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Essential vocabulary


advanced symbol

See multilayer symbol.

advanced symbology

The set of conventions, rules, or encoding systems that define how to represent on a map geographic features or other items of interest (such as airplane routes) that are more complex than a simple point, line, or polygon. The advanced symbology category includes the following:

  • Geodesics
  • Features symbolized with symbol dictionaries, such as features that adhere to military specifications (for example, warfighting symbols defined in MIL-STD-2525C)


A systematic examination of a problem that provides new information. ArcGIS Runtime supports many types of analyses, from simple geometry-based analysis to advanced spatial analysis. You can also string analysis operations together to build models. Stringing operations together for modeling or for the automation of repetitive workflows (for example, batch processing) is known as geoprocessing.

annotation layer

Represents a layer used to visualize annotations, similar to the way a feature layer visualizes features. An annotation is a type of feature that consists of text with position, layout and, style.

Currently, ArcGIS Runtime supports read-only annotation.


Application programming interface. API is a specification that allows developers to create applications.


A Google SDK that enables the development of augmented reality (AR) experiences. It uses a device's camera to understand the environment and provide precise and accurate position information within a range of a few meters from the origin.

ArcGIS Developer Program

ArcGIS Developer Program (ADP) is a developer-focused online community that provides users with the best possible experience for discovering the development and business opportunities that ArcGIS provides. ArcGIS Developer Subscription plans allow developers to use various ArcGIS capabilities by choosing a subscription plan that best aligns with their development skills and business goals.

ArcGIS Marketplace

ArcGIS Marketplace is an online marketplace for customers to discover valuable new capabilities and applications, and connect directly with developers to obtain new solutions.

ArcGIS platform

Server technology (that can be hosted by you or Esri), data, apps, APIs, and other elements designed to work together to provide anything from small-scale, focused GIS solutions (such as an app that allows you to collect data in the field and sync it to your database) to complex, enterprise-level solutions that model real-world scenarios and use analytical capabilities to solve complex problems.


An Apple SDK that enables the development of augmented reality (AR) experiences. It uses a device's camera to understand the environment and provide precise and accurate position information within a range of a few meters from the origin.

asset group (UtilityAssetGroup)

The first-level categorization of a utility element. Each asset group has a collection of asset types that provide the second-level categorization. An example for an electric utility is the asset group High Voltage Insulator, which contains the asset types Single, Single String Running Angle, Double Suspension, and Triple String Running Angle. Also known as subtype.

asset type (UtilityAssetType)

A class that defines a utility element's classification within an asset group. For example, a power transformer is an asset type of a transformer asset group in an electric device network.

A terminal configuration can be assigned to one or more asset types.

For more information, see ArcGIS Pro's help topic about utility feature classifications.

association (UtilityAssociation)

A relationship between two elements that is reflected in the network topology. For more information, see the discussion on how to get associated utility elements in this guide.

Some tracing methods make use of associations and can even return the associated structures or containers.

association graphic

A graphic that gives a visual representation of a structural or attachment association between two utility network elements.


Within the context of discussing how ArcGIS APIs work, asynchronous is a concept by which code is executed on an available background thread in the application's thread pool. The results of this executed code (if any) are returned upon completion. This allows you to off-load execution of longer-running processes, freeing up the UI thread so the app remains responsive to user interaction.


A file, such as a photograph (for example, a .png file) or a document, that's associated with a feature in the geodatabase.

augmented reality (AR)

A type of development pattern in ArcGIS Runtime that allows you to provide your users with an immersive 3D experience using the movement of their device rather than manual touch or mouse-based interactions.

Authentication Manager

A prebuilt component you can add to your app that displays a dialog box asking for user credentials whenever an attempt is made on a secure resource (such as a secure layer) where the credentials are missing or invalid.

base layer

An element of a basemap. A basemap can contain a number of base layers that can give your map a recognizable background so that your operational layers are displayed in context. Base layers are always at the bottom of a map.


A map depicting background reference information such as landforms, roads, landmarks, and political boundaries, onto which other thematic information is placed. For a description of basemaps and other layer types, see Layers and tables.


A way to display symbols in 3D (in scenes) by posting them vertically as 2D symbols and orienting them to always face the camera.

by reference basemap

A map that is going to be taken offline can use a basemap that already exists on the device. The use of a local basemap is called by reference basemap. It is identified by a reference basemap file name and a directory property that you can set using the on-demand parameters (see Create parameters to specify map content or the planned parameters (see Take a map offline - preplanned.


See tile cache.


A container view that can be added over the map and anchored to a coordinate with a leader. The callout leader or tail indicates the location to which it's referring and has a configurable area that can contain other GUI and View components. These can be anything you add to the callout, including a title, an image, text, and a pop-up. A map can have one callout. Also see pop-up.


A camera in a 3D scene is a virtual device that provides the rendering viewpoint. A camera has a location (x longitude, y latitude, and z elevation), heading (angle about the x-axis the camera is rotated, in degrees), pitch (angle the camera is rotated relative to the y-axis, in degrees), and roll (angle the camera is rotated about its center axis, in degrees.)


A kind of ArcGIS Online basemap specifically designed to give users a neutral canvas on which to better display data.

canvas layer

A basemap layer that provides a neutral background with minimal colors, labels, and features. Only key information is represented in a canvas layer to provide geographic context, allowing your thematic data to come to the foreground.

child layer

A layer that is a member of a group layer.

CIM symbol

Cartographic Information Model symbols, which are advanced, multilayer symbols produced by ArcGIS Pro and ArcGIS Desktop.

Client ID

In ArcGIS Runtime SDKs, an identifier you associate with the app you build (one Client ID per app). You get a Client ID by signing in to


A network of remote servers hosted on the internet to store, manage, and process data. Esri's cloud offering is ArcGIS Online, a collaborative content management system for maps, apps, data, and other geographic content. For details about using ArcGIS Online with your ArcGIS Runtime app, see Access the ArcGIS platform.

composite relationship

A relationship between two tables in which each feature in the destination table is expected to be related to an origin feature. In other words, any orphan destination features are considered a violation of the relationship. For example, a building and its mailbox must be related. While the building (origin) can exist on its own, a mailbox (destination) must be related to a building. When an origin feature is deleted, the destination feature should also be deleted. This is known as a cascade delete. Also see simple relationship.

composite symbol

A symbol that is a combination of two or more symbols. Each symbol can represent the same or a different aspect of a graphic or feature.

configurable app

A software program that you can modify, typically focused on a specific task, such as finding directions, that's hosted on ArcGIS Online. Typically, the source code for the app is available on GitHub for you to customize. See the configurable apps gallery on ArcGIS Online.


  1. In ArcGIS Runtime SDKs, the state of having a network connection to ArcGIS Online or ArcGIS Enterprise.
  2. In ArcGIS, a type of utility network trace. See connected trace.

connected trace

A trace that begins at one or more starting points and spans outward radially along connected features. A trace stops when a barrier is encountered or there are no more connected features. This type of trace is useful for validating newly edited features to ensure they are connected as expected.

For details, see this guide's topic on performing traces or see ArcGIS Pro's help topics on connectivity and finding connected features.


A value that denotes the location of a vertex. Coordinates can represent 2D (x,y) or 3D (x,y,z) space. The meaning of the x,y,z coordinates is determined by a coordinate system. The vertices and coordinate system together allow your app to translate a real-world object from its location on the earth to its location on your map. For details, see Geometries.

coordinate system

A reference framework consisting of a set of points, lines, or surfaces, and a set of rules, used to define the positions of points in space in two or three dimensions. For details, see Geometries. This is also known as map projections. Also see projection.

cross-platform development

The capability supported by some ArcGIS Runtime SDKs that allows you to program with an SDK on multiple platforms. For example, ArcGIS Runtime SDK for Java allows you to develop on Windows, Linux, and Mac.

cross-platform deployment

The capability supported by several ArcGIS Runtime SDKs that allows you to write once and deploy to multiple platforms and devices. For example, ArcGIS Runtime SDK for Qt allows you to write once and deploy to Android, iOS, Windows, and Linux.

destination feature

A feature in a destination table that is associated with an origin feature in an origin table. You create associations such as this for a variety of reasons, such as to view information in one table for features in another. For more information, see Relate features in this ArcGIS Runtime guide or Essentials of relating tables.

destination table

A table that has been associated with another table, an origin table, using a key. You associate two tables for a variety of reasons, such as to view information in one table for features in another. For more information, see Relate features in this ArcGIS Runtime guide or Essentials of relating tables.


In ArcGIS Runtime, nearly any kind of computer, including desktops, laptops, mobile phones, and tablets.

dictionary renderer

A renderer that uses a style file generated in ArcGIS Pro together with a rule engine to display some types of advanced symbology on a map, such as military symbology.

direct connect

A type of connection from ArcGIS directly to a geodatabase instead of accessing the geodatabase through a service.

dirty area

A sublayer of a utility network that captures features that have been edited since the last topology network update/validation. After the topology network is updated, the edits (dirty areas) are incorporated and your utility network should have no more dirty areas.

A dirty area is also an edit that violates restrictions for a utility network.


The state of not having a network connection to ArcGIS Online or ArcGIS Enterprise.

For details on ArcGIS Runtime's offline capabilities, see Offline.

distance composite scene symbol

A type of Symbol that changes based on the distance, in meters, between the SceneView's Camera and the graphic or feature to which the Symbol is assigned.

domain network (UtilityDomainNetwork )

In ArcGIS, the highest-level category used to organize a utility network. It represents the utility system type, such as electric, gas, and water. Or the utility network may have separate distribution and transmission domain networks. For example, for electricity, you might have one for electric transmission and one for electric distribution. The number of domain networks you use depends on the type of model you're building and the industry or industries you manage.

All the domain networks in a utility network share the same structure network so that you can find the devices and lines that are supported by common structures. Each domain network contains a tier along with a subnetwork controller type to indicate whether the subnetwork controllers are acting as sinks or sources.

For more information, see the domain network topic in the ArcGIS Pro documentation.

downstream trace

In a source-based network (gas or electric), a downstream trace is with the flow and away from the source, such as a circuit breaker or generator (subnetwork controller). In a sink-based network (sewer or storm water), a downstream trace is with the flow and toward the sink such as a sewage treatment (subnetwork controller).For details, see this guide's topic on performing traces or see ArcGIS Pro's help topic on downstream traces.

dynamic labels

Labels that are placed on the fly, and whose text is generated dynamically based on a labeling expression stored with the data being labeled.

dynamic layer

A layer, from a map published through a map service, whose appearance—such as labeling, layer order, and symbology—can be changed by the client.

dynamic map service

A map that is drawn by the server each time the user zooms or pans. This differs from a tiled service in that it does not work with a cache of precooked tiles.

dynamic rendering mode

One of two modes for rendering a graphics overlay. In this mode, which is good in most use cases, the entire graphic representation is stored on the GPU. This mode is especially good for moving objects, as individual graphic changes can be efficiently applied directly to GPU state, resulting in a seamless experience. However, the volume of graphics has a direct impact on (GPU) resources, and the number and complexity of graphics that can be rendered in this mode are dependent on the power of the GPU and the amount of GPU memory. The other rendering mode is called static. For a comparison, see the definition for static rendering mode.


