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Create an offline scene

Fieldwork takes you and your mobile workers places without a data connection, but that shouldn’t stop you from using your GIS data. You can create a scene without an Internet connection, and you can use it on your device in the field. You can use a custom app built with AppStudio for ArcGIS or ArcGIS Runtime SDK.

Taking data offline often requires preprocessing. This workflow explains how to create tile packages as elevation sources for use in the Create Mobile Scene Package geoprocessing tool. However, it can also be used to create tile packages from aerial imagery. Aerial images that reference raster datasets are supported as input to the Create Mobile Scene Package tool. It is recommended that aerial imagery be in tile package format to avoid the overhead of having the ArcGIS Runtime SDK app unpack the raster dataset on the mobile device. See Author a mobile scene package for ArcGIS Runtime SDK for additional considerations.

Find and open the project

The data used in this tutorial is available as a project package that can be downloaded from ArcGIS Online through ArcGIS Pro.

To open the project, complete the following steps:

  1. Open a new instance of ArcGIS Pro.
  2. From the ArcGIS Pro start page, click Open another project Open another project.
  3. Click the All Portal filter All Portal and search for Make Offline Scene example.
  4. Select the Make Offline Scene project package and click OK.

    The project downloads and opens four scenes:

    • WGS84
    • WGS84_PostProcess
    • WebMercatorAuxiliarySphere
    • WebMercator_PostProcess
    For scenes that are ready to run through the Create Mobile Scene Package tool, use WGS84_PostProcess or WebMercator_PostProcess. Choose Option 1 or Option 2 below, depending on whether the mobile scene package is intended for a global scene in the WGS84 coordinate system or a local scene in the Web Mercator Auxiliary Sphere coordinate system. If this project is for ArcGIS Runtime SDK, follow option 2 since ArcGIS Runtime SDK only supports global scenes. Alternatively, option 1 can be followed as long as the scene is converted to a global scene and a basemap is used. If you have access to a portal, the quickest way to create tile packages is to use Option 3.

    Downtown Philadelphia

Option 1: Create a tile package for a ground elevation source in WebMercatorAuxiliarySphere

ArcGIS Runtime SDK only supports ground elevation sources that reference a tile package. To take the scene offline, use the Manage Tile Cache and Export Tile Cache tools to create the tile package.

  1. Ensure that WebMercatorAuxiliarySphere is the active scene.
  2. On the Analysis tab, click the Tools button.

    The Geoprocessing pane appears.

  3. In the Geoprocessing pane search box, search for Manage Tile Cache and click the tool to open it. Set the following parameters:
    1. Specify a Cache location using the browse button Browse.
    2. Type Elevation Cache Web Mercator for Cache Name.
    3. Select Recreate all tiles for Manage Mode.
    4. Select DEM for Input Data Source.
    5. Select Elevation tiling scheme for Input tiling scheme. If the tile package is for an aerial image, select ArcGIS Online tiling scheme.
    6. Use the default number of scales.

      If you do adjust the scales, ensure that the Minimum Cached Scale and Maximum Cached Scale values are adjusted as well.

    7. Click Run Run.
    The cache is created in the cache location.
  4. In the Geoprocessing pane search box, search for Export Tile Cache and click the tool to open it. Set the following parameters:
    1. If Elevation Cache Web Mercator was not added to the scene in the previous step, add Elevation Cache Web Mercator to the scene from the Cache location.
    2. Select Elevation Cache Web Mercator for Input Tile Cache.
    3. Specify a folder for Output Location using the browse button Browse.
    4. Type GroundElevationWebMercator for Output Tile Cache Name.
    5. Select Tile Package for Export Cache As.
    6. Use the default values for the other parameters.
  5. Click Run Run.

    A tile package is created in the output location.

Option 2: Create a tile package for a ground elevation source in WGS84

This workflow requires that you generate a tiling scheme file, since the Manage Tile Cache tool does not create a cache with LERC compression in any coordinate system other than WGS 1984 Web Mercator Auxiliary Sphere. This workflow is for the WGS84 (WKID 4326) coordinate system but can be used for any projected or geographic coordinate system.

  1. Ensure that WGS84 is the active scene.
  2. In the Geoprocessing pane search box, search for Generate Tile Cache Tiling Scheme and click the tool to open it. Set the following parameters:
    1. Select DEM for Input Data Source.
    2. Type WGS84TilingScheme for Output Tiling Scheme.

