Geotag and geosearch the data

Your first goal is to upload documents about zoning standards to your SharePoint site. Then, you'll add the ArcGIS for SharePoint app and create a map using spatial data about zoning. You'll geotag the documents to the map features and use geosearch to find documents based on geographic features.

Upload documents to SharePoint

For the purposes of this lesson, you'll use two documents about zoning in Los Angeles County: a Microsoft Word document and a PDF.

  1. Download the Residential Zones Microsoft Word document and the Residential Development Standards Handout PDF.

    The Residential Zones file defines the purpose of residential zones. It also lists which permits are required for different types of land use in each type of residential zone. The Residential Development Standards Handout file contains development standards for residential zone types, such as the maximum building height or the minimum number of required parking spaces. It illustrates these standards using a table and several diagrams.

    You'll upload these files to a new document library on your SharePoint site.

  2. Sign in to your SharePoint Online site.

    If you don't have SharePoint, you can learn more about it and see pricing plans on the Microsoft SharePoint product page.

  3. On your site's home page, click New and choose Document library.

    Document library option in the New drop-down menu

  4. In the Create document library pane, for Name, type Los Angeles Zoning Files.

    Create document library pane with Name parameter filled out

  5. Click Create.

    The document library is created. It will keep all of your files in the same location. For libraries with large numbers of files, you can create folders to increase organization. Because you only have two files, you'll upload them to the library without creating any folders.

  6. Click Upload and choose Files.

    Files option in the Upload drop-down menu

  7. In the file browser, browse to the location where you saved the two files you downloaded.
  8. Press Ctrl and click both files to select them. Click Open (or your file browser's equivalent command).

    The files are uploaded to your document library.

    Both residential zoning files in the document library

    Now that the files are uploaded, you can add them to a map using ArcGIS for SharePoint.

Add ArcGIS for SharePoint

To create maps in SharePoint and add your files to them, you'll add the ArcGIS for SharePoint app to your SharePoint site. You can acquire the app from the SharePoint Store.

  1. On the navigation panel, click Home.
  2. Click New and choose App.

    App option in the New drop-down menu

    The My apps page appears, with a list of all apps added to your SharePoint site.

  3. Click Find more apps in the SharePoint Store.

    Find more apps in the SharePoint Store option

  4. In the SharePoint Store, in the search bar, type ArcGIS and press Enter.
  5. In the list of search results, click ArcGIS for SharePoint.

    ArcGIS for SharePoint search result

  6. Add the ArcGIS for SharePoint app.

    If you see a message that says you don't have permission to add apps, contact your SharePoint site administrator and ask them to add it for you.

  7. Once the app is added, click Back to SharePoint Store home. Click Back again to return to your SharePoint site.

Create a map

Now that the ArcGIS for SharePoint app has been added to your site, you'll create a new page that uses ArcGIS maps. On this page, you'll create a map with a Los Angeles County zoning layer from ArcGIS Online.

  1. On your site's home page, click New and choose Page.

    Page option in the New drop-down menu

    The Pages pane appears. You may also see a Welcome window with a guided tour for beginners.

  2. If necessary, in the Welcome window, choose to skip the tour.
  3. In the Pages pane, under Templates, confirm that Blank is chosen. Click Create page.

    The page is created. First, you'll name it.

  4. Click Add a name and type Los Angeles County Zoning.

    Page name set to Los Angeles County Zoning

    Next, you'll add ArcGIS data to the page. By default, the page has one section, with the text Add your text here. You'll use this section to add the data.

  5. Point to the top of the first section and click the Add a new web part in column one button.

    Add a new web part in column one button

    A list of web parts that you can add appears.

  6. In the search box, type ArcGIS. In the list of search results, click ArcGIS Maps.

    ArcGIS Maps option in the search results

    The ArcGIS for SharePoint welcome page appears. It shows some of the things you can do using ArcGIS for SharePoint.

  7. Close the welcome page.

    On your SharePoint page, you are given the option to sign in to ArcGIS Online or ArcGIS Enterprise.

    Sign in page

  8. Sign in to your ArcGIS organizational account.

    If you don't have an organizational account, you can sign up for an ArcGIS free trial.

    After you sign in, a blank map is added to the page. You can add data to the map from ArcGIS Online. You'll add a layer of zoning information for the unincorporated parts of Los Angeles County.

  9. In the Layers pane, click the Add from ArcGIS button.

    Add from ArcGIS button

  10. In the Add from ArcGIS pane, click My content and choose Public ArcGIS content.

    Public ArcGIS content option

  11. In the search bar, type Zoning Unincorporated Learn_ArcGIS. In the list of search results, for Zoning (Los Angeles County Unincorporated), click the Add button.

    Add button for the Zoning layer

    The layer is added to the map and the map zooms to the layer's extent (Los Angeles County, California). The layer contains zoning information for all areas in Los Angeles County that are unincorporated.

    Default map with unincorporated zoning in Los Angeles County

    In the United States, an unincorporated area is an area that isn't part of a city or town. Because these areas aren't governed by city governments, they are often managed by the county government.

