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View scenes in Scene Viewer

You can view geospatial content in Scene Viewer in the portal website. Scene Viewer works with devices that support WebGL, a web technology built into most modern browsers for rendering 3D graphics. You can also author your own scenes when you sign in to Scene Viewer.


Before you open Scene Viewer, verify that your browser supports scenes.

Navigate your scene

Navigate scenes with Scene Viewer tools or use your mouse or touch device to move around scenes.


  • Click Initial view Initial view to return to the initial camera position.
  • Click + to zoom in.
  • Click - to zoom out.
  • You can also use your mouse and scroll wheel to zoom in and zoom out, or press and hold the middle mouse button and move down or up to zoom in or out.
  • Click Pan Pan to pan. Click and hold the left mouse button and drag the scene in the direction you want to move it. You can also pan by using the arrow keys on the keyboard.
  • Click Rotate Rotate to rotate. Click and hold the left mouse button and drag the scene in the direction you want to rotate and tilt it.

    When you click either tool, the left mouse button becomes the primary navigation and the right mouse button the secondary navigation. For example, click Rotate Rotate to use the left mouse button to rotate and the right mouse button to pan. The black triangle at the upper right of the tool indicates the tool is selected.

  • Compass Compass gives you the orientation of the scene. Click Compass Compass to set your scene to North orientation.


  • Scene Viewer provides viewing experiences for phones and tablets. With phones, you can navigate your scene with a simplified viewing experience without authoring or tools. Tablets offer the same UI as desktops.
  • If you have touch capabilities on your device, you can pinch zoom with two fingers and pan with one finger. You can also double-tap the scene to zoom in a step toward the tapped location. To rotate the scene, move two fingers in a clockwise or counterclockwise direction. To tilt the scene, drag two fingers up or down the screen.

    The Pan/Rotate switch navigation controls and 3D Navigation settings do not affect touch.

  • Scene Viewer supports standard gamepads and 3Dconnexion SpaceMouse devices for intuitive navigation. See Scene Viewer navigation devices for more information.


The following are helpful navigation actions you can use:



Zoom in at pointer.

Press P

Set your scene perpendicular to the ground.

Press N

Set your scene to North orientation.

Press B+Left click

View from the current camera position.

Press Arrow keys

Move the view left, right, up, or down (global scene only).

Press J

Move down, closer to the view (global scene only).

Press U

Move up, away from the view (global scene only).

Press Ctrl+S

Save your scene.

Press Ctrl+E

Start and stop sun animation over a day period.

Drag with one or multiple fingers


Double-tap with one finger

Zoom in at the finger position.

Use two fingers to pinch in or out

Zoom in or out.

Move two fingers in a clockwise or counterclockwise direction


Drag two fingers up or down the screen

Tilt the scene.

Explore building scene layers

The Building explorer tool Building explorer tool lets you explore building scene layers that contain the fine details of buildings such as walls, lighting fixtures, and mechanical systems. When your scene contains building scene layers, the Building explorer tool Building explorer tool is added at the bottom of the Scene Viewer tools.

Building scene layers can contain complex digital models of buildings and interiors and allow you to interact with all the components of the building through multiple layers. Often, they contain an overview layer that serves as an exterior shell and helps you view the building model as a single feature. Building scene layers are organized under the Disciplines & Categories heading. Discipline layers are group layers that organize the building scene layer content into Architectural, Structural, Mechanical, or Electrical groups when available. These group layers contain a number of Category layers like walls, windows, furniture, and lighting fixtures.

Explore building through tool

To explore building scene layers, do the following:

  1. Click the Building explorer tool Building explorer tool to open the tool.
  2. From the drop-down menu, select the building scene layer you want to explore.

    The building scene layer expands and allows you to see all the layers under the Disciplines & Categories heading.

  3. Click a building scene layer element, such as a door or wall, to display a pop-up about the feature.
  4. Click the layer and sublayer check boxes to show and hide features in the scene.
  5. To explore another building scene layer, select a new layer from the drop-down menu or click a different building scene layer in your scene.
    • The state of the layer visibility settings for each building scene layer are preserved in the Building explorer tool Building explorer tool.
    • When you select a different building scene layer, the scene zooms to the building scene layer and expands the layers in the tool for you to explore.
  6. Click None to collapse the layers in the tool and display only the overview layer in the scene.
    • The state of the layer visibility settings are preserved in the Building explorer tool Building explorer tool.
    • When a building scene layer doesn't have an overview layer, the layers collapse in the tool and the building scene layer remains the same in the scene.

    You can explore only one building scene layer at a time in the Building explorer tool Building explorer tool.

Alternatively, you can click different building scene layers in your scene to explore with the Building explorer tool Building explorer tool.

  • When the building scene layer has an overview layer, the Building explorer tool Building explorer tool opens.
  • When an overview layer isn't present, you see a pop-up with information about the highlighted element without opening the Building explorer tool Building explorer tool.

Slice scene content

You can use the Slice tool Slice tool to reveal occluded content in a scene. The Slice tool Slice tool hides any layers or terrain with which the slice intersects. For example, you can slice a building to display inside layers , such as interior walls and furniture.

Create a slice

To create a slice, do the following:

  1. Click Analyze Analyze to access the Slice tool Slice tool.
  2. Click the Slice tool Slice tool.
  3. Click New Slice
    • The tool indicates where you will slice the scene.
    • Press Ctrl/Cmd or Shift while clicking to slice with either a horizontal or vertical plane, respectively.
  4. Click a surface or object to make a slice.

    The slice hides any content in front of the surface.

  5. Drag the handles of the slice plane to move, resize, or rotate the slice.
  6. Click New Slice again to start a new slice.
  7. Close Analyze Analyze to hide the slice.
  8. Click the Slice tool Slice tool again for the slice to reappear in the scene.

