Use Bing Maps

The Bing Maps (formerly Microsoft Virtual Earth) web services can be used in all ArcGIS products. As with other web services you can use in ArcGIS Pro, there is no data to store or manage locally. Instead, your map or scene accesses the Bing Maps server directly.

The Bing Maps services include the following:

  • Bing Maps Aerial
  • Bing Maps Hybrid
  • Bing Maps Road

You need to obtain a license key directly from Microsoft to use any of the basemaps in the Bing Maps collection. If an administrator registers a Bing Maps key with an ArcGIS Online organizational account, any user in the organization can access Bing Maps when signed in.

As a replacement, consider using the ArcGIS World Imagery basemap. It provides one meter or better satellite and aerial imagery in many parts of the world and lower resolution satellite imagery worldwide.

Add Bing Maps

With the license key registered, you can add the Bing Maps services as a basemap to your ArcGIS Pro map. On the Map tab, in the Layer group, click the Basemap gallery. Choose the Bing Map you want to add as a basemap.

Each of the Bing Maps services uses a projected coordinate system called Mercator Auxiliary Sphere, which uses GCS_WGS_1984 as its geographic coordinate system. The Bing Maps web service projects on the fly and can be transformed to match your data precisely in the same way as any other data source.

Bing Maps source information is available to you so that you can display it in your printed or exported map. When you work with Bing Maps in the map view, you'll see an icon located in the lower right corner of the data frame.

View data source attribution information for service layers in the map

Clicking this icon opens a separate window that lists source information for all service layers, including Bing Maps, currently turned on in your map view.

Once you export the map view or switch to the layout view, the icon is replaced with the realized text of the service layer attributions. You cannot move or change this text.

If you open a map or layer file containing Bing Maps when you are not connected to the Internet, or if Bing Maps is not accessible for any reason, you'll get a message that the service cannot be accessed. If the login dialog box appears at this point, click Cancel. The map or layer file will open, but the Bing Maps layers will be broken (shown in the Contents pane with a red exclamation point), indicating that the server can't be accessed. You can't repair a Bing Maps layer by clicking the red exclamation point. You can still work with the map or scene in the normal way, but to get the broken layers to display, you'll have to close the map or scene, reconnect your machine to the Internet, and reopen the map or scene. When you reopen the map or scene, you'll be prompted to sign in again.

Navigate a map with a Bing Maps layer

Using the Bing Maps services in ArcGIS Pro is very similar to using an ArcGIS web tile layer. When consuming a web tile layer in a map or scene, you are retrieving image tiles from the server. These layers provide tiles at a fixed set of scales. Because these tiles have already been created and stored (cached) on the server, the drawing performance of these web layers is very good. When you use the Bing Maps website, the zoom control allows you to view the map at one of these fixed scales. When you use Bing Maps in an application such as ArcGIS Pro, you are not restricted to working at these fixed scales: you can view the service on your map at any scale, and ArcGIS Pro automatically resamples the tiles and assembles them for display in the scale at which you have chosen to work. The resampling algorithm ArcGIS Pro uses will give you good-looking results.

Manage the Bing Maps layer cache

On the Layer Properties dialog box, on the Cache tab, you'll notice that the Keep the cache between sessions option is unavailable. This option is available when you work with most cached web layers, such as ArcGIS Online web layers, but it is disabled for Bing Maps. When you open a map that contains Bing Maps, you'll see the most up-to-date content from Microsoft, such as recent additions to the Aerial layer or updates to the Road layer, because the image tiles are retrieved from the server instead of being read from a local cache of tiles stored on your machine.