Geotag and geosearch documents

Now that you've added zoning data, you'll geotag the documents you downloaded to the map. Geotagging will allow users to click features on the map and see relevant documents via a process called geosearching.

First, you'll zoom to an area of Los Angeles County called Harbor City, where you'll be able to look at the map features in more detail.

  1. On the map toolbar, click the Search button.

    Search button

  2. In the Find address or place bar, type Harbor City and choose Harbor City, CA, USA.

    Harbor City search results

    The map zooms to Harbor City. Near the city is an unincorporated area with zoning data from your layer.

  3. Close the Search result pop-up.

    Next, you'll geotag your documents.

  4. On the map toolbar, click the Geotag and geosearch button.

    Geotag and geosearch button

    Geotagging is done using attributes associated with a layer on the map. For instance, your map's zoning layer has an attribute field called Zone that defines what type of zone each area is. You'll geotag documents to specific zone types using this attribute field.

  5. In the Geotag and geosearch pane, confirm that Zoning (Los Angeles County Unincorporated) is chosen. In the list of fields, check Zone.

    Zone field chosen in the list of fields

    Next, you'll choose the documents to geotag.

  6. Click the Geotag documents button.

    Geotag documents button

  7. For Select a document library, click Los Angeles Zoning Files.

    If you see a warning that says you need authorization to access and manage term set or terms in the SharePoint term store, you may need to contact your site administrator. The You need authorization to access and manage term set or terms in the SharePoint term store community topic has more information.

    You created this library earlier in the lesson and added the two files you downloaded to it. You'll geotag the files by dragging them to the type of zone you want to associate them with. Both files have to do with residential zones, so you'll choose a residential zone type.

  8. On the map, zoom in once to the zoning features near Harbor City. Click the beige zoning feature just north of Koleeta Drive.

    Zoning feature north of Koleeta Drive

    The feature's pop-up appears, showing the attribute information associated with the feature. The feature's zone is R-1. Based on your documents, this zone type is for single-family residences.

  9. In the Geotag documents pane, check the two residential zoning files to select them. Drag the files onto the R-1 zone feature north of Koleeta Drive.

    Documents selected and dragged onto the R-1 feature

    During the drag and drop process, a pop-up appears that shows you which attributes will be tagged with the documents. When you drag to the Koleeta Drive feature, the attribute is R-1.

    After you drop the documents onto the feature, a message appears, informing you that the items have been tagged successfully.


    If you accidentally dragged the documents onto the wrong feature, you can undo the geotagging by clicking Undo on the success message.

  10. In the Geotag documents pane, next to either of the two documents, click the geotagging button.

    Geotagging button

    The Document geotags pane appears, showing the attributes to which the document is geotagged. Your documents are geotagged to the R-1 attribute.

  11. Close the Document geotags pane and the pop-up on the map.

    Now that your documents are geotagged, you'll use geosearch to search for them by their associated attribute.

  12. In the Geotag documents pane, click the Geosearch documents button.

    Geosearch documents button

  13. On the map, click any beige zoning feature, such as the feature north of Koleeta Drive.

    The Geosearch documents pane is automatically populated with the Zone attribute of the feature you clicked. The geotagged documents are listed.


    Alternatively, you can geosearch for documents by typing the attribute into the search bar.

  14. In the Geosearch documents pane, in the search bar, click the X to cancel the search. On the map, close any open pop-ups.

You've uploaded documents to SharePoint and geotagged them to relevant features on a map based on their attributes. With the documents geotagged, planners can now use geosearching to quickly find residential zoning regulations and standards by clicking residential zones on the map.

Analyze and share the results

ArcGIS for SharePoint isn't only for organizing spatial and nonspatial data. It can also be used to analyze spatial data and share content with others. Your map is meant to be used by city planners, so you'll take advantage of some of this functionality to tailor your map to their needs.

Add an infographic

First, you'll create an infographic to the map. Infographics are cards that appear on a map and provide more information. You can choose to add a wide variety of demographic data to an infographic to contextualize the map and make it more meaningful.

Your infographic will show the total population of the map extent. This information is often crucial for city planners.

  1. On the map toolbar, click the Analysis button.

    Analysis button

    The Measure pane appears. You can perform three types of analysis: measuring, buffering, and creating infographics.

  2. In the Measure pane, click the Infographics cards button.

    Infographics cards button

    A large list of demographic variables appears. You can use these variables to create infographics.

  3. For Country or area, confirm that United States is chosen. Click Population.

    Population category

  4. Expand Popular variables and check Total Population.

    Total Population variable

    An infographic displaying the total population of the current map extent is added to the upper right corner of the map. Depending on your current map extent, the total population you see may differ from the example images.

    Infographic showing the total population of the map area

  5. Pan and zoom the map.

    The number displayed in the infographic automatically updates whenever you navigate the map to reflect the current map extent. With this infographic, city planners can immediately determine the total population of any area they're interested in.

