Thank goodness for the new ArcGIS Runtime SDK or v100.0 (David Cardella of Esri will explain the very good reason why this new release is not v1.0 if you ask him). We develop many native mobile apps leveraging the excellent mobile ArcGIS SDK’s. There is plenty of fanfare around the new release but one thing stands out.
Saved by the new Mobile ArcGIS Native SDK
In 3 words: No more Tile Packages (TPK’s). Hooray!
The new vector tiled layers are part of the v100.0 release. So why should you care?
A TPK is generated in ArcGIS desktop and is your offline basemap. So satellite imagery, topography etc. It is a zip file of images: png or jpg. The pyramid structure means you have images for different zoom levels. And it can be huge. If you want satellite imagery for the State of Utah with a zoom level down to a house, prepare yourself for Gigs and Gigs of data. That also ignores the difficulty of generating the TPK. That can take hours, crash in mid-process, produce errors. In short TPK’s can be problematic.
Vector tiled layers are a quite different animal. Light-weight, easy to generate, fast to render. They are a breath of fresh air.
For those looking for a custom offline mobile ArcGIS solutions the new ArcGIS Runtime v100.0 we are finding, as ArcGIS mobile development experts, a pure joy.
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Author: Matt Sheehan
Matt Sheehan is a Principal at WebMapSolutions. Matt evangelizes GIS and location intelligence around the world through keynotes, articles, tweets and his books. Follow him on Twitter: