Vector tiles not holding labeling style

03-18-2016 12:37 PM
Occasional Contributor

I am creating Vector tiles of a parcel layer with labels. My project has labels that stack and are placed "straight in polygon." In ArcGIS Pro all the labels draw as I would predict. After I create my vector tile package and upload to ArcGIS Online the labels are different. I've also noticed that some features don't get labeled at all. I've attached images of some of the differences I've seen. Just wondering if there are some guidelines for labeling with vector tiling that I am missing.


6 Replies
MVP Esteemed Contributor

Are you following the instructions here... Author a map for vector tile creation—ArcGIS Pro | ArcGIS for Desktop

the only link that talks about labels in detail is this one Label classes—ArcGIS Pro | ArcGIS for Desktop

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Occasional Contributor


Thanks for the reply. Yes, as far as I can tell I have followed the recommendations for vector tile map creation and using label classes.

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New Contributor II

I have had similar problems when using vbnewline to break labels over 2 lines, as is the suggested method in the documentation.  It draws as expected in ArcPro, but draws on one line in the resulting vector tile layer.  I've tried using the other two options (Javascript and Python) in the label expression, but they also do not work.

I have submitted a ticket to Esri to address this problem. The problem is that ArcGIS Online does not interpret all of the labeling the same way that ArcGIS Pro does.  According to Esri staff, "...this is in fact a limitation between ArcGIS Pro and ArcGIS Online."  Hopefully it is one they will address, as this is pretty basic cartography that we've been able to do in ArcGIS for a long time, and severely limits your labeling options.

New Contributor

Thanks Chris. I'm about to put in a ticket. I'm experiencing similar issues and more as well:

  • Some labels look like the printer ran out of ink... letters at the beginning or end of the label are cut in half or missing entirely.
  • Duplicate labels are being removed when I don't want them to be removed.
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New Contributor III

The first issue is documented by ESRI itself:

  • Labels along vector tile boundaries sometimes do not display completely.

For the second problem see my full answer below. Depending on how your labels are stored and on the connected feature, you may be able to get what you need, but Maplex settings will be disregarded anyway.

New Contributor III

Unfortunately, labeling rules in ArcGIS Pro cannot translate seamlessly to vector tiles, as long as they are using Mapbox Style Specification .

In fact, according to this specification, there is simply no way to translate a large part of the labeling behaviour provided by the Maplex engine (for instance, stacking, weights, or dynamic positioning) into something that will work in a Vector Tile layer, and in my experience even simple properties that should work properly are not always carried over by the ESRI tools

To fix some of this issues you may have to manually edit the style .json in your hosted server, but this will involve some trial and error if you are not already familar with the Mapbox Specs.

Short answer: don't expect labels to behave in the same way in vector tiles, and stick as much as possible to basic properties.