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Using Services

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To use an ArcGIS Server service, you need to know the URL of the service. URLs can vary but often look like the following:

Map services

You can obtain information about a map service from your ArcGIS Server administrator or by searching the ArcGIS Services Directory.

In addition to the service's URL, you may also need further information to use a map service:

  • Map layer IDs. These are necessary if you intend to query a specific layer or layers.

    IDs are usually integer values and are not the same as the layer name, which is assigned by the author of the map.

  • Names of the attribute fields in a layer. These are needed if you intend to specify which fields are returned from a query.
  • Other map information, such as the spatial extent of the map or individual layers, the feature type of a layer (point, line, or polygon), or the minimum and maximum scales at which the layer displays.
  • Discover if the map service is tiled (cached) or dynamic (not cached). Tiled map services contain tile information while dynamic map services do not. Tile info is available in the service information provided by the ArcGIS Services Directory.

Other service types

Other services require different information. For example, geocoding services define address fields for input. You provide the input, such as a street, city, state, and postal code, to return one or more locations as a result. Each location includes a set of candidate fields. Geoprocessing services can contain one or more tasks. Each task maintains a set of input and output parameters. You provide input parameters to generate results as output. These parameters have specific data types, and may or may not be required. Image services operate like map services but provide dynamic, interactive access to raster imagery. A geometry service (one per ArcGIS Server site, named Geometry) exposes a set of standard utility methods. Most of the methods involve operations on geometry such as changing spatial reference, buffering, or measuring area and distance.

This data can be obtained from the ArcGIS Services Directory associated with the ArcGIS Server site you want to use. In addition, some services may be secured; therefore, only authorized users may access them.