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Map service

The map service is the way that you make maps available over the internet or your intranet. You'll make the map in ArcGIS Pro, publish the map as a service to your ArcGIS Server site. Map services or individual layers within map services can be added to web applications, ArcGIS Pro, ArcGIS Online, and other client applications as a map image layer or a feature layer, respectively. A map service added as a map image layer is drawn on the server side, whereas an individual layer within a map service added as a feature layer is drawn on the client side.

What a map service can do

A map service makes maps, features, and attribute data available inside many types of client applications and can expose different levels of capabilities. When a map service is hosted on an ArcGIS Server site, it exposes additional functionality, such as dynamic drawing, query, and search. With ArcGIS Server, further web services may be available through the map service root URL that allow network analysis, vector feature editing, and so forth. One common use of a map service is to show business data on top of basemap tiles from ArcGIS Online, Bing Maps, or Google Maps. Many other ways to use a map service are described in Common reasons for using map services.

Start creating a map service

When you've created a map in ArcGIS Pro and are ready to share it, right-click the ArcGIS Server that you'll publish to in the Catalog pane, and choose Publish > Map Service. The items on the Select Map dialog box can help you get started sharing your map as a service. See Publish a service for full instructions.

Server-side advantages

Server-side drawing of map services provides the following advantages:

  • Use advanced cartography that ArcGIS Pro supports.
  • Configure advanced map labeling provided by the Maplex Label Engine.
  • Draw curves.
  • Work with additional layer types such as raster and TIN layers.
  • Improved security as server-side drawing only returns images and not data.