Filter Tiled Layers

One of the core ideas in mapping is the difference between vector and raster layers. For vector layers, the actual geometry data is stored and passed around - for example a point might store the latitude and longitude. For tiled raster layers, the data is stored as images on the server, and those images are displayed as the layer.

In the past, the visualization of tiled raster layers could not be filtered based on geometry. Using layer blending in recent versions of the ArcGIS Maps SDK for JavaScript, this is now possible.

The documentation has a very flashy example of a use case for blending, but what I’m talking about here is a bit simpler: visually filtering the tiled layer based on a vector layer. For example, filtering your layer based on currently selected states:

This might seem basic, and for vector layers it is - we could do this kind of visual filtering for many years. But for tiled layers this is new.

You can get creative with this functionality. Like what if you allow the user to draw on the map to “cut out” their imagery visually:

Or what if we hook this functionality up to a mouse hover:

Filtering tiled layers opens up more options for maps and geoviz web applications. Give it a try next time you need to do some map filtering.

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