Publish layers from files on Microsoft OneDrive, Dropbox, and Google Drive

Do you store comma separated value files (CSV), Microsoft Excel files, or Google Sheets online in a cloud drive? Now you can publish these files directly as ArcGIS Online layers. Just sign in to Microsoft OneDrive, Dropbox, or Google Drive to access the files you want to publish. Publishing to ArcGIS Online allows you to put your cloud drive data on a map to explore and analyze it.

Publishing a file from a cloud drive

Publishing a file from a cloud drive works just like publishing a file from your computer. From My Content, select Add Item from cloud drive.

Then, choose your cloud drive.

Next, sign in to the cloud drive using the username and password you created for that drive. You may need to disable the web browser’s popup blocker to allow ArcGIS Online to sign in to the cloud drive. Once signed in, you’ll see a filtered list of your CSV files, Excel files, and Google Sheets. Choose the file you want to publish as a layer.

As with publishing a file from your computer, your file on the cloud drive needs to contain the geographic information that represent the point locations of the features in the file. Typically, you’ll have address locations or coordinates such as latitude and longitude. Once you’ve selected a file, you’ll specify a title, tags, optional summary, and the location information for the features. This is the same workflow you’ve used when publishing files from your computer.

Once the publishing process completes, you’ll have a new layer that represents the data you just published. Note that only the layer item gets created. The source file used to create the layer is not stored as an item in ArcGIS Online because it’s already online in the cloud drive.

Keeping the layer up to date

Over time, if you make updates to your source file, you can overwrite the layer with your updates. From the item details page of the layer, find the Update Data button and choose Overwrite Entire Layer.

Updating your data in this manner will preserve layer settings, such as the way the layer draws and its popup configuration. ArcGIS Online maintains information about the source file and will access it directly and not require you to select the file again. You may, however, need to sign in to the cloud drive again.

More to come

The recent update to ArcGIS Online introduces cloud drive integration. Future updates will provide more features that allow you to keep your layer up to date with changes in the source file. New features to look for include adding support for appending and updating data in the file to the hosted layer, and providing the ability to schedule these updates, for example, every night, once a week and so on.

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Leave a Reply


  1. kanoxan says:

    Currently “Google drive” menu is hidden. Please check and see this.

  2. smcparks says:

    This will be very helpful with shared files.

  3. igroom_mcg says:

    is there a limit on number of csv or excel rows?

    • Mike Minami says:

      In general, it’s not limited. However, there may be limits to file sizes stored on cloud drives. Or possible timeouts for transferring files across the web.

      Are you encountering an issue?

  4. haydaralmaliky says:

    It’s a good step for working with ArcGIS Online bcause of we will not need to import like these files any more, so as updating will be on the roots of files only. Thanks

  5. gme_poweldemo says:

    I do not have the Updata data button availlable, only Export data, any settings?

    • Mike Minami says:

      I assume your source file contains address locations. The Update Data button does not appear when the layer was published from a source file containing address locations. This applies to publishing files from your local computer or a cloud drive. This restriction was put in place to prevent you from incurring the additional cost for address matching. However, we have discussed removing the restriction and asking you if you want to consume the credits to match addresses again.

  6. christopher.shardlow says:

    I’ve been looking forward to this feature for some time now. However, when I try to implement add a dataset on to my personal account, the option “From cloud storage” is not listed when I select the choose “Add Item”.

    Are there any recent changes or special requirement for this new feature?

  7. jrflannery says:

    Mike – Great blog article and great new functionality.
    Regarding the browser pop-up blocker issue. I added our AGOL subscription URL to the “Allow” list in my Chrome browser. The URL “” in the Allow list works for me.

  8. jrflannery says:

    When I posted my reply, the URL got modified.
    URL in Allow list is like this:
    XYZ is your URL identity in AGOL.

  9. oes_services says:

    Issues with Update Data – The Overwrite Entire Layer functionality doesn’t appear to be overwriting the data in the Hosted Feature Service.

    I have the CSV loaded into a folder on my Desktop (Windows) and that folder is synced with Google Drive. I have updated the CSV (successfully synced with Google Drive) and completed the Overwrite Entire Layer process, but the data remains the original upload.

    Has anyone else experienced this issue?

    • Mike Minami says:

      We have not experienced this issue. Are you sure the local file was actually synced when you did the overwrite? Did you delete any file, locally or on google drive, before updating?

  10. jhschell says:

    Thank you for the blog post. “Future updates will provide more features that allow you to keep your layer up to date with changes in the source file.” – Any news on when such updates are likely to be rolled out?

  11. rdebruyn_eai says:

    Is there a way to “Update” (overwirite entire layer) automatically through python API or other? When you do it manually it asks for confirmation “sign in” to Google. In my case it is a open public file so no issues there. I just need a way to schedule a task to do it for me.


    • Mike Minami says:

      Currently, there isn’t a way to update the layer automatically via an API. We do want to support scheduled updates at some defined interval that you set up, so once we have this, you’ll be able to configure updates via the user interface and through the API. -Mike