A representation of a real-world object on a map, such as a building, a utility system asset, a river, or a county. A feature is persisted in a feature table in a data store (such as a database or service) or in a map. Features in the same data store or feature layer have a common attribute schema.

For more information, see Features and graphics.

feature collection

A data structure containing one or more features having the same set of attributes.

feature data

A general term for the data related to one or more features.

feature layer

A layer that references a set of feature data. Feature data represents geographic entities as points, lines, and polygons.

feature service

A service that streams features. The server bundles feature data and streams it to the requesting client. There are a number of modes that client APIs can use to fetch data from the server and cache features locally if and when necessary.

feature service table

A data structure representing feature data retrieved from a feature service.

feature table

A database table of a single geometry type, such as point, line, or polygon, that stores features that conform to the schema of the table.

field of view (FOV)

The amount of the world that is visible to a camera, usually measured in degrees.

filter barrier

A setting in the trace configuration that specifies when an isolation trace will stop for a specific category or network attribute. It is required for isolation traces because it pinpoints which features are isolating the starting point or points. For example, stop a trace at features that have a life cycle status attribute that is equal to a certain value.

For details, see this guide's topic on performing traces or see ArcGIS Pro's help topic on locating isolating features.


The process of transforming a description of a location—such as a pair of coordinates, an address, or a name of a place—to a location on the earth's surface. The resulting locations are output as geographic features with attributes, which can be used for mapping or spatial analysis. This is also known as address matching.


A collection of geographic datasets of various types held in a common file system folder, a Microsoft Access database, or a multiuser relational DBMS (such as Oracle, Microsoft SQL Server, PostgreSQL, Informix, or IBM DB2). Geodatabases come in many sizes, have varying numbers of users, and can scale from small, single-user databases built on files up to larger workgroup, department, and enterprise geodatabases accessed by many users.

geodatabase feature

A representation of a real-world object persisted in a geodatabase. When displayed, it's displayed in a feature layer. A feature is associated with a feature table with which it shares a common schema. Common types of feature tables and schemas are point, line, and polygon.


The shortest distance between two points on the surface of a spheroid (also known as an ellipsoid). Any two points along a meridian form a geodesic line. This is similar to the great circle method, which models the surface as a sphere.

geodetic measurement

Any method of measuring geographic distance or area that uses a curved (nonplanar) surface to model the earth. The most common of these use a great circle or a geodesic line.


A marker interface for features and graphics that's used when you want to identify (display attribute information on) visible items on a map view.


A hypothetical surface representing the form the earth's oceans would take if there were no land and the water were free to respond to the earth's gravitational and centrifugal forces. The resulting geoid is irregular and varies from a perfect sphere by as much as 75 meters above and 100 meters below its surface.

Side (slice) view of geoid compared to ellipsoid on the earth's surface

For more information, see Spatial references.


The combination of location and shape for a real-world object or a geometric construct such as an area of interest or a buffer area around an object. Geometry is a fundamental element for performing spatial analysis. For more information, see Geometries.


GeoPackage is an open, standards-based, platform-independent, portable, self-describing, compact format for transferring geospatial information. It uses a single SQLite file (.gpkg) that conforms to the OGC GeoPackage specification ( to store feature tables, nonspatial tables, raster datasets (images), and metadata.


A GIS operation used to manipulate data. A typical geoprocessing operation takes an input dataset, performs an operation on that dataset, and returns the result of the operation as an output dataset. Common geoprocessing operations include geographic feature overlay, feature selection and analysis, topology processing, raster processing, and data conversion. Geoprocessing allows for definition, management, and analysis of information used to form decisions.

You can use geoprocessing tools to create a sequence of operations, feeding the output of one tool into another tool; automate your work (for example, overnight processing); or solve complex problems using models.

Your ArcGIS Runtime app can consume online geoprocessing services.


GeoView is a base class for MapView and SceneView. These represent the View in a Model View Controller (MVC) architecture. The Map and Scene that are set on these views represent the model.

The GeoView contains all of the common operations and events that apply to displaying and working with Maps and Scenes. This includes changing what is viewable by setting a viewpoint, responding to viewpoint change events, working with graphics overlays and identifying elements that are displayed at a given location in the view.


A representation of a real-world object stored in memory. When you want to display graphics, you use a graphics overlay. Graphics exist while the app is running and, therefore, are used often for temporary features. Graphics can have geometry and attributes. Graphics are not associated with a feature table. For more information, see Features and graphics.

graphics overlay

An item you use in your map, typically when you have graphics that change location regularly, and you want optimal animation of the graphics when zooming in and out on the map. It differs from a layer because its graphics are temporary (held in device memory) instead of being persisted in the map. For more information, see Features and graphics.

great circle

A geodetic measurement that models the earth's surface as a sphere. A plane is formed by the start and end measure points and the center of the sphere. The intersection of this plane and the spheroid surface represents the shortest distance between the points. This is similar to the geodesic method, which models the surface as a spheroid or an ellipsoid.

group layer

A container for other layers and group layers. It is used to represent datasets that are composed of multiple layers to be managed as a single layer with respect to display and some other operations.


A representation of a raster image that portrays a hypothetical illumination of a surface by determining illumination values for each cell in a raster. It can greatly enhance the visualization of a surface for analysis or graphical display, especially when using transparency.

By default, shadow and light are shades of gray associated with integers from 0 to 255 (increasing from black to white).


To display, on a map, attribute data of a feature, graphic, or raster cell.

image service

A web service that serves raster and image data.

