Reference Layers for Vector Tiles (follow-up)

01-26-2022 11:30 AM
Occasional Contributor II

Hi.  I just landed on a seemingly good workflow for creating Collector/Field Map apps by essentially using the same vector tile layer + esri basemap as basially, my basemap.  Then dropping those into a webmap with my operational data for specific webmaps, and ultimately Collector maps.   But I'm running into an incipient issue, which has been raised here: How do I create a reference layer for my VectorTil... - Esri Community  My vector tile layer containing customized labels, can NOT be placed above anything except basemaps in the Table of Contents.  Therefore, my labels get covered up by the specific map's operational feature layers. 


A) Create my operational map in ArcPro - i.e. invertebrate field survey, and publish as Web Map to AGOL

B) Publish a vector tile layer composed of basic vectors like roads, rivers, etc.  to Add to Web Map

C) add a basemap from (i.e. ESRI aerial) to Web Map

But when I do that, apparently there is no way to arrange the vector tile layer on top of Feature Layers in the Table of Contents, therefore my vector tile labels are always below the operational layers (see image below).  Of course to deal with that in official basemaps, we can Set as a Reference Layer the labels and they will draw on the very top.  However, as mentioned in the linked post from 2020, vector tiles do not have this capability.

Is that the still the case in 2022?  Seems an oversight if a data type (Vector Tiles) seemingly designed to be used as basemaps cannot be customized to allow labels to draw on top of everything.  See how the feature layer (red) blocks the label from the vector tile layer (split pea color).


Is there still no non-hacky way to directly reference labels from a vector tile layer?

Thanks - Zach

1 Reply
Regular Contributor

In our maps we have only a few feature layers and they end up on top of my vector tile labels because of this. I live with it and symbolize them as lines. Some of them will soon republished as MILs

Nearly everything we publish is done as a Map Image Layer and MILs can go anywhere. What's a MIL, it's a collection of one or more layers. I've never understood why the layer order matters when the services are basically the same. 

(ESRI please tell me why? I can use all ESRI services in an OpenLayers map and it has no such restrictions.)

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