Creating a blank hosted tiled layer

Blog Post created by NFurness-esristaff Employee on Jul 7, 2016

A user recently asked whether there was a blank tiled layer anywhere that could save them temporarily after they pushed a build to the Apple App Store. I wasn't aware of one, but knowing that the Runtime SDKs and JS APIs would be OK with a tiled layer that was only partially generated, it struck me that ArcGIS Online could support a pretty efficient workflow for creating one.


So, here it is.


  1. Log in at and create a new layer:
  2. Set up the layer (no harm allowing attachments but since this layer will never hold any data I uncheck that option):
  3. Open the new layer in ArcGIS Online:
  4. Click Publish to create a tiled layer from the feature layer:
  5. Wait for it to spin up, then give the tiled layer a name and make sure it's visible across all ranges (don't worry - we won't actually create all those tiles!), and click OK:
  6. Now only generate the smallest scale set of tiles and leave all other levels blank. Select the scale level with least tiles and click Create Tiles:
  7. You'll be given a warning dialog. Make sure the numbers make sense and you're not about to accidentally burn through all your credits and click "Yes, create tiles":
  8. ArcGIS Online will tell you things are baking… You can close the tile management panel now.
    2016-07-07_12-33-32.pngand ArcGIS Online will still tell you things are baking…
  9. When it's done, you'll see 0% of the tiles are available. Don't worry. 24 out of a few hundreds of millions of tiles is really close to 0% Click Manage Tiles to review what was created. Just make sure that 100% of the tiles you actually requested for that one scale level were created:
  10. If you need to share the tiled layer, go ahead, but otherwise that's it - you've generated a blank tiled service layer that the APIs and SDKs can use.


You generally won't need this hack, but maybe you'll find yourself in a bind and this can help out.