For more information, see the following:

integrated mesh layer

Layer used to display an integrated mesh in a scene. Typically captured by an automated process for constructing 3D objects out of large sets of overlapping imagery, the result integrates the original input image information into a textured mesh including 3D objects such as buildings and trees, along with elevation information.

isolation trace

A trace used to determine the minimum set of operable assets (point and line features) required to stop a network's resource from traveling/flowing, effectively isolating an area of the network. For instance, when a leak occurs on a water network, particular valves must be closed to eliminate water flow at the leak location. This prevents damage and allows field crews to safely start the repair process.

For details, see this guide's topic on performing traces or see ArcGIS Pro's help topic on locating isolating features.


A unit of work performed by a computing system in response to a scheduled or unscheduled request.


Keyhole Markup Language (KML) is an XML-based format for describing geographic entities. Developed and popularized for use with Google Earth, the KML specification is now maintained by the Open Geospatial Consortium (OGC). You can use a .kml or .kmz (compressed) file, or a URL pointing to a KML file as the source for a layer in your ArcGIS Runtime app.

KML node

An element definition within a KML document. A KML node can be a container (such as a folder that has additional child nodes) or a geometry node (a node that has an associated geometry). Geometry nodes can be placemarks, 3D models, polygons, lines, or multigeometry. A KML node can have nested XML elements and attributes to define things such as display balloons (pop-ups/callouts), ground overlays, screen overlays, folders/documents, network links, and so on.


Text displayed with and associated with a graphic or feature.


An item used to display geographic data in a map. In general, a layer's data comes from a single source, such as a map service URL or geodatabase table. A layer uses an associated renderer to symbolize data and in some cases define properties for the display of things such as labels and pop-ups. This decoupling of the layer's data and how it's rendered gives you the flexibility to present the same data in a variety of ways. As the name indicates, layers are stacked, or layered, in the map and drawn from bottom to top. As a developer, you can control the order of the layer in the map as well as its visibility. For more information on layers and how they're used in ArcGIS Runtime, see Layers and tables.

layer definition

A SQL WHERE clause that selects a subset of features from a layer.


A table or chart associated with a map to indicate the meaning of the map's varied symbols and layer representations.

level of detail (LOD)

Scale levels to include in a tiling scheme.

license key

A string of characters you add to your application code to unlock certain capabilities on the deployment device.


A characteristic of a resource, such as a layer, map, or portal item, that allows you to do such tasks as the following:

  • Monitor the load status of the resource.
  • Retry to load if previous load attempts failed.

A loadable resource handles concurrent and repeated requests to load to accommodate the common practice of sharing the same resource instance among various parts of an app. For details, see Loadable pattern for asynchronous resources.

Local Server

In ArcGIS Runtime SDKs for Java, .NET (Desktop), and Qt, a miniserver for serving local services that don’t require an internet connection. The miniserver allows you to perform analysis and geoprocessing that's not natively supported in the Runtime core.


A dataset that contains information including address attributes, indexes, and queries for geocoding. An address locator contains a snapshot of the reference data that is used for geocoding. In the process of geocoding, the reference data is no longer needed after the locator is created. A locator can be used to find addresses or x.y locations.


A graphical representation of spatial relationships of entities within an area. In ArcGIS Runtime, a map works together with a map view to provide a visualization of geographic data on a screen. A map specifies how the geographic data is organized; a map view renders the data and allows users to interact with it.

map cache

See tile cache.

map image layer

A layer whose map images are created on the fly as a user zooms and pans around a map. It differs from a tiled layer, whose map images are pregenerated and are displayed as tiles in a layer in the client app. Use a map image layer for content authored in ArcGIS Pro or ArcMap and published as an ArcGIS map service to ArcGIS Online, ArcGIS Enterprise, and Local Server.

map view

A class (MapView) that represents the view tier in an MVC architecture. While a map specifies how the geographic data is organized, a map view renders the data and allows users to interact with it.

mobile geodatabase

A geodatabase (.geodatabase) that uses SQLite and can be used in disconnected workflows in ArcGIS Runtime apps.

mobile basemap layer

A compressed data format that can be created from ArcGIS Pro when you share a map as a mobile map package.

mobile map package

A mobile map package (.mmpk) allows you to transport and share maps, layers, and data across the ArcGIS platform. You can create mobile map packages using ArcGIS Pro, share them using your ArcGIS organization, or distribute directly by copying to a device, and consume them using ArcGIS Runtime apps. You can also create and download a mobile map package directly to your device using the preplanned or on-demand workflows provided by the Runtime API. Each mobile map package includes metadata about the package along with one or more maps and the data needed to display them. A mobile map package can be delivered as a single (.mmpk) file or as a directory structure. See the system requirements for details on what mobile map package versions are currently supported.

mobile mosaic dataset

A SQLite database that allows you to store, manage, view, and query small to vast collections of raster and image data. The mobile mosaic dataset can be used as a raster layer source for mapping in disconnected workflows in ArcGIS Runtime apps. They can also be created and modified using any of the ArcGIS Runtime native APIs. See Add raster data for more information.

mobile scene package

A mobile scene package (.mspk) allows you to transport and share scenes, layers, elevation sources, and data across the ArcGIS platform. You can create mobile scene packages using ArcGIS Pro, share them using your ArcGIS organization, or distribute directly by copying to a device, and consume them using ArcGIS Runtime apps. Each mobile scene package includes metadata about the package (description, thumbnail, and so on) along with one or more scenes and the data needed to display them. See the system requirements for details on what mobile scene package versions are currently supported.

model symbol

A type of marker symbol that uses a true three-dimensional graphical model to define the marker. The model used is derived from a URI to a model in a supported 3D model format.

mosaic dataset

A grouping of raster data images into a single container for convenient display. See Mosaic datasets in the ArcGIS Pro documentation for more information.

multilayer symbol

A symbol type that's often used for symbols that require more than a single label. For example, military symbols require multiple adornments and text to display in predefined positions around a base symbol. Multilayer symbols are often used for military symbols, because each layer in the symbol can contain one or a group of adornments or text items. Multilayer symbols are accessed through multilayer symbol classes and follow the ArcGIS Pro symbol model. These symbols can come from a mobile style file, a dictionary renderer, a mobile map package, and a feature service that uses what is called advanced symbology in other parts of the ArcGIS platform. You can also build your own multilayer symbols for points, lines, and polygons in the map. This is also known as advanced symbols and multilayer (advanced) symbols. This differs from simple symbol.


