Work with 3D tiles layers

What is a 3D tiles layer

A 3D tiles layer references a tileset that defines integrated mesh or 3D object type data in a hierarchical data structure. 3D tiles are an OGC standard such as Indexed Scene Layer (I3s) specification scene layers, allowing you to visualize large amounts of 3D content. 3D tiles are based on the 3D tiles specification. You can choose a tileset in a supported file format such as JSON or 3TZ on the Add Data Add Data dialog box.

You can work with 3D tile services hosted in ArcGIS Online or in a third-party web server. Services hosted outside of ArcGIS must not require authentication or use token-based authentication. You can add 3D tile services using the Add Data From Path Data From Path dialog box.

3DTiles supported features

The 3D tiles specification contains various features and extensions that may or may not be supported. Support for 3DTiles version 1.1 is partial and limited to version 1.0 extensions. Some aspects of the specification may not be supported and are listed as partially supported. Currently unsupported extensions may become available in future releases.

3DTiles feature or extensionSupported

Core 1.0 .b3dm


Core 1.0 .i3dm


Core 1.0 .pnt














KHR_draco_mesh_compression (glTF specification)


EXT_mesh_features (glTF specification)


EXT_feature_metadata (glTF specification)


3D tiles layer in a scene

In ArcGIS, geospatial information is organized in layers with specific capabilities. 3D tiles layers are drawn in local and global scenes in the 3D Layers category. 3D tile datasets can contain many types of data. ArcGIS Pro requires the layer type to be defined to draw. For example, continuous meshes with textures are represented as an integrated mesh layer type while 3D objects draw as individual features such as buildings.

A 3D tiles layer added as an integrated mesh supersedes the Ground and basemap of the scene. Any layers that have an elevation property set to on the ground draw on the ground as well as the integrated mesh. A layer that has an offset applied or is set to relative height to ground draws on the ground only. You can exclude layers from draping on the integrated mesh using the Exclude From Integrated Mesh drop-down menu Exclude From Integrated Mesh on the Elevation Surface Layer tab that is available on the ribbon when you highlight the Ground elevation surface layer in the Contents pane.

Use the Explore tool to access attribute information from a 3D tiles layer added as a 3D object. The default pop-up window displays a formatted list of attributes when a point is selected in a scene view.

You can snap to vertices on a 3D tiles layer when snapping is enabled. For example, you can edit features in another layer based on the vertices that you have snapped to in the 3D tiles layer. For 3D tiles layers that use a default vertical coordinate system of WGS 1984, the features that are being edited should have a vertical coordinate system defined to ensure the correct geographic datum transformation is being applied.

General information and display control for a 3D tiles layer can be found on the layer properties dialog box. To access the properties, right-click the 3D tiles layer in the Contents pane and click Properties Properties.

Coordinate system

ArcGIS Pro supports the default coordinate system for 3D tile layers in accordance to the 3D tiles specification. 3D tile layers have a default horizontal coordinate system of WGS 84 and WGS 1984 for a vertical coordinate system. ArcGIS Pro supports defining vertical coordinate systems that are gravity related or ellipsoidal. Ellipsoidal heights in contrast to gravity-related heights may not reflect movement of gravity such as in the case of water. Water can appear to run uphill when working with ellipsoidal heights. Often, geographic data is in gravity-related heights using a mean sea level of 0. If no vertical coordinate system is defined, z-values are treated as gravity related.

Adding layers to a new local or global scene sets the scene's coordinate system to that of the first layer's coordinate system. Multiple layers may have different vertical coordinate systems and the data may not align correctly unless a transformation is applied. For example, you can add a 3D tiles layer to a scene and the scene's coordinate system will be set to WGS 1984 for both the horizontal and vertical coordinate system. Additional layers that have a gravity-related coordinate system such as EGM96 or EGM2008 are projected and drawn at the correct height.

Layers that do not have a vertical coordinate system are assumed to render in gravity-related heights. Set the scene's vertical coordinate system to EGM96 or EGM2008 for ArcGIS Pro to apply the datum transformation.


Additional transformations may need to be installed from My Esri. See Install supplementary coordinate system files to learn more.

An elevation surface layer may need a vertical coordinate system to apply the correct datum transformation and align the ground with the layers in the scene. When using the Esri-hosted elevation source layer Terrain 3D, the gravity-related heights are based on different elevation coverage and not a uniform vertical coordinate system. When 3D tiles layers and Esri-hosted elevation source layers are present and the scene vertical coordinate system is WGS84, the elevation layers will be drawn with EGM96 Geoid as the vertical coordinate system.


You can find visualization and display controls for a 3D tiles layer on the 3D tiles tab set. To access the 3D Tiles Layer tab, choose a 3D tiles layer in the Contents pane, and click the 3D Tiles Layer tab. Set the minimum and maximum visibility range for the layer. Use swipe Swipe functionality to visualize different objects in the scene. Drag the swipe tool Swipe to reveal layers beneath the chosen 3D tiles layer. By default, lighting is enabled.

Exploratory 3D analysis

You can use a 3D tiles layer in interactive tools such as line of sight Line of Sight Tool, slice Slice, view dome View Dome Tool, or viewshed Viewshed Tool. You can use these tools to provide a better understanding of the geospatial context of your data. For example, use the view dome tool to determine what is visible from a specific point view.

Add a 3D tiles layer from a file

Follow these steps to add a 3D tiles layer from a .json or .3tz file:

  1. On the Map tab, in the Layer group, click Add Data Add Data.
  2. On the Add Data dialog box, browse to the tileset in JSON or 3TZ format 3D Tiles Layer Package and click OK.

    Tilesets in JSON format are recognized only if they have the file name tileset.json.

  3. On the Add Data From Path dialog box, choose the Integrated Mesh or 3D Object layer type depending on the underlying data type.
  4. Click Add.

A 3D tiles layer is added to the scene.

Add a 3D tiles layer from a service

Follow these steps to add a 3D tiles layer from ArcGIS Online or a third-party web-server:

  1. On the Map tab, in the Layer group, in the Add Data menu Add Data, click Data From Path Data From Path.
  2. Type the path or URL to the dataset.
  3. Choose the layer type as Integrated Mesh or 3D Object.

    You can specify a token if the service requires authentication in the custom request parameters.

  4. Click Add to create a layer in the scene referencing the data.

Troubleshoot 3D tiles layer drawing

The 3D tiles specification is an open specification and not all properties are supported. If a 3D tiles layer does not render, you can view logs to troubleshoot the problem.

Investigate 3D tiles layer drawing issues with Diagnostic Monitor

Follow these steps to troubleshoot a 3D tiles layer that is not drawing properly:

  1. On the Insert tab, click the New Map drop-down menu New Map and click New Local Scene New Local Scene.
  2. Press Ctrl+Alt+M.

    Diagnostic Monitor opens in a separate window.

  3. On the Diagnostic Monitor window, click the Log tab.
  4. Add a 3D tiles layer to your scene.

    Drawing issues may be reported at initial load time or when zooming in and out of the scene. If the layer is already present in the scene, you can click refresh Refresh to see all warnings or errors.

  5. On the Diagnostic Monitor window in the filter text box, type 3DTiles.

    Any 3D tiles drawing issues are listed in the logs.

  6. Click the listed log to see the event log details with a more specific message.