Layers

Most maps, scenes, and layouts are assembled with multiple layers. These layers reference geographic data, either from an online service or from a local dataset. They include a wide range of topics about people, earth, life, among others. Some layers display images, such as satellite photos or aerial photography, others are composed of a collection of features to represent real-world entities using point, line, or polygon geometries. In addition to geometry, features have attributes that provide details about the entity it represents.

You can add data from web services or local services to your scene. See below for the data type supported.

Web services

A web service represents a GIS resource—such as a map or an image—that is located on an ArcGIS Server site and is made available to client apps including ArcGIS Online and ArcGIS Enterprise. In global scene, we support any geographic coordinate system; for project coordinate systems, we support WGS 84 and Pseudo-Mercator; in local scene, we support any projected coordinate systems; for geographic coordinate systems, we support WGS84 (WKID: 4326) and CGCS 2000. Refer to for layer coordiante system support.

Raster tile layers

A raster tile layer (image tile layer) is a data layer that can access and display raster tile data provided by a web service. It is stored as tiles, or levels of png or jpeg images. The advantages of using tiles are that they are highly compressed and are easily understood by most common mapping application software. Raster tile layers work with many types of browsers and devices, provide high-end cartographic capabilities, and support various data sources.

Scene layers

A scene layer is a type of layer that is optimized for displaying large amounts of 3D data from a scene service. A scene layer displays one of the five data types: point, point cloud, 3D object, building, or integrated mesh. ArcGIS Maps SDK currently supports 3D object scene layers and integrated mesh scene layers (1.7 and higher):

  • 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.

Local services

A local service is created from packages in applications such as ArcGIS Pro.

TPK files and TPKX files

A tile package allows you to create a set of tiles (levels) from a map. You can save raster tile layer and elevation layer with this file format. The tiles are wrapped into a single .tpk (.tpkx) file, so 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.

SLPK files

A scene layer package (.slpk) contains a cache of a building, multipatch, point, or point cloud dataset. ArcGIS Maps SDK currently supports two types of .slpk files: integrated mesh scene layer package and 3D object scene layer package (1.7 and higher). SLPK files can be created by using different tools depending on the original data files.

Layer management

You can toggle layers on and off, change layer opacity (with presets in Mode Panel UI and component; during both runtime and with presets in Blueprints and C++ API), delete and reorder layers.

Using API keys

An API key can be used to authorize access to ArcGIS Online services and resources from your app, as well as to monitor access to those services. You can use a single key for all requests made by your app, or assign individual keys for classes that expose an API key property. See API keys in the security and authentication topic for details.

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