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Map and scene options

You can set the basemap, scene type, and spatial reference that each new map or scene has by default. When you create a new map or scene, it automatically has the settings you specified. On the Options dialog box, on the Maps and Scenes tab, you can set the options described in this topic.


For basemaps, you can choose between the default basemap from your ArcGIS Online organization account and a different basemap from the gallery or your organization. Or, you can specify that maps and scenes be created without a basemap.

The default extent of new maps and scenes is the Default basemap of your organization option. This option is defined by settings of the ArcGIS Online organization account. For example, your organization has set the extent to your local area. If you are signed in to ArcGIS Online while using ArcGIS Pro, any new map or scene uses the extent defined for your organization. If you are not signed in, the first layer added to the map or scene defines the extent for local scenes and maps. Global scenes will always show the whole earth.


When creating new scenes, you can choose the type of scene view—global or local—you want to use. By default, the Scene option is set to Global. This option is optimal if you mainly work with data that is best represented on a globe; it creates new scenes in a globe with a fixed coordinate system of WGS84. If you work in a small area to edit data or perform analysis, you may want to set the Scene option to Local. You can always open an existing scene view in either global or local scene view.

Add layer

The Make newly added layers visible by default option controls layer visibility when you add a new layer to your map. This option is enabled by default. In some cases, it can be useful to turn off this option, such as when the layer you want to add contains many features or may take a long time to display. Zoom to your area of interest before turning on the visibility of the layer in the Contents pane.

Spatial reference

You can set the coordinate system that maps and local scenes have by default. By default, the Use spatial reference of the first operational layer option is enabled. This means the first layer that is not a basemap sets the coordinate system for maps and local scenes.

You can use the Choose spatial reference option to specify a different default coordinate system. Note that the coordinate system setting does not apply to global scenes, because they always use WGS84.

You can also choose to enable the Warn if transformation between geographic coordinate system is required to align data sources correctly option, which displays a warning if your data will be transformed to fit your specified default coordinate system.