Layers

A layer can access data from a data source. You can use an ArcGIS Map as a container for layers to display geographic data in an Unreal Engine level.

There are two groups of layers that an ArcGIS Map contains:

  • Basemap layers, used for geographic context.
  • Data layers, used to display geographic data within the context of the basemap.

A layer's data source can either be a data service or a data file stored locally.

Basemap Layers

You can use one or more basemap layers to provide a background of geographical context for the data layers displayed in your Unreal Engine level.

Basemap layer types

The basemap layer service provides a number of vector tile and image tile basemap layers that you can use for your applications.

Vector tile basemaps are vector tile layers capable of displaying high-density geographic data as vector tile data. In addition to the default vector basemap styles, you can create custom vector basemap styles with ArcGIS Vector Tile Style Editor.

Image tile layers are pre-rendered images hosted in ArcGIS that can be displayed at different scales.

For a complete list of styles, see the Basemap layer service topic in the Mapping APIs and location services guide.

Basemaps

Basemap layers are collected together in a basemap and you use the Basemap property of the ArcGIS Map to control the basemap in your level.

The following are the source and the source type to create a Basemap to use in your ArcGIS Map.

SourceSource type
Basemap layerBasemap
Web mapBasemap
Image tile layerImage layer
Vector tile layerVector tile layer

Basemaps from the basemap layer service (basemap styles service)

The basemap layer service provides global basemap layers in a variety of styles to use in mapping applications.

There are two ways to access basemap layers: through the basemap styles service and through the tile services. You can access the basemap styles service with a URL and parameters to get the JSON definition for a specific basemap style. To see a complete list of styles, visit the Basemap layer service in the Mapping APIs and location services guide.

With ArcGIS Maps SDK for Unreal Engine you can use the standard endpoint formatted as follows.

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https://basemaps-api.arcgis.com/arcgis/rest/services/styles/{basemapStyle}?type=webmap

For information about tile services, see the image tile layers and vector tile layers sections.

Basemaps from web maps

As mentioned previously, you can create a basemap from a URL that references a web map by providing the item page URL or the JSON, typically read from an item with type Web Map which is stored in an ArcGIS Portal.

You can load any web maps that contain image tile layers, vector tile layers, and reference layers as a basemap. It is possible to use web maps that contain other layer types but they will not be displayed in the Viewport.

ArcGIS Maps SDK for Unreal Engine provides several preset basemaps on the Modes Panel UI. These also use the basemap layer service with the web map format.

There are two ways to format the URL to create a basemap from a web map:

  • Item page URL
  • REST endpoint URL

Set a basemap

In the Basemap panel is a list of selectable, preset basemaps. You can also set a basemap from a basemap layer service, a web map, image tile layer, vector tile layer, or a local tile package.

If you do not want to set a basemap, click on the ArcGIS Map Actor in the Outliner panel and empty the Basemap field in the Details panel

The preset basemaps are listed in the World Basemaps for Developers group in the ArcGIS Online. Preset basemaps do not include Human Geography Map and Human Geography Dark Map.

To set a custom basemap:

  1. Click the Basemap tab.

  2. Click + Add New at the bottom of the list. A pop-up window opens.

  3. In the Source field, enter a service URL or a local file path.

    • To use a basemap layer service or a web map , select Basemap from the Type drop-down list.
    • To use an image tile layer service, select Image Layer from the Type drop-down list.
    • To use a .tpk or .tpkx tile package as a basemap source, click more options ··· to select the local tile package, then select Image Layer from the Type drop-down list.
    • To use a vector tile layer service, select Vector Tile Layer from the Type drop-down list.
    • To use a .vtpk file package as a basemap source, click more options ··· to select the local file package, then select Vector Tile Layer from the Type drop-down list.
    • To use a private hosted web map or services, select the matching configuration from the Authentication drop-down list. For more information about using private content, see ArcGIS identity.
  4. Type a Name for your basemap; this will be used to identify it in the basemap gallery.

  5. Click Add to finish creating the custom basemap. The pop-up window closes.

  6. Verify that the custom basemap is selected in the gallery.

To remove a custom basemap registry from the basemap gallery, click on X on the thumbnail.

Refer to FAQ for troubleshooting data loading issues.

Data layers

Data layers bring additional geographic data into your Unreal Engine level to be displayed in the context of the basemap. You use the Layers property of the ArcGIS Map to control the data layers in your level. The following layer types are supported:

  • Image tile layers
  • Vector tile layers
  • Scene layers (version 1.7 or higher)
    • 3D object scene layers
    • Integrated mesh scene layers

To find the scene layers version, open the service JSON and look for "serviceVersion".

In global scenes, we support data in any geographic coordinate system; for projected coordinate systems, we support Web Mercator when the spatial reference is set to WGS84.

In local scenes, we support any projected coordinate systems; for geographic coordinate systems, we support WGS84 when the spatial reference is set to CGCS 2000.

