Tips on improving map display performance

ArcMap includes a series of tools that enable you to optimize and tune your ArcMap documents for fast display performance. As an ArcMap user, it's always important to explore ways to increase the display performance of your interactive map documents—especially for maps that you plan to share with other users.

There are a few tools that can help you analyze and tune your map documents to improve display performance. Note that some issues found by this analysis will be specific to use in map services, but that majority of problems reported will affect performance in all aspects of use.

Using the Map Service Publishing toolbar to analyze and improve display performance

The Map Service Publishing toolbar helps you to analyze the drawing performance of your ArcMap documents. First, you analyze your map, which generates a list of potential display performance issues—much like a spell-checker in a word processing program. This allows you to address each issue.

Next, investigate and address issues identified by the analysis. Each problem description guides you to suggested updates that you can make to your map layer to address the issue and improve map drawing performance.

See Publishing map services for more information.

Using basemap layers to precompute your map display

You can include basemap layers in your maps to improve display performance. Basemap layer layers are only computed once—the initial time you visit an extent at a map scale. These tiled views are used in subsequent map displays as you pan, zoom, and navigate your map. Because these views are precomputed, map display is optimized.

You can overlay or mash up your other operational layers (the layers that draw on demand) on top of the basemap.

Basemap layers are flexible and easy to manage. They manage themselves automatically so little work is required to define them in your map documents. Essentially, you can add and remove the layers in your basemap layer as needed.

See Working with basemap layers for more information.

Leveraging caching in ArcGIS

ArcGIS Desktop uses a series of caching strategies to reduce the number of roundtrips to retrieve data, to precompute some GIS results, and to reuse map displays during a session. There are a number of strategies that can be used.

Learn more about using ArcGIS's various caching strategies