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Over the years I've often used two of the available ArcMap basemap layers (Imagery and USA Topo Maps) as part of my work. I've noticed that ArcMap consistently takes 10-15 seconds for the screen to refresh each time I pan or zoom to a new mapextent. This delay only occurs when I have a basemap layer turned on for display. I find my productivity lagging as I stare at the screen, waiting for it to refresh.

Yet at the same time other programs (QGIS, Google Maps) refresh their basemap imagery almost instantaneously. I thus conclude that the problem is with Arc, and not my internet connection speed (direct ethernet connection with typical download speeds > 200 Mbps) or computer power (currently a sixth-gen i7 processor with a dedicated GPU and SSD).

I'm using Arc 10.5, but I've noticed this slow basemap refresh problem ever since ESRI has provided the service (9.0?). I've always had Hardware Acceleration enabled via the Arcmap Options.

If I return the map extent to a previous view, the imagery displays quickly, implying that Arc is correctly caching the imagery. But the slow basemap refesh problem always occurs if I pan/zoom to a new area.

I'm not using any advanced cartographic features such as representations, and all of my work is on a local machine - no remote connections.

Is this slow basemap refresh typical? If not, are there any tips to speed it up?

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  • 15 seconds seems high but it's always been slow for me too. Basemap layers with labels are worse. The only workaround I have is to just turn the basemap layers off until you actually need them on (for rendering a map, digitizing, etc.) – Dan C May 4 '17 at 16:22
  • "Is this slow basemap refresh typical?" - I'm based in Australia and always assumed that the delay was due to our relatively poor(er) internet connections. But you're right, other programs don't have the same issue. – Stephen Lead Jul 6 '17 at 4:34
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    From the duplicate it seems like you may be reaching a limit to ArcMap's display speed. If it seems the same/similar on every configuration that you have tried/seen then perhaps try ArcGIS Pro. – PolyGeo Jul 6 '17 at 6:40