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This blog post shows how to create a Map Tile Package from a Image Service and include it in a Mobile Map Package for offline use.  But what about the Esri World Imagery Basemap?  Well, ArcGIS Pro 2.2 and later provides a convenient way to clip out a portion of the Esri World Imagery basemap for Inclusion in a Mobile map.


Start ArcGIS Pro and Open a Project.

On the Insert Tab click the New Map button.

On the Map tab click the Basemap Gallery button and choose the Imagery basemap.


Zoom to the extent of the imagery that you want to include in your Mobile Map.


On the Map tab click the Download Map button.   Check include basemap & tile layers and click the Download button.


The Map Tile Package layer will be added to the map when the export completes. (remove the space in the layer name.. see notes below)


A few things of interest:

It is best to set the desired max scale

For the Extent Pictured the default scale was 1:142.  This created a Map Tile Package file (.tpk) that is 845 mb in size.

Choosing a scale of 1:565 creates a .tpk that is 84 mb in size.


So, consider the scale that your map users need if file size is a concern.


Some extra notes about using Map Tile packages in Mobile Map packages.

Do not use spaces in the name of the Tile Package layer in the Contents pane.  It is OK to rename the layer, but do not use spaces in the name. Tile Package are not written into the package correctly when spaces are used in the name, this issue will be addressed at a future release.


Make sure the coordinate system of the Map Tile Package (.tpk) matches the coordinate system of the Map. Custom applications built with the runtime and Esri Apps like Explorer for ArcGIS will not display Tile Package layers if the coordinate system is not the same as the map.


ArcGIS Pro allows you to apply symbology to Tile Package layers.  Symbology parameters are not supported by the Esri Runtime. You will just see the TPK as it was originally created in the runtime applications.  You can think of the symbology settings in ArcGIS Pro as over-rides for the symbology defined in the TPK.


If you create a Basemap that has a Map Tile Package layer and / or Vector Tile Package layers , do not include a Feature Class (point, poly or line features) in the basemap.  When a feature class layer is present in the basemap with a tile package layer the Mobile Map package is not written correctly, and some of the basemap layers will not display in runtime applications.  This issue will be addressed at a future release.



I just mentioned Vector Tile Package.  We are often asked how to get Esri Vector Tile Basemaps into a mobile map package, that capability will be possible in ArcGIS Pro 2.3 (it didn't make it in) its in ArcGIS Pro 2.4.  If you have a vector tile package you can add it to the map like any other layer and create a mobile map package. As described in  Use ArcGIS Pro to make an offline map - part 1 


Until next time.


... continued from Using ArcGIS Pro 2.2 Sharing and the Publisher Extension to make a public offline map with hillshading


Create a Map Tile Package

Click the burger menu on the Geoprocessing pane and Click Create Map Tile Package.

Fill in the required arguments for the tool.

Select Map for Input Map.

Uncheck the Package for ArcGIS Online | Bing Maps | Google Maps check box.

Enter an Output File name, GTNP_hillshade.tpk, for the Map Tile Package.

Select JPEG for the Tiling Format.

For the hillshade effect, 14 levels of detail will look pretty good, so type in ‘13’ for Level of Detail.

For Service, browse for and select the Tiling Scheme that was created in the previous step. GCS_NAD_1983.xml

On the Extent drop down choose Current Display Extent



Click Run to create the Map Tile Package.


Add the Tile Package to the Current Map. Click the Map tab, press add data button, and add the Map Tile Package (.tpk).


On the Catalog Pane – Project – Right click on Map and Convert it to a Basemap.

Remove the Terrain_Layer from the Basemap.



Copy the GrandTetonBM Basemap layer from the Operational map and Paste it in the Basemap.

Right click Map_BM and Paste the GrandTetonBM layer into the basemap.


On the Appearance tab adjust the Transparency for the GrandTetonBM layer to your preferred display.



Use the Basemap with the Operational map.   Click the Operational map tab to activate it. On the Map tab click the Basemap gallery and click the Map_BM basemap.


You have just added Hillshading to the Grand Teton National Park map.


Now, Let use ArcGIS Pro 2.2 to and the Publisher Extension to share the map with everyone and make the map useable by anyone who has Explorer for ArcGIS.


Check to see if you have the Publisher Extension. Click the Project tab.


Check the Licensing Status for the Publisher Extension.


If you are licensed for the Publisher Extension you can create maps that can be used by anyone.  If you are not licensed for the Publisher extension, users of the Mobile Map (.mmpk) that you create will need to be signed into ArcGIS Online or Enterprise organization to use it.


Share a Mobile Map - On the Share tab click the Mobile Map button to open the Package Mobile Map pane.


Fill out the inputs on the Package Mobile Map pane. If you have the Publisher Extension you can Enable the map for anonymous use.


Click the Package button to upload the Mobile Map to your Organization and share it with everyone.

Note: You can also use the Create Mobile Map Package geoprocessing tools to create a mobile map and share it.  You can use python to automate the mobile map creation process.

If the map was created for anonymous use any Explorer user can use Explorer without signing in.

And Search For “Grand Teton National Park with Hillshade” to download the map and use it.


Woot!  That’s it for now…


In this post we will continue forward from what was covered in the blog post Use ArcGIS Pro 2.1 to make an offline map.

In this exercise we will modify the package created in that post and re-share it.


So, let’s get to it.


1. Start ArcGIS Pro 2.2 and open a new blank project


In the Contents pane click All Portal and Search for “grand_teton_national_park owner:mark_nitro” and Right click on it to open it.

We will enhance the map by adding a hillshade layer to it. Specifically, we will create a tile package of hillshade imagery to add to our map. The Esri Living Atlas has an Imagery Service that we can use to do this.  ArcGIS Pro makes it easy to use Living Atlas data.  


