Earlier this year, Esri announced plans for bringing vector tiles to the ArcGIS platform and shared a preview of vector basemaps being developed. With the November update of ArcGIS Online, we are introducing initial support for vector tiles as a layer in the web map. As part of this, Esri is providing access to an updated set of vector basemaps (now in beta release) that can be accessed within ArcGIS Online and used to build maps and apps.
For several years, Esri has made available a suite of basemaps that can be used through ArcGIS Online and other apps to create maps and apps. These multi-scale basemaps have been delivered as pre-rendered image tiles (JPG or PNG format) to optimize performance. These basemaps have proven to be very useful and popular, with several billion tiles served each month, but they have some limitations (e.g. users can not customize map, low-res image tiles not optimal for display on high-res devices, etc.).
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