Scenes in ArcGIS Pro are 3D maps that can be either local (for small areas) or global (for large areas). They can be shared as web scenes to your ArcGIS Online or ArcGIS Enterprise portal for online viewing.
- Video length: 3:14
- This video was created with ArcGIS Pro 2.5.
In this tutorial, you'll create and share a scene covering an area in Portland, Oregon. The data includes building footprints, tree locations, aerial imagery from the city's open data portal, and lidar-derived elevation data from NOAA's DigitalCoast Data Access Viewer. Because the area of interest is small, your scene will be local and will use a local coordinate system.
- Estimated time: 30 minutes
- Software requirements:
- ArcGIS Pro
- ArcGIS Online or ArcGIS Enterprise account with sharing privileges
- ArcGIS 3D Analyst extension (recommended)
The tutorial steps in the online help reflect the look and capabilities of the current software release. If you have an earlier software version, use the offline help system to open the tutorial. To switch from the online to the offline help system, see Set the help source in the About ArcGIS Pro help topic. If you don't have ArcGIS Pro, you can sign up for an ArcGIS Pro free trial.
Download the data
The data used in this tutorial has been saved as a zipped file geodatabase and is available to download from ArcGIS Online. The geodatabase was compiled using publicly available data from the City of Portland and NOAA.
- Open a web browser to the item details page of Author and share a local scene.
- Click Download on the right side of the page.
- In the Downloads folder on your computer, right-click Author_and_share_a_local_scene.zip and extract it to a convenient location, such as C:\Temp.
Create a project
You'll create a project from the Local Scene template on the ArcGIS Pro start page. Then you'll make a connection to the data you downloaded.
- Start ArcGIS Pro and sign in if necessary.
- On the start page, under New, click Local Scene.
Note:If you already have a project open, click the Project tab on the ribbon. In the list on the left, click New. In the list of project templates, click Local Scene.
- On the Create a New Project dialog box, name the project Portland.
By default, projects are created in your <User Documents>\ArcGIS\Projects folder. You can change this location in the General options. Alternatively, you can click Browse and browse to a different folder.
- Click OK.
The project opens with a scene view. The basemap and geographic extent you see are determined by administrative settings in your ArcGIS Online or ArcGIS Enterprise portal. The scene also includes a default elevation surface.
- On the ribbon, click the View tab. In the Windows group, click Reset Panes and click Reset Panes for Mapping (Default).
This ensures that the Contents and Catalog panes are open and that other panes are closed.
- In the Catalog pane, on the Project tab, right-click Databases and click Add Database .
- On the browse dialog box, browse to the location where you extracted the tutorial data (for example, C:\Temp). Double-click the Author_and_share_a_local_scene folder. Click the 3D_Portland geodatabase to select it and click OK.
A connection to the database is added to your project. You'll make it the default geodatabase so that your geoprocessing outputs are saved there by default.
- In the Catalog pane, expand Databases . Right-click 3D_Portland.gdb and click Make Default .
- Expand the 3D_Portland geodatabase.
The geodatabase contains a polygon feature class, two raster datasets, and a point feature class.
- Right-click the Buildings feature class and click Properties . On the Feature Class Properties dialog box, on the Source tab, expand Spatial Reference.
The projected coordinate system for the Buildings feature class is NAD 1983 HARN StatePlane Oregon North FIPS 3601 Feet International. The other datasets in the geodatabase also use this coordinate system.
- On the Feature Class Properties dialog box, click Cancel.
Add data to the scene
You'll add your locally projected data to the scene. When you do so, the scene will adopt the same projection. However, the scene also contains basemap and elevation layers that ArcGIS Pro added automatically. These layers are in a Web Mercator projection. You will not be able to share the scene in a local projection unless these layers are removed.
Unlike a web map, a web scene can be shared without a basemap. However, a web scene must have an elevation layer. You'll remove the basemap layer from the scene and replace the default elevation layer with one from your 3D_Portland geodatabase.
- In the Catalog pane, click the Buildings feature class in the 3D_Portland geodatabase to select it. Hold the Ctrl key and click the Portland_Aerial raster dataset also.
- Right-click either selected dataset and click Add To Current Map .
The scene zooms to an area of west Portland known as Marquam Hill, where Oregon Health & Science University is located.
- In the Contents pane, under Drawing Order, right-click the default scene name (Scene) and click Properties .
- On the Map Properties dialog box, click the Coordinate Systems tab.
This confirms that the coordinate system of the scene—Oregon State Plane North—matches the coordinate system of the Buildings feature class and Portland_Aerial raster dataset.
