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Geographic Information Systems (GIS): ArcGIS Online Help

this guide is intended to provide University of Iowa students and faculty with links to geographic data sources as well as help for the most commonly used mapping tools on campus

ArcGIS Online

Getting into your ArcGIS Online (University of Iowa Institutional Account)

*** IMPORTANT! Before you attempt to use ArcGIS Online, you must have a license. Please see the GIS software page for more information. ***

  1. Navigate to
  2. Click the “Sign In” button in the middle of the page. Note: the sign in option may also be listed at the top-right (see image below), particularly if you’ve previously logged in
  3. In the Sign In panel, select “ENTERPRISE LOGIN” to get to your University account
  4. The Sign In panel that says, enter “uiowa” (without quotes) into the text box so that the sign in says “
  5. Click on “UIOWA IDP” to sign in with your HawkID


  1. You will be taken to your normal HawkID Login page. Log in with your account information.
  2. You will be returned to the University of Iowa ArcGIS Online landing page, which is mostly blank. At the top there are menus titled: Home, Gallery, Map, Scene, Groups, Content and Organization. Note: the Content panel lists your ArcGIS Online content much like a file folder on your computer. You will return here often when using ArcGIS Online.

Creating/Editing in ArcGIS Online & Sharing from ArcGIS Online/Esri Story Maps


  1. Click on the “Content” menu

  2. In the My Content panel, create a new map by clicking “Create” and then selecting “Map"

  3. Enter a title and some keywords (Tags) for your map and then click “OK” to begin editing a map



  1. Add layers by clicking on the “Add” menu on the top left. You can add existing map layers from your computer, from the web, or you can create “Map Notes,” which allow you to draw points, lines and areas directly onto the map and add some information. Note: map notes are not true geographic data layers, so you will not be able to share them with other mapping software platforms
  2. Layers are managed on the left hand side, in the table of contents panel. Configure icon styles by clicking on the “style” icon represented by a yellow circle, blue triangle and red square

  3. Make sure to SAVE in the style window if you make any stylistic changes to your map icons.
  4. When you are finished editing a map, SAVE your progress by clicking on the save menu button at the top center. Once an item is saved, you can navigate away

  5. Saved items are not automatically shared with your organization or public. The shared status of an item is indicated on the right hand side of the My Content page next to each item. A globe symbol indicates it is shared publicly, a building symbol indicates it is shared within your organization, and a lock symbol indicates that it is private and shared only with yourself
  6. Click on the lock icon and you will be prompted to change the accessibility of an item. If you are working in a collaboration group and want others in that group to be able to edit your item, you will want to choose “Access and update capabilities” and click the checkbox for your group so that others there can edit the item.