Configuring basemaps

A basemap provides a geographical context for the content that you want to display in a map. The basemap of the current map is displayed at the bottom of the Map Contents panel. The ArcGIS Viewer for Silverlight allows you to choose from several Esri basemaps that are hosted on ArcGIS Online. These basemaps include many options that combine road, aerial, and topographic data with a variety of symbology. When you configure an application, you can choose from the existing maps or configure the Basemap gallery to include your own custom basemaps.

  • Only ArcGIS Server Cached (Tiled) map services, Bing Maps, and OpenStreetMap are supported in the Basemap gallery.
  • Dynamic map services are not supported for use as basemaps.

Bing Maps basemaps require a Bing Maps Key. See Microsoft's topic on Getting a Bing Maps Key. Once you have entered your key, the Bing Maps Road, Aerial, and Hybrid basemaps are available for use.


The basemap used in the application is displayed at the bottom of the layer list in the Map Contents panel. The basemap layer cannot be removed from the Map Contents panel, but you can set the basemap's transparency and hide it from the map contents. For more information on showing or hiding the basemap layer in the map contents, see The Map Contents panel.

In the Application Builder, there are two basemap galleries—one on the Map tab of the Builder toolbar and the other on the Main toolbar of the Viewer you are configuring. The basemap gallery on the Builder toolbar includes the same set of basemaps regardless of the Viewer application being configured. The basemap gallery on the Main toolbar of the Viewer is the gallery that will be included with that Viewer application. The Application Builder provides the ability to configure the sets of basemaps that appear in the two basemap galleries independently of one another. The first section in this topic details how to configure basemaps for use within the Application Builder. The second section details how to configure the basemaps that are available to the end user of your Viewer application.

Configuring basemaps available in Application Builder

To configure the basemaps displayed in the basemap gallery on the Map tab of the Builder toolbar, see the following steps:

  1. In the Application Builder, click the Settings link in the upper right corner.
  2. On the Settings page, click the Basemaps tab.
  3. Click the Add a new basemap button. A new basemap is added to the list. The initial information (thumbnail, server, URL) is populated based on the basemap that was selected in the list when you clicked the Add a new basemap button:
    Configure basemaps setting
  4. In the Text field, type a name for your basemap.
  5. Click the Thumbnail image to browse for a new icon. The Browse for file dialog box appears.
  6. Select an existing icon or upload your own graphic. The default thumbnails are 85 x 60 pixels. For the best results, use basemap thumbnails that are the same size.
  7. Click the Server drop-down list and select ArcGISServer.
  8. In the URL field, type the uniform resource locator (URL) to the map service you want to use.

    The URL is not validated, so make sure you type it correctly.

  9. Check the Use Proxy checkbox if desired. If using a proxy, specify the Proxy URL on the Application Settings tab (see Application Builder settings).
  10. Click Save. A dialog box appears notifying you that the changes were saved successfully.
  11. Click the Back button (blue arrow) in the upper right corner of the application to return to the main Application Builder screen:
    Return to main Application Builder
  12. Click the Basemaps drop-down menu to view the basemap gallery and select your basemap. If you are unable to select your basemap in the list (that is, you click it and nothing happens), verify that you added the URL correctly and that you are adding an ArcGIS Cached (Tiled) map service, not a dynamic map service.

Configuring basemaps available in the Viewer application

The ability to change basemaps is one of the many options you can enable for your end user. By default, the Basemap gallery tool is added to the Viewer's Main toolbar and the default set of basemaps is available:

Viewer basemap gallery

See the following steps for instructions on changing the basemaps available to your end user:

  1. In the Application Builder, on the Viewer main toolbar, click the Basemap gallery to display the basemaps.
  2. In the upper-right corner of the Basemap gallery, click the Configure icon to display the Configure Basemaps dialog box. You will only see the Configure icon while in the Application Builder:
    Basemap Configure icon
  3. In the Configure Basemaps dialog box, add, remove, or re-order the basemaps as desired:
    Configure Basemaps dialog box
  4. Click Close on the Configure Basemaps dialog box.