Creating a map package

Map packages (.mpk) make it easy to share complete map documents with others. A map package contains a map document (.mxd) and the data referenced by the layers it contains, packaged into one convenient, portable file. Map packages can be used for easy sharing of maps between colleagues in a work group, across departments in an organization, or with any other ArcGIS users via ArcGIS online. Map packages have other uses, too, such as the ability to create an archive of a particular map that contains a snapshot of the current state of the data used in the map.


Before packaging a map, be sure to enter descriptive information about it in the Map Document Properties dialog box. This information is built into the package and is accessible to others when you upload your map package into ArcGIS online. You can access this dialog box by clicking File > Map Document Properties on the main menu.


  1. Click File > Create Map Package on the main menu. This will open the Create Map Package dialog box:
    Creating a map package
  2. Name your new map package.
  3. Specify where to save your map package - either as a file on disk or in your ArcGIS online account.
  4. Click Validate to analyze your map for any errors or issues. You must validate before you can save it to disk or share it to ArcGIS online. If any issues are discovered, a Prepare window will appear with a list of issues. Right-click on each Prepare message to get more information, read help for the error, and to click on suggested fixes.
  5. Once validated, the Share button will be enabled. Click Share to create your map package.

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