Publishing Data

ArcGIS Image Server

What can be published as an image service?

You can publish the following as an image service:

  • Raster dataset

  • Mosaic dataset

Options for publishing depending on your setup

You have the following options for publishing image services depending on your software:

  • I have ArcGIS GIS Server only. Use the Catalog pane to publish the service. You can only publish raster datasets.

  • I have ArcGIS GIS Server and ArcGIS Image Server. You can use the Catalog pane to publish the service. You can publish raster datasets and mosaic datasets. License: ArcGIS Image Server is also required when publishing a map document containing a mosaic dataset or raster layer using the Mosaic function in its function chain. Without ArcGIS Image Server, the services created from these documents will not contain the mosaic dataset or layer.

Publish an image service

In ArcGIS Pro, you can share selected raster dataset as web imagery layers to ArcGIS Enterprise. The default configuration allows you to view the dataset and its associated metadata. The privilege to publish server-based layers is required to share a web imagery layer. See Web imagery layer for instructions on publishing imagery layer that references registered data.

ArcGIS Online for Image

Hosted imagery layers can be used to manage, share, and analyze raster and imagery data in your organization. You can perform analysis using tools and raster functions with hosted imagery layers in Map Viewer or Map Viewer Classic. You can also manage large collections of imagery, and include imagery layers in hosted apps and maps. Hosting an imagery layer on ArcGIS Online is one way to share data with an internet audience if your own ArcGIS Server site cannot be made public. Maps, apps, and desktop map viewers in your organization can access your services from anywhere on the internet if you choose to allow it.

Publish a hosted tiled or dynamic imagery layer in ArcGIS Online by using the Create imagery layers window that guides you through creating an imagery layer. You can publish one or multiple imagery layers for supported data types.

To create hosted imagery layers, you must have privileges to publish hosted imagery layers and create content.


Hosted imagery layers are different from raster tile layers. Raster tile layers support visualization of imagery and raster data, but they do not support analysis. Hosted imagery layers allow access to the imagery or raster data, including the pixel or cell values across multiple bands, and multidimensional data.

Create an imagery layer

To create web maps with raster and imagery data, and to share this data with internal and external users, publish your data as hosted imagery layers.

You can publish data as tiled or dynamic imagery layers, with one or multiple imagery layers, or you can mosaic several images as one imagery layer. You can also publish multiple images as an image collection, which allows you to query the resulting hosted imagery layer for the properties of individual images.

Both tiled and dynamic imagery layers support access to imagery pixel data and metadata such as raster attribute tables, statistics, and histograms. With tiled imagery layers, groups of pixels are processed as static tiles, and processing occurs on the client machine. With dynamic imagery layers, you can also use raster function templates as a custom renderer to perform analysis on the fly. All processing is done on the server side.

If you publish a hosted tiled imagery layer from JPEG source imagery, the WMTS capability is automatically enabled on the hosted tiled imagery layer.

Publish hosted tile layers from files

Tile layers published to and hosted on ArcGIS Online support fast visualization of large datasets using a collection of predrawn map images or tiles. Hosted tiles provide geographic context for your operational layers. For example, you can include tiles of streets in your neighborhood to provide a visual reference for the street signs in your feature layer.

Tile layers hosted on ArcGIS Online are useful when you need to expose a map on the web for visualization, but you do not have your own ArcGIS Server. They also allow you to share certain maps with an internet audience if your own ArcGIS Server cannot be made public. WMTS is available for tile layers hosted on ArcGIS Online that are shared with the public.

You can publish a tile layer from an existing hosted feature layer, or use any of the following methods to create a file in ArcGIS Pro or ArcMap, and use that file to publish a hosted tile layer in ArcGIS Online:


See Tile layers for information that can help you decide which method to use to publish a tile layer.

To publish a hosted tile layer, you must be a member of one of the following in your organization:

When you publish from ArcGIS Pro, ArcMap, or a tile package, a tile package file is added as an item in your content. Once you confirm that the tile layer functions, you can delete the tile layer package from ArcGIS Online to save storage space, but only do so if you are certain that you no longer need the tile package.

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