DEM), make sure to review the acceptance criteria and data specifications for this type of data.

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Apply and upload your data

If you would like to contribute content to the World Topographic, Streets or Imagery basemaps, simply apply through our Community Maps Contributor App. This app will take you all the way through the contribution process, from the initial application to uploading and reviewing your content, and to the ultimate release for publication in ArcGIS Online. All you will need to login and get started is an ArcGIS Online account for the contributing organization (as opposed to a personal, individual account).

If you will be contributing bathymetric data to the Ocean basemap please complete the participation form, and a Community Maps representative will contact you.

All contributors will also want to complete the Community Maps Participation Agreement and submit it to the Community Maps Program. Your content can't be published without it. When you participate through the online Community Maps Contributor App, you can accept this agreement during the application process. If you have questions regarding the Participation Agreement, check out this FAQ or contact us.

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