Conduct buffer analysis

Next, you'll conduct analysis that is directly related to zoning. When a new zone is proposed, planners need to inspect if the proposed location follows all guidelines and regulations.

Assume that a new industrial zone is being proposed in the Harbor City area. Based on county regulations, this type of zone must be at least 500 feet away from any residential zone. You'll add a point at the location of this proposed zone and perform buffer analysis to ensure it meets this regulation.

  1. In the Infographics cards pane, click the Buffer/Drive time button.

    Buffer/Drive time button

    You can perform buffer analysis on features already on the map, or you can add a point. You'll do the latter. First, you'll navigate to the area where the new zone is being proposed.

  2. If necessary, on the map, pan and zoom back to the residential zones near Harbor City that you used to geotag your documents.
  3. In the Buffer/Drive time pane, for Choose input features, choose Click to add a point.

    Click to add a point option

  4. Click the map where 243rd Street intersects Senator Avenue (in between the Harbor City residential zones and Narbonne High School).

    Intersection of 243rd Street and Senator Avenue

    An orange point appears at the location you clicked. The point's latitude and longitude are displayed in the Buffer/Drive time pane. Your point's coordinates are about latitude 33.8 and longitude -118.3.


    If you clicked the wrong spot, click the map again to change the location of the orange point.

  5. In the Buffer/Drive time pane, for Choose analysis type, confirm that Ring buffer is chosen. Change the number to 500 and the unit of measurement to Feet.
  6. For Result layer name, type Proposed Zone Buffer and add your name or initials.

    Parameters for the Buffer/Drive time analysis tool

  7. Click Run analysis.

    The tool runs. When it finishes, a message appears at the bottom right of the map to confirm that the result was saved as a new feature service in your ArcGIS account. The buffer is also added to the map around the point that you chose.

    Result of the buffer analysis on the map

    Based on the result, the proposed zone location is over 500 feet away from the nearest residential zone, which means it adheres to the zoning regulation. (If you clicked a point closer to the residential zones, your buffer may overlap them.)

    Before you share your map, you'll change the basemap. The basemap is the foundational layer of your map and provides context such as boundaries or streets. In your map, you used street labels on the basemap to locate specific zoning features.

    Changing the basemap to show satellite imagery would help city planners get a better idea of what the features on the map represent in the real world.

  8. On the map toolbar, click the Basemap button.

    Basemap button

  9. In the Basemap pane, click Imagery.

    The basemaps available to you are based on your organization's settings. The Imagery basemap is a default basemap that is available in most organizations, but it may not appear in yours. If it doesn't, you can choose another basemap.

    Imagery basemap option

    The map changes to show satellite imagery of the area. Now, you can see how houses, open space, and other buildings are distributed, giving more meaning to your zoning layer. For instance, you can compare how the residential zones are primarily composed of small houses, while the other zone types have larger buildings or big open lots.

    Map showing zoning areas with satellite imagery

Share the map

Next, you'll share your map on ArcGIS Online and also share your SharePoint page. After you share your map, users in your organization can view it or save a copy so they can perform their own analysis. By sharing your SharePoint page, other users of your SharePoint site can participate in managing it or its related files.

  1. On the map toolbar, click the Share map button.

    Share map button

  2. In the Share map pane, for Title, type Los Angeles County Zoning.

    Title parameter in the Share map pane


    Optionally, you can add search tags or a summary to help other users search for and understand the purpose of your map.

    You can choose to share the map with either everyone, members of your organization, or only yourself.

  3. Scroll down the Share map pane. Under Share with, choose My organization.
  4. Click Share.

    Your map is shared. You are given a link to the location of the map on ArcGIS Online. You can also copy the link to provide it with others.

  5. Click the here link.

    Here link

    The map's details page on ArcGIS Online appears in a new browser tab. You can use this page to edit the map's metadata, including its title, summary, description, and tags.

  6. Click Open in Map Viewer.

    Open in Map Viewer button

    The map opens in ArcGIS Online. It has the same zoning layer, buffer feature, and basemap as the map you created on SharePoint, with additional options for styling and analysis.


    To learn more about what you can do with maps in ArcGIS Online, try the lesson Get started with ArcGIS Online.

  7. Return to the browser tab of the SharePoint page you created.

    Next, you'll publish your SharePoint page so other collaborators on your SharePoint site can access it. Users will be able to geotag and geosearch documents on the map, increasing organization-wide file access and allowing multiple contributors to work together.

  8. On the SharePoint ribbon, click Publish.

    Publish button

    Your page is published. The Help others find your page pane appears with options for sharing via the SharePoint site's navigation, email, or other methods. It also contains a URL to the page's address that you can copy and provide to others.

In this lesson, you created a map on your SharePoint site using the ArcGIS for SharePoint app. You geotagged the map with files providing more information, making those files more accessible. You also performed analysis. Lastly, you shared your map on ArcGIS Online and in SharePoint, making it possible to collaborate with other users. ArcGIS for SharePoint increases an organization's ability to combine spatial and nonspatial data and collaborate on major projects.

You can find more lessons in the Learn ArcGIS Lesson Gallery.