28/08/17 Edit: Solved. None of the errors or tools will specify this, but you need to manually generate pyramid layers on the input raster to have it display correctly as an elevation surface. Certainly works on Server, testing in AGOL now.

Edit 2: AGOL Approved.

I am attempting to build a local scene in Pro, host it on AGOL, and embed it it in a Story map. Unfortunately I'm having major problems displaying custom elevation layers.

The end goal is something similar to the scene found here:


The issue is that while their elevation layer ("Palm Beach County LADS Surface") displays at all scales, mine only loads at extreme levels of zoom:



Elevation services can't be produced with the usual tile publishing workflows (i.e. right click, share as web layer, specify your configuration) because they need to be in a very specific format (LERC). If a specific process isn't followed the tile layer publishes, but is treated by AGOL as a flat layer to be draped rather than an elevation surface.

My workflow is that defined in the Pro documentation:

  1. Select a cache tiling scheme (or create one using "Generate Tile Cache Tiling Scheme") - this specifies the tile format, the scales at which tiles should be created, and so forth.

  2. Use "Manage Tile Cache" to build a cache of tiles according to the specifications of the tiling scheme defined above from an input raster.

  3. Export the tile cache to a tile package using "Export Tile Cache".

  4. Upload to AGOL and publish as a hosted layer.

  5. Add the resulting "Elevation Layer (Hosted)" to a scene.

I've experimented with local vs. global scenes, custom tile cache schemes (building caches at specific scales, duplicating the scale breaks & other settings found in both the LADS surface linked above and AGOL basemaps, producing a single scale, etc.), aggregating the raster to 5m cells from 0.5, and publishing smaller features. Nothing seems to work.

One thing to note is that while my features are hosted on AGOL ("Elevation Layer (Hosted)"), the Esri example is being served from a server and lacks the "Hosted" post-fix. While hosting it on a server would certainly fix the issue, it's not something I'm able to do for this project.

What's really fun is that opening a hosted elevation layer in AGOl and hitting the settings tab displays an "Elevation Layer (hosted) Settings" section, which fades out within half a second. If you open a normal tile layer (hosted) in the same way, that tab allows you to re-publish tiles at specific zoom levels.

Does anyone have experience with this? Specifically: do you know if this is a built-in limitation, or something I can overcome? I'm beginning to suspect it's a symptom of the limited functionality of AGOL.

  • Are you trying to use your tile cache with the esri elevation layer? What scale levels are you cooking your layer with? If you can create a group with the data you can invite russell_jsapi and I can check it out (I am a Product Engineer on the AGOL team) – Russ Roberts Aug 28 '17 at 16:03
  • Hi Russ, thanks for the quick response! I've generated tiles with "Manage Tile Cache" using the ArcGIS Online and Elevation tiling schemes (as well as both ‘with two additional levels’), custom schemes using scale breaks of 500 (1:500, 1:1000, etc.), manually cloned breaks from the World Topo basemap (taken from its public rest page), and manually entered breaks mirroring those found in the ‘share as web layer’ configuration tab. I have noticed that the estimated disk space for tile generation displays as 0 for many layers, but this is also the case in the Pro documentation. – Nick D Aug 28 '17 at 22:57
  • An example of the above: i.imgur.com/uemmgFU.png – Nick D Aug 28 '17 at 22:58
  • I've added you to a group with an example elevation tile layer. This one mirrors the scale ranges of the World Topo map. I've also recorded a .gif to help people determine if they're having the same issue: i.imgur.com/kvCx02M.gifv – Nick D Aug 28 '17 at 23:32
  • Thanks! Can you include the tpk in the group as well? – Russ Roberts Aug 29 '17 at 22:40

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