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Interactive view dome basics

Interactive view domes are used to determine the visible volumetric spaces within a direct 3D distance of a location. They are calculated against the currently displayed content within a scene, including the ground surface and symbolized features such as buildings and trees.

The view dome's location can be interactively moved through the view. The analysis parameters, vertical offsets and view distances, can be used to model real-world objects such as a viewing platform or a radar station. You can also create multiple view domes to explore areas that have multiple areas of concern.


Each view dome object consumes part of your analytical tool display budget. Once the display budget has been exceeded, you must clear one or more of the existing view domes before you can create another.

The analytical results displayed by these tools are temporary and are not saved with the project, nor are they included in map packages. However, their distance, offset settings, and geometry can be exported as point feature classes for further use. If you require the displayed analytical results as data, consider using the geoprocessing tools for visibility instead.

Create an interactive view dome

The interactive View Dome tool View Dome Tool is in the Interactive Analysis gallery in the 3D Exploratory Analysis group on the Analysis tab. As you save templates with custom configurations, they are added to the gallery.

Interactive view dome creation parameters


Vertical Offset

The vertical offset distance to use when creating a new view dome. For example, a distance of 6 feet places the view dome 6 feet above the clicked location in the view.

Minimum Distance

The minimum distance from the view dome center to analyze. Obstructions closer than the minimum distance do not participate in the analysis.

Maximum Distance

The maximum distance from the view dome center to analyze. Obstructions farther than the maximum distance do not participate in the analysis.

Creation methods


Interactive Placement View Dome Interactive Placement

Click in the view to place a view dome using the defined creation settings.

Interactive Size View Dome Interactive Size

Click in the view to place the view dome. Click again to define the dome's radius.

From Layer View Dome From Layer

Create a view dome based on a point layer where feature attributes can be bound to parameters such as vertical offset and minimum and maximum view distances. Previously exported analysis objects can be revisited using this method.

Update an interactive view dome

To update an existing view dome, click the observer point with the view dome tool to select it. Use the interactive handles to move or resize. You can move the object in x- and y-space or drag the green arrow to move in z-space. The diameter can be adjusted using the blue midpoint dots on the sphere's wireframe lines. A corresponding edit overlay is an optional on-screen display of values that reflect what properties you are updating. You can also type a new value directly in it.

View dome selected for updating

If you prefer to manually type values, you can update specific properties for a selected view dome on the Properties tab of the Exploratory Analysis pane. Browse through existing view domes in the scene to make interactive updates. Click All to select and edit all interactive view dome objects at once.

Delete an interactive view dome

You can remove a view dome object by selecting the observer with the active View Dome tool and clicking Delete from the Properties tab. You can also delete a view dome by pressing the Delete key or right-clicking and clicking Delete Delete from its context menu. You can delete all view domes at once, as well as any other other existing exploratory analysis objects, by clicking the Clear All button Clear All in the 3D Exploratory Analysis group on the Analysis tab.

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