Tile layers published to and hosted on ArcGIS Online support fast visualization of large datasets using a collection of predrawn map images or tiles. Tile layers are ideal when you need to view many features at once. For example, you might have parcel data for your county that you want to view for the entire county at once.
To take advantage of the rapid drawing performance of hosted tile layers, you can publish them from the hosted feature layers or hosted feature layer views you own. Tiles published from hosted features reflect the changes you make to the feature data, and these tile layers automatically have pop-ups enabled.
Advantages of publishing tiles from hosted feature layers
You can take advantage of the following when publishing tiles from hosted feature layers:
- The hosted tile layer can be kept up to date with edits made in the source hosted feature layer.
- Tiles are built as needed by default. Tiles are created on demand when someone views the tile layer and are only created for the extent and scale being viewed. Once created, cached tiles are available for all subsequent views.
- For larger data sets, creating tiles of your hosted feature layer data improves display performance.
Tile layers are ideal for a variety of use cases. For example, you may have parcel data of your city’s tax lots. Parcel data is typically comprised of many polygon features with many vertices. Publishing your parcel feature layer as tiles provides fast visualization, while still providing pop-ups to query attributes. If the feature data changes—for instance, you adjust parcel boundaries in the hosted feature layer—the hosted tile layer automatically reflects the changes. If the attribute used to symbolize the data is updated, the tile layer automatically reflects the updated symbology.
Configure your feature layer prior to publishing tiles
Before publishing tiles from a feature layer, configure the feature layer as you intend the tile layer to be displayed. Once you publish the tile layer, you cannot reconfigure it. Additionally, updating the feature layer after the tile layer has been published does not update the tile layer.
Most notably, you should configure style and scale range on the feature layer before publishing. Additional optional configurations include configuring pop-ups, creating a view definition, and removing labels before publishing.
Follow these steps to configure your hosted feature layer or feature layer view prior to publishing a hosted tile layer:
- Sign in to your organization and click Content > My Content.
- Set the scale range for the hosted feature layer or view that you want to see in the hosted tile layer.
The scale range of the hosted feature layer or view determines the maximum possible scale range for the hosted tile layer. Although you can adjust the scale range on the tile layer to be less inclusive, you cannot adjust the tile layer to be more inclusive than the scale range configured on the feature layer when you publish the tile layer. Therefore, you should set the scale range for the hosted feature layer or view that you want to see in the hosted tile layer. Once published, scale ranges for the hosted tile layer do not change when you change the scale range of the primary feature layer.
- Configure styling for the hosted feature layer or view. Be sure the style you use meets these styling restrictions.
Hosted tile layers use the style of the feature layer as configured when you publish the tile layer.
- If possible, disable labels on the hosted feature layer or view, as automatic tiles are not available if the source feature layer is configured with labels.
If you cannot disable labels, you must use the manual option.
- If you want the hosted tile layer to inherit the pop-up configuration of the hosted feature layer when you publish, configure pop-ups on the hosted feature layer before publishing the hosted tile layer.
Note that you can configure pop-ups on the tile layer after publishing. Also note that related records are currently not supported in tile layer pop-ups.
- To filter features used by tile layers, configure a view definition on the hosted feature layer rather than a filter. Hosted tile layers honor the view definition configured on the hosted feature layer from which you publish.
Once the tile layer is published, you cannot modify or remove the view definition, and you cannot create a new view definition on the hosted feature layer.
Considerations when publishing tiles from hosted feature layers
The following is additional functionality or restrictions you should consider when publishing hosted tile layers from a hosted feature layer or view:
- Calculate, add, and remove fields options are not available for hosted feature layers that have a related hosted tile layer.
- You cannot overwrite a hosted feature layer that has a related hosted tile layer.
- You cannot publish a hosted tile layer from a multipatch or point cloud hosted feature layer.
- Hosted tile layers do not support feature search.
- Tile generation uses credits, including when tiles are regenerated due to changes in the source hosted feature layer.
- At smaller scales, there are more features per tile in the tile layer. If you see delays in the time it takes to generate tiles automatically, precreate tiles for that scale and other scales where there is a delay.
- Change tracking is required for the edits you make in the source hosted feature layer to appear in the related hosted tile layer. When you publish a hosted tile layer with Create tiles automatically enabled, ArcGIS Online enables change tracking on the source feature layer; you cannot disable it.
- You can enable Create tiles automatically only on hosted tile layers published after June 26, 2017.
- If you published the source hosted feature layer from ArcGIS Pro, certain styles may not appear in the hosted tile layer. The hosted tile layer will revert to default styles for the data type.
Publish tiles from features
Follow these steps to publish a hosted tile layer from a hosted feature layer or feature layer view:
- Sign in to your organization and click Content > My Content.
- To publish a hosted tile layer, do one of the following:
- Open the item page of the hosted feature layer or view and click Publish > Tile Layer.
- From My Content, click Create > Tile Layer, choose a feature layer to publish as tiles, and click Create.
- Type a title, tags, and summary, and choose a folder for the hosted tile layer.
- Choose whether the layer's spatial reference matches ArcGIS Online basemaps (which uses Web Mercator) or Another tile layer of your choosing.
- If you choose ArcGIS Online basemaps, specify the range of scales at which the layer will appear on the map.
- If you choose Your own custom tile layer basemap, provide a URL to any existing ArcGIS Server tile layer.
- Optionally change the extents at which the layer will display by dragging the end points of the Visible Range.
ArcGIS Online presents you with a suggested scale range, but you can modify it. Be aware, though, that including large scales in your scale range can vastly increase the number of credits consumed by tile generation and storage. Don't create tiles beyond the precision of your data.
Also note that increasing the scale range to include additional smaller scales may increase the time it takes to generate a tile at the smaller scale.
- Be sure Create tiles automatically is checked unless you know you need to create tiles manually. (For example, if the hosted feature layer from which you are publishing has labels saved to it.)
You can leave the entire layer to have tiles built as people view the layer at different scales within the visible extent, or you can create tiles for certain tile levels after you publish and leave others to be built the first time they are viewed. Once tiles are built, they are available as part of the tile cache for all subsequent users.
You can pre-create tiles in certain scales and areas that you know people will use. This allows the layer to load faster the first time it is viewed at that scale and extent. See Manage hosted tile layers for more information on tile creation.
Enabling Create tiles automatically also enables change tracking on the source hosted feature layer.
- Click OK.
The hosted tile layer is created and its item page appears.
- If you want to build tiles for certain levels and extents, or if you unchecked Create tiles automatically, build tiles now.