Click the View tab and open the Catalog Pane.

Click Portal, the Living Atlas button, Search for ‘World Hillshade’ and Add ‘Terrain: Hillshade’ to a New Map.

Remove the “World Basemap” layers from the map.

On the View Tab click Link Views Center and Scale.

Click the Operational Map tab to activate the map and zoom to the extent of the basemap.

Click the Map map tab to activate it, and see that it is zoomed to the desired extent.

This is the extent of the data that we want to include in a Map Tile Package.  The tile package needs to be in the same coordinate system as our Operational map, which Is GCS North American 1983. Esri Apps like Explorer for ArcGIS and applications developed with the Esri runtime cannot project Map Tile Packages (.tpk) on the fly. If the tile packages coordinate system is different from the map’s coordinate system, it will not display.  Many of the Living Atlas services are in the WGS 84 Web Mercator Auxillary Sphere coordinate system, so creating a Map Tile Package (.tpk) from the map as it is now, will create a tile package in that Coordinate system .  For image services there is an easy way to get the data into the coordinate system we want, using the Make Image Service Layer geoprocessing tool.


Right Click on the Terrain:Hillshade layer in the table of contents and Click Properties. Click Source and copy the Location URL for the Terrain: Hillshade layer.


Click the Analysis tab, click Tools and search for Make Image Server Layer in the Geoprocessing pane.  Click Make Image Server Layer to open the tool.

For Input paste in the ImagerServer URL

For Processing Template choose Grayscale_Hillshade


On the Environments tab set the Output Coordinate system to GCS_North_America_1983

Click Run

The layer will be added to the map.

Remove the Terrain: Hillshade layer from the map.

Right Click the map in the Contents Pane, click Properties and Set the Coordinate System of the map to GCS North American 1983.

Since we have the Map Properties window open, click Metadata and enter a Description for the map. A map description is required when creating a Map Tile Package

We are going to use this layer to provide shading for the Grand Teton National Park map.  Let’s lighten up the shading a little bit.


Right Click on the Terrain_Layer and click Symbology to open the Symbology Pane.  On the Symbology Pane click the Color Scheme and Click ‘Format color scheme…’

Lighten up the color scheme by adjusting the color of the first stop.  Click the first stop and change its color to a lighter shade of gray and click OK

In the Geoprocessing Pane Search for Create Map Tile Package and Open the tool.

The Create Map Tile Package tool is set up to create content in WGS 1984 Web Mercator Auxillary Sphere coordinate system, this won’t work for our example map, so un-check the box.

Notice that the Create Map Tile Package tool requires an existing service or .xml tiling scheme file to create the tile package in a coordinate system that is not WGS84 Web Mercator Auxillary Sphere.

We will use the Generate Tile Cache Tiling Scheme geoprocessing tool to create a tiling scheme.


Click the burger menu on the geoprocessing pane and click Open Another Tool.


Search for Generate Tile Cache Tiling Scheme and open the tool.


Generate Tile Cache Tiling Scheme requires and input data source. Ideally, we could use the Terrain_Layer we created with the Create Image Server Layer tool, but this won’t work, if you use it, a tile scheme for WGS84 Web Mercator Auxillary Sphere will be created.  To create an input data layer that we can use, do the following:


Click the Terrain_Layer in the content pane, Click the Imagery tab and click the Process Button to Create a temporary raster clipped to the current display extent.

This will add a new layer, Clip_Terrain_layer, to the Content Pane.  We will use this layer as Input to the Generate Tile Cache Tiling Scheme tool.


Fill out the input for the Generate Tile Cache Tiling Scheme tool.

For input data source choose the “Clip_Terrain_Layer”

Enter a name “GCS_NAD_1983” and location for the output tiling scheme XML file.

Set number of Scales to 20, the scales will fill in automatically.

In Advanced Options, set the Tile Format to JPEG.


Click Run to create the Tiling Scheme. You can open the XML file in a webbrowser or text editor to confirm that the coordinate system is correct.



On the Content pane Right Click “Clip_Terrain_Layer” and remove it from the map.


Now we will create a Map tile package, the tile package will be created based on the current display of the map, that is why we adjusted the cartography to our liking, before creating the tile package.  


Continued - Using ArcGIS Pro 2.2 Sharing and the Publisher Extension to make a public offline map with hillshading - Part 2

ArcGIS Pro 2.2, Esri’s flagship 64-bit desktop GIS, has been released and is available. Now is the perfect time to migrate to ArcGIS Pro


ArcGIS Pro 2.2 is the largest update to ArcGIS Pro yet and brings a slew of new features and functionality. It adds and improves your highly requested workflows, features new innovations that take advantage of ArcGIS Pro’s unique 3D and 64-bit environment, and connects your desktop more tightly with the rest of the ArcGIS platform.


Slice Tool

Explore content hidden behind or within other content with the new interactive 3D exploration tool, Slice. You can slice through content in your scenes using planes or volumetric shapes. Slice is included among the other Interactive Analysis tools in the 3D Exploratory Analysis tools introduced in ArcGIS Pro 2.1.


Full Motion Video (FMV)


Play and analyze full-motion video (FMV) data that is geospatially enabled with the ArcGIS Image Analyst extension. Enable the projection and display of the video frame footprint and sensor position on the map while the video plays. You can also collect features in the video player and visualize them on the map, or collect features in the map and see them displayed in the video player.


New Styles

Inferno, Magma, Plasma, and Viridis scientific color schemes are now included in the ArcGIS Colors system style. These color schemes are particularly useful with imagery, LAS symbology, unclassed, and graduated colors symbology. They are also effective for grey scale environments and color-blind users.


