Adding and using photos and images in your portal

You can add, share, and manage many types of items in ArcGIS Online. While not specifically intended as a warehouse for photos and other kinds of images, you may find that storing these item types in your account is useful. This may be especially true if you want to keep all of the resources you use for web map pop-ups or your Home page graphics in the same place.

Note: When using a public account, you cannot add images as items. However you can add locally stored images to story maps you author using a public account. These will not appear as items, but rather are stored within the story map.

Adding photos and images to My Content

Step 1. Make sure the file is a valid and recognized type.

Ensure the file is one of the following types, and uses one of the following extensions: .jpg, .jpeg, .png, .tif, .tiff. See What can you add to ArcGIS Online?

Step 2. Sign in to your ArcGIS account and add the file from your computer.

In the Content tab, click My Content, then click Add Item and choose From my computer.

Step 3. Browse for the file, and add a title and tags, then click Add Item.

Click Choose File to browse for the image file on your computer, add a title and tags, and click Add Item.

Step 4. Complete the item details

As a best practice, add a summary, item description, and update the thumbnail if needed. You may also want to prevent accidental deletion to ensure the image is not inadvertently removed by toggling Delete Protection, found in the General Settings section of the Settings tab in the item pages. Make sure to save.

Step 5. Share the item publicly to obtain the URL.

Click Share in the Overview tab:

Then choose Everyone (public):

Note that the image file item must be shared publicly to obtain the URL for the image.

Step 6: Copy and paste the public URL to use the image

Once publicly shared you will find the public permanent URL of the image in the URL section of the Overview tab, located down along the lower right side.

Click the Copy button to copy the public URL to the clipboard.

Use this URL anywhere you want to use the image, or when sharing with others.

Using the images

You can use the images anywhere in ArcGIS Online, or in websites or blogs, by using the public image URL found in the item details (obtained in Step 6). For example, you can use the images in web map pop-ups, as your Home page background, or in websites and apps.

Note that the URL you copy from the item pages should be the one you use, and not the URL you see when you open the image. When opened, the ArcGIS URL will redirect to an Amazon URL (where the image is actually stored). The Amazon URL will eventually time out.

From the item pages, the image can be downloaded.

Example: The geography sign

Open the item details for this example, and look for the URL described in Step 6 above.

The URL for the image item is:

When you add a link to the image in a webpage, app, or blog, the URL shown above will redirect quickly to the Amazon URL. Try it below, and see for yourself.

Open image

You can also download the image by clicking the Download button, or clicking the thumbnail.

For more information

This post was originally published December 8, 2015, and has been updated.

This entry was posted in ArcGIS Enterprise, ArcGIS Online and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply


  1. aejehle says:

    I’m trying to upload images for use in a Story Map. They’re all .jpg, but I’m getting an error message that says the file type isn’t supported. Is there any reason this might be happening?

    • mjbowen_trans says:

      This happens to me as well with any images I store on AGOL. When the are first added to a story map they appear as they should but once you launch the map live it returns an error. When you run the data fix it says the file type is not supported. I only have this issue with AGOL, any other sources I pull images from works perfectly.

      • Bern Szukalski says:

        I’ll need more details, a link to your image item, which story map you are using using, etc. I’ve just recently finished two story maps (one a map journal, the other a map series) that use JPG files stored in ArcGIS Online, with no issues whatsoever. This should work just fine. Check to ensure that you are using the correct URL for the image – not the one you see in the browser, but the one you see in the item details once you share the image item publicly.

    • Bern Szukalski says:

      Is this an issue in uploading, or more along the lines of what mjbowen_trans describes below in the Story Map? If the story map, see my response below. If on upload, can you email me the image you are trying to upload?

    • cskelhorn says:

      I’m also having this same problem. I’m simply following the steps above to upload a .jpg to My Content, but as soon as I choose the file I get a message that says, “Error: This file type is not supported.” I’ve tried a few different times with different photos but I always get the same error.

      • Bern Szukalski says:

        I suspect that you are using a Public Account. Public accounts no longer support adding images as items (I’ll add this to the top of this thread).

        If you are authoring story maps, and are using one of the ones that supports adding local images, you can do this using a public account. Those images are stored with the story map, not as separate items in My Content.

    • Bern Szukalski says:

      I suspect that you are using a Public Account. Public accounts no longer support adding images as items.

      If you are authoring story maps, and are using one of the ones that supports adding local images, you can do this using a public account. Those images are stored with the story map, not as separate items in My Content.

  2. nomispc says:

    Is it possible to add and link multiple images via a script etc. I want to use ArcGIS On-line as a way for colleagues to see images related to specific locations, but see loading hundreds of images one at a time as something of a barrier to progress.

    • Bern Szukalski says:

      Not sure of your question, but will break it down.
      Q. Is it possible to add multiple images via a script?
      A. There is no scripting in ArcGIS Online, though you could potentially use the API to automate bulk loading. Haven’t even considered this, but believe it is possible.

      Q. Can I link multiple images?
      A. Maybe, depending on how you are accessing them. But if you have lots, and lots of images to display for any given location, I consider doing something like putting them in a Flickr album, then just linking to the album from your pop-up. They won’t display in the pop-up, but you can provide a way to page through lots of images.

      • elpinguinodev says:

        Hi Ben, I have the same question. Is it possible to load multiple images at once onto ArcGIS online, rather than loading one by one? Also, is it possible to have a unique image displayed in each individual web pop-up, not just the link to the url or attachment? From what I’ve seen so far, you can only upload an image that will appear in all pop-ups in the layer.

