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You will learn: how to create a 3D web scene that you can use in your own apps.

The Scene Viewer allows you to create, edit and save web scenes in ArcGIS Online. This is handy for developers because it allows you to compose maps interactively and then load them into your applications, reducing the amount of code you have to write. The viewer allows you to search for and add basemaps and layers to your map, style layers, create slides, and much more. A saved web scene can easily be accessed by your custom applications to display all of its contents and settings. Furthermore, when you update a web scene, the changes will automatically be reflected in apps that access them, allowing you to change the scene without making code changes. Learn more about web scenes and the specification here.

In this tutorial, you will use the Scene Viewer to add layers to create a web scene of trails and parks near LA.


  1. Go to ArcGIS Online and sign in.

  2. In the top nav, click Scene to launch the Scene Viewer.

  3. At the top left, click the Pencil (Modify Scene).

  4. In the Designer, click + Add Layers > Enter Layer URL (at the bottom). Use the URLs below and the dialog to add the following layers:

    • Parks and Open Space:
    • Trails:
    • Trailheads:

    NOTE: If the layers have not been previously configured and saved with styles, the application will load each layer and apply a default symbol. To learn how to style the layers and improve the visualization, try the Style Feature Layers (3d) tutorial.

  5. In the tool bar on the right, type Mahou Riviera, Malibu, California into Search and locate the peninsula. Zoom out until you can see some trailheads, trails, and parks.

  6. In the tool bar on the left, use the Pan and Rotate tools to drag the map until you can see the horizon.

  7. Save the scene.

Congratulations, you're done!

Your web scene should look something like this.


Explore the web scene JSON

A web scene is a JSON structure stored as an item in ArcGIS Online. To explore the structure, try pasting this URL into your web browser (insert your item ID where indicated):{ your-item-id }/data


NOTE: You might want to try formatting the JSON with this JSON editor tool.

It's good to know how to access the JSON because you can copy the JSON structures for things like renderers and pop-ups, and use them directly in your code to format the layers and control the behavior in your app. See the fromJSON() JavaScript documentation for more details.

If you are interested in digging deeper, you can learn more about the Web Scene Specification.