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I would like to display ESRI's Oceans basemap web map service (WMS) in one of my maps, but not the whole layer, just the landmass depicting Canada as I find it a nice fit for the look I'm trying to achieve. Is there any way to mask the features around Canada's landmass in that layer? I tried using the Advanced Drawing feature, but the Oceans basemap layer is not listed, probably because it's a WMS. I am working with ArcGIS 10.2. Are there any suggestions as to how I could do this?

Otherwise, if anyone can suggest a symbolized layer of Canada's landmass (and only containing Canada's landmass) ressembling that depicted on the ESRI Oceans Basemap that I could download or connect to somewhere, I would be grateful.

I could make my own. I tried with a few DEM's and hillshades but didn't get good results.

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I finally found the answer: Yes, you can mask a WMS.

I used the 'Clip to Shape' > 'Outline of Features' and 'Exclude layers' options in the Data Frame Properties. I also used the 'Advanced Drawing' masking feature. Those two options are tricky to use. I learned that: 1) A WMS can be masked by using 'Clip to Shape' but not 'Advanced Drawing'; 2) With respect to 'Advanced Drawing', in order for a layer to mask another, the masking layer must be visible (checked) in the table of content; 3) If you're going to work with these two functions, I recommend to do this one step at a time. Start with 'Advanced Drawing' and once you are satisfied with the results, then set 'Clip to Shape'.

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If you're looking for an alternative to the Oceans Basemap, you should try the Natural Earth Raster:

http://www.naturalearthdata.com/downloads/10m-raster-data/

(there are several scales, but 1:10m should do the trick for the entire Country)

With the data (raster) downloaded, you could even clip it to a SHP of Canada if you had it

Additionally you wouldn't have to worry about network issues every time you panned/zoomed the map, etc. as you have the data on your local drive.

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    Thanks, that's an excellent suggestion. The Oceans Basemap actually takes forever to display/ refresh in ArcMap so I may just switch to the Natural Earth raster as you suggested. – Lea May 2 '14 at 17:10

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