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Basemap and elevation layers

The elevation and basemap layers in a scene give context for your operational layers. A basemap layer can provide reference for surrounding areas, and without an elevation layer, all 3D layers will appear on a flat surface. To ensure that your scene displays correctly, cached layers must use the basemap's tiling scheme.

  • If you have both a basemap layer and an elevation layer, they must use the same tiling scheme that matches the coordinate system of the scene.
  • If you only have a basemap layer, new elevation layers will automatically take on the tiling scheme of the basemap.
  • If you do not have a basemap layer, new elevation layers will automatically take on the tiling scheme of any existing web elevation layers or web tile layers in the scene.
  • If you do not have any existing cached web layers, a new tiling scheme will automatically be generated that matches the scene's projection. This can be overridden with a tiling scheme file that matches the coordinate system of your scene.
Note:

Any existing web tile layers should also use the same tiling scheme as the basemap. All new web tile layers will automatically use the tiling scheme of the basemap if present.

Basemap layer

Basemap layers are only required when sharing a scene in global view. For an existing service to be considered a basemap, it must either be added to your organization's basemap group or be added as a basemap in your project.

For more information on setting up a basemap gallery, see Configure map viewer.

For more information on creating a basemap in your project, see Author a custom basemap.

When sharing a local scene without a basemap, web elevation layer, or web tile layer, all new web tile and elevation layers will default to using an automatically generated tiling scheme based on the coordinate system of your scene. If you need more refined control over the tiling scheme, use the Generate map server cache tiling scheme geoprocessing tool to create a custom tiling scheme XML file. The custom tiling scheme must meet the requirements outlined in Tiling scheme requirements.

Elevation layers

Web scenes only allow ground as an elevation surface. The elevation source or sources defining the ground surface must be web elevation layers that use the same tiling scheme as the scene's basemap. Web elevation layers are specialized for elevation surface data, leveraging a storage mechanism known as Limited Error Raster Compression (LERC), which is designed specifically to handle tiles that connect through multiple levels of detail.

All valid elevation sources in the ground surface will be included in the shared web scene, including elevation sources that have been turned off. They can be turned back on when consumed in ArcGIS Pro and Scene Viewer.

When creating a new scene in ArcGIS Pro, Esri's global scale elevation surface is added automatically from ArcGIS Online. If you have high-resolution elevation data that you want to use, you can do one of the following:

  • Author your scene to use local elevation data as an elevation source. When you share the web scene, the local elevation data will be shared as a web elevation layer for you.
  • Author your scene to use an existing web elevation layer.

Note:

The elevation surface properties Vertical exaggeration, Surface color, and Shade relief are not maintained through the sharing process.

All other elevation sources—such as globe elevation services—will be removed from the web scene during the sharing process. Web scenes can be shared without elevation sources.

Z-value units

The z-unit of your elevation data is assumed to be the same unit as the coordinate system of your scene. To ensure your elevation data shares correctly, use a coordinate system that has the same unit as your elevation source's z-values.

For example, if your scene's coordinate system's unit is meters but your z-values are in feet, if shared as is, your elevation layers will appear stretched by a magnitude of 3.28084 because the z-values are assumed to be meters. To fix this, do one of the following:

  • Change your scene's coordinate system to a coordinate system that has a unit of feet.
  • Use the Raster Calculator tool to change the unit of your z-values to meters.

Tiling scheme requirements

A tiling scheme defines the projection of the service, the levels of detail, and the tile origin for the cache. All elevation services in the ground surface and existing cached layers must use the same tiling scheme as the basemap. When publishing a cached layer within the web scene sharing process, the service will automatically use the same tiling scheme as the basemap layer.

Global scenes

When sharing a scene in global view to ArcGIS Online, the only valid tiling schemes are as follows:

  • ArcGIS Online/Bing Maps/Google Maps
  • WGS84 Geographic Coordinate System, Version 2

When sharing to ArcGIS Enterprise, only the ArcGIS Online/Bing Maps/Google Maps tiling scheme is supported.

Local scenes

When sharing a scene in local view, the tiling scheme must use the same projection as the scene and must meet these requirements:

  • Each scale level must be half of the preceding scale level within a tolerance of 8 to 9 decimals.
    • For example, if you have a tiling scheme with three levels from 2000 to 500, the scales would have to be 2000, 1000, and 500. Using the scale 1500 instead of 1000 would mean the tiling scheme is invalid.
  • The tile size must be 256 by 256 when sharing to Portal for ArcGIS 10.4.1 and earlier. When sharing to ArcGIS Enterprise and ArcGIS Online, the tile size can also be 512 by 512.
  • The scale of level 0 must fit within the extent of the layer.
    • If the scale used for level 0 in the tiling scheme is too large, the tiles in level 0 will extend outside of the extent of the layer. Using a smaller scale for level 0 will ensure the tiles fit within the extent of the layer.
Note:

When creating a custom tiling scheme, all cached layers in the scene, including all elevation sources, must use the same tiling scheme. Create a tiling scheme based on the extent of all layers to ensure the data fits with the extent of level 0.