Manage hosted scene layers

You can manage the following for hosted scene layers:

  • Rebuild a scene layer cache for scene layers that have associated feature layers.

    Publishing a scene from ArcGIS Pro can create both a scene layer and an associated feature layer. Publishing a scene layer from a hosted feature layer also associates the two layers with one another. If data changes in the associated point, 3D object, or multipatch feature layers, you can rebuild the scene layer cache to include changes for specific layers or changes from all layers.

  • Replace scene layers that don't have an associated feature layer.

    If the scene layer does not have an associated feature layer, you can update the scene layer's contents by replacing it with another scene layer.

  • Enable data export from a scene layer.

    When you enable the ability to export data, the scene layer can be used as input for geoprocessing tools. This setting is not supported for voxel scene layers.

Only the owner of the scene layer or an organization administrator can rebuild the cache on the scene layer or replace a scene layer.

Rebuild the hosted scene layer cache

You (or the administrator in your organization) can rebuild all or part of the scene layer cache for specific sublayers after editors make changes in the associated feature layer.

  • For point layers that are edited, rebuilding the cache incorporates all appended features and edits to feature geometry and attributes into the scene cache.
  • You can update those parts of the scene cache that were affected by edits rather than rebuilding the entire scene cache for the following:
    • 3D object scene layers with associated feature layers that you publish from ArcGIS Pro 2.4 with editing enabled
    • 3D object scene layers you enable for updates when you publish them from 3D object or multipatch feature layers in ArcGIS Online
    • Building scene layers

    You can enable update support after you publish a 3D object scene layer with an associated feature layer, but you must enable change tracking on the feature layer and then rebuild the full scene layer cache to support partial updates later.

For example, if the layer contains points that represent street furniture—such as benches, fountains, and planters—and the locations of some of the benches change, you can rebuild the scene cache to reflect the new position of those benches. Similarly, if some of the benches are rebuilt with a different material, and the style in the scene layer varies depending on material type, rebuild the scene layer to include the new attribute and, therefore, the new style.


To improve drawing performance, edit the scene layer in ArcGIS Pro rather than editing the associated feature layer in Map Viewer or Map Viewer Classic. You can also edit geometry for 3D object or multipatch features when you edit in ArcGIS Pro, which you cannot do in Map Viewer at this time. See Edit a scene layer with associated feature layer in the ArcGIS Pro help for information about editing scene layers.

Keep the following in mind when deciding whether to update the entire cache or only the parts of the cache affected by changes to the features:

  • In most cases, updating part of the cache takes less time than rebuilding the entire cache. However, scene layer performance may degrade over time if you only rebuild parts of the cache. Eventually, you will need to rebuild the entire cache to optimize cache. When the scene layer reaches a state that requires that you rebuild the entire cache, the option to rebuild only part of the cache will be unavailable. After you rebuild the whole scene layer cache, the option to rebuild parts of the cache will be available again.
  • If you calculate values in one or more fields in the associated hosted feature layer and the calculation affects all features in the layer, a partial cache update may take more time than a full cache update.

Rebuild the cache

Follow these steps to rebuild the scene cache to incorporate changes in point or 3D object scene layers.


Rebuilding the scene layer consumes credits.

  1. Sign in to ArcGIS Online as the scene layer owner or an administrator.
  2. Open the item page for the scene layer, click the Settings tab, and scroll down to the Scene Layer Settings section.
  3. Click Manage Cache.
  4. Choose what to rebuild.
    • To rebuild the entire hosted scene layer, choose Full cache. This will pick up schema changes on all layers.
    • To only rebuild geometry and nonspatial attribute changes for specific layers in the hosted scene layer, choose Selected layers. This will pick up geometry and attribute changes on the selected layers. You'll choose the layers in the next step.
    • To rebuild only those parts of a scene layer that have changed as a result of edits to the features, choose Partial update. Only geometry and attribute changes since the last update will be rebuilt.

    The Partial update option is not available for point scene layers or 3D object scene layers for which the associated hosted feature layer does not have the Keep track of created and updated features option enabled.

  5. If you're rebuilding to get changes in specific sublayers, choose them from the list.
  6. Click Rebuild Cache.
  7. Click OK to confirm that you want to rebuild the cache.

    This dialog box indicates the number of credits that rebuilding the cache consumes. Rebuilding the scene cache may take a long time because all the data from the associated feature layer is cached. The time it takes to rebuild the cache depends on the size of your data.

    To monitor the status of the cache, click Job Status. If the cache fails to rebuild, click the job ID for information about why it failed.

Replace a scene layer

If the hosted scene layer does not have an associated feature layer, you can update the scene layer's contents by replacing it with another scene layer that you published from a scene layer package (SLPK). This allows you to update the contents of a scene layer without deleting it. You must own both the existing and the replacement layer.


If your scene layer has an associated feature layer, you cannot replace the layer. Rebuild the scene cache instead. You can identify whether the scene layer has an associated feature layer by checking the Details section of the scene layer's item page.

Replacing a scene layer provides the following benefits:

  • Because the item ID and URL of your existing layer don't change, the scenes and apps that use your layer do not need to be updated to reference a new layer.
  • Replacing the contents of the current layer does not generate new scene caches. Therefore, no one has to wait for the scene layer cache to be rebuilt. Scenes and apps that use the current layer will continue to work after you replace the layer. If your current layer is shared with the public, updates may take up to an hour to display due to caching. Otherwise, updates are immediately reflected in the current layer.
  • The portal creates an archive of the old content, which allows you to revert to this content if necessary.


Be sure you use the same coordinate system for the replacement scene layer package as you used for the current scene layer. This setting must match. In addition, you can only replace a scene layer with the same type of scene layer.

Follow these steps to replace an existing scene layer with a another scene layer.

  1. Sign in as the owner of the web layer, as an administrator of the organization, or with an account that has privileges to update all members' items.
  2. Open the scene layer's item page.
  3. Click Replace Layer.
  4. Click Select layer.

    In the pane that appears, you can search, browse, filter, and sort available layers to find your replacement scene layer. You can also view the details for each layer by clicking View details.

    Only scene layers of the same type will be listed in the Select replacement layer window.

  5. When you've located the scene layer you want to use, click Select.
  6. Click Next to proceed to the Archive window, where you can rename the title of the archive layer.
  7. If you want to import an updated thumbnail, summary, description, and tags from the replacement layer, scroll down and enable Replace item information.
  8. The summary page shows your current hosted scene layer, the layer that will replace the content in the current layer, and information related to the archive layer.

    If you want to use a different replacement layer, click Select replacement layer and choose a new layer.

  9. Once you are satisfied with your layers, click Replace to perform the replacement operation.

Enable data export

Geoprocessing tools allow you to perform analysis and data manipulation on geographic data. To run a geoprocessing tool on a scene layer, you must enable data export on the layer.

As the layer owner or an organization administrator, you can enable data export on all types of scene layers except voxel layers.


Follow these steps to enable a scene layer for data export:

  1. Sign in to the organization as the item owner or an administrator.
  2. Open the item page and click the Settings tab.
  3. Scroll to the scene layer settings and check the box next to Allow others to export to different formats.
  4. Click Save.

Share the layer with those who need to run geoprocessing tools on the scene layer.