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Take web maps offline

Taking web maps offline allows you to view, collect, and update features when you are disconnected from the Internet. Once you're reconnected, you can synchronize your map, send any updates you have, and get map updates from other users.

You can create a web map in an ArcGIS Enterprise portal for use offline in ArcGIS apps such as Collector for ArcGIS, ArcGIS Pro, and custom apps built with ArcGIS Runtime SDK.

Enable the layers and map for offline use

To take a web map offline, all the layers, including the basemap and reference layers, must be enabled for offline use. Esri basemaps are automatically enabled for offline use, but additional configuration is needed to use them in Collector for ArcGIS. See the Collector for ArcGIS documentation for instructions. You can enable the following types of map layers for offline use:

  • Cached ArcGIS Server map services (from ArcGIS Server 10.3 or later) and cached ArcGIS Server image services (from ArcGIS Server 10.5.1 or later)—Check the Allow clients to export cache tiles check box in Advanced Settings.
  • ArcGIS Server feature services (from ArcGIS Server 10.3 or later)—Choose the Query and Sync options to enable offline use. If you want the data to be editable, also choose any combination of Create, Delete, and Update.
  • Hosted feature layers—Check the Enable Sync check box on the Settings tab of the item page.
  • Hosted tile layers—Check the Allow this layer to be downloaded and used in an offline map check box on the Settings tab of the item page.

    To determine whether vector hosted tile layers can be used offline in a specific ArcGIS app, see the app documentation.

After the layers are enabled for offline use, you can enable the web map for offline use by checking the Enable offline mode check box under Offline Mode in the item page settings. If your map supports offline use—that is, if all layers in the map are enabled for offline use when the map is saved—taking it offline is automatically enabled. If you don’t want your map to be taken offline, clear the Enable offline mode check box and click Save.

If the map you want to take offline contains a tile layer, the source service definition file, tile package, or vector tile package for the tile layer must exist in your portal.

Choose the right advanced offline options for your project

When authoring a map for offline use, you can specify the information that users receive from the server by adjusting the Advanced Offline Options settings. These settings affect the data users initially download and subsequently sync from the server. These settings do not affect edits made by the user; those are always sent to the server.

To adjust the advanced offline options, click the Show advanced options link next to the Offline Mode setting on the map's item page. These options are configurable when the requirements detailed above for taking a map offline are met, as well as when there is at least one editable feature layer in the map and all editable feature layers in the map are either hosted feature layers or layers from ArcGIS Server 10.4 or later feature services.

The advanced offline options work out of the box in Collector for ArcGIS. Developers building their own apps with ArcGIS Runtime SDK can take advantage of these advanced options using unsupported JSON. For example, if you're building an app using ArcGIS Runtime SDK for .NET, you could use the UnsupportedJson property.

The following subsections provide more details about each of these settings and explain how to choose the right one for your project depending on the types of information your users need as well as any bandwidth or transfer time limits your organization has implemented.

Options for editable layers

In the Editable layers section, specify the types of data users retrieve from the server. Edits are always sent to the server each time the user synchronizes data. By default, both features and attachments are retrieved.

Features

Leave Features checked if users need to see the features in a work area when a map is first downloaded in addition to new and updated features after syncing. This option results in slower performance and increased storage usage for the initial download and subsequent sync operations, but it delivers all the features in a work area.

If users don't need to see existing features when they first download a map or update features they are not working with when they sync, uncheck this option. This decreases the amount of data transferred. New features are always uploaded during sync.

Attachments

Leave Attachments checked if users need to see them. This increases the size of the data you retrieve with the initial download and synchronizes with the server.

Uncheck Attachments if users don't need to see these to complete their work. Attachments will not be downloaded, which decreases storage on your mobile device and decreases the time it takes to download and sync. New attachments are always uploaded during sync.

Note:

If one or more of your layers is from ArcGIS Server 10.3.1 or earlier, you can't exclude attachments for editable layers.

Options for read-only layers

In the Read-only layers section, you only specify whether users will retrieve attachments from the server for noneditable layers. Features in read-only layers are always retrieved. Uncheck Attachments when users don't need to see attachments associated with read-only features. Users still see read-only assets, but data size and transfer time costs are reduced because users don't sync attachments.