Scene layers

Web scene layers are cached web layers that are optimized for displaying a large number of 3D features.

You can publish a scene layer using a scene layer package (SLPK) generated from ArcGIS Pro or from a hosted feature layer in ArcGIS Online, or you can publish 3D data from ArcGIS Pro directly to ArcGIS Online. When you publish directly to ArcGIS Online, an associated hosted feature layer is also created.

When you have a hosted feature layer associated with the scene layer, you can edit the feature data and keep the scene layer in sync with those changes. If you publish the scene layer from a scene layer package, you cannot update the scene data.

You can view scene layers in Scene Viewer and ArcGIS Pro.

The following table summarizes the types of scene layers you can create and provides links to more information about and examples of each layer type:

Type of scene layerSupports associated feature layer (editable)Supports SLPK (read only)

3D object 3D object scene layer



Building building scene layer



Point point scene layer



Point cloud point cloud scene layer



Integrated mesh integrated mesh scene layer



3D object

3D object scene layers can be used to represent and visualize 3D objects, such as textured or untextured buildings that are modeled in 3D. From ArcGIS Pro, you can create a 3D object scene layer from multipatch data published directly to ArcGIS Online either as a web scene layer with an associated feature layer or from an SLPK. In ArcGIS Online, you can publish a 3D object scene layer from either a hosted feature layer or from an SLPK. Finally, ArcGIS CityEngine 2016.0 and later can export an SLPK from which you can publish a 3D object scene layer.

Buildings as 3D object scene layer


Building scene layers allow you to visualize complex digital models of buildings and interact with all the components of the building. With building scene layers, you can explore a building's composition, properties, and location of structures in a building digital model. Building scene layers allow you to query and isolate discipline layers—such as structural or architectural—or categories, such as walls or roofs. They are used for engineering, architecture, surveying, and construction purposes. You can publish a building scene layer from ArcGIS Pro 2.3 or later as an SLPK.

Building scene layer

Integrated mesh

Integrated mesh data is typically captured by an automated process for constructing 3D objects from large sets of overlapping imagery. The result integrates the original input image information as a textured mesh using a triangular interlaced structure. An integrated mesh includes elevation information and can represent built and natural 3D features, such as building walls, trees, valleys, and cliffs, with realistic textures. Integrated mesh scene layers are generally created for citywide 3D mapping and can be created using ArcGIS Drone2Map and ArcGIS Pro 2.2 or later, which can then be shared to ArcGIS Online as an SLPK.

Integrated mesh scene layer of Girona, Spain


To ensure fast visualization in all clients, cached point scene layers are used to display large amounts of point data not possible with a point feature layer. Point scene layers are automatically thinned to improve performance and visibility at smaller scales. Automatic thinning means that not all features are displayed at small scales; as you zoom in, additional features are displayed. For example, you can use a point scene layer to display all the trees in a city. In ArcGIS Pro, you can create a point scene layer from a feature layer shared directly to ArcGIS Online as a web scene layer. Also, in ArcGIS Online, you can publish a point scene layer from a hosted feature layer.

Trees as point scene layer

Point cloud

Point cloud scene layers allow fast consumption and display of large volumes of point cloud data in Scene Viewer and ArcGIS Pro 1.4 or later. You can apply smart mapping styles to point cloud scene layers in Scene Viewer. You can also configure these layers in ArcGIS Pro and publish them to ArcGIS Online as an SLPK. Point cloud scene layers in Scene Viewer can appear differently based on the symbology renderer type configured from ArcGIS Pro. Scene Viewer supports the following renderer types in ArcGIS Pro:

  • Stretch
  • Classify
  • Unique Values
  • RGB

Point cloud scene layer