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Creating a map cache

Creating a cache of pregenerated images (or tiles) can help your map or image service run more quickly. You can set up the properties of the cache and even begin creating tiles at the time you publish the service.

  1. Open the Service Editor dialog box for your service.

    There are two ways to get to the Service Editor:

    • Start publishing a map or an image service as described in How to publish a service. At the final phase of the publishing process, the Service Editor appears.
    • Right-click an already-running service in the Catalog window and click Service Properties.
  2. From the left menu of the Service Editor, click Caching.
  3. Choose the option to draw your map service Using tiles from a cache.
  4. From the Tiling Scheme drop-down list, choose the tiling scheme for your cache.

    The tiling scheme determines the scales at which tiles will be created and the boundaries of your tiles. It contains information about the coordinate system of the cache and some other properties. There are several ways to choose a tiling scheme:

    • If you want to use the same tiling scheme as the ArcGIS Online, Bing Maps, and Google Maps caches, choose ArcGIS Online / Bing Maps / Google Maps. The data in your map will be reprojected on the fly to the required coordinate system of this tiling scheme, which is WGS 1984 Web Mercator (Auxiliary Sphere).
    • If you want to use your own tiling scheme, choose A tiling scheme file and browse to a tiling scheme XML file that you have created using the Generate Map Server Cache Tiling Scheme tool.
    • If you want to use the same tiling scheme as another existing map service, choose An existing cached map / image service and browse to the service.
    • If you want ArcGIS to suggest some scales for you, click Suggest and type the number of scales you want. This option is only recommended for experimental or testing purposes. In most cases, you will have already designed your map with a specific set of scale levels in mind.
  5. Use the sliders to set the Levels of Detail property.

    Tiling schemes often contain many scales. Depending on your map, you might want to forego caching some of the extremely large or small scales in your tiling scheme. ArcGIS examines the scale dependencies in your map and suggests a minimum and maximum range of scales for caching. You can adjust this range to your liking. The remaining scales are not removed from your tiling scheme, but you will not be able to create tiles for them unless you return to this dialog box and include them in the range.

  6. Choose whether the cache will be built automatically when the service is published, or whether you will build the cache manually after the service is published. These options are available at the bottom of the Service Editor.

    Use the reported Estimated Cache Size and the more accurate accompanying utility Calculate Cache Size to help you make this choice (see Estimating the size of a map cache to learn more about these estimates). If the cache is large, it’s wise to build it manually in phases, caching the largest scales at selected areas of interest that are most likely to be visited. If the cache is small, it’s easier to just build the whole cache automatically at the time you publish.

  7. If you have chosen to create the cache automatically at the time you publish, click Advanced Settings in the left menu and choose the Area of interest to cache.

    If the shape of the geography you are caching is not rectangular, it’s recommended you choose Import from a feature class and browse to a simple feature class containing your geography of interest. See Map caching based on feature boundaries for guidelines on preparing this feature class.

  8. Adjust other properties from the Advanced Settings tab as appropriate. These settings are described in Available map cache properties.
  9. Continue working in the Service Editor as needed.
    • If you’re creating a new service, click Publish when you are ready to publish.
    • If you’re editing an existing service, click OK to save your changes.

    If you chose to build your cache automatically it will begin building at this time. You can check its progress by viewing the geoprocessing Results window in ArcMap.

  10. If you chose to build your cache manually, right-click your service in the Catalog window and click Manage Cache > Manage Tiles. This displays the Manage Map Server Cache Tiles tool, which you can run using the scales and areas of interest that you choose.

If you chose to build your cache automatically, the cache is created asynchronously. This means you can close ArcMap while the caching is occurring.

If you chose to build your cache manually, you can get asynchronous caching by unchecking the parameter Wait for job completion on the Manage Map Server Cache Tiles tool.