Additional Innovations and Updates

ArcGIS Pro 2.2 is a big release. Here are some more new features:

  • Support for reading Autodesk® Revit™ files enabling access to architectural model data inside ArcGIS.
  • Stream layers: a new layer type that displays real-time streaming data.
  • Apply photographic textures when interactively editing 3D objects.
  • Pause drawing of a map or scene and still interact with it. While paused, you can navigate, add layers, or change the symbology; the state of the map will not refresh until paused drawing is turned off.
  • Clip a measured grid to only show coordinates within its UTM zone boundary. This is especially useful when mapping areas that cross UTM boundaries.
  • 50 new geoprocessing tools and batch geoprocessing to automate the running of a tool multiple times using many input datasets or different parameter settings.


Get the full details and watch video from the ArcGIS Pro developers on what’s new in ArcGIS Pro 2.2.

ArcGIS Image Analyst for ArcGIS Pro is now available for ArcGIS Personal Use and ArcGIS for Student Use


ArcGIS for Personal Use and ArcGIS for Student Use subscriptions have just gotten more powerful with the addition of ArcGIS Image Analyst at no additional cost. The Image Analyst extension provides powerful image visualization, interpretation, and classification tools to efficiently unlock the potential of every pixel.


ArcGIS Image Analyst extends ArcGIS Pro making it an image analysis workstation. Based on years of cross-domain experience in remote sensing and GIS, ArcGIS Image Analyst is designed for analysts, scientists, and photogrammetrists. It gives an advantage when working with image processing, interpretation, exploitation, analysis, and the creation of information products from remotely sensed data.


ArcGIS Image Analyst provides intuitive image visualization and tools for advanced interpretation of imagery and other raster data. There’s no need to switch between remote sensing and GIS software. Gain access to stereo and image space visualization, powerful image processing, advanced mensuration and 3D feature compilation tools, plus machine learning classification tools creating an environment to an interpret, analyze, and exploit imagery with simplicity and speed. 


Learn more about ArcGIS Image Analyst

Guest Post by Dmitry Kudinov, Esri


Calculating travel times is a foundational piece in transportation logistics, urban design, asset management, retail, etc. At Esri, we just completed a research project where we used artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning to train an artificial neural network to predict travel times for transportation networks with a large number of complex, hard-to-model, and hidden variables. For this project, we partnered with NVIDIA, who provided us with GP100 and GV100 cards, which made this experiment feasible form the computation standpoint.


In this blog post, we will briefly discuss the details of this project, including the neural network architecture, training data format, efficient ways to evaluate training quality, and overall results which allow for a flexibility modelling intricate transportation aspects, and a significant throughput of the trained network.



Building a route from A to B these days is trivial: numerous services and applications can do this for you quickly and for free. But what if you need to build a route that’s a little more complex? One which starts at your home, then goes to 3 different friends in various parts of town, then to a local produce store where you need to pick up an order you placed yesterday? But wait, the grocery store expects you at about 5pm and gets closed at 5:30pm, and it is actually located near one of the friends along the way whom you initially planned to visit first in the morning… and there is also that pesky road traffic which always gets in the way and ruins the plans.


Things become suddenly quite trickier when you want to find the best visiting sequence which also has expected arrival times.


Challenge 1: Computational complexity

Logistics companies work with even more challenging requirements, scheduling not just multiple stops, but for multiple vehicles simultaneously. Large companies, while doing next day planning, schedule thousands of stops with hundreds of vehicles per day as a single optimization problem. Now you can start getting a sense of the computational complexity and resources involved in such operations.


Challenge 2: Model complexity

Another challenging area is hard-to-model aspects of transportation:

  • Changes in road speeds caused by seasonality and periodic weather patterns,
  • User preferred routes,
  • Individual driving habits and/or vehicle features affecting performance,
  • Individual commute preferences (especially important in urban areas and multimodal transportation, e.g. predict how long will it take a person to get to a chosen store to pick up her online-placed order), etc.


Although some of these aspects are even hard to formalize and even harder to represent with traditional algorithms, these are the integral properties of modern transportation and are already captured but buried deep inside individual GPS tracks.


The experiment

While the former large-scale logistics challenge asks for high throughput computations, the latter scenarios demand greater degree of flexibility without increasing complexity of the model.


Here at Esri, we decided to see if both requirements can be met with the help of machine learning. We used a simulated set of 300 million “journeys” (GPS tracks represented only by two locations - departure and destination, departure time, and how many minutes it took to travel, Figure 1) covering the region of California and Nevada roads to train an artificial neural network to predict travel times on the transportation graph.

Figure 1. "Journeys" used to train the neural network. X1, Y1 – coordinates of the departure location; X2, Y2 – destination location; START_TIME – departure time in UTC milliseconds since Jan 1st, 1970; NA_COST – time it took to travel in minutes.

Figure 1. "Journeys" used to train the neural network. X1, Y1 – coordinates of the departure location; X2, Y2 – destination location; START_TIME – departure time in UTC milliseconds since Jan 1st, 1970; NA_COST – time it took to travel in minutes.


Despite the simplicity of the input data, the neural network, after being trained, was able accurately predict travel times between any two locations in California and Nevada taking departure time into account, effectively embedding the road congestion factor into its function.


Once trained, the neural network can produce predictions with enormous throughput: a single desktop machine with a NVIDIA GV100 card can calculate over 300,000 ETAs per second, which is two-to-three orders of magnitude faster than common traditional deterministic algorithms. Of course, a prediction produced by a neural network is an approximation, but with a controllable accuracy - we will talk more about it below. For now, it is important to mention, that such a throughout may address the first challenge: logistics companies use various algorithms to solve multivehicle scheduling problems, and at the core of most of them lies the so-called Origin-Destination Cost matrix which needs to be calculated first, filled with ETAs for any possible combination of two stops, i.e. if we need to visit 1,000 stops, the OD Cost Matrix will have 1,000,000 ETAs. Our neural network can completely populate this matrix in only three seconds!


The second challenge, flexibility, has a promising future too: while being trained with just simple two-point GPS tracks, the neural network successfully figured out accurate representation of road congestion patterns, which makes it flexible enough for further finetuning with user preferred routes, or adapt to individual driving habits, or commuter preferences.


The details

For this experiment we partnered up with NVIDIA team, who provided us with multiple GP100 and GV100 cards. The strong GPUs gave us the ability to train neural networks of realistic size and the various experiment times were shortened by twenty to fifty-plus times (thanks to massive parallelization of matrix operations needed for training). This made the search for optimal neural network architecture and numerous hyperparameter values feasible and effective. A simple example: we spent about eight months of running one of the GP100 cards 24-7 in a search for an efficient architecture, spatial and statistical distributions of the training set, good values for multiple hyperparameters. The machine had 4 (8 hyperthreaded) Xeon(R) CPU E5-1620 v2 @ 3.70GHz CPU cores. After we compared single epoch training time between the GP100 and of the same machine CPU – the difference was over fifty times! This translates the above eight months of GPU time into over 30 years of CPU!


OK, let’s get back to the details. We used TensorFlow + Keras libraries to build a dense fully connected neural network (multilayer perceptron (MLP)) with sixteen hidden layers and ten million trainable parameters total. To reduce the overfitting, we added a Dropout node right before the output layer. The input was represented by normalized pairs of coordinates for departure and destination locations, and departure time; the output – single value showing the number of minutes it took to travel from A to B at given time.


We used Mean Squared Error (MSE) as the loss function, and Adamax optimizer with initial learning rate of 1e-3.


Training was performed for 4,000 epochs total on consecutive subsets of 20 million journeys, simulating “online” training. By the end of training, the MSE value on validation set was at about ~13.5.


But how good is MSE of ~13.5? Can the neural network be usable at this point? Well, MSE of 13.5 translates into 3.7 minutes of standard deviation of predicted values being off from the ground truth… but the routes in California-Nevada region may differ significantly in size: 3.7 minutes difference may be OK for an hour-long route, but for a route which is under 10 minutes - that’s a big difference. So, a chart showing how prediction accuracy varies depending on route length can tell a better story – Figure 2.


Figure 2. Variation of prediction accuracy as a function of route length.

Figure 2. Variation of prediction accuracy as a function of route length.


Another great tool for evaluating prediction accuracy which we built here in Esri, is a WMS REST service endpoint wrapping our trained neural network. The service returns a geographically bound PNG containing travel time surface, where every pixel is colored proportionally to the time it takes to reach it from the central pixel. Once constrained by a maximum travel time value, such surface looks like a isochron polygon. Figure 3 shows isochrones being built around San Francisco:

Figure 3. Isochron polygon constrained by 20-minute travel time.

Figure 3. Isochron polygon constrained by 20-minute travel time.


If such isochrones remind you of Network Analyst Service Area polygons, you are not mistaken: ultimately, in such form, both represent “reachability” zones and, if our neural network was trained well, these two should match closely. Figure 4 shows how neural network produced isochron (blue) matches Service Area polygon (red) built for the same departure location and time of day. Note how closely the boundaries of two polygons match in places where they both intersect with the streets. It is also important to note, that San Francisco area is particularly challenging due to an intricate coastal line and uneven distribution of transportation graph elements, and nevertheless, our neural network gets a good grasp on this complexity producing very compelling predictions.

Figure 4. Neural network isochrons (blue) and matching Service Area polygons (red).

Figure 4. Neural network isochrons (blue) and matching Service Area polygons (red).


So, what about the road congestions which we mentioned before? Here is the last animation for today, Figure 5, showing how a 25-minute isochron changes over a 24 hours period. You can see how the isochron shrinks during the business hours, and how it expands back during the night.

Figure 5. Road congestion patterns captured by the neural network during training. There corlor rings were added for visualization purposes and are similar to isolines of a continuous 3d surface, where the 3rd dimension is time. That animation has 12 rings colored (or left transparent) for ranges of travel times falling into 125 second buckets – 12 total, summing up to 25 minutes.

Figure 5. Road congestion patterns captured by the neural network during training. There corlor rings were added for visualization purposes and are similar to isolines of a continuous 3d surface, where the 3rd dimension is time. That animation has 12 rings colored (or left transparent) for ranges of travel times falling into 125 second buckets – 12 total, summing up to 25 minutes.


The road ahead

Although we have achieved here some impressive results, there is room for improvement. One particular path which we want to explore further down the road, is to check the applicability of one-dimensional convolutional network instead of MLP. The reason for this is simple: there is a strong correlation between the coordinates, and multiple repeating patterns in the training data – this makes our scenario a good candidate for a convolutional architecture which will scale better for larger geographical areas.


Another area of improvement can be illustrated with the Figure 2 above: we want smaller standard deviation values for shorter routes, and this can be achieved by more accurate selection of the training data, giving shorter routes a bigger share in the training set.


And, of course, the final step – using the trained neural network in transportation analysis and planning.


We will keep you updated on the progress.

FYI, this is a great 3 min video that explains how ArcGIS Pro licenses are assigned in ArcGIS Online and ArcGIS Enterprise, by the organization's administrator. A nice overview.


Named User Licensing In ArcGIS Pro - YouTube 




The ArcGIS Pro Roadmap is now being maintained as a GeoNet Document.  Please go here:

(... continued from Part 1)




Pop-ups allow users to see information about features by tapping the features on the map. Pop-ups that you define in ArcGIS Pro are included in the offline map.


1. Right-click on an Operational layer like buildings and select Enable Pop-ups.



2. Control how the pop-up displays by selecting Configure Pop-ups.



Pop-ups display as specified in the Pop-ups pane.



