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Discover services

The API consumes ArcGIS for Server services using the REST interface. The ArcGIS for Server REST infrastructure provides the ArcGIS Services Directory application to discover information about the services available on an ArcGIS for Server site.

Use the ArcGIS Services Directory to search for available services and view service details such as the following:

  • REST URL to consume the service
  • Tile levels for cached map services
  • Extent and supported operations
  • Layer information
  • Required input for locator services
  • Input and output types for tools in a geoprocessing service

Open the ArcGIS Services Directory

To open the ArcGIS Services Directory for an ArcGIS for Server site, you must know the URL of the server instance. The ArcGIS for Server instance is typically available off the web server's root in the arcgis directory. The ArcGIS Services Directory is in the rest/services folder inside the instance. For example, if an ArcGIS for Server instance is available at, the ArcGIS Services Directory would be located at

Contact your ArcGIS for Server system administrator if you're uncertain about the server URL or ArcGIS instance.

Find information about a service

Use the ArcGIS Services Directory to obtain information about a service you need to use. In most cases, you'll copy a service's URL from the address bar in your browser and paste it in your code. For example, a map service named California and hosted on the server might have a URL of

For all ArcGIS for Server services, the server type is appended to the end of the URL and is required to specify the type of service used.

The ArcGIS Services Directory also allows you to search for layer IDs you can use to identify and query features within particular layers. The layer IDs can be found in the Layers list on a map service's properties page. Each layer also contains a list of attribute field names that can be used to create a query and define return fields in a query result.

Some services may be secure so that only authorized users can access them. Log in to the ArcGIS Services Directory to see which services you can access.