Available with 3D Analyst license.
Sharing constitutes any way you can present your ArcGIS data and analysis results to others to help spread a better understanding of a particular problem or solution. By leveraging your methods of sharing to sharing in 3D, you can target a wider variety of the public. 3D visualization is important for providing a greater sense of realism which can be critical in certain industries. Once the story can come alive in 3D, then decisions and solutions can be achieved with greater understanding.
Methods of sharing are often determined by the type of audience you are connected with and how they best receive this information. Just as there are many fields of industry, there are also many options for sharing. These options range from some of the simplest and fastest (a 3D screen capture), to packaging all of your 3D GIS data and sharing it as a GIS service on the web (such as a globe service).
The different ways you can share or present your 3D data and analysis results using ArcGlobe and ArcScene are listed in the table below.
|Ways to share it
|How to consume it
High-resolution screenshot of 3D content
ArcGlobe or ArcScene
Any picture viewer or images can also be printed.
Video animation of 3D spaces and environments
ArcGlobe or ArcScene
Quicktime or Windows media player.
ArcGlobe, ArcScene, ArcGIS Explorer, or ArcReader 3D.
Layer package with 3D properties
ArcGlobe or ArcScene
ArcMap, ArcGlobe, ArcScene, and ArcGIS Explorer.
ArcGlobe, ArcGIS Explorer or Google Earth.
(which can include saved animation files)
ArcGlobe, ArcReader 3D, ArcGIS Explorer.
Any custom application using the globe control.
geoprocessing service for 3D analytic tools
The Results window from ArcGIS for Desktop
ArcGIS for Desktop.
Any browser that supports WebGL.
In the table below are examples of how leading industries are currently utilizing the ability to share 3D GIS.
Methods used to share 3D GIS
|Published globe services, layer packages & KML
|3D Web Scenes
Facilities management—virtual campus models
Local government—Virtual cities
Defense and public safety
Civil Engineering and Natural Resources
What is the difference between a layer package, globe service and a 3D web scene?
When sharing in 3D by way of layer packages and globe services the experience is the same as you would expect from ArcMap. Interoperable results are created to share between the ArcGIS applications (ArcMap, ArcGlobe, ArcScene, ArcReader, ArcGIS Explorer, and so on).
Layer packages are a convenient way to share your data if you are primarily interested in further editing or analysis. The package creates a snapshot of the current state and the associated data. All of the 3D symbology and other 3D display properties are maintained and remain enabled for layers in ArcGlobe and ArcScene. The exported layer package (LPK) can be hosted on ArcGIS online, to later be downloaded and unpacked to consume in ArcGIS. If you are sharing to someone within an organization that does not have access to ArcGIS for Desktop, layer packages can be viewed inside ArcGIS Explorer, a 3D viewer the consumer can download for free.
Globe services allow you to create a representation of your entire GIS resource and make it available to other computers on a network or the web using ArcGIS Server. There are typically three steps to using information through ArcGIS Server. First, you author (create) GIS resources, and you share GIS resources by publishing them as services, then you use the services in client applications.
Some common reasons for publishing globe services to share your 3D content include:
- The ability to easily share a fully functional 3D service referencing the visualization information as well as GIS data.
- A fully integrated sharing experience within the authoring environment (ArcGlobe) for an easier publishing and deploying experience.
- The ability to share very large quantities of imagery, elevation, and vector data as a highly optimized/performing service by leveraging a server framework.
- The ability to expose different levels of functionality through the web using the allowable operations such as Find, Identify, and Query.
- The ability to author animated views or flybys by enabling the Animation capability.
- The ability to do periodic updates of visualization data/tiles by engaging the data caching tools.
- The ability to automate caching processes by using scripting.
3D Web Scenes are not a published service that you can consume back into ArcScene. They are instead a convenient way to share ArcScene documents using a web browser. As part of a geoprocessing workflow you can export your SXD to a 3WS item file which is easily shared and uploaded to ArcGIS Online and any WebGL-compliant browser. You can export all ArcScene supported data and layer types except for LAS datasets and graphics. Just ensure that your features are rendered with 3D symbology; 2D symbology will be excluded from the export. All of the ArcScene properties such as layer visibility, vertical exaggeration, stored bookmarks, and so on, will be contained in the output Web Scene. There is no plug-in needed to view 3D scenes in a browser that supports WebGL but it will utilize CityEngine Web Viewer technology to draw the content.