        • Bern Szukalski says:

          > Is it possible to load multiple images at once onto ArcGIS online, rather than loading one by one?

          Not at this time, but a good enhancement request that I’ll make sure gets on the list. But clearly, if your goal is to store/manage/share lots of photos there are better alternatives, like Flickr, etc.

          > is it possible to have a unique image displayed in each individual web pop-up, not just the link to the url or attachment?

          Yes, the photo displayed in the pop-up can be driven by an attribute. Meaning that the attribute can contain the link to the photo, and each photo can be unique for every feature. If you are storing photos in My Content, then you’d need to add the link to each photo to the attribute for the feature. This is the same process you’d go through no matter where you store your photos. In the item page make sure you grab the link to the image located in the bottom right of the Overview tab on the item pages. Here’s an example:

          • douglas.knox says:

            Hi Bern, I just wondered if there is any update on development work to allow batch uploading of images to AGOL rather than the ‘one at a time’ approach?

          • Bern Szukalski says:

            It’s been logged as an issue, though no progress as of yet. In case you want to track things #8955 is an enhancement to add batch upload,#7851 is a related one to batch upload geotagged photos (creating a feature layer). The latter may end up an analysis tool. You can always vote your request up by submitting to ArcGIS Ideas at:

  3. dannycroberts says:


    I wish to add photos to my content and link them to features using a URL but I do not want to share them publicly. The images will be client data and they would like to keep them confidential I.e not shared so the public can access them. Is there anyway to do this?

    • Bern Szukalski says:

      At the moment, only publicly shared photos will generate that public URL that you can use for sharing, etc. If photos are attachments on feature layers, then access is governed by the sharing on the feature layer. If photo items are not shared internally, then they can still be viewed privately by members of your organization that you have shared them with as items. A good enhancement request, I’ll make sure it gets logged.

  4. jayfeiker says:

    Do photos uploaded to AGOL work in all the app templates? I know they didn’t before for all.

    • Bern Szukalski says:

      Photos uploaded to ArcGIS online and accessed via the public URL should work in _all_ app templates just like any other photo from any other public URL. There shouldn’t be any issues with any of the app templates – if you think there are issues please send me specifics ( Thanks!

  5. rjflorek_org says:

    I’m trying to build some story maps, and already have a point feature layer with photos as attachments, but apparently the attachments aren’t used in story maps. Why do i have to go through this process of uploading, copy/pasting urls, when the images are already there and associated with the points???
    If I have to do it, then i agree with the other posts who ask for an easy way to upload a number of photos at once, say all the photos in a given folder on my computer.

  6. cushmant1 says:

    I have a shapefile with photo URL as an attribute. My photos are stored on Google Photos.
    I use this URL attribute field to provide a link to the actual photo itself (which works fine) within a pop-up. But, I also used to be able to see an image preview in the pop-up. The image preview in the pop-up no longer works.

    Is this a limitation of Google Photos or AGO? Any suggestions for work-arounds?

    I’ve also tried storing my photos on Flickr, but got the same result.

  7. mvo-gis says:

    Dear reader,

    Is it also possible to upload a feature class already containing the picture data?
    it’s a lot of work to proces 600 pictures with this workflow.

    pleas help!

  8. csingh@blm.gov_blm_egis says:

    I saved few images in my AGOL my content and shared it with my organization. How do I add these pictures to related features in my web map. I added a field for pics but dont know hoe to add the image to it so that it can be displayed in pop up.

  9. siran.erysian@dwr says:

    how do I load more than 1 picture to correspond with a location?

    • Bern Szukalski says:

      This is something not directly supported in ArcGIS Online, but there are alternative methods you can use depending on how your photos are stored. For example, you can have multiple photo attachments in a feature layer, but would need to craft the pop-up to display the multiple photos as links. If your photos are stored in a different repository, say Flickr, it’s possible to use the capabilities of the repository to display multiple photos at the same location. There is no built-in capability to display multiple photos stored in ArcGIS Online in a gallery, however you could put multiple photos in a group and display the group contents in a group gallery app. That’s about as good as it gets, ArcGIS Online is not meant to be a repository for photos or creating albums, and while there are capabilities to do this in a limited fashion, other alternatives will be better.

  10. whitneynewcomb says:

    Does adding photo’s to my Content use up my credits?

  11. says:

    This would be a more useful blog if it pointed out clearly and early in the blog that images cannot be added using a public account (rather than burying the information in a response to a question several screen down). ArcGIS Online would be more user friendly if did not provide a misleading error message (file type not supported) when a user tries to add an image from his or her computer with a public account. This is a complicated enough piece of software without playing hide the ball in error messages and blog postings.

    • Bern Szukalski says:

      I agree, and I’ve made the change to this post. Unless otherwise noted, all of my posts assume that you are using an organizational account which offers capabilities above and beyond those offered via a public account. I do plan on doing a series of posts covering public accounts, and what you can/cannot do with them.

  12. vickialbritton says:

    I’m a middle school teacher and my students are creating Map Presentations using AGOL. After Google took away the “View Image” option, students are having difficulty inserting images in their maps that will actually SHOW. They know the images must be specific file types. Even if they find a jpeg or png image, the url is being changed when they paste it into the Map Note box. Any advice is appreciated.