ArcGIS Developers

Editing JSON {;}

This section explains how to update styles using the JSON format.

If you are already using VTSE, you can click the Download current style () icon to download the JSON for the current style. If so, you can skip down to the Edit the JSON style file section.

Otherwise, you will need to make a copy of an existing basemap and download the JSON for that style.

Copy a basemap layer

Sign in to ArcGIS Online, click Map and add a vector tile layer by clicking Add. Select Search for Layers and type esri vector basemap. Click Go.

Now, select any of the layers, click Add and then Done Adding Layers. In the table of contents, hover above the ... icon above the the new layer and click More Options. Select Copy, and in the new copied layer select Save Layer. Update your info and select the Create Item button.

Download the style

Hover above the new layer you created, click More Options and select Show Item Details. An informational page will open describing the layer. Select Download Style.

The style is download as a JSON file, root.json.

Warning: This file will be quite large, around 150 KB.

Edit the JSON style file

Open the JSON file in your favorite editor, and make any changes to the vector tile styles by hand.

The Esri vector basemaps are based on the Mapbox vector tile specification. See the Mapbox GL Style Reference. Below is an example JSON style, with the URLs and all but the Urban area style removed for brevity.

 "version": 8,
 "sprite": "... url ...",
 "glyphs": "... url ...": {
     "esri": {
         "type": "vector",
         "url": "... url ..."
 "layers": [ /* a very long list of vector tile styles */
         "id": "Urban area",
         "type": "fill",
         "source": "esri",
         "source-layer": "Urban area",
         "minzoom": 5,
         "maxzoom": 15,
         "layout": {},
         "paint": {
             "fill-color": {
                 "stops": [
                     [ 5, "#e3dfdc" ],
                     [ 10, "#ECE8E3" ],
                     [ 15, "#f2eee9" ]
   "metadata": {
       "arcgisStyleUrl": ".../root.json",
       "arcgisOriginalItemTitle": "My own stylized basemap",
       "arcgisEditorExtents": [
               "spatialReference": {
                   "wkid": 102100
               "xmin": -13752117.134841962,
               "ymin": 5660215.840424524,
               "xmax": -13560260.193846097,
               "ymax": 5744755.193707961

           /* plus some other extents */
       "arcgisMinimapVisibility": true

Upload your style

After you save your new style, go back to the copy of the layer you created, and go to the item details page. Click Update and choose the file that you saved.

Click Update Item button.

That's it! You've updated the style by editing JSON.

Use your new style

Click the Open button and select Add layer. Add the layer with your new style.

Additional tools

The ArcGIS JSON Code Editor.