      The tiling scheme will be written to the project folder unless specified otherwise.

    3. Ensure New is selected for Generation Method.
    4. Type 17 for Number of Scales.

      You can adjust this value, depending on extent and size, if you're using other data. The value of 17 is used because it matches the number of scales in the Esri Terrain 3D service.

    5. Expand Advanced Options and select LERC compression for Tile Format. If this tile package is for aerial imagery, use Mixed compression (the default).
  3. Click Run Run.
  4. In the Geoprocessing pane search box, search for Manage Tile Cache and click the tool to open it. Set the following parameters:
    1. Specify a Cache location using the browse button Browse.
    2. Type Elevation Cache WGS84 for Cache Name.
    3. Select Recreate all tiles for Manage Mode.
    4. Select DEM for Input Data Source.
    5. Select Import Scheme for Input tiling scheme.
    6. Click the browse button Browse and browse to the tiling scheme created in the previous step.
    7. Click Select All to select all the scales.

      This can be adjusted if you're using your own data. If you do adjust the scales, ensure that the Minimum Cached Scale and Maximum Cached Scale values are adjusted as well.

    8. Use 250000000 for Minimum Cached Scale.
  5. Click Run Run.

    The cache is created in the cache location and added to the scene.

  6. In the Geoprocessing pane search box, search for Export Tile Cache and click the tool to open it. Set the following parameters:
    1. If Elevation Cache WGS84 was not added to the scene in the previous step, add Elevation Cache WGS84 to the scene from the Cache location.
    2. Select Elevation Cache WGS84 for Input Tile Cache.
    3. Select the project folder or any folder for Output Location using the browse dialog box.
    4. Enter GroundElevationWGS84 for Output Tile Cache Name.
    5. Select Tile Package for Export Cache As.
    6. Use the default values for the other parameters.
  7. Click Run Run.

    A tile package is created in the output location.

Option 3: Share a web scene or web layer

Tile packages can be quickly created using the Share a web scene or Share a web elevation layer workflows. Once these workflows have been completed, you can add the tile package from a portal to your scene.

  1. In the Catalog pane, click the Portal tab.
  2. Click My Content My Content.
  3. Search for the recently created tile package Tile Package.
  4. Right-click the tile package and click Add to current map.
  5. In the Contents pane, drag the tile package into the Ground surface.

The elevation tile package is set as the elevation source in the Ground surface.

Prepare a scene to use in the Create Mobile Scene Package tool

Now that the data has been prepared, you'll ensure that the scene is ready for input to the Create Mobile Scene Package tool.

  1. Remove the DEM raster and any other rasters from the Contents pane that were created in the previous steps.
  2. If not already done, add the tile package to the Ground elevation surface.
    1. On the Map tab, in the Layer group, click Add Data Add Data > Add Elevation Source Add Elevation Source.
    2. Browse to the recently created tile package and select it to add it as the elevation source.

      The tile package is added as the ground elevation source.

      Note:

      You may need to refresh the workspace to see tile package.

  3. Prepare feature layers by reviewing requirements in Operational layers.
  4. For additional ArcGIS Runtime SDK considerations see Author a mobile scene package for ArcGIS Runtime SDK.

Create a mobile scene package

Once the scene has been prepared, you're ready to use the Create Mobile Scene Package tool.

  1. In the Geoprocessing pane search box, search for Create Mobile Scene Package and click the tool to open it. Set the following parameters:
    1. Click the Input Scene drop-down menu and select WGS84 or WebMercatorAuxiliarySphere.
    2. Specify a location and file name for Output File using the browse button Browse.
    3. Use the default values for Input Locator, Area of Interest, Extent, and Clip Features.
    4. Specify Downtown Philadelphia for Title.
    5. Specify Downtown Philadelphia Offline Scene for Summary and Description.
    6. Specify philly, mspk, and offline for Tags.
    7. Use the default values for the other parameters.
  2. Click Run Run.

    A mobile scene package is created that can be shared across the ArcGIS platform. The mobile scene package can be shared to ArcGIS Online or Portal for ArcGIS 10.7 or later for use in an ArcGIS Runtime SDK app.