Create the Mobile Map Package


OK, our map in ArcGIS Pro is now setup to create an efficient and useful offline map.  The operational layers have feature search and pop-ups enabled. Our basemap is a vector tile package, the most efficient and fastest way to display vector data in an offline map, and we have a bookmark that allows users to easily zoom the map to a specific location.  In addition, we have a locator that allows users another method for finding locations on the map.  Let’s make the Mobile Map Package!


1. Click Analysis tab and Tools to open the Geoprocessing pane , search for Create Mobile Map Package, and open the tool.



2. For Input Map choose the Operational map. 


Note: The Create Mobile Map Package tool supports including multiple maps in a package, which may be useful for workflows that involve opening the Mobile Map Package in ArcGIS Pro or custom applications.  Explorer only supports reading one map from a Mobile Map Package.  If multiple maps are included in a package, Explorer will use the first one.


3. Specify an Output File name and location for the Mobile Map Package.  While the example pictured below uses Grand_Teton_National_Park, use a name that is uniquely your own. When you share the map to ArcGIS Online later, you'll have an easier time distinguishing your map from those of others that have completed this exercise.



4. Include one or more locators. The locator that you created for the project is included in the drop-down list.




5. When creating the Mobile Map Package, you can specify the Area of Interest or extent of the map to include in the package.



Using an Area of Interest polygon feature class with the Clip Features option allows you to create maps that match the outline of the feature class being used.  For Area of Interest you could use a feature class that has polygon boundaries for the 5 largest metro areas in the United States with the Clip option.  The resulting Map package would only contain data for the metro area, clipped to the metro boundaries. 

Note: Using detailed boundaries with high vertex count for clipping will take longer to process.

Another option is to use an Extent or bounding box to package a subset of the map.



Default uses the extent or combined extent of the maps included in the package.  In this example, it uses the extent of the Operational map as defined in the Map properties.


Click Full Extent to see the currently defined extent.


The extent of this map is set to the whole world.  Just like we did for the VTPK_Source_BM basemap, we could define the Operational map’s extent; however, we can make use of one of the Extent options provided by the Create Mobile Map Package tool. Right-click on the Basemap and select Zoom to Layer.  On the Create Mobile Map Package tool, set the extent to Current Display Extent.



This will limit the features in the package to those that intersect the current display extent.  If the Clip Feature option is not used, the entire features are included. Included locators are also limited to this extent, ensuring that users only find locations that are on the map.  


Note: Area of Interest and Extent options, as well as Clip Features, don’t apply to the vector tile package.  Regardless of these settings, the entire vector tile package is included in the offline map.


6. Specify a title for the map. The best practice is to use a title that matches the name you used for the Mobile Map Package filename. Filenames can’t have spaces, but your title can.  Explorer users see the Mobile Map Package filename before downloading a map, but see the title once the offline map is downloaded.



7. You can also further fill out Summary, Description, Tags, Credits and Use Limitations specific to the Map Package that you are creating.


8. Enable Anonymous Use: The Enable Anonymous Use option is available to users that have the ArcGIS Pro Publisher Extension. Enable Anonymous Use allows you to create Mobile Map Packages for users who are not ArcGIS Named Users.  Explorer for ArcGIS can be used anonymously without signing in, so users don’t need an ArcGIS username to use the app. Enabling anonymous use makes Mobile Map Packages that can be downloaded and used by anyone with access to them, independent of their login. The Enable Anonymous Use check box will not be present if you don’t have the Publisher Extension.


Note: Anonymous Explorer users can also open any publicly shared web (online) map. 


9. Click Run to create the package.



Share the Mobile Map Package


The finished package is now ready to be shared with an Explorer for ArcGIS (or AppStudio app or Runtime SDK app) user.  The package can be shared using ArcGIS Pro and the Share Package tool.  This tool uploads the package to ArcGIS Online or ArcGIS Enterprise (depending on the account you are signed in to in ArcGIS Pro).


1. Search for and open the Share Package



2. Browse for the Mobile Map Package created in the previous step.



3. Choose who to share the map with—everybody, specific groups, or everyone in your organization—and click Run.



Since this map was shared with everyone and enabled for anonymous use (if you have the Publisher Extension), anyone can open it using Explorer for ArcGIS.


Use the offline map in Explorer

1. Start Explorer and Continue Without Signing In



2. Search for the name you gave your MMPK and your offline map appears in the search results.. The cloud arrow icon indicates that it is a downloadable mobile map package.



When the download completes, the map is in the On Device section at the top of the list of maps.




3. Tap on the map to open it.


4.  Search for “Grand Teton” and see the feature on the map.


5. You can also access the bookmarks.


6. Tap features for pop-ups.



So, there it is... those are the basics.  You’ve created a map in ArcGIS Pro that you can use offline in Explorer, AppStudio, or a Runtime SDK app, and it is optimized for mobile use on a phone or tablet.


If you like the map used in this blog, you can find more of it here.


Fieldwork takes you and your mobile workers places without a data connection, but that shouldn’t stop you from using your GIS data. You can make a map that doesn’t require the internet, and you can use it on your device in the field. You might be using Explorer for ArcGIS, or perhaps a custom application built with AppStudio for ArcGIS or an ArcGIS Runtime SDK. In this blog, we’ll look how to build a map that can be used offline (without a data connection) in any of those apps. We’ll then look at using that map in Explorer.


First, let’s see an example of an offline map using Explorer for ArcGIS. If you don’t have the app installed already, start by installing it on your iOS or Android device.  Search for Explorer for ArcGIS in the App or Play store.


Start Explorer and tap Continue Without Signing In when it launches.




Then search for “Shenandoah National Park” and tap to download the map.




Check out the map to get an idea what is possible: tap features and see information about them, view the map’s layers, measure, or draw markup on the map. If you are new to Explorer, take a look at Get started and try some of the things called out there using this offline map.


