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Create a template using ArcGIS Pro or Desktop

The following steps show you how to set up a new template for GeoPlanner using ArcGIS Desktop or ArcGIS Pro and your organization in ArcGIS Online.

A GeoPlanner template is a group in your organization, a web map, and a feature service. To create a new template, you have to create each of these and add specific tags to them. The tags help the GeoPlanner app locate your template.

This workflow guides you through the process of creating a new GeoPlanner template. That process uses the following steps:

  1. Create a GeoPlanner template group on ArcGIS Online.
  2. Create and share a template web map.
  3. Create one or more feature classes and add them as feature layers to ArcGIS Desktop or ArcGIS Pro.
  4. Assign symbols to the feature layers and add feature templates to them.
  5. Share the feature layers as a feature service in ArcGIS Online.

Create a group on ArcGIS Online

Each GeoPlanner template must have its own group. The title, description, and summary of this group will be displayed in the template selection window when you create a new project in the GeoPlanner app.

To set up a GeoPlanner template group, follow these steps:

  1. Sign in to ArcGIS Online.
  2. Click Groups.
  3. Click Create New Group.
  4. On the group properties page, provide a name for the group. For tags, you must use geodesignTemplate. It is critical to use this tag name exactly as it is written because the GeoPlanner app uses this tag to search for groups. Groups without this tag will not be discovered.
  5. Click Create Group.

    A new group named Land Use Template is created. No items have been shared to this group yet.

  6. Click My Groups to see your newly created group.

Create a folder on ArcGIS Online

A folder is a directory under My Content tab of the content page in ArcGIS Online. Although a GeoPlanner template folder is not required by the GeoPlanner app, it is recommended for storing all GeoPlanner template resources. A GeoPlanner template folder will facilitate content management in ArcGIS Online, especially when the number of data items is large in My Content. Follow the steps below to create a GeoPlanner template folder:

  1. Sign in to ArcGIS Online.
  2. In the My Content tab of the content page, click New under Folders to create a new folder.
  3. Provide a name for the folder and click OK.

    A new folder with your provided name is created.

Create a template web map

Once you've created a group and a folder, you need to create a web map. A GeoPlanner template web map contains operational layers and a basemap. It's used by the GeoPlanner app to create and manage a project. Do not add the GeoPlanner template feature service to the template web map, because it will be automatically added to the project web map when a new project is created. Adding a template feature service to the template web map will result in duplicate template feature layers in the project web map.

Follow the steps below to create a template web map and share it to the GeoPlanner template group:

  1. Go to the My Content tab of the content page, in ArcGIS Online.
  2. Click your template folder and click Create and select Map.
    1. Type a title.
    2. Type tags that describe your map.

      Tags are words or short phrases that describe your map. Separate terms with commas. Federal land is considered one tag, while Federal, land is considered two tags.

    3. Enter a summary that describes the map.
    4. Choose a folder in My Content where you want to save the map and click OK.

    A new map opens.

  3. Click the Basemap button and choose a basemap.
  4. Optionally, click Add and use the existing ArcGIS Online options to add operational data to your map.
  5. Click Save and choose Save As. On the Save Map dialog box, type geodesignTemplateWebMap as the tag. This is the tag the GeoPlanner app looks for, and it must be spelled as it is written. Provide a name and summary for the map, choose your template folder as the save in folder, and click SAVE MAP.

    The newly created web map is now saved in your templates folder under My Content.

  6. Click Share. On the Share dialog box, check the box next your organization and the template group you created.
  7. Click DONE.

Create a new feature class

A GeoPlanner template contains one or more hosted feature layers. These layers provide the feature types available for sketching and design. You define these types as feature templates that have symbology and default values. The layers also contain the attributes you'll use for reporting in GeoPlanner dashboard gauges. The following steps describe how you can use ArcGIS Desktop to create your feature templates and attributes within a feature class:

  1. Open ArcMap and create a new blank map.
  2. Open the Catalog window by clicking the Catalog button on the Tools toolbar.
  3. In the Catalog window, browse to a folder and create a new file geodatabase in it.
  4. Select this geodatabase, right-click it, and click New > Feature Class.
  5. Provide a feature class name and alias. Choose a feature type from the type drop-down list. Click Next.
  6. Expand Projected Coordinate Systems and choose a map projection from the list. To work with ArcGIS Online, it's recommended that you use WGS 1984 Web Mercator (Auxiliary Sphere). This projection can be found by expanding Projected Coordinate Systems, and expanding the World group.
  7. Click Next after choosing the coordinate system.
  8. Accept the default XY tolerance and resolution and click Next.
  9. Accept the default configuration keyword and click Next.
  10. Add the fields listed in the following table. The Geodesign_ProjectID and Geodesign_ScenarioID fields are attributes required by GeoPlanner that must exist in every template layer. When a new project is created in GeoPlanner, these attributes will be validated. Other attributes can also be added to the feature class.
    The following table shows sample attributes defined in a land-use polygon feature class:

    Field nameField typeField length


















    LanduseType is a sample text field needed in the next section to demonstrate how to define a symbol set that can be replaced by your own field name; Description is a sample field that will be rendered using a text area instead of a single-line text box in the Attributes window of GeoPlanner; and Floor_Area_Ratio is a sample field that will be used to show how to set default attribute values for each subclass within this feature class.

  11. Click Finish after adding these fields.

    Your new feature class is created and automatically added to the Table of Contents window.

  12. Repeat steps 4 through 11 to create another feature class if needed.
  13. Save this ArcMap document but don't close it. You'll need it in the following section.

Assign symbols to feature layers

In the previous section, you created a new feature class. Next, you'll add some symbols to it. These symbols will be available for sketching in GeoPlanner.

