I would like to use a basemap from the Ancient World Mapping Centre, available as maptiles via Mapbox, as basemap in my ArcMap desktop version 10.2.2.

It is possible to add a web tile layer to ArcGIS online as described in:

Is there a similar solution to add a custom map tile layer to ArcMap as in the question underneath?

Adding custom map tile layer using QGIS?

Note: I am looking for a solution that's not using external pluggin or ArcGIS Online.

  • Maybe ArcBrutile can help you? I haven't used it myself yet, but Mapbox is mentioned as one of the supported formats.
    – Berend
    Dec 21, 2015 at 14:19
  • I would like to add a custom basemap in ArcMap too. Have you found a way to do it? Apr 12, 2016 at 14:16

2 Answers 2


I am using 10.2.2 and as far as I have been able to tell, there is no equivalent to the (rather excellent) way you can do this in QGIS.

The only option is to save a custom map layer on ArcGIS online and then connect to it using the 'Add data from ArcGIS online' option in the Add Data tab. Otherwise you are restricted to the generic base maps provided by ESRI.

In Arcmap:

File > Add Data > Add data from ArcGIS online..

  • Thank you Alex. I'm afraid I do not own the tiles I want to use, so I can't save the map layer to my content.
    – Gerben
    Dec 21, 2015 at 11:16

Update for September 2017:

This is pretty straighforward at this point (finally). You don't need to "own" the tiles to do this, only add the tile service to an ArcGIS online webmap (Add --> Layer From Web) like so:

Add tile service

After that, save the webmap (not the tiles themselves) to your "Content". Then go to Content, and click on the map:

My content page

This will bring up the page for your particular webmap:

Saved webmap

From here, you can click Open in ArcGIS Desktop. This will download a mysterious item.pkinfo file, which when clicked will open ArcMap with the tile service displayed.

  • This isn't working for me currently - I can add the tiles fine but the 'Open in ArcGIS Desktop' button is not shown on the page (which otherwise looks the same as shown). I also tried manually creating a .pkinfo file with the appropriate id and the tiles don't come through when opening the file in ArcMap. Perhaps you need a paid account for this to work?
    – snorris
    Oct 17, 2018 at 22:53
  • hey @snorris - yeah, looks like that button no longer exists. Not cool. Can you try creating your own item.pkinfo file based on this example? gis.stackexchange.com/a/199029/30899 Oct 18, 2018 at 22:43
  • I tried that - the .pkinfo file worked to display another layer in the AGOL map (esri world topo), but my tiles didn't come through. I installed and configured mapproxy to serve my tiles as a WMS instead. mapproxy.org
    – snorris
    Oct 19, 2018 at 23:03
  • Hmm - strange. Just tested it myself and was able to view my layer with that .pkinfo hack. My pkinfo file is here: <?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8" standalone="no"?><pkinfo><ID>d4b66bc68b6d4a4e8c1c535b71c2f938</ID><size>-1</size><created>1381949303000</created><type>Web Map</type><packagelocation>http://www.arcgisonline.com/sharing/content/items/d4b66bc68b6d4a4e8c1c535b71c2f938/data</packagelocation><pkinfolocation>http://www.arcgisonline.com/sharing/content/items/d4b66bc68b6d4a4e8c1c535b71c2f938/item.pkinfo</pkinfolocation></pkinfo> Oct 22, 2018 at 18:23
  • But @snorris if mapproxy works then that sounds like a great solution to me. Oct 22, 2018 at 18:23

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