Now we’ll use ArcGIS Pro 2.1 and build an offline map like the Shenandoah National Park map. Behind the scenes, an offline map is a Mobile Map Package (MMPK). As you create the MMPK by following this blog, you’ll learn the recommended pattern for creating an offline map (or MMPK) like the one you just tried in Explorer.


In this example, we are going to start with a basically finished map.  To do so, we’ll get an ArcGIS Pro project that already has some completed maps in it.


Note: This exercise requires ArcGIS Pro 2.1.

Estimated time to complete - 40 minutes.

Get the Example Project

  1. Start ArcGIS Pro and click Open another Project
  2. Click Portal and then Browse to get a shared project from ArcGIS Online.Click the All Portal filter and search for “Make Offline Map example.” Select it and click OK.

3. The project downloads and opens with three maps (often called views) – Operational, VTPK_Source_BM and Basemap. The Operational map consists of places, points, and areas of interest.  The layers in this map provide searchable and clickable features for your offline map.  You can author the Operational map to allow your map users to search for features by attributes and to tap on features to see pop-ups.



Click on the tab for VTPK_Source_BM to activate the basemap view. It shows the boundaries for Yellowstone and Grand Teton National Parks.  The information in this map provides background reference data for the operational layers.  Layers in the basemap are purely for visualization.  Users of the offline map won’t be able to access attributes through a pop-up or be able to search for features in the basemap.  If there are layers in this map that you want users to interact with, move them to the Operational map.


Note: The source data in both maps comes from The National Map


Click on the Basemap tab to activate the view, and see that it is empty.  We’ll make use of this map later.



4. Activate the Operational map by clicking on its tab, click the Basemap gallery and choose the VTPK_Source_BM basemap



Pan and zoom around the map to familiarize yourself with the basemap and operational data.  This will give you context for how the operational layers work with the basemap layers.




 Note: if you do not see any labels, check an Operational layer off and back on to force a redraw.

Create a Vector Tile Basemap

The best practice for creating an efficient offline map is to use vector tiles in a Vector Tile Package (VTPK) for vector data and a Tile Package (TPK) for raster data.  In this example, we’ll use vector tiles for the basemap.


Note:  Raster file data (imagery) won’t be covered in this example.  A future update to this exercise will use it, but at this time raster file data in an offline map is not supported in apps built on the ArcGIS Runtime SDKs (including Explorer and those built through AppSudio). The teams are working to support raster files in offline maps in coming releases.


You can use Tile Packages (.TPK) in Mobile Map Packages.  You can use the Create Map Tile Package geoprocessing tool to create them.

1. We could create an offline map of all of the content of the map; however, it’s common to create an offline map or multiple offline maps from a portion of an existing map. For example, we may have a project including the entire United States, and we are only interested in making an offline map for a specific city.  With that in mind we’ll make an offline map for a portion of this map.


Zoom to the extent of Grand Teton National Park, this will be the extent of the offline map that we create.


Activate the VTPK_Source_BM basemap. All of the maps in the project are linked by scale and extent, you should see the same extent of Grand Teton National park.  The data in this project is comprised of vector file geodatabase data. We could use this data offline, as is, but the most efficient way to use vector data offline is in the form of vector tiles.  This is especially true for our basemap, which does not need to provide access to attributes or user interaction with features.  Vector tiles provide visualization and do not provide access to feature geometries or attributes.  As mentioned earlier, if map users need access to attributes and geometries, add the layer to the Operational map. (If you look closely at this project you’ll notice that some of the same layers are in both the Operational map and VTPK_Source_BM basemap.  This allows efficient feature visualization while still providing access to feature attributes.)


2. The tools for creating a vector tile package will create vector tiles for the map’s defined extent.  Let’s set the extent of the map to Grand Teton National Park by right-clicking on VTPK_Source_BM in the table of contents and clicking Properties.  Click Extent and set the Custom extent to the Current visible extent and click OK.



When you click the Full Extent button on the ribbon, the map now zooms to the custom extent.  Use this button to confirm that what you are seeing in the view is what you are going to get when creating the Vector Tiles.



Next, we ‘ll use a Geoprocessing tool to create vector tiles for the basemap.


3. Click the Analysis tab and click the Tools button.


This opens the Geoprocessing tools pane.


4. Search for “Vector Tile Package” and open the Create Vector Tile Package tool.


5. Choose VTPK_Source_BM for your input map.



6. In the Output File, specify a name and output location for your Vector Tile Package.



7. Uncheck Package for ArcGIS Online | Bing Maps | Google Maps


The tiling scheme automatically updates to match the coordinate system of the map.


Note:  The tiling scheme shows the coordinate system defined in the Map Properties.  In this case, the coordinate system being used matches the coordinate system of the map and the data.  To use the ArcGIS Online | Bing Maps | Google Maps scheme the map needs to be in the WGS 84 Web Mercator auxiliary sphere coordinate system.


Note: You can change the coordinates system for each map in the project to WGS 84 Web Mercator auxiliary sphere and produce vector tiles in the ArcGIS Online | Bing Maps | Google Maps tiling scheme.  However, drawing performance in ArcGIS Pro will be less efficient, as all of the map’s data is in Geographic Coordinate System North American 1983, and displaying the layer will require more processing as the data is re-projected on the fly.  When possible, always put your map and data in the same coordinate system for the fastest data display.


8. Accept the Default tiling format, which is Indexed.


9. Set the Maximum Cached Scale to 0. Some offline map use cases require zooming in close to the map, and without this setting the vector tiles stop displaying once past the maximum cached scale. By setting this to 0, users can zoom in as close as they want and still see vector tile information.



10. The tool will use a default index, so Index Polygons are not needed. The Summary and Tags are also optional and not necessary to fill in.


