Open Data, ArcGIS Hub and Tips for Creating an Open Data Site

Recall, last year (2017) Esri made the move and renamed ArcGIS Open Data to ArcGIS Hub ( – the same capabilities from Esri but wrapped into a new product with even more functionality.

Around the time this was all happening we had a chance to sit down with Andrew Turner of Esri to discuss this strategy. Read on for more about Open Data, ArcGIS Hub, steps to setup your Open Data portal, and a customer story from our team.

open data
Open Data (Credit: Esri)

Open Data allows organizations to use the ArcGIS platform to provide the public with open access to their authoritative data. Organizations configure a website with their own look and feel and specify Open Data groups to share specific items. The general public can use Open Data sites to search by topic or location, download data in multiple formats, and view data on an interactive map and in a table. (Esri)

Why Open Data?

  • Simplify data sharing
  • Make data more discoverable
  • Enable Government transparency
  • Leverage server technology
  • Reduce stale/old data
  • Grow a community of innovation
  • Facilitate data sharing within an organization

ArcGIS Open Data / ArcGIS Hub is used by many thousands of  government organizations around the world, providing an easy and efficient platform for public data sharing and exploration. By working closely with government executive, staff, civic tech groups and local communities we are demonstrating the potential for public digital information infrastructure to fundamentally address and improve complex problems.

ArcGIS Hub

For user orgs and agencies, ArcGIS Hub provides GIS admins with the capability to open their data holdings to the community and for citizens and developers who need data.  ArcGIS Hub walks you through launching your first open data site and recommends meaningful open datasets to share that align with commonly used open standard data models. Governments that participate get:

  • Tools to create maps, apps, and dashboards
  • An engagement platform to support collaboration
  • Ways to capture, store and share data
  • Apps and tools (templates)


To create an open data site within ArcGIS Hub, you must have an ArcGIS organizational account. To create a site with all ArcGIS Hub functionality, you must have an ArcGIS organizational account with a Hub license. You do not need an account to view or download data from sites. ArcGIS Hub supports data from ArcGIS Server 10.1 or later. See more at

Tips & A Tutorial for using ArcGIS Hub 2.0

Esri has shared a detailed tutorial in ArcWatch that walks you through setting up your own Open Data Hub in 3 “simple” steps. The article starts you off in the planning stage, then guides you through a move to ArcGIS hub and then building a branded site that users will be able to take advantage of. In addition to sharing useful Open Data best practices and tips, the article guides you through in Three Steps: Configuring the open data site, Prepare and manage data in an open data-configured ArcGIS Online group, Design the look of your open data site and make it public. For many, obviously the customization of your Open Data site is the “Special Sauce”. For tips and tricks on page customization of your Hub be sure to check out this excellent resource!

Of interest, users of ArcGIS Hub can add the following types of data to be used by the open data site (each will have its own dataset page on the site):

  • Hosted feature services
  • ArcGIS Server feature services
  • ArcGIS Server map services
  • Image services
  • CSV files
  • Web maps
  • Word documents
  • PDFs

See the Tutorial Create an Open Data Site in Three Steps HERE

Customer Example: GEO Jobe Enabling your Open Data

Here at GEO Jobe we don’t just build on the ArcGIS platform and create awesome tools, like Admin Tools and Mapfolio etc… our team also works with many ArcGIS Enterprise-scale customers, government agencies, and others and supports their ArcGIS-based solutions. Of interest, we’ve worked with Shelby, County, Tennessee to help standup  the County’s 911 Open Data Resource.  Using ArcGIS Online, the 911 resource makes available to the public and developers a number of useful data products including: emergency zones, road centerlines, address points and more. See

shelby county, tennessee opendata

Useful Resources:

GEO Jobe is prepared to work with and support Local Government agencies interested in getting involved with OpenData and standing up their own Open Data resource with ArcGIS Online. Contact us for more info on how to get started and you can connect with our @raykendo on Twitter for more on this topic. 

Learn to deploy an Open Data Hub

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From our GEOPowered Cloud to custom solutions, GEO Jobe is committed to showing clients how geospatial thinking can guide them to save time, money, and make better business decisions. The power of GIS, Simplified!