How to add data to ArcGIS

  1. Locate the data source (server, service, or layer) that you would like to add to ArcGIS
  2. Copy the url for that data source
  3. In ArcCatalog navigate to the side bar to where it says “add REST service” and click on it.
  4. Paste the url of your data source into the url box. 
  5. Add a name for the data source. If you do not add a name the url will be the default name.
  6. Click okay/add
  7. The data source is now available to you via your ArcCatalog
  8. In ArcMap, you can use the ArcCatalog right sidebar menu to find the data source you just added. 
  9. Clicking on the data source if it is a server will allow you to navigate through the service and find the layer you want. 
  10. If you added just a service or layer you will only see that data source and not the whole server. 
  11. You can drag the layer you want onto your map and the data will appear.
  12. Keep in mind that this data is being served to you from a server. This is convenient because you do not have to download the data directly onto your machine but also has some downsides. Learn more about the downsides of this in this article and solutions to how to fix them by downloading the data in this article.