ArcGIS Online

Now Featuring: Feature-to-Feature editing in Map Viewer

You asked, we delivered! As of October 2023, you can edit feature-to-feature relationships in ArcGIS Online. Although only feature-to-table relationships were previously supported, you can now view, create, and edit related records for two or more directly related features. In this blog, we will cover

To take a deeper dive into related records be sure to check out our original blog, Introducing Related Record Editing in Map Viewer.


Diagram depicting how a parent feature is related to a child feature, and the child feature can have other relationships nested within it.

Feature-to-feature relationships

Similar to feature-to-table relationships, feature-to-feature relationships link a parent to a child through a common field. For example, say you have a map containing all of the park boundaries and tree points within the city of Boulder, Colorado. In order to easily track what trees belong to which park, a relationship from the parks (parent feature) to the trees (children features) has been established using the Global ID field. This direct relationship between two features comprises a feature-to-feature relationship.

User clicks on a park polygon and view related tree features.
In this example, certain tree points are related to a park polygon.

How to get started

Feature layer with relationships
To edit a feature-to-feature relationship in Map Viewer, you must have a feature layer containing two or more related features.* You can author relationships in ArcGIS Pro and publish to ArcGIS Online.

*Note: Currently only 1:1 or 1:M cardinality is supported for feature-to-table and feature-to-feature relationships in ArcGIS Online.


Configuring the form

Prior to editing or viewing related records, you must configure the form on the selected layer. The form builder will automatically detect if there is a feature-to-feature relationship on the selected layer and list it under the related records element section. To add the element, simply drag and drop into the form or click “Add all”.

Just like any other form element, you can customize the settings for the related record element. Enter the title, add a description, or change the sort by field and sort order. Once you are satisfied with your settings, click Ok to save and exit.*

User selects the desired layer, the clicks the Forms button. In the Fields layer list on the right-hand side, they select the feature-to-feature related record element and add it to the Form.
Once the related record element is added to the form, you can configure the settings.

*Note: If your dataset contains multiple relationships, make sure you add the related record element and configure the form for each layer.

Creating related features

Before you can create a related feature, the parent feature must be created first. For example, a user must have a park boundary feature before they are able to add a tree to the relationship. Follow the steps below to add related features:

  1. Select the desired parent feature to display its form and attributes.
  2. Click the “Add feature” button to start creating a new child feature for the related layer.
  3. Add the new feature on the map.
  4. Add any relevant attribute values.
  5. Click “Create” to finish creating the new feature.
User selects the parent feature (the park) and clicks the "add feature" button to create a child feature (the tree).

Navigating through related features

If you have edited or viewed related records in Map Viewer before, you’ll be familiar with the experience of navigating through related features. When the parent feature is selected you will see all related features underneath the element you added to the form. Hovering over each feature in the editor panel will highlight the corresponding feature on the map. To view or edit a specific feature, click on the desired record.

Screenshot shows the related features in the editor panel.


Best practices

To optimize feature-to-feature editing in Map Viewer, take a look at these best practices listed below:

About the author

Bekah joined the ArcGIS Online team in 2022 as a Product Engineer. She contributes to a variety of projects in the ArcGIS Online space including GIS data editing, management, and visualization. When she is not making maps, she can be found hiking outside with her dog or finding a cozy coffee shop.

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