Use web scene layers

Scene layers represent large geospatial data in 3D, making it easier for your audience to understand and experience geographic information in a more realistic way. Scene layers are cached layers that are optimized for displaying large amounts of 3D content. Scene layers can include 3D points, point clouds, 3D objects, buildings, integrated meshes, and voxels. The scene layer complies with the Indexed 3D Scene Layer (I3S) specification. Scene layers can be shared to ArcGIS Online and ArcGIS Enterprise as web scene layers. Scene layers can reference many sources, which are discussed in this topic.

Sources of scene layers
Deployment and data management options for scene layers are shown.

Scene layer package (.slpk)

Scene layer packages are designed to quickly transfer 3D data as a single file. A scene layer package can be viewed in a desktop client such as ArcGIS Pro or ArcGIS Earth or uploaded and published to ArcGIS Online or ArcGIS Enterprise.

You can also publish the .slpk file to ArcGIS Enterprise or ArcGIS Online using the Share Package tool to create a web scene layer. This is the recommended workflow when publishing scene layer packages smaller than 500 GB. For scene layer packages larger than 500 GB, you can share the scene layer package in a web scene that supports multipart upload of large packages to ArcGIS Online.

Indexed 3D Scene Layer REST (.i3sREST)

The .i3sREST format is based on JSON, REST, and modern web standards. The .i3sREST format is optimized for web clients to handle, parse, and render when stored in cloud stores such as Amazon S3, Azure Blob stores, Alibaba OSS, or Google Cloud. The .i3sREST format is served directly from the data store, allowing improved scalability in ArcGIS Enterprise.

The ready-to-serve .i3sREST format is best suited for scene layer content larger than 200 GB. You can create .i3sREST in ArcGIS Pro. After the scene layer content is available in the cloud store, you can publish it as a scene layer by right-clicking the content in the Catalog pane and selecting Share As Web Layer or using Portal for ArcGIS. Publish a scene layer from Portal for ArcGIS with the following steps:

  1. In Portal for ArcGIS, click Content.
  2. Click New item.
  3. Click Scene layer.
  4. Click Select a dataset in data store and click Next.
  5. Choose the desired cloud store and click Next.
  6. Choose the i3sRestCache to publish as a scene layer and click Next.
  7. Specify desired title and tags and click Save.

A scene layer is published from the cloud store

Extracted scene layer package (.eslpk)

The .eslpk format is a non-archived folder directory of a scene layer package suitable for file systems. This I3S format can be served using a tile handler designed for handling file extensions. Extracted scene layer packages are for ArcGIS Enterprise.

You can create an extracted scene layer package by using the Extract Package tool. After the scene layer content is available on file system directories or an on-premises Amazon S3 compatible object store such as MinIO, you can publish it as a scene layer by right-clicking the content in the Catalog pane and selecting Share As Web Layer.


Scene layer content in .eslpk or .i3sREST formats are not supported in ArcGIS Online.

I3S—Indexed 3D Scene service

In addition to .slpk, .i3sREST, and .eslpk, you can create a scene layer directly in ArcGIS Enterprise or ArcGIS Online by sharing individual web scene layers or web scenes from ArcGIS Pro. 3D point, multipatch, or building layers can be shared with an associated feature layer. This allows additional analysis and editing capabilities that are not possible with web scene layers published from scene layer packages.

Tools that create scene layer content

ArcGIS Pro supports creating scene layer content in various formats in the following geoprocessing tools.