Tile Layers – keeping credits low

Tile Layers – keeping credits low

On December 16, 2014, Posted by , In ArcGIS Online,NPS Workflow, With Comments Off on Tile Layers – keeping credits low

Creating a tile layer for ArcGIS Online

This workflow should be used when publishing large datasets such as imagery to ArcGIS Online (AGO) as a service.  By using tools in ArcGIS Toolbox to generate the tiles, cache them locally and then share with your Publisher account, no credits will be used for processing.  However, credits will be consumed for the storage of your uploaded file and published tiles, 1.2 credits/1GB/month.


1.  Set up your ArcMap Document to create the cache.

It is important to remember that the data frame must be in WGS 1984 Web Mercator (Auxiliary Sphere)

  • Add the imagery that you would like to create a tile package for and publish to AGO
    • If your data are in NAD 1983, you will need to choose a transformation for the data.  Choose the NAD_1983_TO_WGS_1984_ 5 transformation.
  • From the Data Management Tool > Tile cache toolset run the following:
  • Manage Tile Cache – creates the tile cache
    • Cache location – where the cache files will be written on your local drive
    • Cache name – cache name
    • Manage Mode – if creating cache for the first time; RECREATE_ALL_TILES
    • Input Data Source – the image file you are caching
    • Input Tiling Scheme – ARCGISONLINE_SCHEME
    • Cache Scales – You may pick the scales to cache

NOTE:  If you aren’t sure, generate all scale levels, you can choose which ones to package.  

  • Export Tile Cache – Creates the tile package from the cache above
    • Input Tile Cache- the name of the cache you just created
    • Output Tile Cache Location – path to where you want the .tpk written.
    • Output Tile Cache Name – name of .tpk
    • Export Cache as – Choose TILE_PACKAGE (this can be shared with AGO, used in ArcMap, ArcGIS Runtime and ArcGIS Mobile apps)
    • Scales – you can choose which scales to package – the default is to package all.

​​2.  Upload the tile package (.tpk) to your AGO account.

  • Using the Data Management Tool > Package toolset
  • Share Package – Upload the tile package (.tpk) to your AGO account
  • OR login to AGO account and add ITEM from your computer – this method will work as long as your file is less than 256 MB.

3.  Publish the tiles to create a tile layer

  • You will need to be logged in with a PUBLISHER role to do this operation.
    • Find your uploaded tile package (.tpk) in My Content.
    • View the details of the file, Click the Publish option.  The tile cache will be extracted from the file and your tile layer will be created.
    • Both the tile package and the tile layer service appear in the My Content list.

The .tpk file can be deleted once the tiles have been published, reducing storage costs.  Credits will be used for storage of the published tiles.

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