You can cache and share your imagery as a tiled map service on ArcGIS Online. If you have a small number of images, you can use ArcMap to create a tile package and upload to ArcGIS Online. However, if you want to publish a tiled map service from a large amount of images, the recommended workflow is the following:
- Create a mosaic dataset from the images.
- Generate a tile cache from the mosaic dataset using the Tile Cache toolset in ArcGIS Desktop.
- Package the tile cache.
- Upload the tile package to ArcGIS Online where you can publish it as a tiled map service.
- It avoids copying source images to ArcGIS Online.
- It offloads the job of generating cache tiles to ArcGIS Desktop.
- It speeds up cache generation by taking advantage the multiple cores on your desktop machine.
The tile cache created by the Tile Cache tools is a special raster dataset that contains images (tiles) at a predefined size and levels. It is the same cache that is created for a map service or image service for fast access. The sources used to generate the tile cache can be
- A raster dataset (or a raster layer)
- A mosaic dataset (or a mosaic layer)
- A map document
You may prefer using the raster layer or mosaic layer to ensure the data has the appropriate rendering rules to generate the tile cache. This is particularly useful if you have data with multiple bands: the layer allows you to define the appropriate RGB band combination. It is also useful if you have data that is not 8-bit: the layer allows you to define an appropriate stretch to see the data correctly.
The workflow to publish tiled map service from imagery
- Create a mosaic dataset from a collection of images.
- If you want to use a tiling scheme other than the ArcGIS Online tiling scheme, use the Generate Tile Cache Tiling Scheme tool to generate the tiling scheme file.
- Use the Manage Tile Cache tool to generate the tile cache.
Make sure you define the scale levels properly and set a maximum source cell size to be a number between a level of the smallest cell size and the level above it.
- Convert the tile cache to a tile package by using the Export Tile Cache tool with the TILE_PACKAGE keyword selected.
- Run the Share Package tool to upload the tile package to ArcGIS Online.
- Share the uploaded package as a tiled map service on ArcGIS Online.
- Log in to your ArcGIS Online account.
- Click the tile package item that you just shared.
- Click the Publish button to share the tile package as a tiled map service.
Once you have the service running, you can optionally delete the tile package from ArcGIS Online.