11. Before running the tool, right-click on the VTPK_Source_BM map in the Contents pane and click Properties.



Click Metadata and write a Description for the map.  If the map doesn’t have a description, the Create Vector Tile Package tool will fail to run.

(Yes, this could have been done as part of the example project, but this is an often-experienced road block to success… so good to know!)


Click OK to add the Description.


12. Click Run on the Create Vector Tile Package tool.



Using Vector Tile Package as a basemap

1. When the tool has completed, click the Basemap tab to activate the empty Basemap view.



Click Map Tab and Add Data, browse to the Vector Tile Package that you created, select it, and click OK.





2. Click the Operational Tab to activate the Operational Map view.



In this view, you’ll switch basemaps to use the “Basemap” that you just added the Vector Tile Package to.


3. Choose the Basemap from the Basemap Gallery.



The basemap in your Operational view updates to use the Vector Tile Package you created.



4. Right-click on Basemap in the Contents pane and select Zoom to Layer.





This is the extent of the map that we will be sharing for offline use. 


Enhance Map Usability


Let’s make the map searchable.  There are two ways to provide search functionality for offline map users.  We can enable feature search or create locators to use with the map (or both). One of the key differences is that locators support suggestions as the user is typing, which aren’t supported in feature search. The tradeoff is that locators increase the size of the map.  Feature search doesn’t increase the size of the map, but it doesn’t provide suggestions.


Note: Different apps support different types of search functionality. Both are supported in Explorer. Navigator for ArcGIS only supports locators. It is up to the developer with an AppStudio or Runtime SDK app.


Let’s start by enabling feature search, and then we’ll create a locator.


1. Click Locate on the Ribbon and click Settings on the Locate Pane.



The online locators associated with your Organization are listed.  These won’t be accessible for offline map users in your organization or users you share the map with who are not members of your organization, so you need to include search functionality in the map.


2. Click the “Add Locate Provider” button and click Add Layer



The feature layers in your map will be listed.  Let’s allow users of the map to find mountain peaks.  Highlight the TowerSummitMinesDam layer and click OK.


Note: many of the operational layers in this map reference the same Geonames USA point data.  A layer definition query is being used for cartographic purposes to group varying Geonames Point of Interest types



This shows all Fields in this layer and allow us to choose a search operator for each field that we want to make available for search by users of the map.


3.  Allow map users to search by FEATURE_NAME and use the Contains This will return search results for all features in the TowerSummitMinesDam layer that “contain” the characters typed in by the map user. If you use the “Equals” operator the user will need to match the attribute exactly to find it.



4.  Click the Back Arrow to save and return to settings.



5. The Layer is listed in the Locator list. Uncheck the locators provided by your organization and then click Locate to test the feature search on the TowerSummitMinesDam layer.



6. Search for ‘Grand Te’ and see that Grand Teton is returned in the search results.



If needed, you can enable search for more operational layers in your map and multiple fields in those layers.


7. Another way to provide search capabilities for your Explorer users is to include a locator in the map. You can create locators for feature layers in your map by using the Create Address Locator geoprocessing tool. 



8.  Choose a Locator Style, Gazetteer and Single Field work well for Named features. For this case use the Gazetteer style.



9.  Choose a layer to build the locator from. This feature layer does not need to be in your map. For this example, use the LocalePopPlace feature layer.



10.  Specify the attribute field with the attributes to search for: FEATURE_NAME.



11. Specify an output address locator name or just use the default.



12. Check Enable Suggestions.  As users type their search string into the map, suggestions will be presented (which isn’t supported with feature search).



13. Click Run to create the locator.



In Locate settings you will see that the locator you just created is available for use. 



14. Search for “White Grass” and see “White Grass Ranch” and “White Grass Ranger Station” returned in the results. 


Note: Suggestions are not supported for file-based locators in ArcGIS Pro 2.1, but they are supported in Explorer and Navigator and are available to developers of AppStudio and Runtime SDK apps.





Bookmarks are predefined named extents that you can include in the map.  Bookmarks allow map users to easily zoom to an extent.  Bookmarks that you create for the map in ArcGIS Pro are included in the offline map.


1. To create a bookmark, zoom to a specific extent, click Bookmarks on the ribbon, and click New Bookmark.



2. Name the Bookmark and click OK, to add it to the map.



(... continued in part 2)

If you have already upgraded to ArcGIS Pro 2.0, you may have noticed that your recent projects aren't listed under 'Open a recent project'.  If you haven't upgraded yet, this will be a handy piece of knowledge to get you going.


There were some changes to how the user configuration (user.config) file is stored that lead to this, but don't fear, it is easy to get those to show up again.  Follow the steps in this technical article:


Problem: After upgrading to ArcGIS Pro 2.0, recent projects do not display under 'Open a recent project' 

With today’s release of ArcGIS Pro 2.0, it’s time for another summary of what’s happening with Ideas.


11 Desktop ideas have been moved to Implemented:

Run more than one instance of ArcGIS Pro

Saving Service and SDE Connection in ArcGIS Pro

Grid and Graticules

Rename Shapefiles (better data-management) in ArcGIS Pro (1.4)

Make Enterprise GDB Connections User-Wide for ArcGIS Pro

Using a Web Feature Service (WFS) without converting it to a feature layer (ArcGIS Pro)

ArcGIS Pro:  Rearrange Fields in Field View

Exporting Data from Project View in ArcGIS Pro

Native/Direct WFS Support in ArcGIS Pro

ArcGIS Pro - Extract Data tool - polygon input as in ArcMap

ArcGIS Pro:  Allow connection to .sde files in folders


2 Desktop ideas have been moved to In Product Plan:

Drag & Drop Data into ArcGIS Pro

Add full OGC WFS support in next version of ArcGIS Desktop (no extension use)


2 Desktop ideas have been moved to Under Consideration:

Add an autosave feature for ArcGIS Desktop.

