Publish hosted imagery layers

Hosted imagery layers can be used to manage, share, and analyze raster and imagery data in your organization. You can perform analysis using tools and raster functions with hosted imagery layers in Map Viewer or Map Viewer Classic. You can also manage large collections of imagery, and include imagery layers in hosted apps and maps. Hosting an imagery layer on ArcGIS Online is one way to share data with an internet audience if your own ArcGIS Server site cannot be made public. Maps, apps, and desktop map viewers in your organization can access your services from anywhere on the internet if you choose to allow it.

Publish a hosted tiled or dynamic imagery layer in ArcGIS Online by using the Create Hosted Imagery Layer wizard in ArcGIS Pro, which guides you through creating an imagery layer. You can publish one or multiple imagery layers for supported data types.

To create hosted imagery layers, you must have privileges to publish hosted imagery layers and create content.

If your organization has deployed a stand-alone ArcGIS Image Server site, you can share an image as an image service. When you publish an image service, the server makes your image available through a service URL or REST endpoint. Client applications can use the URL to access the service and other capabilities that you enable during the publishing process. Image services can also be added directly to ArcGIS Pro through an ArcGIS Server connection.

To publish an image service, your project must contain a publisher or administrator connection to a stand-alone ArcGIS Server 10.6 or later site. For more information, see Connect to a GIS server.

This workflow is only available when publishing to stand-alone ArcGIS Server sites. To share web services to ArcGIS Online, an ArcGIS Enterprise portal, or a server federated with ArcGIS Enterprise, use Share a web layer. Web layers expose the rich capabilities of the Web GIS platform. For more information on additional functionality available when sharing to Web GIS, see Share with ArcGIS Pro.

Create hosted imagery layers

To create web maps with raster and imagery data, and to share this data with internal and external users, publish your data as hosted imagery layers.

You can publish data as tiled or dynamic imagery layers, with one or multiple imagery layers, or you can mosaic several images as one imagery layer. You can publish multiple images as an image collection, which allows you to query the resulting hosted imagery layer for the properties of individual images. You can also publish mosaic datasets as tiled or dynamic imagery layers.

Both tiled and dynamic imagery layers support access to imagery pixel data and metadata such as raster attribute tables, statistics, and histograms. With tiled imagery layers, groups of pixels are processed as static tiles, and processing occurs on the client machine. With dynamic imagery layers, you can use raster function templates as a custom renderer to perform analysis on the fly. All processing is done on the server side.

Follow the steps below to create a hosted imagery layer.


On the Imagery ribbon, if you do not see the Create Hosted Imagery button Create Hosted Imagery, you may not be assigned the ArcGIS Image for ArcGIS Online license, or your organization may not have published at least one hosted feature layer. One hosted feature layer must be published before publishing imagery layers.

  1. Verify that you are signed in with an account that has privileges to create content and publish hosted imagery layers, and click the Create Hosted Imagery button Create Hosted Imagery.
  2. Choose the imagery layer type you want to create:
    • Tiled Imagery Layer—Create a hosted tiled imagery layer. Analysis and rendering are done on the client machine, and imagery is processed as static tiles for faster rendering.
    • Dynamic Imagery Layer—Create a hosted dynamic imagery layer. Analysis and rendering are done by the server machine, and image collections are supported.

      You cannot share dynamic imagery layer items with the public. Even if you have privileges to share data publicly, the option to share dynamic imagery layers with Everyone (public) is not available.

      The request size limit for the ArcGIS Online dynamic image service is set to 4,000 x 4,000 pixels, or smaller. You can adjust the size of columns and rows per request, but the requested size will revert to 4,000 pixels if you specified larger than 4,000 columns or rows.

  3. Choose whether you want to share a single image or a collection of images. The following options are available:
    • Single image—Create one hosted imagery layer from a single image. This option supports all supported raster and image formats, multidimensional raster data, and configuration with various source types and compression settings. The only raster type that is supported is the Raster Dataset data type. Use this option for simple imagery layers where advanced metadata is not needed.
    • Collection of images—Create one imagery layer from the collection of images. In this option, you can choose how to process the collection of images. The following options are available:
      • Mosaic into one image—Create one hosted imagery layer by mosaicking multiple images into one image. This option supports generating a single imagery layer that is a mosaic of multiple images over space, multidimensional raster data, and many raster types that allow you to control how your satellite or aerial products are processed. Use this option for imagery layers where advanced metadata is required, such as for multiband preprocessed satellite scenes.
      • Keep as an image collection—Create one hosted imagery layer that manages a collection of many images. This option supports querying single images within the imagery layer that is made up of a collection of images. This option also supports storing the imagery in the original source format.

        The performance of a dynamic Imagery Collection layer is dependent on the format and structure of the imagery upload. For example, dynamic imagery collections published in CRF format will be very responsive, while dynamic imagery collections published in JP2 or RAW format will have diminished responsiveness. It is recommended that you optimize your image collection by converting to CRF, MRF, or TIF format with pyramids before publishing.

      • Create one layer per image—Create one hosted imagery layer for each input image. This option generates multiple imagery layers. Use this option instead of choosing the One Image option multiple times. The only raster type that is supported is the Raster Dataset data type.
    • Mosaic Dataset—Create one hosted imagery layer from an existing mosaic dataset. This option allows uploading of an existing mosaic dataset with all images, configurations, enhancements, optimizations, and templates, to create an imagery layer.
  4. When you have selected the layer configuration you want from step 3 above, click Next.
  5. Select the raster type of your input imagery from the drop-down menu. The raster type metadata is used to display, correct, and process the imagery in a consistent way.
  6. Each raster type contains unique metadata specific to the sensor and image parameters. If you are creating an imagery layer by clicking Single image > Collection of images, create one layer per image, and the only raster type that is supported is the Raster Dataset data type. If you are creating an imagery layer by clicking Mosaic Dataset, you won't see the raster type option because the uploaded mosaic dataset raster type and properties are used.
  7. Click the Properties button to specify the properties for the selected raster type.

    The raster type properties help you create an informative imagery layer based on your requirements. The properties available depend on the layer configuration and raster type selections you made. The properties are divided into the General, Processing, Spatial Reference, Auxiliary Information, and Metadata tabs.

  8. On the General tab, configure the options for your imagery layer. If you don't see one or more of the options below, it is because the layer configuration type or raster type you chose does not support the option.

    Product Type

    Specify the type of product included in your satellite imagery. Product types are typically identified by various processing levels associated with the specific sensor.

    This option is available when the layer configuration is set to Mosaic into one image or Keep as an image collection and the raster type is set to a satellite product.

    Source Type

    Choose a source type to match the intended use of the imagery. Your choice will determine the default stretch or rendering options.

    • Generic—The raster or imagery does not have a specific use case. This is the default.
    • Elevation—The raster contains elevation data such as digital elevation model (DEM), digital terrain model (DTM), or lidar data.

    Resampling Type

    Select the resampling method to be used to display the imagery layer:

    • Nearest Neighbor—Nearest neighbor resampling is recommended for discrete data, such as land cover.
    • Bilinear—Bilinear interpolation is recommended for continuous data, such as elevation.
    • Cubic—Cubic convolution resampling is recommended for continuous data.
    • Majority—Majority resampling is recommended for discrete data.


    Select the compression method to use when converting the source imagery to Cloud Raster Format:

    • LERC—Lossless or lossy compression that divides the raster into a number of pixel blocks. If you choose LERC compression, you can also specify the Maximum LERC compression error value.
    • JPEG—Lossy compression that uses the public JPEG compression algorithm. If you choose JPEG compression, you can also specify the Compression quality value.

      All image and raster files are converted to Cloud Raster Format when publishing hosted imagery layers.

  9. On the Processing tab, configure the options for your imagery layer. If you don't see one or more of the options below, it is because the layer configuration type or raster type you chose does not support the option.

    Processing Templates

    Select the processing template to use in the imagery layer. The processing template performs common imagery processing tasks, such as extracting specific bands, pansharpening, orthorectification, stretching, and other tasks that are specific to the input data.

    The processing templates available depend on the raster type you selected. This option is only applicable to satellite or aerial data products that come with prepackaged processing templates. For example, Landsat Level-2 products include a Surface Reflectance processing template and a Quality Assurance processing template.

    For scientific raster types (GRIB, HDF, NetCDF), vector field processing templates allow you to select the variables to specify the magnitude-direction or vector U-V components.

    Apply default stretch to each raster item

    Choose whether to apply default percent clip stretching to each raster item in the imagery layer.

    Build footprints using radiometry (remove low-quality edge pixels)

    Choose whether to build footprints for the imagery layer such that only pixels within a given range of values are included. This will eliminate null data value pixels along the border, which results in seamless mosaics. Removal of the null data border pixels generates more appropriate statistics for each image item, resulting in better image enhancements and analytical processing. If you choose to build footprints, you can provide additional footprint settings.

    Define a pixel value that represents NoData

    Choose whether to define a NoData value for the pixels in the imagery layer. Pixels with the NoData value will display as transparent in the map.


    Choose how you want to orthorectify the images.


    Select the pansharpen type you prefer, as well as the sharpen image and band weights. This option is available when the input raster type includes coincident panchromatic and multispectral imagery data.


    Specify the footprints options to use. These options are available if you chose to build footprints using radiometry.

    If you select Image Collection as the layer configuration, you can also choose to build overviews to improve display performance. Building overviews is recommended to increase display speed and reduce CPU usage when serving imagery layers as a service.

  10. On the Spatial Reference tab, select the output spatial reference for your imagery layer or layers. The default coordinate system is WGS84 Web Mercator (auxiliary sphere).
  11. On the Metadata tab, configure the options for your imagery layer. Options include the image's acquisition date, the measure type and unit of pixel values, and the order and wavelength of bands for multiband imagery.

    For satellite products, the Band mapping table contains read-only band mapping indexes for reference.

  12. If you chose Thematic for Source Type for the imagery, on the Auxiliary Information tab, you can provide a corresponding raster attribute table (DBF version 5) or color map file (.clr).

    A color map is a text file with the .clr extension, in which each row has four space-delimited integer values to map a pixel value to a color. The row order follows the pixel value order, and the column order is red, green, and blue. Red, green, and blue values all range from 0 to 255. The following are some examples:

    0 255 10 150
    1 253 0 2
    31 0 220 253

  13. When you have finished configuring your imagery properties, click OK.
  14. In the Source Data section, you can use the Add button to browse to the input data.

    A table displaying the selected files with name, size, and Files appears. You can select an item in the table and click Remove to remove it from the table or click Remove All to clear all your selection from this table.

  15. Click Next.
  16. Provide the item details for your imagery layer or layers.
    1. Type a title. If you are creating multiple imagery layers, you can provide a prefix and suffix to add to the base title.
    2. Type a description, if desired.
    3. Optionally, type tag terms separated by commas.
    4. Specify the folder where you want to store the imagery layer or layers.
  17. In the Summary page, all the selected options are listed for review.
  18. Click Run.

    Hover over the output layers section to see additional job details. The details about each step appear in the messages so you can monitor the process as the imagery layer is created. The additional job details remain in the Create Hosted Imagery Layer dialog box until it is closed.

The files are uploaded to ArcGIS Online.

The progress of the layer creation is shown, including uploading files and creating the imagery layer item.

Once the imagery layer creation is completed, you can click the link in the Output layers section to access the service REST endpoint. One way to test the new hosted imagery layer once publishing completes is to add and view it in ArcGIS Pro.

Supported data for imagery layers

When configuring your imagery layers, you can specify the raster type that identifies and uses metadata, such as georeferencing, acquisition date, sensor type, and band wavelengths. You can create imagery layers using the raster types listed in the table below. The Raster Dataset raster type refers to any raster format supported by ArcGIS Pro and does not include any metadata.

  • DubaiSat-2
  • GeoEye-1
  • GF-1 PMS
  • GF-1 WFV
  • GF-2 PMS
  • GRIB
  • HDF
  • Jilin-1
  • Landsat 1-5 MSS
  • Landsat 4-5 TM
  • Landsat 7 ETM+
  • Landsat 8
  • Landsat 9
  • NetCDF
  • Pleiades-1
  • Pleiades NEO
  • QuickBird
  • RapidEye
  • Raster Dataset
  • Sentinel-2
  • Superview-1
  • SkySat
  • SPOT 5
  • SPOT 6
  • SPOT 7
  • WorldView-1
  • WorldView-2
  • WorldView-3
  • WorldView-4


Starting at the ArcGIS Pro 3.0 release, the Jilin-1, Landsat 9, Pleiades Neo, and SuperView-1 raster types are available. To use these, you must first create a mosaic dataset with these raster types and then publish to ArcGIS Online. Publishing hosted imagery layers requires the ArcGIS Image for ArcGIS Online extension.