AGOL Multi-user Editing

This page will serve as a tutorial for UF AGOL users who want to enable group editing of ArcGIS Online (AGOL). Multi-user editing a feature layer differs from group editing of a StoryMap (and other similar AGOL items like Dashboards and Experience Builder), so they are described separately.

By default, users in our org have the role of Publisher, this role will allow for the setup of group editing of a feature layer, but it will not allow for the setup of group editing of a story map. To create a group to be used for group editing of a StoryMap, special admin privileges are needed, these privileges are available with the Instructor, Researcher, or Students role (how to find your role). Please contact GeoPlan if you have the default Publisher role and need to be upgraded.

Multi-User Editing of a Feature Layer

For our test, we used only users with the “publisher” role, which is the default role for all users in our main UF AGOL organizational account (org). All users in our test were part of the UF org.

Table of Contents

Create a Feature Layer

First, you need to create a piece of content. For our test we added a feature class from a file geodatabase to ArcGIS Pro > share ribbon > share as web layer

After the feature layer is in ArcGIS Pro you then need to make sure it has edit privileges. login to agol (open > content > click your feature layer > settings > make sure editing is enabled, here is what our editing settings look like:

A screenshot of the correct Feature Layer (hosted) options.

The following are checked under Editing: Enable editing, Keep track of created and updated features, Keep track of who created and last updated features. 

The following are checked under What kind of Editing is allowed?: Add, Delete, Update (Attributes and geometry). 

The following are checked: Editors can see all features, Editors can edit all features, The same as signed in editors.

Group Setup for Multi-User Editing of Feature Class

Now that you have a feature layer that is ready for editing, it’s time to create a group and add other org members to the group as well as add your feature layer to the group.

Group creation and settings

login to agol > groups > create group > make sure “all group members” is checked. here is what our group settings look like:

A screenshot of the proper settings for Group membership. The following are checked: My organization's members only, by invitation, only group members, all group members.

Add members to your group

login to agol > groups > click your group > invite users

Note: It may be necessary to create a new group, rather than edit the settings of an existing group. We have found issues with older groups that just won’t allow the group editing setting to work.

Add feature layer to your group

login to agol > content > click your feature layer > share > edit group sharing > check box next to appropriate group

Testing Your Editing Environment

open arcgis pro > map > add data > my content > choose layer that has been made available for group editing > edit

Notes and Gotchas

You can’t “Update” a layer that you don’t own. See screenshot:

A screenshot of various options available for a feature layer in AGOL. Update Data is circled.

If you need to jointly “Update”, consider updating all features using editing techniques in ArcGIS Pro, the other option is to transfer ownership from one user to another.

Sharing can be affected by group membership, organization membership, role, and settings on the feature layer. It can be tricky and create confusion, be sure to thoroughly test.


Here are some resources that can supplement the above:

Multi-User Editing of a Story Map

Table of Contents

Overview of Workflow

To enable group editing on a StoryMap, you must make sure the following is true:

  1. A user with the Instructor, Researcher or Students role creates a group with the proper permissions
  2. All users that want to participate in group editing are added to the group
  3. The StoryMap is added as content to the group

Note: We have tested similar instructions for Dashboards, Experience Builder, and Web App Builder.

Create StoryMap

Create your StoryMap, you can get started with the creation here. This can be done with any role, including the default role of Publisher.

Group Setup for Story Map Collaboration

This has to be done with the Instructor, Researcher, or Students role. Make sure Who can contribute content and Group designations are enabled. See below for my test:

A screenshot for the settings for group collaboration in story maps.

The tags have been filled with the tag test. The following options are selected: My organization's members only, by invitation, everyone (public), all group members. The group designations Shared update box has been checked.


  • Once the group is created, you can’t go back and enable “Shared update”. You must create a new group and do it from the beginning.
  • Some people miss the “Shared update” because it’s at the very bottom of the page, make sure you scroll all the way down!
  • Note the difference between creating a group with the Instructor role vs the Publisher role. The extra “Group Designation > Shared update” is available.

Add members to your group

login to agol > groups > click your group > invite users’

Add StoryMap to your group

login to StoryMaps > My Stories > click story map > edit story > share settings > find group under group sharing > update sharing settings

Testing Your StoryMap

login to StoryMaps > My Stories > click story map > copy URL and send to collaborator


Have you followed these above instructions and still can’t have multiple editors? The most likely answer is that there are items in the story map that don’t have edit privileges enabled. We recommend starting with as few items as possible and making sure collaboration is working, before adding more items to your story.