- Click Cancel.
You'll remove the scene's basemap layer so you won't get an error when you share the scene. Depending on administrative settings in your portal, the scene may contain a single tile basemap (such as Topographic) or two vector tile basemap layers (such as World Topographic Map and World Hillshade). The basemap layer may be accompanied by a reference layer that appears at the top of the Contents pane and provides labels or boundary lines for the basemap.
- Right-click the basemap layer (for example, Topographic), and click Remove . Remove any other basemap and reference layers in the scene.
You'll replace the default elevation layer with the Portland_DTM3ft elevation dataset in your geodatabase. This dataset is in the correct coordinate system and also has much higher resolution than the default elevation layer. The higher resolution means that features in the scene will be more accurately positioned in vertical space.
- In the Contents pane, under Elevation Surfaces, right-click WorldElevation3D/Terrain3D and click Remove
- Under Elevation Surfaces, right-click Ground and click Add Elevation Source .
- On the browse dialog box, under Project, click Databases. Double-click the 3D_Portland geodatabase to open it and click Portland_DTM3ft. Click OK.
You can also drag the Portland_DTM3ft dataset from the Catalog pane and drop it on the Ground heading in the Contents pane.
Previously, you opened the scene properties to check the coordinate system. You'll open them again to change the scene name and make other settings.
- In the Contents pane, double-click the scene name to open its properties.
- On the Map Properties dialog box, click the General tab. If necessary, set the Elevation Units to Feet. Set the Display units to Feet or a unit of measure familiar to you.
The elevation units should be set to the actual measurement units of the data, which are feet. If this setting is wrong, the data will not draw at the correct elevation. The display units are a reporting unit that can be set to any unit you like.
- Click the Metadata tab and fill in the following fields as shown:
- Title: Marquam Hill, Portland, Oregon
- Tags: buildings, trees, Portland, Oregon
- Summary: 3D view of buildings and trees in southwest Portland, Oregon.
- Description: 3D view of buildings and trees in southwest Portland, Oregon. The scene uses high-definition elevation data from NOAA's DigitalCoast Data Access Viewer.
- Credits: City of Portland, CivicsApps.org, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
The title, tags, and summary are required for sharing. When you share the scene, the metadata will appear on the web scene's item details page.
- Click OK.
You'll change the color of the buildings—which may be blue or pink or some other color—to something typical for buildings.
- In the Contents pane, click the symbol for the Buildings layer.
The Symbology pane appears and displays formatting options for the polygon symbol.
- At the top of the Symbology pane, click the Gallery tab if necessary.
- In the search box, type building and press Enter.
The list of symbols in the gallery is filtered to building footprint symbols.
- Click the beige Building Footprint symbol (or a different one if you like).
The symbol is updated in the Contents pane and in the scene.
- On the Quick Access Toolbar, click Save to save the project.
You'll explore the scene by panning and rotating it. You'll also extrude the buildings to give them height.
- On the ribbon, click the Map tab. In the Navigate group, click the Explore tool if necessary.
- Use the on-screen navigator to explore the scene or use the following mouse movements:
Scroll the mouse wheel (or press the right mouse button).
Press the scroll wheel and move the mouse forward and backward.
Press the scroll wheel and move the mouse from side to side.
If you get lost and don't see your data, right-click the Buildings layer in the Contents pane and click Zoom To Layer .
The topography displays in 3D using the values in the Portland_DTM3ft elevation layer. Although the buildings are positioned on the surface, they are not extruded; in other words, they don't have any height. If you know the heights of the buildings, you can extrude them. You'll check the layer attribute table for a height attribute.
- In the Contents pane, right-click the Buildings layer and click Attribute Table .
- Scroll across the table until you see the Average Height attribute.
This field stores the height of each building in feet.
- Close the attribute table.
- In the Contents pane, confirm that the Buildings layer is selected. On the ribbon, under Feature Layer, click the Appearance tab.
- In the Extrusion group, click the Type button and choose an extrusion type:
- If you have a 3D Analyst extension license, choose Max Height .
- If you do not have a 3D Analyst extension license, choose Base Height .
The reason for making this choice is explained in the next section. To check whether you have a 3D Analyst extension license, on the ribbon, click the Project tab. In the list of side tabs, click Licensing. Under Esri Extensions, look for 3D Analyst (it should be the first extension listed).
- Click the Field drop-down arrow next to the extrusion type and click Average Height. Confirm that the Unit setting is Feet.