A set of features that are typically interconnected to each other to represent streets for a region (in a routing network) or assets (such as pipes and wires in a utility network or poles and cabinets in a structure network) for a distribution system or transmission system for a public utility, such as a gas system, water system, or electric grid. Also see subnetwork.

network source (UtilityNetworkSource)

A feature table whose features comprise one of a utility network's datasets. The features are used to build the network index. A utility network has multiple network sources containing related information. Some network sources contain devices appropriate for each domain network. For example, one network source for an electric utility network is a feature table named "Electric Distribution Device" representing electric devices like switches and transformers.

All utility networks have network sources representing physical structures such as "Electric Support Pole" or "Electric Substation Boundary".

Each network source has asset groups and types.

Also known as utility network source.

nonspatial table

In ArcGIS Runtime, a table with no geometry information. It can store descriptive information, but because it doesn't store a geographical component, its features cannot be drawn on a map.

In some areas of the ArcGIS Platform, a nonspatial table is known as a table. You may also know this as a nonfeature table.

For more information, see Layers and tables.


In ArcGIS Runtime, the state of having no network connection to ArcGIS Online or ArcGIS Enterprise.

on-demand workflow

An offline workflow that allows an ArcGIS Runtime app to generate and download a mobile map package from an online map. The mobile map package content is determined by the ArcGIS Runtime app using parameters such as the area of interest, whether to include related tables, the max and min scale. See Take a map offline - on-demand for more information.

on-the-fly reprojection

Refers to taking unprojected datasets (in other words, data that is stored in latitude and longitude) and transforming its visual representation to make it appear to match other datasets that are projected. For example, as data is being added to a map with a different spatial reference, a temporary data transformation to the map's spatial reference takes place.

operational layer

A map layer with which users can interact. Typically, an operational layer is vector based and is editable by users. However, it can also be tiled data that can be queried against. See Layers for more information.

optimized route

The least cost path that will visit all specified stops. The order specified by the user is not necessarily followed. This is also known as the traveling salesman problem or traveling salesperson problem/solution. This is also known as optimized directions. For comparison, see simple route.

origin feature

A feature in an origin table that is associated with a destination feature in a destination table. You create associations such as this for a variety of reasons, such as to view information in one table for features in another. For more information, see Relate features in this ArcGIS Runtime guide or Essentials of relating tables.

origin table

A table that has been associated with another table, a destination table, using a key. You associate two tables for a variety of reasons, such as to view information in one table for features in another. Origin table is also known as a source table. For more information, see Relate features in this ArcGIS Runtime guide or Essentials of relating tables.


A set of items, such as a map and its referenced data, that ArcGIS Desktop bundles into a single file on your local machine so that the items can be easily transferred from user to user or provisioned onto a device. This is especially useful for disconnected apps.

planar measurement

Unlike geodetic measurement, which use the curvature of the earth's surface, planar measurements are made on a flat surface. When using geographic coordinates, planar measurements must cut through the curved surface of the earth, causing the measurement to be shorter than the true distance. This error becomes greater as the length of the line increases. If using a projected coordinate system, the properties of the underlying projection greatly influence the accuracy of measurements in a given area of the map.

point cloud

A usually large collection of points in 3D space representing locations of points on real-world surfaces and objects, collected with a 3D scanning device such as lidar. Locations of points on the ground, buildings, forest canopy, highway overpasses, and anything else encountered during the 3D scan survey make up the point cloud.

point cloud scene layer

A scene layer that provides high-performing display of large volumes of symbolized and filtered point cloud data.

point scene layer

A type of layer that provides high-performing display point features in a scene view (3D view) based on scale, distance, and threshold parameters associated with a viewpoint. Point scene layers are generated from point feature layers.


A visual element on the map used to view and edit attributes and attachments associated with features or graphics in a layer on a map. While similar to attribute information that displays in an identify task, pop-ups differ because they allow you to use aliases for the field names and to have greater control over the display. A pop-up can be presented modally, in full screen, or within any other view.

A pop-up can display raster cell information from a raster layer.

A pop-up can display inside a callout using a callout's custom view.


A term used to generically refer to ArcGIS Online, ArcGIS Enterprise, or both. These are websites that provide a framework to manage, share, and secure geographic assets, such as data, maps, apps, and services.

portal item

A web map, layer (feature, map, and image service layers), app (web and mobile apps whose content is provided by web maps), tool, or data file that you add to a portal.

preplanned workflow

An offline workflow that allows an ArcGIS Runtime app to download a mobile map package for a map area as specified by the author of an online map. See Take a map offline - preplanned for more information.


A projected coordinate system based on a map projection such as transverse Mercator, Albers equal area, or Robinson, all of which (along with numerous other map projection models) provide various mechanisms to project maps of the earth's spherical surface onto a two-dimensional Cartesian coordinate plane. Projected coordinate systems are sometimes referred to as map projections. Also see coordinate system.


To provide data and other resources to an app by installing those resources with the app.


