Problem: Main map hangs on the 'Retrieving Map...' .GIF image


When accessing an ArcIMS site using the default HTML Viewer sample, the overview map is displayed but the main map hangs on the 'Retrieving Map...' gif image.


There are two potential causes for this behavior. However both are related to the acetate layers included with the default viewer. The three acetate layers in the HTML viewer are the scale bar, copyright text and North Arrow.

Additional background information is provided here:

Based on the description above it is apparent that the overview map shows up but the main map does not. There are several differences between the main map and the overview map that can cause the spatial server to crash or hang. One very prominent difference is that the overview map does not have any acetate layers and the main map does. The key cause for this behavior is that the spatial server is not able to create a map with acetate layers. This can be confirmed by loading the same map service being viewed in the viewer, in ArcExplorer Java. No problems occur, since ArcExplorer Java does not request a map with acetate layers in it. There may be other reasons why spatial server cannot create a map with acetate layers.

Solution or Workaround

The two causes and their solutions are outlined below.

  • On Solaris operating systems, True Type font packages have not been properly installed.

    According to "Step 1: Verify system requirements" of the ArcIMS Installation Guide, ArcIMS does not function properly unless an additional font package that comes with the Solaris software installation CD is installed. The acetate layers require that these fonts are installed in order for them to be displayed.

    1. Verify that the font package has been installed by typing:

    pkginfo | grep SUNWi1of

    If the following returns, the required fonts are on the system.

    system SUNWi1of ISO-8859-1 (Latin-1) Optional Fonts

    2. If they are not, add them from the Solaris Software installation CD.
  • A firewall may be present.

    Certain firewalls can be configured to prevent cross-site scripting and filter out http request with a specific tag, for example: OBJECT tag. To add Acetate layers, an ArcXML OBJECT tag is used and some firewalls are preconfigured to block OBJECT tag. The reason for this is that the OBJECT tag can reference an embedded object, such as a Java applet outside ArcXML, which could be used for malicious intent. This tag is present in every request for an acetate layer. Therefore, when a request is made by the HTML viewer for an acetate layer, the entire request gets stripped by the firewall and does not get sent to the ArcIMS Spatial Server. The viewer is waiting for a response and never gets any response back causing the viewer to perpetually hang.

    Contact the Network or Firewall Administrator for assistance. Also consult the Related information section below for more information regarding cross site scripting.

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