Skip to main content

Adding the Community Map of Canada Vector Basemaps to Enterprise

Are you interested in utilizing the Community Map of Canada Vector Basemaps in ArcGIS Enterprise? This step-by-step process will guide all Enterprise users in utilizing our up-to-date basemaps. The Community Map of Canada Vector basemaps is open to all Esri customers. These steps are easily mimicked in ArcGIS Online as well, which can be useful if you are a non-Canadian customer and would like to utilize our basemaps in ArcGIS Online.

Community Map of Canada Vector Basemaps

Esri Canada has been facilitating the production of an accurate and up-to-date topographic national web basemap with data contributions from authoritative Canadian communities. If you are a Canadian ArcGIS Online user, you may be already familiar with the vector basemap options, as described here.

Adding the Community Map of Canada to your basemaps gallery

  1. Verify that you are signed in and have privileges to share content with your organization.
  2. Open a Map Viewer and add a layer from the web.
    1. Click Add > Add Layer from Web
  3. Select your favourite Canadian vector basemap from this table of REST URLS.

Canadian Vector Basemap


Topographic Basemap

Canada Topographic

Canada Hillshade

World Topographic Canadian Style

World Hillshade

Streets Basemap


World Street Map Background

Light Grey Basemap

Light Grey Community Map

Light Grey Canvas Background

Dark Grey Basemap

Dark Grey Community Map

Dark Grey Community Background

Streets (Night) Basemap

Community Map of Canada Streets (Night)

World Street Map Canvas (Night)


4. Add each REST URL dedicated to the vector basemap of your choice to the web map.

5. Select the three dots on the basemap layer and restructure the following:

  • Remove any default basemap layers you do not wish to use
  • Move each layer to the basemap
  • Re-order the layers to mimic the order of the table from step 3
  • For visual purposes, you may rename the layers to match the table

6. You may have already noticed some visual errors, for example:

  • Labels overlapping
  • The colours are not correct

To fix these issues we will need to update the basemap styles for both layers.

Updating the Vector Style

Vector basemaps have styles applied to the dataset. Each style must be applied to the dataset to set up the colour scheme or to turn off the overlapping labels.

  1. Save the styles for both layers.
  2. Saving the style may appear different on older versions of ArcGIS Enterprise, change the help document to the version you require.
  3. Saving the style will create a new item in the web map, save it to your content, and name the layer.
  4. Save the web map with a searchable name and meaningful tags.
  5. Navigate to the style sheets.
  6. Click 'Download'. This will automatically download the style as a root.json file. Save the file locally, keeping the extension as a .json.
  7. Browse to the web map component of your existing application and go to the item details of your intended web layer. On the right-hand side of the page, click ‘Update’. When the ‘Update Style File’ window appears, choose your newly saved style file.
  8. Open your previously saved web map to see the changes updated.

Create a group to use for the basemap gallery

Now that we have our vector basemaps, we can add them to the basemap gallery.

  1. Open Groups and click Create New Group.
  2. Type a name, summary, description, and tags for the group.
  3. Leave ‘Who can view this group?’ set to Everyone (Public). This is needed so anyone using Map Viewer will have access to basemaps.

Share your web maps and layers to the group

  1. At the top of the site, click Content.
  2. On the My Content tab, check the box next to the title of the item or items you want to share and click Share.
  3. In the Share window, select the Group and Everyone (Public) and click Save.

Set the Basemap Gallery and Default Basemap

Finally, change the Map settings to specify the group you created as the Basemap Gallery for the portal, and choose one map from the Basemap Gallery to be the Default Basemap. The Default Basemap is the basemap that is present when you first open Map Viewer.

Verify that you are signed in as a default administrator or custom role with administrative privileges to manage the organization's website.

  1. Open the Organization page on the portal website.
  2. Click the Settings tab.
  3. Click Map to open the page to configure Map Viewer.
  4. Choose your basemap group from the Basemap Gallery drop-down list.
  5. Choose one of the basemaps from the Default Basemap drop-down list. Choose the basemap that will be used most frequently by your organization.
  6. Click Save to apply your changes.

Now when anyone opens a new map in Map Viewer, the default basemap you specified is in the map. When the basemap is clicked in Map Viewer, the maps from the new basemap gallery you created are displayed.

You can update the thumbnails for the web maps to help your users visually choose a Canadian basemap.

Read more about customizing your basemap gallery here.

ArcGIS Vector Tile Style Editor

Want to create your own style on our Canadian basemap? Learn how to create different styles through our tutorial section.

Be sure to check out different styles, made by our Community Maps team, which you can apply to your vector basemaps.

If you want to watch the steps being conducted in a video, click here for the YouTube tutorial.

This post was translated to French and can be viewed here.

About the Author

Amanda De Medeiros is a Senior Support Enablement Consultant at Esri Canada. She provides support for enterprise customers and internal staff by identifying issues, troubleshooting software, developing workarounds and providing knowledge transfers. Amanda has a BA in Geography and Environmental Studies from McMaster University and a GIS post-graduate degree from Niagara College. Her interest in geography developed from city building and strategy games.

Profile Photo of Amanda De Medeiros