A matrix of cells (or pixels) organized into rows and columns (or a grid) where each cell contains a value representing information, such as temperature. Rasters include digital aerial photographs, imagery from satellites, digital pictures, and scanned maps. For general information on rasters, see What is raster data? in the ArcGIS help.

raster layer

A layer type that allows you to display raster data in your app. A raster layer can render raster data from any type of raster. You can add it to a map as either a basemap or an operational layer.

real-scale AR

A type of augmented reality (AR) in which scene content is overlaid onto its real-world physical position. Context aids, such as a basemap, are hidden; the camera feed provides the context. This is also known as world-scale AR, full-scale AR, real-world AR, and planet-scale AR.

reference layer

A layer of information in a map that provides context to a location, such as labels for place-names, transportation routes, or other features of reference. Typically a reference layer is part of a basemap and displays at the top of the map. For more information on layer order, see Create a basemap in the Build a new map topic.

related feature

A feature in one table that has been associated with a feature in a different table using a key. See Relate features for more information.

related table

A table that has a relationship to another table. The relationship, created using ArcGIS Desktop, is made possible by a key that is common to both tables. A related table can be either a spatial table or a nonspatial table.


An object that determines how features in a layer or graphics in an overlay should be drawn (rendered) on the display. The renderer then draws them using symbols. See Symbols and renderers for more information.

rule engine

A tool that assembles military symbols using data in the style file and rules from the military specification you provide.

Runtime components

In ArcGIS Runtime SDK for Java, Qt, and .NET (Desktop), a collection of files containing various parts of ArcGIS Runtime functionality, installed and used on your development machine and deployed with the apps that you create.

The full collection, which is installed to your development machine when you install an ArcGIS Runtime SDK, includes the required Runtime core components and optional components such as those for Local Server and advanced symbology. When you prepare an app for deployment, the Deployment Builder tool helps ensure you deploy only the parts of the collection that are required by the app you build.

Runtime core

Client files (.dll or .so) that must be deployed with all ArcGIS Runtime apps. For Java, Qt, and .NET versions, you can use the Deployment Builder wizard to choose which Local Server capabilities you want to deploy so they can be bundled with the Runtime core files for you.

scene view

A class (SceneView) that represents the 3D view tier in an MVC architecture. While a scene specifies how the three-dimensional geographic data is organized, a scene view renders the data three-dimensionally and allows users to interact with it.


A 3D representation of spatial relationships of entities within an area. In ArcGIS Runtime, a scene works together with a scene view to provide 3D visualization of geographic data on a screen. A scene specifies how the geographic data is organized; a scene view renders the data and allows users to interact with it.

Screen overlay (KML)

An image in a KML layer that is anchored to the screen (as opposed to the map). Screen overlays are generally used to display things such as titles, company logos, legends, and so on.


Software development kit. A collection of documentation, sample code, and sample apps to help a developer use an API to build apps.

service area

A region that encompasses all streets that are accessible from a given point within a given time period.

service feature table

A feature table created from a URL to an ArcGIS Feature service's layer or table. The service feature table has different request modes that affect how data is populated, queried, and cached on the client.


A vector data storage format for storing the location, shape, and attributes of geographic features. A shapefile is stored in a set of related files.

side-by-side development

A capability that allows you to develop with different versions of the same SDK on the same machine.

sideload (sideloading)

The process of transferring data between two local devices, in particular between a computer and a mobile device such as a mobile phone or tablet.

simple relationship

A relationship between two tables in which features in the destination table are independent of features in the origin table. For example, a transformer and an electric pole may be related but they can also exist on their own. Deleting an origin feature resets the keyField of the relationship to NULL in the destination feature.

simple route

The least cost path that will visit all specified stops in the order specified by the user. This is also known as simple directions. For comparison, see optimized route.

simple symbol

Simple symbols follow the web map specification. You can create and work with them through the simple symbol classes in the API. These are also the symbols you get from web maps or from feature services when advanced symbology is turned off. Simple symbols can be created for points (marker symbols), lines (line symbols), and polygons (fill symbols). Each of the simple symbol types provides an enumeration of predefined styles that can be applied to the symbol. For comparison, see multilayer symbol.

sketch editor

Allows users to interactively sketch geometries on the view. It can sketch point, polygon, and polyline geometries from scratch, modify existing geometries, insert and remove vertices, undo and redo changes, and so on.

spatial reference

A coordinate-based local, regional, or global system used to precisely locate geographical entities. It defines the coordinate system used to relate map coordinates to locations in the real world. Spatial references ensure that spatial data from different layers or sources can be integrated for accurate viewing or analysis. To define a spatial reference, use either a well-known ID (WKID), which is also known as a spatial reference ID or SRID, or a full text definition (referred to as well-known text, WKT). Also see Coordinate systems and transformation.

spatial table

A table with geometry information; its features can be displayed on a map.

static rendering mode

One of two modes for rendering a graphics overlay. Use this mode for static graphics, complex geometries, and very large numbers of polygons. Volume of graphics has little impact on frame render time (scales well) and pushes a constant GPU payload. However, rendering graphic updates is CPU/system memory intensive, which can have an impact on device battery life. The other rendering mode is called dynamic. For a comparison, see the definition for dynamic rendering mode.

structure network

A network that represents the features that do not carry a resource (such as cabinets and poles) in a utility network. All domain networks in a utility network share a common structure network.


A style is a server or file-defined option for how content should be rendered in a map. WMS defines styles as a concept that applies to layers. KML defines styles as a concept that applies to placemarks.

style file

A .stylx file you can create in ArcGIS Pro that contains symbol primitives such as the symbol frame, the lines that make up inner icons, and so on.


One of several layers that are part of a group layer. For example, a map service layer is a type of group layer that can contain one or more sub image layers.


