Fast display of beautiful symbology in ArcGIS Online

ArcGIS Pro allows you to create beautiful maps with complex and interesting symbology! Here are some tips for maximizing the display performance of your maps and data in ArcGIS Online.

Crash Rate Trends

1)      Publish your maps as Tile or Vector Tile layers. They will display FAST and look beautiful in ArcGIS Online. They won’t have any attribute data for popups, but we’ll address that next.

Share as tile layer

Note: The Tile option creates a Raster Tile layer which is an image (a picture) of your map.  For very complex symbology, imagery, raster layers, or when you need the symbology to match ArcGIS Pro exactly, use the Tile format. For vector data, consider creating Vector Tiles instead, as they offer several advantages over Raster Tiles. Vector Tiles represent the features in your map as vectors (points, lines, and polygons), which means they scale beautifully and look great, but they use a simpler symbol model than ArcGIS Pro, so the resulting symbols may not match ArcGIS Pro precisely.

2)      After creating a layer file to preserve your cartographic symbology (just in case you need it later), render your map layer using invisible symbology and publish it as a feature layer:

a. Set the color and outline color for all features to none and zero.

Create invisible symbols

b. Publish the result as a feature layer.

Share as feature layer

3)      Configure the pop-ups:

a. Add both the feature layer and the tile layer to the Map Viewer in ArcGIS Online.

b. Configure the pop-ups on the feature layer.

Map with pop-ups in ArcGIS Online

c. Save the web map.

This story map uses the workflow described here.

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  1. MGG says:

    You know what would be awesome? If you had the configure popup option on raster and vector tile layers. Obviously they don’t support attributes sooo… When you click on it it asks you to reference a feature service from your content. Then you configure popups based on that! Boom, cool popups and you don’t have to have two layers in your map.

  2. dougbrowning says:

    One issue with this method is when working in Scenes and the FC has more than 3,000 features. I love vector tiles but with no way to query it the uses are limited.

    I swear I was able to associate elevation values with a raster before but I cannot find it now. I setting that associates a popup to a FC for raster/vector/tiles would be sweet.

  3. jakc says:

    I might be missing something here. But if you server up the layer as a hosted feature service with no symbology, the browser is still requesting for the geometries to be sent down to the client every time, right?

    As a publisher, I want to be able to configure my tiled/vector tiled service to point to another hosted feature service (not neccessarily in the web map) for the pop-up, so that when a user clicks the map, only then does it go off to request the attributes & geometry.

    • Lauren Scott Griffin says:

      Yes, the browser is still requesting the features, but the display is faster without the rendering. Note, only the features within the map extent are fetched.
      There are no definite plans at present to include popups for layers that are not in the map.