How To: Locally cache tiles from ArcGIS for Server map services for disconnected use in ArcPad


To utilize cached map services from ArcGIS for Server for offline or disconnected use in ArcPad for field use, the tiles must be generated locally onto the machine running the application.


  1. Open ArcMap and the desired map document containing the data to be published as a map service.

    Ensure the Data Frame projection is set to 'WGS_1984_Web_Mercator_Auxiliary_Sphere'.


  2. Temporarily add a basemap service from ArcGIS Online. The purpose for adding this basemap is to set the proper map extent before publishing.
  3. Once the basemap is added to the Table Of Contents, right-click the basemap and select 'Zoom To Layer'. This zooms the map extents out to world level.
  4. Remove the ArcGIS Online map service from ArcMap, and save the map document.
  5. Go to File > Share As > Service.
  6. In the Service Editor, go to Caching > select 'Using tiles from a cache' and ensure the ArcGIS Online/Bing Maps/Google Maps tiling scheme is being used > Select the tile levels, starting from Level 0.
  7. Click on Advanced Settings, and select JPEG for Tile Format.
  8. Click on Advanced > Choose EXPLODED for Storage Format > ensure 'Allow clients to cache tiles locally' is checked.
  9. Click OK and publish the map service to generate the tiles.
  10. Open ArcPad and click 'Add Data From Server'.
  11. Select the map service after entering in the URL. At this point, browsing to C:\Users\[UserProfile]\Documents shows a .nmf file and a corresponding folder that may be hidden. Both are named the same as the map service. This folder stores the actual tiles being downloaded.
  12. In ArcPad, the initial cached tile level is for L01. To ensure the local tiles are cached successfully, use the Fixed Zoom Out tool to zoom to L00 and cache the extent of the entire world.
  13. Proceed to use the Fixed Zoom In tool to build the remaining tiles.

    Here is an example of the folders that are generated for levels L00 through L19.
  14. At this point, the .nmf file and cache folders can be copied and pasted to a mobile GPS device for disconnected use in the field.

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