Publish an image service

Raster and image data can be shared as an image service using ArcGIS Server. An image service provides access to raster data through a web service and can be configured to draw dynamically from data or from new or existing cached tiles. By default, image services are always published with image service capabilities, and you can optionally choose the WMS and WCS capabilities. Users can then connect to these services as they would any other published ArcGIS Server service.

If your organization has deployed a stand-alone ArcGIS Image Server site, you can share an image as an image service. When you publish an image service, the server makes your image available through a service URL, or REST endpoint. Client applications can use the URL to access the service and other capabilities that you enable during the publishing process. Image services can also be added directly to ArcGIS Pro through an ArcGIS Server connection.

To publish an image service, your project must contain a publisher or administrator connection to a stand-alone ArcGIS Server 10.6 or later site. For more information, see Connect to a GIS server.

This workflow is only available when publishing to stand-alone ArcGIS Server sites. To share web services to ArcGIS Online, an ArcGIS Enterprise portal, or a server federated with ArcGIS Enterprise, use Share a web layer. Web layers expose the rich capabilities of the Web GIS platform. For more information on additional functionality available when sharing to Web GIS, see Share with ArcGIS Pro.

To publish an image service, follow these steps:

  1. In the Catalog pane or a catalog view, browse to the collection of servers in your project. Right-click the ArcGIS Server connection that you'll publish to, click Publish, and click Image Service Image Service.

    The Publish menu is only available on ArcGIS Server connections to stand-alone ArcGIS Server sites if the connecting user has privileges to publish services.

  2. On the Select Image dialog box, browse to the map in the current project that you want to publish, and click OK.
  3. In the Publish Image Service pane, provide a name for the service.
  4. Complete the Summary and Tags fields.

    You can enter a maximum of 128 tags.

  5. Choose one of the following Data options:
    • To avoid having a copy of the data placed on the server, register your data to the ArcGIS Server site using ArcGIS Server Manager and choose the Reference registered data option.
    • If you want to maintain a separate copy of the data for web use, choose the Copy all data option, which will make a copy of the data in the input folder.

    For more information on data registration, see Register your data with ArcGIS Server using Server Manager.

  6. In the Folder menu, specify the folder on the server where you want to store the service. Type the name of the folder if the folder does not already exist. The service is stored in the root folder if another folder is not specified.
  7. On the Configuration tab, set properties and enable Capabilities as needed. For more details, see Configure an image service.
  8. Optionally, click the Content tab to view the new service structure and its sublayers.
  9. Click Analyze to identify potential issues or limitations. The Messages tab reports any errors and warnings raised by the analysis. Right-click each message to get more information, access the associated help topic, or access suggested fixes. For more information about resolving these issues, see Analyze your GIS resource.

    Analyzer help topics refer to the web layer that corresponds to the service type being published.

  10. Once you resolve any errors, and optionally resolve any warnings, click Publish. When the service has successfully published, you can do the following:
    • Click the Manage the image service link to access the service REST endpoint.
    • If you configured your service to draw using tiles from a cache, click the Jobs button Check Sharing Job Status to view the cache status in the Job Status pane.

Publish data in the cloud

To access and share your data in the cloud, first you must create a connection to your cloud store, access the data using the cloud store connection file .acs, and then follow the steps to publish an image service above.

To share your data in the cloud, you can use one of the following options:

  • To share by reference, you must register either the .acs file location or the cloud path as a data store before sharing the data.
  • Share by copying all data, which downloads a copy of the data from the cloud, packages it, and uploads it to ArcGIS Image Server where you published it.


  • To share a mosaic dataset with data in the cloud, you must register the cloud path as a data store before sharing the data.

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