In the scene, the buildings display at the heights stored in the attribute table. In the Contents pane, the Buildings layer moves from the 2D Layers category to the 3D Layers category because extrusion is a 3D property.
Convert buildings to multipatch features
The extruded buildings display well in ArcGIS Pro but feature extrusion is generally not supported in web scenes. In other words, when the scene is shared, the buildings will be flat again. To solve this problem, you'll convert the buildings from polygons to 3D multipatch features with the Layer 3D To Feature Class geoprocessing tool. Multipatch feature geometry can be visualized in 3D in web scenes.
The Layer 3D To Feature Class tool requires a 3D Analyst extension license. If you don't have this license, you can skip this section and complete the rest of the tutorial. Make sure that you have extruded the Buildings layer with the Base Height extrusion type . Extrusion of polygon features in web scenes is supported for this one method. The drawback to base height extrusion is that the building rooftops will follow the terrain variation and will have a sloping appearance in some cases.
- On the ribbon, click the Analysis tab. In the Geoprocessing group, click Tools .
- In the Geoprocessing pane, in the search box, type Layer 3D To Feature Class. In the list of search results, click Layer 3D To Feature Class to open the tool.
- On the Parameters tab, click the Input Feature Layer drop-down arrow and click Buildings.
- Name the Output Feature Class Buildings_3D.
- Click the Grouping Field drop-down arrow and click Building ID.
The Buildings attribute table contains multiple records with the same Building ID value. In other words, a single building may be represented by several records (and likewise several features). The reason for this is that some buildings have complex shapes, such as tiers and superstructures, that can't be drawn with a single 2D polygon. Multipatch feature geometry can incorporate this complexity in a single feature. Grouping the buildings by their Building ID value means that any features with a common building ID will become part of the same multipatch feature. The Buildings_3D layer will have the same appearance as the Buildings layer (and the same number of actual buildings) but will have fewer features.
- Click Run .
The Buildings_3D layer is added to the scene.
- In the Contents pane, click the Buildings layer to select it. Right-click the selected layer and click Remove.
The Buildings_3D layer looks the same as the Buildings layer and has the same symbology.
- In the Catalog pane, on the Project tab, expand Databases. Expand the 3D_Portland geodatabase.
The Buildings_3D multipatch feature class is part of your 3D_Portland geodatabase.
- Save the project.
Add a preset layer of trees
The 3D_Portland geodatabase also contains a point feature class with the locations of trees. You can see trees in the Portland_Aerial layer, but the feature class will display trees as discrete objects that can be symbolized. You'll symbolize the trees with a preset layer to give them a more realistic appearance. Preset layers define complex symbols and other layer properties.
- On the ribbon, click the Map tab. In the Layer group, click Add Preset and click Thematic Trees .
- On the browse dialog box, under Project, double-click Databases. Double-click the 3D_Portland geodatabase to show its contents.
The Trees feature class is the only feature class available because the Thematic Trees preset layer must be applied to a point feature class.
- Click Trees and click OK.
The layer is added to the Contents pane in the 3D Layers category. The Trees feature class is a 2D dataset (it does not store z-values), but the preset layer symbology applies 3D properties to the layer.
The thematic trees draw in the scene and the Symbology pane appears, displaying settings for the preset layer. You'll adjust these settings in a moment.
The trees don't cover the entire study area, just the relatively flat, eastern part of it. If the trees don't draw immediately in your scene, try zooming in or out to make them appear.
- In the Contents pane, right-click the Trees layer and click Attribute Table .
- Scroll across the table and notice the GENUS and TREE_HEIGHT fields.
Information about tree genus can be used to define the symbol shapes more exactly. Information about tree height can be used to draw the trees at the correct size.
- Close the attribute table.
- In the Symbology pane, set the Type to Genus. If necessary, set the Height to TREE_HEIGHT and the Unit to Feet. Leave the other settings at their default values.
- Explore the scene and look at the buildings and trees from different perspectives.
When you share the scene, the 3D appearance of the features will be maintained in the web scene.
- Save the project.
Share a web scene
You're ready to share the scene to the web. You must be connected to an ArcGIS Online or ArcGIS Enterprise portal and your account must have the privilege to publish hosted web layers.
- Confirm that you are signed in to ArcGIS Pro through your active portal.
- On the ribbon, click the Share tab. In the Share As group, click Web Scene .
The Share As Web Scene pane appears. On the Scene tab, under Item Details, the Name box displays the default scene name. The Summary and Tags boxes contain the metadata you added earlier.
- In the Name box, replace the default name with Marquam Hill.