  1. In ArcMap, add the feature classes you created in the Create a new feature class section to the map display.
  2. Double–click the layer in the Table of Contents to open the Layer Properties dialog box.
  3. Click the Symbology tab.
  4. In the left pane, click Categories and choose Unique values.
  5. Choose LanduseType (or your own field for defining subclasses) as the value field in the right pane.
  6. Click Add Values.

    The Add Values dialog box appears.

  7. Provide a value in the New Value box and click Add to List.

    The value is added to the list.

  8. Repeat steps 6 and 7 to add additional values.
  9. Select all the values in the list box and click OK. The values are added on the Symbology tab, and each value is assigned a symbol.
  10. To delete a value from the list, select it and click Remove.
  11. Uncheck the symbol associated with <all other values> in the list.
  12. Provide a label for each value.
  13. Click OK to close the Layer Properties dialog box. Now the symbols are displayed in the Table of Contents window.
  14. To edit a symbol, click the individual symbol in the Table of Contents window to open the Symbol Selector dialog box.

    The following table shows symbol types that you can use in your template:

    Geometry typeSymbol type


    Arrow marker symbol

    Character marker symbol

    Picture marker symbol

    Simple marker symbol


    Simple line symbol


    Line fill symbol

    Picture fill symbol

    Simple fill symbol

  15. When you're finished, click OK.

    The new symbols now appear in the Table of Contents window.

  16. Repeat steps 1 through 15 to assign symbols to another feature class if needed.
  17. Save this ArcMap document to your desired directory but don't close it yet.

Set default attribute values for feature templates

In the previous section, you assigned symbols to features. Next, you'll create feature templates and set default values for your sketch types in GeoPlanner.

  1. In ArcMap, right–click one of the feature layers in your table of contents. From the context menu, choose Edit Features, and choose Organize Feature Templates.
  2. In the Organize Feature Templates dialog box, click the New Template drop-down list and choose New Template.
  3. In the Create New Templates Wizard, check the layers for which you want to create feature templates. Click Next and click Finish.
    Feature templates wizard
  4. On the Organize Feature Templates dialog box, double-click one template to open the Template Properties dialog box.
  5. In the cells to the right of the attribute list, type your default values. These values will be set automatically when you sketch in new features.
    Set a default value in the Template Properties dialog box

    Do not set a default value for the Geodesign_ProjectID or Geodesign_ScenarioID fields.

  6. Click OK to save your changes and close the properties window.
  7. Repeat steps 1 through 6 to define default attribute values for other feature templates.
  8. On the Organize Feature Templates dialog box, click Close.
  9. Save this ArcMap document.

Share a feature service for the template

In the previous sections, you created one or more feature classes. You added those feature classes to ArcGIS Desktop. You created feature templates and set default values for them. Next, you'll share the feature layers in the ArcMap document as a feature service on ArcGIS Online. You'll also share the feature service with the GeoPlanner template group.


A GeoPlanner template group should contain only one feature service. If more than one service is shared to a GeoPlanner template group, only the first service will be detected by the GeoPlanner app.

  1. Open the ArcMap document you used in the Set default attribute values for feature templates section.
  2. Click the File menu and click Sign In to log in to ArcGIS Online.
  3. Click the File menu, choose Share As, and click Service.
  4. Choose Publish a Service.
  5. Choose My Hosted Services (your organization name), provide a service name, and click Continue.
  6. In the Service Editor window, click Capabilities in the left pane. In the right pane, check Feature Access and uncheck Tiled Mapping.
  7. Click Feature Access in the left pane. Under Operations allowed in the right pane, check Create, Delete, Query, and Update.
  8. Click Item Description in the left pane. Provide a summary and description. For tags, type geodesignTemplateFeatureService. This is the tag the GeoPlanner app looks for when searching for template feature services, and it must be spelled as it is written.
  9. Click Sharing in the left pane. In the list of all groups, check your organization and the GeoPlanner template group that you created in the Create a group on ArcGIS Online section.
  10. Click Analyze and fix any errors.
  11. Click Publish. A dialog box appears showing the progress. Once published, the data is copied to your ArcGIS Online account.

Move a feature service to the template folder

This section is optional but recommended. Sign in to ArcGIS Online and click My Content. You'll see the feature service published from ArcMap, but it was published in the root folder. You now need to move this feature service to the folder you created in the Create a folder on ArcGIS Online section.

  1. Sign in to ArcGIS Online.
  2. In the My Content tab of the content page.
  3. Click the feature service you shared in the Share a feature service for the template section to display its property page.
  4. Click Move and select your templates folder.
  5. Go back to the My Content page and click your templates folder in the left pane. Your feature service now appears there.

Test your template in GeoPlanner

So far, you've created an ArcGIS Online group, a web map, and shared one or more feature layers. You are nearly done creating your new template. Now you'll test your new template to make sure everything is configured correctly. The following steps show you how:

  1. Sign in to GeoPlanner for ArcGIS.
  2. On the GeoPlanner for ArcGIS—Getting Started dialog box, click Create New Project.
  3. On the GeoPlanner for ArcGIS—Select a Template dialog box, click My Organization and browse to the template you created.
  4. Click Preview.

    The Preview Symbol Palette dialog box displays the feature templates you created when working through this workflow.

    Preview Symbol Palette dialog box

  5. Click Select to create a new project.

Congratulations! You've successfully created a new template. In this workflow, you created a new GeoPlanner template by creating and sharing an ArcGIS Online group, a web map, and feature service. You tested your template by creating a new project from it. You can begin to work in GeoPlanner, start a tutorial, or optionally enable some properties of the template feature service. These properties allow data export and feature attachments. See Feature service properties for more information.