Map vs. Feature Service

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08-08-2013 12:14 PM
JillThornton
New Contributor
Is there a difference between a Map Service and a Feature Service?  Our organization website has had an interactive map running off of ArcGIS Server for 2 years, but now we're transferring to ArcGIS Online....our developer is having problems pointing the website to the Feature Service URL link, and says we need for it to be a Map Service....is this right?  Is there a difference, or is there a setting I'm just not clicking when publishing the layers?  Thanks,  Jill
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6 Replies
TimothieBiggs
New Contributor II
I'm afraid I can't answer your question fully but hoping for some more clarity myself on this subject....hope you don't mind me jumping on your bandwagon...

In simple terms is a feature service = vector while a map service = raster (a rasterized version of what was orginally a vector dataset)?

Are the terms map service and tiled/cached service interchangeable?

Or is a map service the generic term with feature service and tiled/cached services two different types of map service?

Following on from this I understand you can have a map service that is combined with both a feature service and tiled/cached service generated?

And where does a dynamic map service fit in to this?

I'll get the hang of this any day now!!!!
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JillThornton
New Contributor
Thanks for this input, those are additional questions I had as well in my research...it does appear in Help documents that when a "map service" is referred to, it mentions tiling...unfortunately, I need vector layers, so I guess we'll just wait to hear from a pro about what all this means!
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MikeMinami
Esri Notable Contributor
Jill,

There are some differences between services running on ArcGIS Server vs hosted in ArcGIS Online. For the most part, feature servicework the same way. Hosted Map Services are tiled map services. They don't support dynamic mapping like ArcGIS Server map services do. Nor do they directly support queries (for popups/identify) because they are just tiled images, although if you publish features at the same time, the features will be used to support queries.

How are you transferring your data? Do you want to create hosted services? You can link your existing ArcGIS Server service via a URL to your "My Content". This will create an item that references your ArcGIS server service. To create a hosted service, you start from ArcMap, compile your data into a map, then publish it.

Hope this helps explain thing a little more.

Thanks,

Mike
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CrystalMcDermott1
New Contributor II

Mike Minami,

Specifically, when I add a map service to AGOL maps the labels I created in Arcmap appear.  When I add just the layer from the map service to AGOL maps the labels do not appear. Why?

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MikeMinami
Esri Notable Contributor

When you add a map service to a web map, the server that hosts that map service draws an image of the service and returns that image to the client to draw as part of the web map. The labels are part of the image, thus you see them in the web map.

When you single out a particular sublayer in your map service, the server no longer draws an image to return to the client. Instead, the server just returns the geometric coordinates of the features in the sublayer. It's now up to the client to draw the geometries based on the returned coordinates. In this scenario, there are no labels. 

AGOL does have an ability to draw labels on features, but doesn't have the sophistication of what Desktop can do. Thus, if you need advanced labeling, you'll need to stick with your map service. 

Mike

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JillThornton
New Contributor
I have forwarded your reply to my developer, and hopefully he can tell me how he's planning to do all of it....hoping your reply will help!  Thanks!
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