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Adding Canadian Basemaps in ArcGIS Enterprise with New Map Viewer

Since ArcGIS Enterprise 10.9.1, you can use the New Map Viewer to add the Community Map of Canada to your ArcGIS Enterprise deployments. 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.

ArcGIS Enterprise New Map Viewer

Since the update of the new Map Viewer, the steps to add the Community Map of Canada vector basemap has changed. If you are on a version of ArcGIS Enterprise that is still utilizing the “classic” version of the Map Viewer, please refer to this blog post for the steps.

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 Vector Basemaps to ArcGIS Enterprise

Verify that you are signed in and have privileges to share content with your organization.

  • Sign into your organization and click ‘Content’ > ‘My Content’.
  • Click ‘New Item’ and click ‘URL’.
    • Type: ArcGIS Server web service.
  • Add each REST URL dedicated to the vector basemap of your choice to your contents. For certain layers, you may notice a prompt to store credentials with the service item. Refer to the next section for setting up authentication for these layers.
    • 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)

Imagery Hybrid Basemap

Canadian Imagery Hybrid

World Imagery

 Adding a new item with the Canadian Topographic Vector Tile Service Layer with a type as an ArcGIS Server Web Service

  • Type a title and tags to be applied to the package and the hosted layer.
  • Click ‘Next’ until the Tile Layer is created.

Adding Items with Credentials

Some Community Map URLs require credentials from ArcGIS Online. Follow these steps for those items:

  • Sign into your organization and click ‘Content’ > ‘My Content’.
  • Click ‘Add Item’ and click ‘From a URL’.
    • Type: ArcGIS Server web service.
    • Select the radio button to ‘store credentials’.
    • Note: Use your ArcGIS Online credentials not your Portal’s credentials.

Adding a new item with the World Basemap Vector Tile Server URL with a type of ArcGIS Server web service.

Updating the Vector Basemaps Styles

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.

  • Navigate to the style sheets.
  • Click ‘Download style’. This will automatically download the style as a root.json file. Save the file locally, keeping the extension as a .json.

The details overviews of the Canadian topographic vector basemap with the Download style highlighted in yellow.

  • Back in your contents, go to the Overview tab of the newly created Tile Layer.
  • Click ‘Edit in Vector Tile Style Editor’.

The Overview tab of the newly created Tile Layer with ‘Edit in Vector Tile Style Editor’ in blue with a red box around it.

  • The Vector Tile Style Editor will open, click the ‘Save’ button on the left-hand side.
    • This step is important, it will reset the backend URL to your Organization and not the ArcGIS Online URL.
  • On the right-hand side of the page, click ‘Update’. When the ‘Update Style File’ window appears, choose your newly saved style file.

The Overview tab with the ‘Update’ button in blue with a red box around it.

  • Repeat these steps for all your Community Map vector basemap layers that have custom styling.
    • You do not have to update the style for hillshade layers.

Adding the Vector Basemaps to Map Viewer

  • Open the new Map Viewer.
  • Click the ‘Add layer’ button to view your vector basemap layers. For a specific basemap style, add each layer by clicking the + sign.
  • Select the basemap tab that is located on the left-hand side.

he Basemap tab on the left-hand side of the New Map Viewer with a red box around it.

  • Select the current basemap’s name
  • Select the three dots on the basemap layer and restructure the following:
    • Remove any default basemap layers you do not wish to use.
    • Click on the three dots and remove them from the basemap.

The basemap tab opened with the Topographic name selected displaying the basemaps added to the New Map Viewer. The World Topographic Map is selected on the right with three dots and a black box around it.

  • Click on the three dots and move each layer to the basemap.
  • Click the back arrow to view the added layers, and re-order the layers by dragging and dropping to mimic the ordering in the table from the Canadian vector basemap table from the steps above.
  • Save your Web Map, provide a title, tags, and share it with your organization.

Create a Group to use for the Basemap Gallery

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

  • Open groups and click ‘Create New Group’.
  • Type a name, summary, description, and tags for the group.
  • 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 with the Group

  • At the top of the site, click ‘Content’.
  • On the ‘My Content’ tab, check the box next to the title of the item or items you want to share and click ‘Share’.
  • In the ‘Share’ window, select ‘Everyone (Public)’ and edit the group sharing to select the group you created above. When finished, click ‘OK’ 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.

  • Open the ‘Organization’ page on the portal website.
  • Click the ‘Settings’ tab.
  • Click ‘Map’ to open the page to configure Map Viewer.
  • Choose your basemap group from the basemap gallery drop-down list.
  • Choose one of the basemaps from the default basemap drop-down list. Choose the basemap that will be used most frequently by your organization.
  • 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. If you want to use the Community Map of Canada thumbnails, download them here.

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, 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