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Publish hosted vector tile layers

Vector tile layers reference a set of cached vectors and the information for rendering the vectors. Data in vector tile layers is stored in individual layers containing geometry, attributes, and styles. Styling information is stored separately from the tile geometry and attributes, and more than one style can be defined. This means that one set of vector tiles may be styled numerous ways without having to generate a new cache for each style. This saves space and speeds up the process for creating new map styles. Accessing vectors as precreated tiles also improves performance.

You can publish a vector tile layer to ArcGIS Online using one of the methods described in the following sections. Use the resultant hosted vector tile layer for basemaps.

Build and publish a vector tile package

You can use ArcGIS Pro 1.2 or later to build vector tiles for a map and store them in an easily transferrable vector tile package (.vtpk) file. You can share a vector tile package from ArcGIS Pro to your organization and publish the uploaded vector tile package as a tile layer.

  1. Open the ArcGIS Pro project that contains the map vector data you want to package into tiles and publish.
  2. Sign in to your ArcGIS Online organization from ArcGIS Pro using an account that has privileges to create content.
  3. Use the Create Vector Tile Package geoprocessing tool to create a vector tile package.
  4. You have two options for adding the vector tile package to your organization and publishing a tile layer.
  5. If your vector tile package is over 2 GB, follow these steps to add and publish the package:
    1. Run the Share Package geoprocessing tool to add the vector tile package to your organization.
    2. Sign in to ArcGIS Online using your organizational account and open Content > My Content. You must have privileges to publish hosted tile layers.
    3. Click your tile package to display its item details page and click Publish.
    4. Type a title and tags and click Publish.
  6. If your vector tile package is smaller than 2 GB, you can use the previous method to add to your organization and publish a tile layer, or you can sign in to the organization and add the vector tile package.
    1. Sign in to ArcGIS Online using your organizational account and open Content > My Content. You must have privileges to create content and publish hosted tile layers.
    2. Click Add Item > From my computer.
    3. Browse to the location of the vector tile package file (.vtpk).
    4. Leave Publish this file as a hosted layer checked.
    5. Type a title and tags and click Add Item.

The vector tiles are unpacked, and a hosted tile layer is created. You can see the tile layer in My Content and add it to Map Viewer or Scene Viewer.


Vector tile layers can be displayed if you use Internet Explorer 11 and most other current versions of desktop browsers, including Chrome and Firefox.

Also note that vector tile layers perform best on machines with newer hardware.

Define a map in ArcGIS Pro and publish as a vector tile layer

Starting with ArcGIS Pro 1.4, you can publish a vector tile layer from a map to be hosted on ArcGIS Online. An Internet connection is required to perform these steps.

The speed and bandwidth of your connection affects publishing speed.

Also note that web browsers cannot display some of the more complex cartographic symbols you might have originally used when you authored the map. Most symbol types are available, but in some cases, the symbols may be downgraded when you publish them. See Author feature services in the ArcGIS Server help for more details about what symbols are supported, and make any required changes to your map symbology prior to publishing.

  1. Start ArcGIS Pro and open the project that contains the map you want to publish.
  2. Sign in to your organization from ArcGIS Pro using an account that has privileges to create content and publish hosted tile layers.
  3. Click Web Layer in the Share As group on the Share tab.
  4. Type a name for the vector tile layer. The layer is saved to My Content by default. You can save to a folder within My Content by either typing the folder name or browsing to an existing folder.
  5. Choose Vector Tiles for the Layer Type.
  6. Provide a summary and tags for the vector tile layer.
  7. Specify who can access the layer. All layers you publish are automatically shared to your personal workspace in your organization (My Content) and only you and the administrator can access it. Your content is inaccessible to others until you share it with one or more of the following:
    • Your organization—You will see the name of your organization if you are signed in with an organizational account. Choosing this option allows the layer to be shared with all authenticated users in the organization.
    • Everyone—Choosing this option makes the layer available to the public.
    • Groups—You can share the layer with members of groups to which you belong.
  8. Click the Configuration tab to specify cache settings.
  9. Choose a Tiling Scheme.
  10. Resize and drag the Levels of Detail bar to indicate minimum and maximum scale for your tile layer.

    The estimated size of the resultant cache changes as you change the minimum and maximum scale.

  11. Specify a location on the local ArcGIS Pro to temporarily store the vector tile cache.

    ArcGIS Pro generates the cache locally and temporarily stores it in a vector tile package. ArcGIS Pro automatically uploads the vector tile package to ArcGIS Online and publishes the precreated tiles there.

  12. Choose a Tiling Format.
    • An Indexed tiling format creates tiles based on an index of feature density. This optimizes tile generation and file sizes.
    • A Flat tiling format creates tiles for each level of detail without regard to feature density. This produces a larger cache than on created with an indexed tiling format, but you could use a flat file format if all features in your map are fairly evenly distributed.
  13. If you chose an indexed tiling format, you can optionally specify an index polygon that you precreated using the Create Vector Tile Index geoprocessing tool.

    If you do not specify an index polygon, ArcGIS Pro generates index polygons during tile creation; however, the index polygons are not saved.

  14. Click the Content tab to confirm the tile layer includes the data layers you intended.
  15. Click Analyze to check for any errors or issues.

    If any issues are discovered, they are listed on the Messages tab. Right-click each message to get more information, read help for the error or warning, and access suggested fixes. You must fix the errors before you can publish. Optionally, you can fix the warnings to further improve the performance and appearance of your hosted tile layer.

  16. Once you've fixed the errors and optionally any warnings, click Publish.

    Your data is copied to the server at this point. The size of the data and your Internet connection speed and bandwidth impact the time it takes to publish.

When publishing completes, you can click Manage the web layer to open ArcGIS Online.