Vector tile service

A vector tile service is a type of data service that stores and provides access to vector tiles and vector tile style resources. A vector tile service can also package vector tiles for offline use as vector tile packages. Vector tile services are created and managed using data management tools and are accessed with a REST API.

Mapping applications typically use client APIs and vector tile services to access and display vector tiles in a map or scene. ArcGIS Maps SDKs for Native Apps do not currently support vector tiles in scenes.

Parcel data stored as vector tiles in a vector tile service

Key features

  • Securely store vector tiles in ArcGIS.
  • Define custom styles for displaying vector tiles in mapping applications.
  • Efficiently display large amounts of geographic data at native screen resolution.
  • Create vector tile services from feature layers.
  • Access and view vector tiles while offline.

How to use a vector tile service

You typically use a vector tile service by:

  1. Creating a vector tile service using data managament tools.
  2. Accessing the style definition and style resources for the vector tile service.
  3. Displaying vector tiles from the vector tile service in a map or scene using the style definition.

How a vector tile service works

A vector tile service is accessed using the base service URL and consists of properties describing the service. Some key properties are:

  • Name
  • Style resource URL
  • Tile URL template
  • Tile Map URL
  • Default geographic extent for viewing tiles
  • Bounding geographic extent for all tiles
  • Tiling information

A vector tile service also provides:

  • A REST API for programmatic access.
  • Operations for working offline with vector tiles stored in the vector tile service.

Vector tile service URL

Vector tile services only support an enhanced endpoint. To access a vector tile service, use the host, unique service ID, and service name.

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For example:

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Learn more about standard and enhanced endpoints in Service endpoints.

Required parameters


The format of the query response:

  • json
  • pjson
  • geojson
  • html
  • pbf

ArcGIS client APIs use json (or pbf when displaying content in a map view or scene view). Many open source APIs use geojson.

To see which formats are supported for a particular feature layer, see the supportsQueryFormats property of the feature layer.


The access token used to access restricted operations or private content. The value can be an API Key or OAuth 2.0 token.

API keys are limited and do not provide access to restricted operations, but they can be used to access private content such as private feature layers, vector tile layers, image tile layers, web maps, and web scenes. API keys must be scoped to access specific content.

OAuth 2.0 tokens, however, can be used to access restricted operations and all private data types within the scope of the user's credentials.

Learn more about access tokens and authentication methods in Security and authentication.

Vector tile style URL

To access a vector tile service style, use the host, unique service ID, and service name, and read the defaultStyles property of the vector tile service. This is usually resources/styles. The style json can be found at resource/styles/root.json.

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For example:

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Vector tile URL

To get an individual vector tile from a vector tile service style, use the host, unique service ID, and service name, and read the tiles property of the vector tile service. Tiles are typically found at tile/{z}/{y}/{x}.pbf and are downloaded in protocol buffer file format.

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For example:

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Code examples

Get vector tile service properties

Get the vector tile service properties for this service as JSON, including the URL components needed to access style resources and tiles.

The service is shared with everyone, so no token is required.

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To make authenticated requests you need to use one of the following:

  • API key: A permanent token that grants your application access to ready-to-use services and, with an ArcGIS Developer account, private content (currently in beta).
  • ArcGIS Identity (formerly named user): Grants a short-lived token, generated via OAuth 2.0, giving your application permission to access the content and services authorized to an existing ArcGIS user's account.

Learn more about getting access tokens in Security and authentication.

API support

Full supportPartial supportNo support
  • 1. Access portal via HTTP request and authentication.
  • 2. Access via ArcGIS REST JS.
  • 3. Requires manual application of renderers


To determine how much it costs to access the service:

  1. If you have an ArcGIS Developer account, go to Pricing. Transactions are billed in US dollars. A free tier of transactions may be available.
  2. If you have an ArcGIS Online account, go to Understand credits. Transactions are billed in credits.


To learn how to create and work with vector tile services that are hosted in ArcGIS, try the following tutorials that use data management tools and APIs.

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