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Administrator configuration

As an administrator, you can configure settings in ArcGIS Online and ArcGIS Enterprise, or via the configuration file to make ArcGIS Earth meet your organization's requirements. You can go to the ArcGIS Earth Sample Configuration File page and download the sample file. After installation, you can find the configuration file in the application installation directory, which is typically in the C:\Program Files\ArcGIS\Earth\bin folder.

To configure the application settings with a configuration file, keep the following in mind:

  • You can preset configuration parameters and import the modified config.xml file during installation.
  • The configuration file is an XML file that can be modified as needed. For example, when you edit the file, use & instead of & to specify an escape character. Make sure the configuration file remains encoded as UTF-8 after editing.
  • Configurations preset by the administrator are automatically loaded when a user starts the application for the first time.
  • Users can adopt parameters configured by the administrator in the bin folder by clicking Reset from the application Settings.
  • For per-user installation of ArcGIS Earth, you can also find and edit the configuration file in the application installation directory, for example, C:\Users\username\AppData\Local\Programs\ArcGIS\Earth\bin.

Organizational configurations

Some settings in ArcGIS Earth use the organizational configurations of your ArcGIS Online or ArcGIS Enterprise portal account. These settings include the basemap, elevation service, and geocoding service used by ArcGIS Earth. See Set the basemap gallery and default basemap, Configure default elevation service, and Geocoding for details if you connect to ArcGIS Enterprise. See Administer organization for details if you connect to ArcGIS Online.

Configurable application parameters

Administrators can use the configuration file to change settings without recompiling the application. Users can also set policies that affect how ArcGIS Earth runs on their machine. Administrators can access the config.xml file in the installation directory, and specify values for corresponding attributes to customize a preferred startup setting by changing configurable parameters.

General application parameters



Specifies the directory of the workspace and whether to automatically save the current workspace on exit.


Customize (Custom) the startup view or start where you left off (History).


Sets the spatial reference used by ArcGIS Earth as Web Mercator or WGS84. The default is WebMercator.


Displays HTML links in the pop-up window with an external browser. The default is False.


Displays startup tips when starting the application. The default is True.


Administrators can customize the contents of startup tips by updating the HTML files in the tips folder from the application installation directory.


Sets the display language for ArcGIS Earth user interface text. The default value is System.

If the value is System, ArcGIS Earth will match Windows display language setting.


Sets the fly-to speed between 0 and 100 and automatically zooms to a new layer. The default is True.


Sets the mouse wheel speed between 0 and 100 and wheel zoom direction to forward or backward. The default is Forward.


Turns continuous panning on (True) or off (False). The default is True.


Enables navigating ArcGIS Earth with a nonmouse controller.


Turns the enhanced atmosphere effect on or off. The default is Off.


Sets the elevation exaggeration factor for terrain. The default is 1.


Specifies the default location unit. The default is DMS.


Specifies the default distance unit. The default is Meters.


Specifies the default area unit. The default is SquareMeters.


Flips latitude-longitude order of coordinates on search and display. The default is True.


Sets to use proxy (Boolean; optional). The default is False.


Specifies the address for the proxy server.


Specifies the user name for the proxy server.


Specifies the password for the proxy server.

Administrator application parameters



Sets ArcGIS Earth as the default KML viewer. The default is False.


Blocks request and portal connection to ArcGIS Online when starting ArcGIS Earth. The default is False.


Sets the portal URLs to where ArcGIS Earth will connect.


If the administrator lists multiple portal URLs in the configuration file, ArcGIS Earth will use the first portal as the active portal after installation.


Configures a list of portals or servers for ArcGIS Earth to send credentials to when working with services secured with PKI authentication, especially for the Oracle Access Management servers.


Specifies the font for labels of the drawing element.


Use the font name inside the font file as the element value, and make sure the specified font file is installed on your operating system.


Records log information in the ESRI\ArcGISEarth\logs folder from a user's AppData directory, for example, C:\Users\username\AppData\Roaming.

The maximum value of each log size is 10000, and the maximum number of log files to be stored is 1000.


Sets up startup layers in the table of contents and configures the name, URL, type, and visibility, and organizes startup layers into hierarchical groups.

  • Startup layers support data types including ArcGIS services, KML/KMZ, WMS and its sublayers, WFS and its sublayers, GeoJSON, shapefile, raster, tile package, scene layer package, mobile scene package, web scene, and web map.
  • The warning icon indicates the path is missing, or data is broken or not accessible.
  • Startup layers with invisible states will not start loading until they are turned on in the table of contents.


Sets the basemaps for your organization.


Organizational basemap layers support data types including KML/KMZ, WMS, raster, tile package, scene layer package, and ArcGIS services.


Sets up terrains for your organization.


Organizational terrain layers support data types including local raster and elevation image service. See Basemap and terrain for more information.


Allows an administrator to enter a URL with some encoded values, which will be recognized by ArcGIS Earth and filled with location information. When using Ctrl+right-click on the globe, the URL will be invoked and the latitude, longitude, and elevation of the point clicked will be passed to that URL. As long as the URL returns a valid KML file, the KML file will be displayed in the viewport.

Read an example from the ArcGIS Blog: Point Based Service access with ArcGIS Earth.

  • urlwithpos—Sets up the key attribute on the add element under the ServiceURL element to enable this feature.
  • urlwithoutpos—Sets up information that ArcGIS Earth will read. The information is a KML file returned from the service call without storing it on disk.


Enables access to a local KML Icons folder, or points to a customized icon folder.


If it's set as False, ArcGIS Earth will use KML icons from If it's True, and the value for path is left empty, ArcGIS Earth will use local KML icons from the \resources\symbols\kml folder in the installation directory, typically C:\Program Files\ArcGIS\Earth\.


Enables the URL address to Esri's dictionary style files, or customize the URL and display text on the user interface. By default, the hyperlink URL is disabled.


For users behind the firewall, an administrator can download the dictionary files from Esri Styles and save to a shared directory, enable the hyperlink, and update the URL address to the local directory for users to access inside your organization.


Specifies the display text and URL address for acknowledgments.


Specifies the display text and URL address for help.


Specifies the display text and URL address for submitting feedback.


Specifies the display text, text style, font style, and alignment of the banner.


The format of the configuration file is updated starting from 1.10. The previous version of config.xml is forward-compatible, however, it is no longer maintained and updated with product release.