Layer types

The ArcGIS Viewer for Silverlight can display layers on the map that come from many different sources. The capabilities of a layer depend on the type of source from which it was added. The different layer types and the capabilities of each are described below.

ArcGIS Server map services

When an ArcGIS Server map service is added to the map, the application retrieves and displays image tiles from the service. The image tiles do not contain any information about the features they show. For this reason, the rendering performance of this type of layer is very good, but its configuration options are limited.


Feature layers

Through the Browse panel, you have the option to add feature layers from a variety of sources, including: layers within ArcGIS Server dynamic map services, layers within ArcGIS Server tiled map services, hosted feature services, and on-premise ArcGIS Server feature services. When one of these layers is added to the map, the application retrieves the data from the server for the features that the layer contains and draws them as graphics in the client browser. For this reason, this layer type provides a wide range of configuration options, but its rendering performance is not as good as that of layers created from map or image services.


If a URL or hyperlink exists as a field value in a feature layer, the Viewer shows the field as a hyperlink in pop-up windows, but as text strings in the attribute table.

ArcGIS Server image services

ArcGIS Server image services can be added to the map using either Search or Browse. When an image service is added to the map, the Viewer retrieves an image tile from the server and displays it on the client. No information about the features shown on the image is sent to the client. For this reason, the rendering performance of image services is very good, but the configuration options are limited.


GeoRSS layers

GeoRSS feeds are web feeds that give you a formatted .xml file with coordinates and attributes. There are a variety of sources for GeoRSS content, for example, the USGS Earthquake Center provides a number of feeds that include location and magnitude information for worldwide earthquake activity over various periods of time.