Guidelines for creating 3D views for an ArcGIS Server globe service
The first step to deploying a successful ArcGIS Server globe service is preparing an ArcGlobe document. This is no different than preparing an interactive ArcGlobe document. Refer to the ArcGlobe online support for Knowledge Base White Papers and the search the technical paper Tips for Designing Interactive ArcGlobe Documents for tips and best practices.
The process of publishing an ArcGIS Server globe service can be summarized in three steps:
- Prepare an ArcGlobe document, ensuring that the documents, data, and layer caches will be accessible from the ArcGIS Server machine.
- Use either ArcCatalog or the Java Web Administrator to create a server object of type GlobeServer.
- Start the globe service.
Similar to authoring an ArcGIS Server map service, due consideration should be given to layer properties in authoring the initialization document. As a result, you should decide on layer properties, such as symbology, level of detail (for feature layers), cache compression options, data caching mode (full cache, partial cache, or on-demand caching), and cell size, before finalizing the publishing document.
One thing that distinguishes a globe service from a map service is that with a globe service, the ingredients of the service are the individual layers contained in the ArcGlobe document—not the document itself. As such, document properties, such as ambient lights, sun position, background color, and exaggeration, will not be published along with the service.
Things to consider
ArcGlobe has the ability to effectively work with very large data sources because of its internal data organization scheme, called data tiling. The storing of data tiles for future use is called data caching. When using ArcGlobe, data tiles are always stored in a memory cache and, optionally, also in a disk cache. These stored data tiles of a data layer are known as the layer data cache.
Advantages of data caching include improved visualization performance and reduced repetitive data requests.
The ArcGIS Server globe service is an efficient means of serving these data tiles that are either stored on disk or are generated on demand as requested by clients. As a result, publishing a globe service requires the layer data cache to be present. You create this cache in ArcGlobe while your globe document is open.
Layer and application properties
When preparing an ArcGlobe document for publishing via a globe service, consider the following layer and application properties:
- Accessibility of authoring documents, data, and layer cache:
When preparing globe documents for globe service publishing, make sure that the document, its data sources, and its layer data caches are fully accessible by the ArcGIS Server machines. This becomes an especially important consideration when the GIS server has multiple server object container (SOC) machines. The location of both the source data and layer data cache location must be accessible from all the SOC machines. When preparing your ArcGlobe document, you can choose to reference your data sources and layer data caches through either Uniform Naming Convention (UNC) paths or local paths.
- The ArcGlobe cache location:
ArcGlobe has a default data cache location immeditally under the Application Data\ESRI\Local Caches folder of the current user, called GlobeCache. For example, C:\Documents and Settings\<user>\Application Data\ESRI\Local Caches\GlobeCache. If you are preparing a cache to serve with the globe service, you will probably want to change this cache location. You can change the cache location on the Display Cache tab on the ArcGlobe Options dialog box from the Customize menu in ArcGlobe. When preparing documents for globe service publishing, the GlobeCache location should be accessible from the ArcGIS Server machine(s).When adding data layers to ArcGlobe, the data cache for the layers is created in the current GlobeCache location specified in the application cache path. As a result, it is recommended that you set the cache path to the desired location as the first step in the document preparation process.
The guidelines below are recommended when preparing ArcGlobe documents for globe service publishing:
- Generate the fullest data cache that is practical and applicable. When a tile is already in the data cache, ArcGIS Server does not have to generate it at serving time but rather serves the tile as requested by clients. This is the optimal mode of serving.
- The ArcGIS Server globe service can work with on-demand layers, that is, the layer data cache will be created from the data source just in time as requested by the client. Although this mode allows you to publish your globe service in the shortest time (by cutting the data caching time), it will not be optimal for performance reasons.
- Feature layers as vectors (such as extruded features, multipatches, and 2D line and point features drawn as vectors) need to have the full data cache built before being served as a globe service.
- For rasterized features, generate partial caches for optimal performance. The partial cache should include the levels of detail that you expect your users to interact with most.
- Use layer visibility thresholds efficiently. Layers with visibility thresholds will be honored when consumed by the client. Some client applications—such as ArcGlobe—will have the ability to change this setting but others, such as ArcReader, will not.