A topological subpart within a tier where all the connected features are defined by the same subnetwork controller or controllers. Examples of subnetworks are circuits in electric domain networks and pressure zones in gas and water domain networks. To create a subnetwork, a subnetwork controller is set, the network topology is validated, and the subnetwork is updated. Good network management depends on the reliability of the paths in a network (or subnetworks). The management of these subnetworks allows organizations to optimize the delivery of resources and track the status of a network.

subnetwork controller

A type of utility network feature from which a resource is delivered or collected, such as a circuit breaker (electric), town border stations (gas), or water towers (water). A subnetwork controller type is defined for each domain network, and when a domain network’s tier is configured, the tier is defined to use one or more of the controllers in the domain network. Certain asset group and asset type features in the device feature class are configured to allow features to be set as subnetwork controllers; this done by assigning a network category. Subnetwork controllers are set for device features using a specific terminal and are used as start or end points for trace analysis.

subnetwork trace

A trace that discovers all features participating in a subnetwork. This trace type is useful for validating whether subnetworks, such as circuits or zones, are defined or edited appropriately.

The trace begins at one or more starting points and spans outward along connected features to find subnetwork controllers that are traversable. A subnetwork trace stops when it encounters a barrier, when it encounters a feature that is not traversable, or when there are no more connected features.

For details, see this guide's topic on performing traces or see ArcGIS Pro's help topic on subnetwork trace.


The area below the surface of the earth. In a scene (in 3D), you can map content located either above or below the earth's surface (or both), such as earthquakes, mineral deposits, wells, pipes, or geologic strata. You can rotate the view to observe it from different viewpoints/angles within the scene. You can set your viewpoint to be below the earth's surface and you can adjust the transparency of the surface.

subsurface navigation

Zooming, panning, and tilting the scene from a viewpoint located below the earth's surface. Also see subsurface.


An asset group in a utility network.

subtype feature layer

A feature layer that allows symbology and other layer properties to set on a per-subtype basis.

subtype group layer

See subtype feature layer.


A symbol defines all the nongeographic aspects of a graphic or feature's appearance, including color, size, border, and transparency. You can use symbols to create a renderer for graphics overlays or feature layers. You can also apply a symbol directly to individual graphics when you create them. For more information on using symbols in ArcGIS Runtime, see .Symbols and renderers.

symbol dictionary

A set of symbol primitives and a rule engine that together allow you to use military symbols in your app. The military symbols adhere to military symbol specifications such as MIL-STD-2525C. The symbol primitives are inside a style file. To display military symbols, you associate the layer/overlay's dictionary renderer to a symbol dictionary.


A term with many meanings in computer technology, from a personal computer to a platform or framework of computers on.

For public utility ArcGIS customers, a system refers to a collection of assets that make up a public utility, such as a city's water distribution system or a gas company's gas distribution system. In ArcGIS these utility systems are known asa utility networks.


In ArcGIS Runtime, a data source for ArcGIS data that may or may not contain geometry information. In some areas of the ArcGIS platform, table refers to a table with no geometry information. For more information on using tables in ArcGIS Runtime, see Layers and tables.


A class bound to online or offline data or services that provides methods to perform asynchronous operations using those data or services. For details, see Tasks and jobs.


In ArcGIS, a class that represent physical devices in the field. Each terminal can have ports that model flow in and out. Each device can contain many terminals, each of which can be interconnected. Terminal configurations model these interconnections by specifying the flow path through terminals.

For example, consider a bypass switch with an attached voltage regulator. The bypass switch exists so the voltage regulator may be bypassed (for inspection and service, for example) without disrupting the electrical flow that normally passes through the voltage regulator. In normal operation, the blades inside the bypass switch connect certain device terminals together, while in bypass operation, other terminals are connected instead, so that the electricity flows along the desired path within the bypass switch. For more information see the device terminals discussion in ArcGIS Pro documentation.


An image file applied to a surface to assist in visual discrimination for the viewer and impart a sense of visual depth (3D).

texture compression format

The compression format used to compress an image used as a texture. A typical compression technique and file format for textures is JPG. However, for mobile platforms, the ETC2 compression technique consumes less memory and improves download time and overall performance. For more information, see Author a mobile scene package for ArcGIS Runtime SDK.


  1. A level in the MVC programming pattern.
  2. In ArcGIS, a level in the hierarchy of a utility network that helps model the hierarchy of how a utility network delivers a resource such as gas, electricity, or water. For example, an electric distribution system can be subdivided into subtransmission, medium voltage, and low voltage tiers. Each utility network can contain up to 63 tiers defined in a one or more domain networks. In ArcGIS Runtime it's represented by the UtilityTier class.

    A tier can also define the topological organization (radial or mesh) of subnetworks that all share the same properties and adhere to the same restrictions. You can decide whether to trace within these tiers or across tiers using the tier's trace configuration. This configuration can support traversability, propagators, and function barriers

    For more information see the tiers topic in ArcGIS Pro documentation or the trace configuration discussion in this guide.


An image, often a graphics file (for example, a .jpg file), typically stored in a directory known as a cache. The image is part of a set of tiles that, conceptually, are pieces of a bigger map. How the tiles fit into the bigger map, along with other information, is defined in a tiling scheme. Two tile categories are as follows:

  • Tiles in dynamic layers are created on the fly and can be stored in a cache on the client machine or on the server machine. Where the user pans and zooms affects which tiles are created in this scenario, so technically, the tiles may not form a bigger, complete map when put together.
  • Tiles in tile cache layers are created before users view the map, often by a developer or GIS data administrator. These tiles are known as preprocessed tiles.

