I am working with openlayers and esri rest services. In my api, due to esriGeometryPolygon for all cities, rendering the map is taking lots of time and therefore I don't get a good result. First of all, is there a way to get robust performance when loading a layer, aside from simplifying it first? Or is there any way of converting arcgis rest to vector layer for openlayers?

The snatchy solution I have found is logging from the following address


and then a periodic Clear Cache Options ... The long term solution is caching.

3 Answers 3


I'm not that familiar with OpenLayers, but it looks like vector layers are indeed vectors. AFAIK Esri hasn't supported vector tiles since Librarian, so in their documentation for ArcGIS Server, all discussion of tiles pertain to raster tiles. Dave Bouwman has a video here on work he's done on vector tiles.

  • You say ESRI doesn't support tiling of vector layers and then you post a link to a video titled "Creating a Vector Tile Cache for ArcGIS Server" (which i already posted in my answer)... so which one is it? I'll tell you, they DO indeed support tiling of vector layers. I do it all the time.
    – CaptDragon
    May 26, 2011 at 16:43
  • Sorry, in the video Dave describes how he has extended arcgis server (using an SOE) to serve out vector tiles. His solution is on github and is not supported by Esri. Please let me know how you are able to do vector tiles out of the box. May 26, 2011 at 16:58
  • I see where the confusion is: basically i'm creating a tile caches from vector layers. Once they are in tile format they are no longer Vector unless the data is not in the tile, then it will query the vector. I'm not suggesting the tiles are still vectors.
    – CaptDragon
    May 26, 2011 at 17:22
  • Also it's not clear to me that openlayers can consume vector tiles. If not, it would be interesting if openlayers were to be the first OOTB client for Dave's vector tiles. May 26, 2011 at 18:02

It's not clear if this is what you are doing already, but you can load an ESRI REST layer directly into OpenLayers by supplying the URL. See the OpenLayers API docs and example.

This will be a raster / image layer - do you need to access/manipulate the geometry on the client-side, or only see it?

As it is an image then you can cache data as mentioned by others.

If you need to access the geometry then it could be easiest to serve out a WFS layer from your ESRI server which can be read directly into OpenLayers.


You have a vector of an entire city. If it's detailed and has a lot of data, as a posed to just one polygon covering the city, it's going to be heavy and of course take a long time to render. So create a cache and it will load much faster.

Some more information about how you use this layer would be helpful. But as ESRI recommends: it's not a question of "when" or "if" to cache, but "how" to cache. So create tiles out of your vector layer and this will fix your performance problem.

Here's some more information on how to create your cache:





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