ArcGIS Maps SDKs

Announcing ArcGIS Maps SDKs for Game Engines 1.1

The ArcGIS Maps SDK development team is pleased to announce version 1.1 of the ArcGIS Maps SDKs for Unity and Unreal Engine! Version 1.1 adds vector tile support, enhanced access to basemaps, and improvements to scene layer rendering and performance. Let’s dig into the details…

Vector tile layers

Vector tiles provide high quality display of complex cartography, and in general they deliver improved performance over image tile layers.  In prior releases of the ArcGIS Maps SDKs for Game Engines you had to rely on image tile layers for your basemaps. Now you can use vector tile layers from a vector tile service or a local vector tile package, or vtpk. Esri provides a rich set of vector tile basemaps which you can use as is, with their default style, or with your own custom styles created with the ArcGIS Vector Tile Style Editor.

Basemap layer service

ArcGIS Platform’s basemap layer service provides access to a variety of global basemap layers which provide geographic context in a scene. As version 1.1 supports both vector and image tile layers, all basemaps are now available for use.  The Basemap tab in the Map Creator UI (Unity) and Modes Panel UI (Unreal Engine) has also been enhanced to include a list of Esri curated basemaps for developers.

Buildings on an ArcGIS Platform vector tile basemap with different styles
Buildings on an ArcGIS Platform vector tile basemap with different styles

Scene layer improvements

We now support scene layers with Draco geometry compression. Draco compression optimizes the delivery of 3D geometries in a scene layer by compacting nodes which results in a smaller payload. This decreases the time to deliver complex 3D data to a client and results in improved performance. Draco compression was introduced with i3S 1.7, so we encourage use of scene layers published at version 1.7 or greater.

Physically Based Rendering (PBR) materials describe the visual properties of a surface and are used by scene layers to deliver 3D content that appears realistic under all lighting conditions. We improved support for PBR materials to more closely honor the roughness, reflections, colors, transparency, and textures published in a scene layer.

Other enhancements

For more details on each of these enhancements, as well as a list of resolved and known issues, see the release notes for Unity and Unreal Engine.

Download and get started

To get your hands on version 1.1, go to the ArcGIS Developers web site, sign in, browse to the ArcGIS Maps SDK page of your choice, and download the SDK.  If you’re new to developing with our Game Engine Maps SDKs,  simply sign up for a free ArcGIS Developer account then head over to the Get Started page in the ArcGIS Maps SDK for Unity or ArcGIS Maps SDK for Unreal Engine documentation.

About the authors

Rex Hansen

Rex Hansen is a Product Manager for the ArcGIS Runtime SDKs and ArcGIS Maps SDKs. He has over 25 years of experience in GIS, spatial analytics, and computer mapping. Currently, he guides the development of native technologies in the GIS industry to use authoritative geospatial content and analysis in offline workflows, photorealistic experiences, and immersive, extended reality solutions.

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Nick Furness

Nick Furness is a Product Manager for the ArcGIS Maps SDKs for Native Apps, and Game Engines, specializing in Swift and iOS. He's spent over 20 years working in the GIS space building projects ranging from small mom-and-pop solutions all the way up to enterprise utility and national government deployments. Nick presents at various Esri Developer Summits, the User Conference, and many other events, almost always talking about something to do with the Native Maps SDKs although you might find the odd bit of JavaScript thrown in there.

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Mike Branscomb

Mike Branscomb is a Product Manager for the ArcGIS Maps SDKs for Native Apps and ArcGIS Maps SDKs for Game Engines. With over 20 years of experience working in the Esri ecosystem, he specializes in .NET, Local Server, and 3D Scene Layers. Mike is also a Scrum Product Owner with over 10 years of experience guiding teams through the product development lifecycle.

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