Synchronizing Data From Arcgis Server to CartoDB

A common use case for Enterprise GIS has to do with access to information from anywhere at anytime. Many organizations publish their data using “Classic” GIS tools (e.g. Arcgis Server ) but sometimes those tools are too complex for non GIS specialists.

What if we could use that data using a cloud-based user-friendly interface such as CartoDB?

In the following example we are going to create a visualization using data synchronized from Arcgis Server to Cartodb.


  • This technique is not recommended for “big” datasets. For advanced integrations you can use tools like FME , send an email to CartoDB or contact a partner.

  • At the time of this writing the features were online, but at this moment it seems that they were removed. Fortunately we have synced them to CartoDB :)

The dataset used is “Chikungunya cases by town” published by Colombia’s Ministry of Health. (The dataset is updated every 2 or 3 weeks)

The following image shows the “official” visualization for this dataset:

Exporting Data

You can get access to the dataset using the public Mapserver url from “ArcGIS REST Services Directory” located at

The map has one layer named “por municipio de transmisión” at index 0. Arcgis Server lets you to export the data as json using the “query” operation.

You can get the url of the query operation for layer 0 just adding “/0/query” at the end of the Mapserver url:

To export all data from the layer you have to select the following options:

Where  :   1=1

To export all fields:

Out fields :  * 

To export as json:

Select "JSON" from the format combo box.

And select “Query (GET)”

It generates a long url like this:


But you can shorten it using


Import Data in CartoDB

Create a new table in Cartodb pasting the shortened url. To enable automatic Synchronization select “Sync my data : Every week ”

CartoDB created a new table named “table_1e6efjn”. Now your data is ready for mapping!

Create the Map

Now you can create and publish your map using CartoDB’s Editor. For example :