Using Google Docs in your ArcGIS Online maps

In a previous post, we covered how you can use a spreadsheet (CSV file) from a Web location to add a layer to your ArcGIS Online map. You can do the same using Google Docs by following these simple steps.

In this example we have a Google Docs spreadsheet of crime locations containing latitude and longitude values. Under File choose Publish to the Web.

Image of a Google Docs spreadsheet

In the next dialog change the link setting from the default option of Web page:

Image of Publish to the web dialog

To CSV by opening the drop-down list, as shown below:
Choose CSV

Then copy the URL so you can add it to your map:

Copy URL

Adding from Google Docs using the Map Viewer

Using the map viewer click Add, then choose Add Layer from Web:

Add Layer from Web
Choose CSV and paste the Google Docs URL, as shown below, then click Add Layer:

Add Layer

Once added, you can rename, configure the pop-up, and change symbols, just like any other layer. Below we’ve chosen to symbolize the crimes from our Google Docs spreadsheet based on the time of day:

Symbolize crime layer

Add from Google Docs using ArcGIS Explorer Online

Using Explorer Online click Add Content and choose Import, then CSV:

ArcGIS Explorer Online

Choose Enter URL, as shown below:

Enter URL

Then paste the Google Docs URL into the input. Once you’ve added your Google Docs spreadsheet you can rename it, change symbols, configure pop-ups, and use the layer in Explorer Online dashboards and presentations.

Like other URL-based CSV sources, when the map is opened or refreshed any changes to the layer’s source will be displayed in the map.

For more information see:

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Leave a Reply


  1. accuas says:

    I follow your instruction, but it does not work. Instead I get this message:

    The CSV,, is not accessible and cannot be added to the map.

    Curious if you had any suggestions to help me publish my .csv files to an arcgisonline map.


    • bfwood1 says:

      I had the same issue when I would copy and paste the link to the published data. It was a simple fix for me, the issue was the window that shows the link is not large enough to show the entire link, thus I would only get part of it and it wouldn’t work when adding to my map.

      In the bottom right of the window that shows the link you can click and drag to make the window bigger, it then shows all of the link. The link should end with ‘=csv’. Once I copied this entire link and added it to the map I had no issue.

      I hope this helps.

  2. accuas says:


    Is it due to the x and y values that arcGIS online won’t accept it?

  3. Paul Doherty says:

    accuas -

    I checked the .csv link you posted here – and the latitude / longitude format has special characters within it. Try converting to decimal degrees (I have used this technique within MS excel

    - Paul

  4. dsimpgis says:

    How come the CSV layer does not show up when I open the map in ArcGIS for IOS or Android apps?

    • igeopr says:

      Yep can’t see it too on an Android device. It did show up on the Map Viewer, Explorer, and a Basic Viewer web app. My csv layer was coming out of Dropbox.

  5. aaronworthley says:

    I’ve just been around with Support about the iOS issue, it’s now a registered bug :-(
    [#NIM079191 Web map layers with csv layers referenced via http do not display in ArcGIS for Android. ]
    [#NIM079189 Web map layers with csv layers referenced via http do not display in ArcGIS for IOS. ]
    It’s the same problem with referenced KML layers.

  6. darcyb_2000 says:

    When I add a new record to my google doc .csv file, it doesn’t update in the map I have in ArcGIS Online. Has anyone else had this problem?

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  9. leahbece says:

    It’s not working for me. The error I get is “An error occurred while creating features. (Unexpected token <)."

    The sheet I'm (still working on currently) can be found here:

  10. berniejconnors says:

    Are we still limited to 1000 features if we load our CSV data with this method?

  11. Lennert says:

    I had a problem with linking Google Spreadsheet (csv) with my ArcGIS Online Map.
    The solution was very easy: I just had to put the sheet containing the data as the first sheet (the most left one) in Google Spreadsheets.