Understanding services, layers, and maps

Layers, maps, and scenes shared from ArcGIS Pro are stored as items in your active portal. These items can be consumed across the ArcGIS platform, including ArcGIS Pro, Map Viewer, and Scene Viewer.

Web layers

When shared from ArcGIS Pro, web layers are portal items that expose a service or service layer available privately, to your organization, or to the public. Depending on the type of service being exposed, a different layer type is created.

Web layers and their corresponding services

Web layerWeb service

Feature layer

Feature service

Tile layer

Cached map service, hosted

Vector tile layer

Vector tile service

Map image layer

Dynamic or cached map service

Scene layer

Cached scene service

3D tiles layer

3D tiles service

Imagery layer

Dynamic or cached image service

Elevation layer

Cached image service that uses a LERC compression tiling scheme

Stand-alone table

Feature service

Web layers can store configured settings such as symbology, pop-up information, and permissions for who can access the layer. Because these settings are stored with the layer instead of the service, you can have multiple layer items referencing the same service with different configurations. See the Configured settings section for more information on where these settings are stored.

Learn more about sharing web layers

Web maps and scenes

Web maps and web scenes are composed of web layers. Web maps are used to visualize 2D data, while web scenes are used with 3D data. When existing web layers are shared as part of a new map or scene, any changes in the configuration of the layer are stored with the new web map—the original web layer is not modified.

Learn more about sharing web maps

Learn more about sharing web scenes

Configured settings

When sharing from ArcGIS Pro, layer configurations (such as labels, symbology, and pop-ups) are stored at the lowest possible level. From lowest to highest, configurations can be stored at the service, web layer, and then web map or web scene level. Basic settings, such as visibility range, that are supported by the service will be stored there. If the setting is not supported by the service, it will be saved with the layer, and if the setting is not supported by the layer, it will be saved with the map or scene.

For example, when sharing a point layer with labels as a web feature layer, the labeling settings will be saved to the web layer because labels are not supported by the service. In this case, the labels are maintained when interacting with the feature layer but not the service.