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Add layers

After opening a new global or local scene, start adding your 2D and 3D layers from your local area or find layers available to add to your scene from the Esri community located in Esri Featured Content, My Content, Content, or add by entering a URL.


See Adding layers: global vs. local for layer requirements.

To add layers to your scene, you will open the Scene designer to apply design and authoring changes to your scene—such as adding layers, capturing slides, or changing symbols—that you can save and share with others.

  1. Verify you are signed in to your account and open the scene viewer.
  2. Click the Modify scene button Modify scene at the upper left of your screen to open the Scene designer.

What layers does the scene viewer support?

The scene viewer supports the following layers:


  • *Scene viewer supports only cached imagery layers.
  • **The scene viewer doesn't support WMTS custom parameters.
  • ***This layer needs to be published from ArcGIS Server 10.3 and later or ArcGIS Server 10.2.2 with the applied fix.

Add layers shared with you

Add layers from My Content, your organization, or the public.

  1. Click + Add Layers.
  2. Add layers from the following:

    To narrow the results in Add Layers, type the name of the layer you want to add to your scene in the Search window. Results for your search appear under Esri featured content Esri featured content, My ContentMy content, and ContentContent.

  3. Click the Add button Add next to the layer you want to add to your scene. The new layer appears in the scene. Also, you can see the layer added in Layers and in the Layers/Legend tool.
  4. Alternatively, click the Remove button Remove to delete the layer from your scene.
  5. Add additional layers to your scene or click Done.

Add Esri featured content

You can add Esri featured content to your scene, which are web scenes curated by Esri from across the ArcGIS community that are part of Living Atlas of the World. With Esri featured content, you can import multiple scenes into your scene, make changes in the scene viewer, save in My Content, and share with others.

  1. Click + Add Layers.
  2. Click the Import button Import to add the Esri featured content of the location you want.
  3. Click the Remove button Remove to delete the layer from your scene.
  4. You can add additional Esri featured content layers or click Done.

Add layers with a URL

You can also add a layer to your scene by entering the URL of the layer.

  1. Click + Add Layers.
  2. Click the Enter Layer URL or the Open button Forward to open the Enter Layer URL pane.
  3. Enter the URL of the layer you want to add and give it a name.
  4. Click Add to add the layer to your scene.

Explore layer options

In the scene viewer, review your layer options by hovering over the layer in Layers and clicking the drop-down menu.

  • Configure Layer opens the Configure Layer pane where you can change layer settings, such as symbology, transparency, and elevation mode.
  • Zoom to shows the layer to its full extent in the scene.
  • Move up moves the layer up one level.
  • Move down moves the layer down one level.
  • Show/Hide in Layers shows or hides the layer only in the Layers/Legend tool.

    When you choose Hide in Layers, the layer is hidden in Layers/Legend tool and is unavailable in Layers.

  • Rename highlights the layer so you can type a new name.
  • Remove deletes the layer.

Arrange layers

You can change the order of the layers by clicking the drop-down menu and click Move up or Move down. You can also click and drag the layer to reorder the layers. This will affect the visualisation in the scene and change the layer order in both Layers and the Layers/Legend tool.

Create group layer

Use group layers in your scene to organize layers that are similar in content or location. Once your layers are grouped, you can change the way they appear in the Layers/Legend tool.

  1. Click Create Group at the bottom of Layers. A new group box appears.
  2. Name the new group.
  3. Drag layers into the new group box. The added layers appear as sublayers of the group in Layers.
  4. Arrange the layers in the new group.
  5. Choose from the following Group Types to set how the new group layer behaves:
    • Checkbox Checkbox allows individual layers to be turned on and off.
    • Radio Radio converts group layers into radio buttons and allows only one to be turned on at a time in case there are overlapping layers.
    • Merge Merge combines all group layers into one.
    • Hide Hide hides the group and its layers only in Layers/Legend. To unhide, click one of the other options.
  6. Click the drop-down menu to review the group layer options:
    • Change Group Type gives you the option to change your Group Type.
    • Zoom to Layer zooms to the combined extent of all the layers in the group.
    • Move up moves the group layer up one level.
    • Move down moves the group layer down one level.
    • Show/Hide in Layers shows or hides the group layer in the Layers/Legend tool.
    • Rename highlights the group layer so you can type a new name.
    • Remove deletes the group layer.


The elevation contributing to the scene is contained in the Ground section of the Scene designer. When you open a new scene, the default elevation configured by your organization displays in your scene. If you add additional elevation layers to your scene, they will automatically be added to Ground. Ground elevation layers behave similarly to any other layer with layer options, such as add and remove layer or Show/Hide in Layers. The elevation must have the same spatial reference as the basemap.


If your scene doesn't have elevation in Ground, click + Add default elevation or add an elevation layer.