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A WMS layer contains different subayers. While some of the WMS sublayers are drawing, others from the same WMS service are not drawing.
There are a number of possible reasons:
1. When adding a WMS layer to ArcMap, only the first 20 sublayers are automatically turned on. The remaining sublayers are off by default.
2. You can use the Layers tab in the WMS Layer Properties dialog to configure a subset of WMS sublayers to display in the map. It is possible that the sublayer(s) are not included in this subset.
3. The data frame is in a coordinate system not supported by the sublayer(s) within the WMS service. The sublayer(s) will not draw in an unsupported coordinate system. This is an issue for pre 9.2 versions of ArcGIS.
4. The WMS sublayer may be scale dependent. That is, the sublayer will only draw within a certain scale range and the map is currently outside this range.
The causes listed above have corresponding numbered solutions given below:
This tag is not a requirement. There may be cases where WMS layers are scale dependent, but do not not have a <ScaleHint> tag. In such cases the layer will draw within a certain scale range, but ArcMap is unable to report the scale range in the Layer Properties dialog. This is a known limitation.