Esri is starting preparations for the future where vector tile basemaps will be the primary version of basemaps available to users in webmaps and apps. Esri vector basemaps have multiple advantages over their raster equivalents in terms of their size, their draw time performance, the ability to generate and update content quickly, and the ability for everyone to make the appearance suitable for their purposes. Esri recognizes that the community will need time and support to migrate their webmaps and apps to use a vector tile basemap service instead of a raster basemap service, and this migration will occur over a suitable period of time.
To make this transition a happy experience, Esri will begin to move several raster basemap services into Mature Support in 2020, around the time of the User Conference. A year later in 2021, the remaining raster basemap services will also move into Mature Support. Esri will identify basemap services that will replace these raster basemap services to assist users in updating their webmaps and apps.
For 2020, the raster basemaps entering Mature Support are scheduled to be:
- Arctic Ocean Reference
- DeLorme World Base Map
- World Ocean Reference
For 2021, the raster basemaps entering Mature Support are scheduled to be:
- World Dark Gray Base & World Dark Gray Reference
- World Light Gray Base & World Light Gray Reference
- India Dark Gray Base & India Dark Gray Reference
- India Light Gray Base & India Light Gray Reference
- World Boundaries and Places
- World Hybrid Overlay
- World Transportation
- NatGeo World Map
- World Street Map
- World Topo Map
What is changing?
When a raster basemap service is in Mature Support, this indicates that there will no longer be any updates to the service. Esri will continue to focus all update efforts on vector basemap services. The raster basemap services in Mature Support will continue to be available for use by customers in their webmaps and apps for as long as released Esri software products (for example: ArcMap) are under formal support. As of today, Esri is considering the year 2025 as the earliest time to determine whether or not to extend the period of Mature Support for raster basemaps.
What is not changing?
Finally, there are a select set of raster basemap services that will never enter Mature Support because they are foundational basemaps, and there are no vector basemap service equivalents. These basemap services include imagery, elevation and polar services.
- World Imagery (including Clarity, Firely, GCS, and Wayback)
- World Hillshade
- World Dark Hillshade
- Antarctic Imagery
- Arctic Imagery
- Arctic Ocean Base
- World Ocean Base
If you have any questions or concerns, please reach out to the following people: