Use vector tile layers

A vector tile layer references a set of web-accessible vector tiles and a corresponding style that dictates how the tiles will draw. Vector tile layers are similar to web tile layers, but they store a vector representation of the data instead of a raster representation. Because the data and the visual style are separate, vector tile layers can be customized to the map, which drives dynamic, interactive cartography. Tile access performance combined with vector drawing means vector tile layers can adapt to any display resolution, which can vary across devices.

In addition to drawing vector tile layers, you can also draw vector tile layers that reference a vector tile package (.vtpk file) on disk. This allows you to draw vector tiled layers offline or preview vector tile packages before publishing a service.

Navigate your map

Vector tile layers are created at specific map scales with dynamic styling behavior across scale ranges. When vector tiles are used in a map in their native projection, styling is applied dynamically as you zoom in and out across scales. When vector tiles are used in a map with a projection other than how they are defined, the styling is not applied dynamically as you zoom across scales. Instead, symbols and text draw precisely for that scale once navigation is completed.

Pop-ups on vector tile layers

Vector tile layers support pop-ups. The pop-ups can reference information in an associated web feature layer or directly from the vector tiles. Pop-ups from associated web feature layers can be configured for any vector tile layer. Once an associated web feature layer is specified, the pop-ups can be configured. Pop-ups that show information directly from tiles are limited in functionality and only show for vector tiles prepared for pop-ups at creation time. Pop-ups are not enabled by default for vector tile layers. They must be enabled after the layer is added to the map.

Enable pop-ups using an associated web feature layer

Using an associated web feature layer for pop-ups can add significant information to your vector tile layers. The following steps describe how you can enable this type of pop-up:

  1. Select the vector tile layer in the Contents pane.
  2. Right-click and click Set Pop-up Source.
  3. Specify how you want to choose the layer:
    • Choose from my items—Check the box if you want to include items from your organization, select a map image layer or web feature layer from the list, or select a sublayer in the layer to use in the pop-up.
    • Enter a URL from a layer—Provide a URL, for example, https://<Server>/ArcGIS/rest/services/<Service>/<LayerId>, and select a sublayer in the layer to use in the pop-up.
  4. Click Set Pop-up Source to close the dialog box.
  5. Right-click the layer and click Enable Pop-up.

Simple pop-ups

If your vector tile layer was created with individual feature identity by including the ObjectID field at tile creation time, a simple pop-up can be displayed for the layer. There are several key differences between these simple pop-ups for vector tile layers and pop-ups with associated web feature layers:

  • Vector tile layer pop-ups referencing data directly from the tiles have limited configuration options compared to feature layer pop-ups and cannot include custom text, images, or charts.
  • Attribute fields appear in the pop-up in a different order from the original feature layer. The ObjectID field appears first, followed by all other fields in lexicographical order, including symbol-related fields generated at the time of vector tile creation.
  • The buttons at the lower right corner of the pop-up for zooming to the feature and selecting the feature are disabled.
  • Simple vector tile pop-ups include a Style Layers list. Expand the list to see the style layers that include the feature.

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