Basemap and elevation layers in mobile scenes

The elevation and basemap layers in a scene provide context for operational layers. A basemap layer can provide reference for surrounding areas, and without an elevation layer, all 3D layers appear on a flat surface at zero elevation.

Basemap layers

ArcGIS Maps SDKs apps only support global scenes in WGS 1984 or the Web Mercator Auxiliary Sphere coordinate system. To output a global scene with a Web Mercator Auxiliary Sphere coordinate system, a basemap must be added to the global scene. A raster dataset with a Web Mercator Auxiliary Sphere coordinate system must be added to the basemap for the Create Mobile Scene Package tool to write out the correct coordinate system. For more information about creating a basemap, see Author a custom basemap.

For a list of supported rasters in ArcGIS Maps SDKs see Supported raster formats.

When creating tile packages, a tiling scheme defines the coordinate system of the package, the levels of detail, and the tile origin for the cache. All elevation tile packages in the ground surface and existing cached layers (such as a tile package or scene layer package) must use the same tiling scheme. The tiling scheme must use the coordinate system of the scene.

The following table lists the supported tiling schemes when creating tile packages for use in a global scene and support for that tiling scheme in ArcGIS Maps SDKs:

Tiling scheme

ArcGIS Online/Bing Maps/Google Maps


WGS84 Geographic Coordinate System, Version 2


CGCS2000 Geographic Coordinate System

Not supported

Elevation sources

Mobile scenes only allow ground as an elevation surface. Custom surfaces are not supported in ArcGIS Maps SDKs or Scene Viewer. The elevation source or sources defining the ground surface must be a supported source. For more information on working with elevation surfaces, see Elevation surfaces. For detailed steps on creating tile packages with LERC, see Create an offline scene.

Elevation sourceSupported in mobile scene package

Raster dataset


Tile package


Web elevation layer


Cached elevation image service


Triangulated Irregular Network (TIN) dataset


Bathymetric Attributed Grid (BAG)