Basemap layers

You can use one or more basemap layers to provide visual and geographic context for the data layers displayed in your scene.

Basemap layer types

There are two fundamental types of basemap layers: vector tile and image tile. There are many vector tile styles available, such as streets and streets night, gray canvas, navigation, and topographic. Image tiles include satellite imagery, ocean, hillshade, and others.

Vector tile layers contain a vector representation of the data and a separate visual style. Tile access performance combined means vector tile layers can adapt to any display resolution across device types.

In addition to the default vector basemap styles, you can create custom vector basemap styles with ArcGIS Vector Tile Style Editor.

Image tile layers display pre-rendered image or raster data stored as tiles of .png or .jpeg images 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 organized as a basemap and you use the Basemap property of the ArcGIS Map to control the basemap in your scene.

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

Source

Source type

Basemap layer

Basemap

Web map

Basemap

Image tile layer

Image layer

Vector tile layer

Vector tile layer

Basemaps from the basemap layer service

The basemap layer service provides vector tile and image tile 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 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 styles service (v1) in the Mapping APIs and location services guide, and the Basemap styles service (v2) in the ArcGIS REST APIs documentation.

With the plugin, you can use the standard endpoint formatted as follows.

  • For the basemap styles service (v1):

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    https://basemaps-api.arcgis.com/arcgis/rest/services/styles/{basemapStyle}?type=webmap
  • For the basemap styles service (v2):

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    https://basemapstyles-api.arcgis.com/arcgis/rest/services/styles/v2/webmaps/{data_source}/{style}

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 map that contains image tile layers, vector tile layers, or 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.

The plugin provides several preset basemaps from the Map Creator 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, an image tile layer, a vector tile layer, or a local tile package.

If you do not want to set a basemap, click 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 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 privately hosted web map or services, select the matching configuration from the Authentication drop-down list. For more information about using private content, see user authentication.
  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 the FAQ to troubleshoot data loading issues.

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