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Switch the basemap

A basemap provides a background of geographic context for the content in a scene. ArcGIS Online includes a basemap gallery with a variety of choices, including 3D basemaps, topography, imagery, and streets. You can configure the contents of the basemap gallery if you have administrator privileges in your organization. To use these basemaps in Scene Viewer, follow the Scene Viewer basemap requirements.

Choose a basemap

To choose a basemap, complete the following steps:

  1. Click the Basemap tool Basemap to open the gallery.
  2. Click the basemap that best emphasizes the scene.

    A variety of basemap styles are available in Scene Viewer, including 3D basemaps, dark mode, and OpenStreetMap.

  3. Click No basemap to see only the ground color that was configured by the author of the scene.

3D basemaps

3D basemaps contain layers—such as buildings, labels, or trees—that you can turn on and off. You can also mask out existing 3D content such as an existing building and replace it with a proposed building.

3D basemaps are indicated with the 3D label. You can click a basemap with the 3D label to expand the basemap and view the available layers. Under 3D layers, you can turn on and off layers by checking or unchecking the check boxes.


Web scenes that contain 3D basemaps cannot be opened in ArcGIS Runtime apps at this time.

The organization administrator controls whether this functionality is available in your organization. If the administrator disables this functionality, the 3D basemaps will not be present in Scene Viewer or ArcGIS Pro 3.2 and later.

Create or edit masks

You can create or edit masks to show 3D content inside or outside of the mask.

To create or edit 3D content masks, complete the following steps:

  1. Under 3D layers mask, click Create to open the masking tools.
  2. Click Draw mask Draw polygons, and do the following:
    1. Click a location in the scene to start drawing a mask and click to add points.
    2. To finish the mask, click the first vertex, double-click, or press Enter.

      To hide other 3D content, draw additional masks.

  3. Click Update mask Update mask to edit a mask, and do the following:
    1. Use the interactive handles to resize, rotate, or move the mask.
    2. Click the mask polygon again to move individual vertices to reshape it.

      You can also drag vertices in the middle of a segment to add vertices. This allows you to further reshape the polygon.

    3. Click again to use the interactive handles.
  4. Click Mask inside Mask inside or Mask outside Mask outside to mask 3D content inside or outside the mask, respectively.
  5. Click Done to close the masking tools.
  6. Click the 3D layers mask options Options and click Delete all masks Delete all masks to delete all 3D content masks that were created in the scene.

The 3D basemap layer visibility under 3D layers and masks you create are saved in the scene and can also be saved in slides.

Ground transparency

You can adjust the Ground Transparency slider to increase or decrease the ground transparency in a scene. Making the ground more transparent in a scene allows you to see the subsurface data under the basemap, such as earthquakes or geological rock types. In addition, the ground transparency settings are saved in slides similar to basemaps.


You can't see through tile layers using the transparency slider. Turn off those layers or increase the tile layer transparency to see the underground layers.