Refer to Spatial references for more information.

Image tile layers

An image tile layer is a data layer that can access and display image tile data provided by an image tile service or an image tile package.

The spatial reference of the image tile layers should match with the spatial reference of the basemap.

Image tile services

An image tile service is a data service that provides static pre-rendered image tiles to display at different scales.

You can use the following kinds of URLs for the source to add image tile services to your ArcGIS Map:

  • Item page URL
  • Image tile service URL

You can learn more about image tile services in the Mapping APIs and location services guide.

Local image tile packages

Image tile layers can also access data from image tile packages stored locally.

An image tile package is a single .tpk (or .tpkx) file containing image tiles, and you can share the file as you would with any file. Compared with .tpk files, .tpkx files provide better performance on network shares and cloud store directories.

Vector tile layers

A vector tile layer contains vector representations of data across a range of scales that is provided by a vector tile service or vector tile package. In contrast to image tiles, vector tiles can adapt to the resolution of the device they are displayed on and restyled for multiple uses.

The spatial reference of the vector tile layers should match the spatial reference of the basemap.

Vector tile services

A vector tile service is a type of data service that stores and provides access to vector tiles and vector tile style resources.

You can use the following kinds of URLs for the source to add vector tile services to your ArcGIS Map:

  • Item page URL
  • Vector tile service URL
  • Vector tile style URL

You can learn more about vector tile services in the Mapping APIs and location services guide.

Local vector tile packages

A vector tile service can also package vector tiles for offline use as vector tile packages. A vector tile package (.vtpk) is a collection of vector tiles and style resources that are stored on a server. When you publish a vector tile package to ArcGIS Online or ArcGIS Enterprise, a vector tile layer is created.

Scene layers

A scene layer is a type of data layer that is optimized for displaying large amounts of 3D data from a scene service or a local scene layer packages, as defined by the Open Geospatial Consortium's Indexed 3D Scene Layer (I3S) specification.

ArcGIS Maps SDK for Unreal Engine currently supports 3D object scene layers and integrated mesh scene layers from the I3S specification:

  • 3D object scene layer: A 3D object scene layer represents objects such as buildings that are explicitly modeled in 3D. You can visualize a 3D object scene layer with textures embedded into the 3D features. A 3D object scene layer is automatically thinned to improve performance and visibility at different scale ranges. With a 3D object scene layer, you can change the rendering by filtering by attributes. See 3D attributes filtering for more details.
  • Integrated mesh scene layer: An integrated mesh scene layers is generally created for citywide 3D mapping. It is often captured by drones and structure from motion mapping.

Scene layers will be reprojected to the spatial reference of the ArcGIS Map when they don't match in both global and local scenes. Therefore, you can use scene layers that are in any geographic and projected coordinate system.

Scene services

A scene service is a data service that provides I3S Scene Layer content. It is optimized for streaming large amounts of 3D data to client applications considering the client's 3D view of the data.

You can use the following kinds of URLs for the source to add scene services to your ArcGIS Map:

  • Item page URL
  • Scene service URL

Local scene layer packages

Scene layers can also access data from scene layer packages (.slpk files) stored locally.

ArcGIS Maps SDK for Unreal Engine currently supports two types of .slpk files: integrated mesh scene layer package and 3D object scene layer package. SLPK files can be created by using different tools depending on the original data files.

Set data layers

  1. Click on the Layers tab.
  2. In the Add New Data section, select a layer type from the Layer Type drop-down list.
  3. In the Layer Source field, introduce an online service URL. If you want to use a local file package, click on ··· and select the file.
  4. Introduce a name in the Layer Name field.
  5. Click on the Add button.

When you click on the Add button, the layer will be listed under the Layers section.

To use a private content, select the matching configuration from the Authentication drop-down list in the Layers section. For more information about using private content, see ArcGIS identity.

Refer to FAQ for troubleshooting data loading issues.

Layer management

You can toggle layers on and off, change layer opacity, delete and reorder layers.

You can make the following layer management operation under the Layers tab.

  • Change the layer order by dragging it to a new order position.
  • Change a layer name by typing a new name under the Name field.
  • Add a new layer by clicking the + icon.
  • Delete a layer by clicking on the v icon in the layer name row and select Delete.
  • Delete all layers at once by clicking the trashcan icon.
  • Add a layer source by directly pasting the URL to the Source field or loading a file package via the ... icon.
  • Set a value between 0.0 and 1.0 or use the slider to set the layer opacity.
  • Hide a layer by marking the checkbox next to the layer name.
  • Click on the triangle icon on the left to expand a layer registry and see the layer properties.
  • Change the layer type by clicking on the Type drop-down list.
  • Replace the layer source URL or file path.
  • Select matching authentication configuration.
  • Zoom to a specific layer's extent by clicking on the Zoom To Layer button.

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