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Generate and publish tile cache

Tile cache supports fast visualization of large datasets using a collection of pre-drawn, static tiles at different resolutions. They can be generated from either mosaic datasets or raster datasets, but they only support three-band, eight-bit natural color or elevation data, and don't support dynamic mosaicking or raster functions—that's what makes caching appropriate for static imagery that doesn't change often, like basemaps. For organizations that need to share static imagery quickly and efficiently, serving cached image tiles is often a good solution.

You can publish tile cache regardless of your ArcGIS deployment—with ArcGIS Pro, ArcGIS Image for ArcGIS Online, ArcGIS Image Server, or ArcGIS Image Dedicated.

When working in ArcGIS Pro you can use the Tile Cache toolset to create the tile cache:

  1. Run Generate Tile Cache Tiling Scheme to define the tiling grid and image format.
  2. Run Manage Tile Cache to create the tiles.
  3. Run Export Tile Cache to export existing tiles to a tile package.
  4. From the Package toolset, run Share Package in the Package toolset to upload the tiles to ArcGIS Online or your ArcGIS Enterprise portal.

Alternatively, you may also want to use the add-in Raster Tile Cache Tools (available from Esri Imagery Workflows), which are based on the existing ArcGIS cache solutions but provide a simplified user experience optimized for imagery and elevation. The Raster Tile Cache Toolset includes an additional tool for preserving and managing metadata. With large, cached datasets, it's likely they will need to be updated as new imagery is acquired. To generate and publish using ArcGIS Online, you must use the default Publisher role or a custom role that has publishing privileges in your organization.

It is also possible to cache an image service. Image service caching pre-generates tiles that can be accessed and visualized faster than dynamically processing the imagery each time a request is made. When you cache an image service, the default view is processed and a faster access static cache is created; alternatively, the service can be accessed dynamically for data, queries, downloading, access to individual items, processing, and analysis. This can be done using ArcGIS Image Server for ArcGIS Enterprise.

When the tile cache is served through ArcGIS Image Server, it is possible to provide two cache sources. One that is associated with a web service (considered a "hot" source) and another that you can copy to update on the main cache associated with the web service (considered a "cold" source) using Import Tile Cache. When new imagery is available, you can then build and cache mosaic datasets for the new imagery and update the web service:

  1. Build the mosaic dataset with rasters for the updated areas and optimize image footprints.
  2. Run Manage Tile Cache with the same tiling scheme you originally used.
  3. Run Import Tile Cache to add the updated cache to the "cold" source and stop the web service.
  4. Update and restart the web service with the updated cache.

If you want to publish using ArcGIS Image Dedicated, you will need a processing and analysis subscription and an Image Dedicated account. With ArcGIS Image Dedicated, you can use the Persist Imagery geoprocessing tool to convert large datasets to tile cache (or CRF format).


To generate tile cache (also called tile layers), you need ArcGIS Pro. (To use the improved caching capabilities of the TPKX file format, you need ArcGIS Pro 2.4 or later. The .tpkx file, which is used to package tile cache, is an improved version of the .tpk file. These files are faster to generate and publish, and they can be used as a raster format in ArcGIS Pro, making it easier to work with large basemap datasets.)

To host tile cache, you need an account with publishing privileges in either an ArcGIS Online or ArcGIS Enterprise organization. To cache an image service, you need ArcGIS Image Server or ArcGIS Image Dedicated.

Imagery Workflows resource

Review the community-supported tools and best practices for working with and automating imagery and remote sensing workflows:

  • Download the Raster Tile Cache Tools, which are based on the existing ArcGIS cache solutions but provide a simplified user experience optimized for imagery and elevation, plus an additional tool for preserving and managing metadata.*

ArcGIS help

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Review the following supplemental guidance about concepts, software functionality, and workflows:

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