Exclude layers

After a slice is created, you can exclude layers from the slice. For example, you can select the HVAC and windows layers in a building to remain visible while you slice.

  1. Click Exclude Layer from Slice.
  2. Click a layer in the scene that you want to exclude from the slice.

    The layer is added to the Excluded layers list.

  3. Click Cancel to return to the initial view.
  4. Click Exclude Layer from Slice again to make another layer visible.
  5. Click Remove next to the layer name to remove it from the Excluded layers list.

Interact with slice

Once you've created a slice, you can explore and examine your scene further with Scene Viewer tools, such as Pop-ups and Measure. For example, you can measure the length of an HVAC air duct inside a building that was hidden before.

Measure scene

The Measure tools allow you to measure distances between two points and calculate areas in your scene. When you click the Measure distance tool Measure distance or Measure area tool Measure area, horizontal laser lines are projected on the terrain and any objects in the scene. This visually shows the vertical height of the pointer as you measure. It is helpful to see the heights of objects relative to other objects and the terrain. For example, you can hover over a smaller building and see that exact height highlighted relative to another part of the terrain.


Use Measure distance Measure distance to calculate the distance between two points in a scene.  The Measure distance tool Measure distance labels the direct, horizontal, and vertical distance lines in the scene and displays the values in the panel.

  • Direct—Distance between two points
  • Horizontal—Horizontal distance between two points
  • Vertical—Vertical distance between two points

While you are measuring, a second laser line indicates where the vertical plane along the checkered line intersects with the terrain in all directions, such as with buildings, bridges, and the ground.

To measure distance, do the following:

  1. Click Analyze Analyze to open the Measure tools
  2. Click Measure distance Measure distance.
  3. Click in the scene to start measuring.
  4. Click to set the endpoint.
  5. Click New Measuement to start a new measurement.

When the distance between the points is greater than 100 kilometers, a circular laser line displays indicating that Scene Viewer has switched to geodesic mode. In geodesic mode Scene Viewer only calculates the horizontal and vertical distances, taking into consideration the curvature of the earth (that is, ellipsoid-based geodesic distance). The Direct distance option is unavailable.


Use Measure area Measure area to calculate the area of a polygon you draw. While measuring, the Measure area tool  Measure area labels the current segment length and the total length of the path in your scene. Once you close the path, a polygon is created with labeled values for the area and perimeter. These values also display in the panel.

  • Area—The area of the polygon
  • Perimeter—The perimeter length of the polygon

To measure area, do the following:

  1. Click Measure area  Measure area.
  2. Click in the scene to start adding points to the polygon.
  3. Double-click to close the path and calculate the polygon area. Alternatively, you can click the starting point again to close the path.
  4. Click New Measuement to start a new measurement.

When the polygon perimeter is greater than 100 kilometers, Scene Viewer switches to geodesic mode. In geodesic mode, Scene Viewer calculates the values, taking into consideration the curvature of the earth (that is, ellipsoid-based geodesic values).

After measuring

To adjust either the Measure distance Measure distance or Measure area Measure area measurement, hover over any point and drag. As you drag points, Scene Viewer displays the adjusted values in the scene and panel. You can change the unit of measure under Unit.


In local scenes, measurements are displayed as Euclidean values and may not be accurate depending on the scene's projected coordinate system. Web Mercator scenes display the accurate geodesic values.

Use search

Use search to look for locations, such as addresses or places. Click Search Search and type a keyword in the search box. Search Search returns matching results. You can click a result in the list or press Enter to navigate to that location. You can also configure search to look for specific features in layers, such as points of interest or building names.

View layers

Use Layers to manage the layers in Content that display in your scene. Click the check boxes to turn layers on and off in the scene. You have the following options:

  • Click Layers Layers to open Layers and see the layers of the scene.
  • Click the Zoom to button Zoom to to zoom your scene to the layer's extent.
  • Click Legend to see the symbology of the layers.
  • Click Layers Layers or another tool to close.

Choose a basemap

Click Basemap Basemap to switch your basemap and set ground transparency for the scene.

Adjust daylight

Open Daylight Environment to change how sunlight and shadows affect your scene during different times of the day and year.

Sunlight slider

Drag the Sunlight slider Sunlight slider left and right to adjust the sunlight and shadows in your scene at different times of the day. You can also adjust the time of day by manually entering it or by clicking specific times on the slider. To change time zones, click the current time zone to the right of the time box and choose from the drop-down list of time zones.

Click Play Play to animate the sunlight as it cycles through the day in your scene.


Click Calendar Calendar to change the sun's position at different times of the year.

Click Play Play to animate the sunlight as it cycles through the months in a year in your scene.


Check Show shadows to illustrate shadows in your scene. You can change shadow effects by adjusting the Sunlight slider Sunlight slider, time zone, and Calendar Calendar options.

Share the scene

Click Share Share to share the scene by email or social media, embed it in a website, or create a web app from the scene.

Change settings

Settings Settings contains tools where you can adjust performance quality and mouse navigation settings for your browser.

Performance and quality

Choose from the following settings to optimize 3D graphics rendering:

  • Quality—Higher-quality visualizations, such as realistic atmosphere
  • Balanced—Equal optimization of performance and quality
  • Performance—Increased stability and speed by reducing data load

3D navigation

Choose the 3D Navigation option you are more comfortable with: the default Scene Viewer navigation or the ArcGIS Pro mouse navigation.

Display the scene in full screen

Click Full Screen Full screen at the lower right to switch to full screen mode. Exit the full screen by clicking Exit Full Screen (Esc) or pressing Esc on your keyboard.