Web Service for Background Imagery

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GMS and SMS support the ability to obtain image data from web servers. The imagery will update when panning and zooming as well as uses an appropriate resolution for the current zoom level. Since this is obtaining the information over the internet, the performance of these images will be dependent upon the speed of the internet connection.

System Requirements

SMS 11.0 and ArcGIS 9.3 or above are needed for this feature.


To use web layers, the project must be in a non-local projection.

GIS Web Layers

SMS ships with several layers that can be used. Some of the layers are specific to the US and others are worldwide. If desired, experiment with different layers as some will give better performance or quality. To find the files shipped with SMS, go to the Windows menu, go to the SMS folder for the version, and click on the item labeled "supporting files." This will open an explorer window to the folder that contains supporting files used with SMS. A folder named "GIS Layer Files" should appear. This folder contains the GIS web layers that ship with SMS.

In order to load the GIS layers, it's necessary to be using the ArcObjects interface inside of SMS. This is activated by switching to the GIS module and selecting the menu item, Data | Enable ArcObjects.

Zooming in to view more details

As zooming in, more of the GIS layer features such as roads, peaks, etc will be more visible (as well as their labels in some cases depending on the GIS layer opened). The further zooming in, the more details will appear. When zooming out, the details will become less visible.

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