Add Direction to the Measure Tool 


While ideas marked as Implemented are great things to know about in ArcGIS Pro 2.0, don't overlook the What's new in ArcGIS Pro 2.0—ArcGIS Pro | ArcGIS Desktop documentation for a complete picture of what's new in this version.


As always, I hope that sharing these updates is insightful.  I wanted to thank you for participating in the process and let you know that we’re listening! 

ArcGIS Pro provides the flexibility to license the application with either the default Named User model, or by converting licenses to Concurrent Use or Single Use.


Many organizations that are accustomed to using the concurrent use licensing model for ArcMap have extended that model to license ArcGIS Pro.  With a Concurrent Use license, your machine points to a License Manager Server for license authorization from a shared pool of licenses. You can choose the license level and extensions you want as long as the appropriate license is available. Concurrent Use licensing allows more users to have ArcGIS Pro installed on their machine than the total number of licenses. Simultaneous use of ArcGIS Pro is limited by the number of available licenses in the License Manager Server. Concurrent Use licensing is the same in ArcGIS Pro as it is in ArcMap.


As we approach the release of ArcGIS Pro 2.0, organizations using concurrent use licenses or Named User via Portal for ArcGIS will need to upgrade to License Manager 10.5.1 first, before upgrading to Pro 2.0.  For users who currently have a previous version of ArcGIS License Manager and wish to migrate to the latest 10.5.1 version of ArcGIS License Manager, follow the instructions below:

1. Download License Manager 10.5.1

      a. Log in to My Esri and go to My Organizations > Downloads.

My Organizations > Downloads

      b. In the Quick Search, type License Manager.

      c. ArcGIS License Manager 10.5.1 should be the only result.  Click View Downloads.

      d. Make sure to choose the product appropriate for your organization's platform (Windows or Linux). Click Download.

ArcGIS License Manager 10.5.1 Download button

2. Run the License Manager setup from your download

3. Follow the instructions to install the license manager to the desired location. At the end of the installation, ArcGIS License Server Administrator appears.

4. Complete the authorization process and start the license service. If you choose to do this step at a later time, on Windows, you can access License Server Administrator from Start > Programs > ArcGIS > License Manager > License Server Administrator. On Linux, you can run License Server Administrator from the installation location using the following command: <installation_path>/arcgis/license10.5/LSAdmin.

LM 10.5.1 Note

The bottom line?  Get your ArcGIS Pro licenses onto a 10.5.1 License Manager before upgrading to ArcGIS Pro 2.0 in order to have a seamless transition!

I'm on the Customer Advocacy team as the Lead for Desktop. Our team is part of Esri Support Services and is dedicated to collecting customer feedback and communicating that feedback to Product teams. Our team covers Apps, ArcGIS Online, Desktop, Enterprise, and Geodata. The ArcGIS Ideas site is an important feedback channel for us.


I wanted to take a couple of minutes to share my excitement about progress we're making on Ideas in the ArcGIS Desktop space. First, here’s a little bit of background on what happens after you’ve submitted your idea.


Once your idea is up on the Ideas site, you'll notice that it has a status of New. Feel free to refer to Submitting a New Idea for more details. This quick post isn't to repeat what can already be found in the online help documents. Be sure to categorize your idea appropriately and give it some good tags that will help others find your great idea. At this point the idea gets reviewed by the Customer Advocacy team. We don't dig in super deeply, we make sure that it isn't a duplicate of an idea that already exists and we double-check those categories and tags that you diligently included. If all looks good, we simply mark the idea as Reviewed. That's what you see on your side. We also check to see if we have a similar request already logged through our Support system. This would likely be in the form of an Enhancement Request. If so, we make sure that the idea is linked with the Enhancement Request. By doing this, we can get a clearer picture of Customer demand for the functionality.


As time goes by, ideas get up votes, down votes and comments from the user community. Advocacy Leads frequently monitor the site, and usually on a monthly basis report on trends to our respective Product teams.  Ideas may be discussed because they have a high overall score.  But if that were the only criteria, as it takes time to accumulate a high score, relatively new ideas wouldn’t make it into the discussion.  So we also look at things like how fast an idea’s score is growing – how many up votes this month? – how many up votes this year?  Sometimes we also see an idea collect a wide variety of user stories.  It may not have an incredibly high score, or even be growing as fast as other ideas.  But what if, out of 15 up votes, the community has provided 15 unique and compelling user stories in the comments?  Those user stories may reveal that the functionality could be used across a number of different industries, meaning that implementing the idea would have a greater impact than something that is a niche use.  This is a really good reason to not only vote for ideas that you’d like to see, but also provide your user story in the comments!


I think that does a pretty good job laying down the background. Now for what I really wanted to share - we've been moving a lot of ideas forward in the Desktop space recently. Ideas move from Reviewed to Under Consideration or In Product Plan. Under Consideration means we are actively considering and researching this Idea. In Product Plan means that we have scheduled the Idea for inclusion in a future release. Take a look at Statuses for ArcGIS Ideas to understand the finer details about what a status actually means. As we review just how much movement we've made on the ideas below, keep in mind that this is just in the Desktop space and there is a lot of progress being made across other products and technologies as well!


In the past month, here is a snapshot of status updates.


15 Desktop ideas have been moved from New or Reviewed to Under Consideration:


13 Desktop ideas have been moved to In Product Plan:


As we go, ideas that are In Product Plan will graduate to Implemented, many ideas that are Under Consideration will move to In Product Plan, and as you continue to enthusiastically submit more great ideas, the cycle will continue. I hope that sharing these updates is insightful.  I wanted to thank you for participating in the process and let you know that we’re listening!