Skip To Content

What is a globe service?

Available with 3D Analyst license.

A globe service is a type of ArcGIS Server web service originating from an ArcGlobe document (.3dd). It is one of the ways that you can share 3D content on the web using ArcGIS. A globe service gives you access to 3D content that you originally create in ArcGlobe. Starting at ArcGIS 10.1, you can directly share your globe services with different clients from ArcGlobe. Client applications that consume globe services include ArcGlobe, ArcGIS Explorer Desktop, ArcReader, and any custom application built from ArcGIS Engine utilizing the Globe Control.

What can a globe service do?

ArcGIS for Server and the ArcGIS 3D Analyst extension work together to provide 3D-specific services through the web. A globe service supports all the same display options that are available when viewing the layer locally. For example, globe services can be created to share 3D objects, such as a virtual city of building features and street furniture, or high-resolution elevation surfaces, such as a 1-meter DEM created from lidar.

A globe service can share almost all the supported layer types in ArcGlobe as a published globe service. Examples of some layer types that are not supported for publishing are these:

  • Layers from ArcGIS Online, such as Bing Maps layers and other globe service layers
  • Network layers
  • Video layers

For authoring tips about preparing your ArcGlobe document to successfully publish a globe service, such as layer properties and caching recommendations, see Tips for authoring globe services.

How is a globe service different from a map service?

Both globe services and map services make GIS data available to various types of client applications. However, the originating applications for the services are different: map services are created from ArcMap, and globe services are created from ArcGlobe. The two service types also have different settings and capabilities as you work through configuring your service using the Service Editor. As well, some of the available buttons on the window will be different depending on which service type you are publishing. For example, you will not find the Preview Preview or Import Import buttons on the Service Editor in ArcGlobe.

Finally, although both service types have the concept of a cache, globe caches are stored in a different file format and folder hierarchy than map caches. This is further described below.

Globe server caches

A globe cache stores prerendered image tiles on disk. When someone uses a globe service client, such as ArcGIS Explorer Desktopor ArcGlobe, to view an area of your service, your server can simply retrieve the tile from the cache instead of taking the time to draw the view. It's up to you to determine the size of your initial cache (partial or full), but you should consider creating at least a partial cache to optimize the performance of your services.

The scope of the cache you choose to build depends on the resources that you have available for creating and storing the cache. For example, raster data as elevation must always have the full data cache built before being able to be consumed as part of a globe service. To learn more about globe server caches, see how globe caches work, globe cache properties, updating globe caches, which will guide you through building and deploying globe caches.

How do I start creating a globe service?

All globe services begin inside ArcGlobe where you author your layers. When you've finished authoring and are ready to publish, click File > Share As > Service. The items on the Share as Service window can help you tune and configure your globe document for publishing to ArcGIS for Server. See Publishing a globe service for full instructions.