Cached maps

A cached map is a map that is drawn at several scales and is based on stored copies of static map images. These map images are distributed and drawn when a request is made for the map. Cached maps can provide a level of detail in each map image without impacting performance; however, because cached maps represent a point in time, they are best for maps that don't require frequent changes and updates.

Dynamic maps are typically used for maps that require frequent changes or updates. Dynamic maps draw the entire map area when a request is made and generally do not draw as efficiently as cached maps.

Create a cached map

The first step in creating a cached map is to author a map in ArcGIS Pro. You can author a multiscale map that displays data across a range of scales. This approach is ideal for cartographically dense cached map image layers. Once you've authored a map, you can share it as a map image layer, and configure it to render using tiles from a new cache.

Update an existing map cache

When you need to keep a map in sync with periodic data updates but you want to take advantage of a map cache, you can use a geoprocessing tool to update the map cache occasionally or at a scheduled interval.

The Manage Map Server Cache Tiles tool allows you to create, update, and delete tiles in an existing cache. You can also script the tool to update a map cache on a regular basis.

Cache directory

When creating a map cache, you must specify where the cached tiles will be generated and stored. The cache directory you select can be a system managed data store, which is the default, or a cloud store.


You must be an administrator or a publisher to register a cloud store.

Once a cloud store has been registered, you can configure it as the cache directory when configuring layer drawing properties in ArcGIS Pro.

To use the cloud store for map and image service caches, the cloud container or bucket must contain a folder named arcgiscache when you register the cloud store.

If you delete a cached map service, its associated cache content remains in the cache directory. You can also publish a new service and bind it to an existing cache.

To delete a map cache, use the Delete Map Server Cache geoprocessing tool.

Cloud stores across environments

Once you've registered a cloud store as a cache directory, you can also use it for caches that have been created in ArcGIS Enterprise on Windows or Linux environments. If you have an existing cache, you can register its corresponding cloud store in ArcGIS Enterprise on Kubernetes and publish a map image layer using an existing cache in ArcGIS Pro.

The cache will be detected at the time of publishing as long as it has the same name as the web layer. An exception is when the map service is organized in a folder on the GIS server, in which case the top-level directory syntax is  <folder name>_<map service name>.

Cache source data

Creating a cache that covers large scales over a sizable geographic area can take a while to process. To reduce the amount of time it takes to generate the cache, consider the best practices for cache source data described below. Additionally, administrators can accommodate caching workflows by allocating additional resources to processing or to support increased consumption.

Avoid on-the-fly projection

For best performance, project the source data into the same coordinate system as the map to avoid on-the-fly projection. Don't hesitate to put your working databases in a projection such as Web Mercator. The data you put on the server might be a one-way replica of the production database that may only exist for the purpose of creating the cache and satisfying user queries.

If you use the Copy all data option during publishing, the map data is stored in a .zip archive file in a system-managed data store. In this case, cache generation is slower, as the map content must be downloaded from the data store to generate the cache.

Reference registered data

When map caches reference registered data, greater speed and stability are attained during cache creation. The caching process makes thousands or even millions of requests for data, and if those requests don't have to reach beyond the nodes in your organization, the tiles will draw more quickly.

Register a folder containing a file geodatabase or a database connection file containing an enterprise geodatabase. Then, when you share the map using ArcGIS Pro, choose the option to reference registered data.

Register a folder data store

Place a copy of the source file geodatabase in a registered folder data store where it can be accessed by all nodes in your organization.

To avoid system downtime, register folder data stores when you create the organization.

Register an enterprise geodatabase

One benefit of using an enterprise geodatabase is that you can register it after the organization has been created. To learn more, see Types of data store items.