In the Name box, Marquam may appear with a wavy red underline that indicates a possible spelling error. You can right-click the word and click Ignore All on the context menu to remove the underline.
- Optionally, under Location, click the drop-down arrow and choose a folder in your portal content to which to share the web scene.
If you don't specify a folder, the web scene will be stored at the root level of your portal content. You can also create a folder by typing a name in the input box.
- Optionally, under Share with, check the appropriate boxes if you want to share the scene with everyone, with members of your ArcGIS organization, or with any groups to which you belong.
- At the top of the Share As Web Scene pane, click the Content tab.
On the New Content tab , you see the content that will be created in your portal when you share the scene.
The Marquam Hill web scene is an item in your portal that can be added to Scene Viewer. The web scene includes all the other layers listed.
The Portland_DTM3ft elevation raster is shared as a web elevation layer.
The elevation tiles are uploaded as a tile package if your active portal is ArcGIS Online.
The Trees layer is shared as a point scene layer.
The Trees layer is also shared as a web feature layer.
The Buildings_3D layer is shared as a multipatch scene layer.
The Buildings_3D layer is also shared as a web feature layer.
The Portland_Aerial image is shared as a web tile layer.
The elevation tile package appears only if your active portal is ArcGIS Online. In this case, the elevation tiles are cached locally, packaged in your staging folder, and uploaded to ArcGIS Online, where the package is published as a web elevation layer. If your active portal is ArcGIS Enterprise, the tile package is not created because the elevation tiles are cached on the server by default.
If you didn't convert the buildings to multipatch features—because you don't have the 3D Analyst extension—you won't have a Buildings_3D layer in your web content. You will have a Buildings layer that is shared as a web feature layer but not as a scene layer. This is true whether your active portal is ArcGIS Online or ArcGIS Enterprise.
- Under Finish Sharing, click Analyze to check for warnings or errors.
No errors or warnings should be found.
If you get error messages such as 00230 or 00079, these are caused by the presence of a basemap layer in the Contents pane. Remove the basemap layer and click Analyze again. To learn more about any warning or error, hover over the message, click the Options button that appears, and click Help.
- Click Share .
- Click Jobs to monitor the caching and publishing status in the Job Status pane.
The process takes time because many items are being created. The web scene publishes successfully and can be opened in Scene Viewer before the individual layers finish caching. However, it's a good idea to wait for the component layers to finish so that all the data displays when you open the scene.
- In the Share As Web Scene pane, click the Manage the web scene link at the bottom of the pane. Sign in to your portal if necessary to open the web scene's item details page.
In certain portal configurations, a default visibility range is applied to tile layers, such as the aerial image in your scene. This improves web scene performance in some circumstances, but in this case, it's not necessary. You'll check the settings of your tile layer to ensure it's visible at all scales.
- On the web scene item details page, under Layers, click Marquam_Hill_WTL1.
The item details page for the tile layer opens in a new browser tab.
- At the top of the tile layer's item details page, click the Settings tab. Scroll down to the Tile Layer (hosted) section.
Under Visible Range, a slider with a blue bar shows the visible range for the layer.
- If necessary, use the two circular handles to expand the visible range to its maximum extent.
- Click Save.
A message confirms that the item was successfully updated.
- Close the item details page for the tile layer.
- On the item details page for the Marquam Hill web scene layer, click Open in Scene Viewer.
- Use the Scene Viewer navigation tools to zoom in and out and view the scene from different perspectives.
- Click a few building and tree features to see pop-ups with the feature attributes.
The Trees layer maintains all its attribute information. However, the Buildings_3D layer only shows a Building ID value. The other building attributes were dropped when you converted the Buildings layer with the Layer 3D To Feature Class tool. If you did not convert the Buildings layer to a multipatch feature class, you'll see all the building attributes.
- Click the Home drop-down arrow and click Content.
You see the web layers and packages created in your portal. The layers can be added individually to other scenes and maps. If you shared the web scene to an ArcGIS Enterprise portal, you will not have a tile package in your content.
In this tutorial, you created a local scene in a projection appropriate to the data. You converted a layer of buildings to a multipatch feature class for 3D web display (if you have the 3D Analyst extension) and used a preset layer to symbolize trees more realistically.
After authoring the scene, you shared it to your ArcGIS Online or ArcGIS Enterprise portal and displayed it in Scene Viewer. The web scene and the various web layers that were created with it can also be added from your portal to ArcGIS Pro. To learn more about adding web maps and layers to ArcGIS Pro, try the Share a web map tutorial.