Also see tile cache.

tile cache

A directory that contains tiles of a map extent at specific levels. The directory can be local to a desktop app or to a client app in a client/server configuration. Also see tile.

tiled layer

A layer displayed by assembling tiles (rectangular sections) into a continuous layer. The tiles are either raster image tiles or vector tiles; they're generated into a tile cache before they're available for use. (Compare this to a dynamic layer, which renders itself on the fly.) Tiled layers are often used for basemaps. You may see the term tiled layer used to refer specifically to the raster tiled layer type because vector tiled layers are newer than raster tile layers. Also see vector tiled layer.

tile package

A tiled layer that's been bundled into a single .tpk/.tpkx file. The file contains a tile cache of the data and metadata about the layer, packaged into a single, portable file. You can add a tile package to an ArcGIS Runtime app using the local tiled layer class, allowing you to share tile layers via regular file sharing methods (email, FTP, and so on) and through ArcGIS Online. Tile packages are ideal in disconnected environments where access to local data is required, and are ideal for displaying basemaps.


An action that analyzes the paths in a utility network and returns selected features based on connectivity or traversability from the specified starting points. For example, a trace can show an electric utility employee every asset that is connected to a source or find all features upstream or downstream from a selected point.


The task of moving your data between different geographic coordinate systems. You may, for example, have some data in WGS84 that was collected from a GPS reading. However, your map may be in a different spatial reference, such as British National Grid, which is based on a different geographic coordinate system, OSGB 1936. To convert the data from WGS84 to British National Grid, you need to apply a transformation as well as a projection. Many transformations are available, depending on the geographic area your data comes from. In this SDK, transformations are performed using equation-based transformation methods or grid-based transformation methods. For details about transformations, see Spatial references.

unique value renderer

A renderer that allows you to use one or more values in a field to specify how features with that same value (or values) should be rendered.

upstream trace

In a source-based network (gas or electric), an upstream trace is against the flow and toward the source, such as a circuit breaker or generator (subnetwork controller). In a sink-based network (sewer or storm water), an upstream trace is against the flow and away from the sink such as a sewage treatment (subnetwork controller).

For details, see this guide's topic on performing traces or see ArcGIS Pro's help topic on upstream traces.

utility element (UtilityElement)

An entity in a utility network that can correspond to a feature or a piece of a feature (for example, a terminal inside a device feature or an edge within a linear feature). Utility elements are used for a range of purposes, including the following:

  • Specifying starting points and barriers for tracing
  • Defining the "from" and "to" sides of associations
  • Returning trace results

A utility element includes a reference to a feature inside a utility network source plus a terminal (if applicable).

utility network (UtilityNetwork)

In ArcGIS Runtime, a feature service that represents a utility system such as a water, gas, or electric system.A utility network provides capabilities to visualize, edit, and analyze utility assets and data. It includes one or more domain networks (gas, water, electric, or other) plus a structure network. An organization specifies the set of domain networks that it manages when it configures a utility network. It is possible to define associations across domain networks and enable tracing analysis across those domains. For example, you can perform electric tracing analysis from transmission to distribution levels with a utility network using electric transmission and electric distribution domain networks. For more information, see the utility networks topic.

utility network definition (UtilityNetworkDefinition)

In ArcGIS Runtime, metadata in the UtilityDomainNetwork class used for a utility network's feature service. This class serves as the entry point to the metadata for all elements in the utility network, such as domain networks, network sources, and terminal configurations.

utility network source

See network source.

vector tiled layer

A layer that's similar to tiled layers (made with raster tiles) but requires less space and differs in the way cartography is delivered. Instead of pixels, cartography is delivered with 2D points that define lines, polygons, and the locations of labels and marker symbols. Cartography is rendered at runtime, so differences between levels of detail appear more continuous than with raster tiles. The file format is binary and conforms to the Mapbox vector tile specification.

vector tile package

A vector tile layer that's been bundled into a single file (a .vtpk file). The file contains all the tile data files, the service definition, a style sheet, the fonts, and the symbol markers required to display the map. It can be downloaded from an ArcGIS Online vector tile service.


A point that stands alone or makes up part of a geometry. Vertices that make up a geometry can be connected, one to the next, in a linear order.

vertical coordinate system

A reference system that defines the location of z-values relative to a surface. The surface may be gravity related, such as a geoid, or a more regular surface like a spheroid or sphere. For more information, see Spatial references.


A viewpoint is the visible area and view location of a GeoView. It is what the user sees when viewing the map. It can be used to define and control the position, extent, scale, and rotation of the view.


The locations visible from one or more specified points or lines. Viewshed maps are useful for such applications as finding well-exposed places for communication towers, or hidden places for parking lots. You can create viewsheds using the Standard license level of ArcGIS Runtime SDKs.

wander extent

The factor of map extent within which the location symbol may move before triggering auto-panning to recenter the map on the current location.

web feature service (WFS)

WFS is an Open Geospatial Consortium (OGC) standard for feature services. WFS provides feature data on demand and provides methods for querying data using spatial and nonspatial queries.

web map

An interactive display of geographic information. A web map can be described as a collection of geographic layers, behaviors, and tools. It can contain a basemap, a set of data layers (many of which include interactive pop-up windows with information about the data), and an extent. For more detailed information, see Web maps.

web map service (WMS)

WMS is an Open Geospatial Consortium (OGC) standard that defines image-based map services. WMS services provide map images for specific areas within a map on demand. Images include prerendered symbology and may be rendered in one of several named styles if defined by the service.

web scene

A web scene allows you to visualize and analyze geographic information in an intuitive and interactive 3D environment. Each web scene typically contains a basemap, an elevation source, a collection of geographic layers, and a camera view point. Web scenes can be created, published, and consumed in ArcGIS Pro and ArcGIS Online. For more detailed information, see Web scenes.