What are rasterized 3D layers in ArcGlobe?

Rasterized 3D layers in ArcGlobe are the result of displaying vector data, such as road lines or parcel polygons, as a raster layer. The data is rendered as a flat image, as if for consumption in ArcMap, then brought into the 3D view. In most cases, the image will be draped on the surface of the globe, although it can also be displayed as a floating layer using another surface, or a constant height, for its elevation.

This technique is used for a variety of reasons:

Rasterized vector layers develop a cache in the same manner as regular image files, so over time, the rendering speed of the layer will improve. Rasterized vector layers can still be used in the same manner as vector layers. You can select and identify features, change symbology, set labeling properties, and so on.

ArcGlobe also allows you to consolidate and rasterize a group layer, which will render all layers within the group as a single raster. This is particularly useful for background data and can significantly reduce the display cost for the group layer.


ArcScene does not have the concept of rasterized layers. You can, however, manually export your map from ArcMap as a georeferenced image, then add the raster back into the ArcScene 3D view. See How to display features as rasters in ArcScene.

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