ArcMap: Zooming in on basemaps and feature layers extremely slow

12-24-2015 09:00 AM
New Contributor III

This is definitely not a hardware problem, because when I access OpenStreetMap online from the ArcGIS page it zooms in, zooms out, and scrolls pleasantly smoothly. However, it's a pain scrolling around and zooming in or out while I'm in ArcMap, basemaps on or off: it's very slow and choppy. What can I do to have the smooth behavior I have with ArcGIS online or in other pages supported by esri?

2 Replies
MVP Esteemed Contributor

Hi Marcel,

Try a couple of things and lat us know if there is any improvement in rendering of basemaps in ArcMap.

1) Add the ArcGIS Online basemaps as services in ArcCatalog.

Try connecting to the service layers through creating a GIS Server Connection in ArcCatalog.

Here is how to do this:

  1. Open ArcCatalog.
  2. Expand GIS Servers.
  3. Double click Add ArcGIS Server.
  4. Select Use GIS services and click Next.
  5. For Server URL, type (This is the URL needed for ArcCatalog. This will not work in the internet browser.)
  6. Click Finish.
  7. Expand the Server connection and drag one of the service layers into ArcMap.

2) The basemaps in ArcGIS Online generally use WGS_1984_Web_Mercator_Auxiliary_Sphere projection system. So, you could set the data frame properties to use the same projection system before adding any basemap. This would make sure there is no on-the-fly reprojection of basemaps while drawing everytime.

Think Location
New Contributor III

Thank you Jayanta.

Let's start with (2), this was very helpful. Even when not using a basemap, but several layers of different coordinate systems, projecting some feature classes to use the coordinate system set for the data frame does significantly improves experience.

Regarding (1), I guess I've tried this without explicitly setting up a connection. I created a new empty data frame and loaded OpenStreetMaps. But I tired your procedure as well. In both cases, panning and zooming are nowhere nearly as smooth as with ArcGIS online, which is incredibly smooth.

EDIT: I get a smoother pan and zoom when I click the "Preview" tab in ArcCatalog as opposed to dragging the map from ArcCatalog to ArcMap.