Using Azure Maps in ArcGIS and QGIS

Microsoft

 

Azure Maps allows you to create location-aware web and mobile applications using simple and secure geospatial services, APIs, and SDKs in Azure. It includes services for maps, traffic, search, routing, spatial operations, mobility, weather, etc. See here for more information. 

 

With that said, moving to the cloud can be a huge shift. You have to learn how Microsoft Azure works, learn dozens of new services, change how an organization budgets, build cloud apps, etc. It’s a daunting task so in this article I’m going to show how you can bring the cloud to your existing GIS using a few very simple steps. I’m going to show how to display the Azure Maps base maps in ArcGIS Online, ArcGIS Pro and QGIS. 

 

Obtain your Azure Maps account key 

The first thing you need to do is get your Azure subscription. Follow the steps here for a $200 credit or buy a subscription. Once you have a subscription, you can now create an Azure Maps account by following these instructions. Once you have your Azure Maps account, get your Primary Key from the Azure Portal as described here. Note it because you’ll need it in later steps. You now have an account and a key to start using Azure Maps in ArcGIS or QGIS. 

 

Using Azure Maps in ArcGIS Online 

You are now ready to use the Azure Maps base maps in ArcGIS Online but first let’s review what kind of base maps are available. Azure Maps has several map styles which are referred to as basemaps in ArcGIS. See this document for a description of each one. However, to use an Azure Maps map you will need to refer to it via a URL when adding a tiled layer. The Azure Maps Render API is described here. The URL will look like this: https://atlas.microsoft.com/map/tile?api-version=2.0&tilesetId={tilesetId}&zoom={zoom}&x={x}&y={y} 

 

In order to actually use the map, you’ll need to provide a TilesetId and also a subscription key (Primary Key)The TilesetID list is located near the bottom of this page and listed here for reference: 

 

Name 

Type 

Description 

microsoft.base 

string 

A base map is a standard map that displays roads, natural and artificial features along with the labels for those features in a vector tile. 

Supports zoom levels 0 through 22. Format: vector (pbf). 

microsoft.base.darkgrey 

string 

All layers with our dark grey style. 

Supports zoom levels 0 through 18. Format: raster (png). 

microsoft.base.hybrid 

string 

Displays road, boundary and label data in a vector tile. 

Supports zoom levels 0 through 22. Format: vector (pbf). 

microsoft.base.hybrid.road 

string 

Road, boundary and label data in our main style. 

Supports zoom levels 0 through 18. Format: raster (png). 

microsoft.base.labels 

string 

Displays labels for roads, natural and artificial features in a vector tile. 

Supports zoom levels 0 through 22. Format: vector (pbf). 

microsoft.base.labels.road 

string 

Label data in our main style. 

Supports zoom levels 0 through 18. Format: raster (png). 

microsoft.base.road 

string 

All layers with our main style. 

Supports zoom levels 0 through 18. Format: raster (png). 

microsoft.imagery 

string 

A combination of satellite and aerial imagery. Only available in S1 pricing SKU. 

Supports zoom levels 1 through 19. Format: raster (jpeg). 

microsoft.terra.main 

string 

Shaded relief and terra layers. 

Supports zoom levels 0 through 6. Format: raster (png). 

microsoft.weather.infrared.main 

string 

Weather infrared tiles. Latest Infrared Satellite images shows clouds by their temperature. Please see coverage information for Azure Maps Weather service. To learn more about the returned Satellite data, please see Weather concepts. 
Supports zoom levels 0 through 15. Format: raster (png). 

microsoft.weather.radar.main 

string 

Weather radar tiles. Latest weather radar images including areas of rain, snow, ice and mixed conditions. Please see coverage information for Azure Maps Weather service. To learn more about the Radar data, please see Weather concepts. 

Supports zoom levels 0 through 15. Format: raster (png). 

 

To use one of these styles you’ll need to pass in the TilesetID and your Primary Key as shown here: 

https://atlas.microsoft.com/map/tile?zoom={z}&x={x}&y={y}&tilesetId=microsoft.imagery&api-version=2.0&subscription-key=XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX 

 

Be sure to replace those Xs with your Azure Maps account Primary Key you noted earlier 

 

To use one of the styles you will need to create a new map in ArcGIS Online. See here. From ArcGIS Online click the Add button and then click Add Layer from Web. Select A Tile Layer from the dropdown option. Paste in the URL we just created. Click Use as Basemap (optional). Enter a title such as Azure Maps Imagery and the credits would be © TomTom, Microsoft”. See here: 

 

agol_tile.png

 

The imagery should appear on the map. You can now add other layers and other content to your map. For example, to use the weather data add another layer and pass in the following URL: 

https://atlas.microsoft.com/map/tile?zoom={z}&x={x}&y={y}&tilesetId=microsoft.weather.radar.main&api... 

To use this map in ArcGIS Pro be sure to save the map.  

 

Use the imagery in ArcGIS Pro 

Now that you have a map with an Azure Maps map, you can now use it in ArcGIS Pro. See the section called Add a web map or web scene to the project here. 

 

Use Azure Maps in QGIS 

Another option is to use Azure Maps in Quantum GIS (QGIS). This too is a very easy task. Open QGIS and under the Browser window right-click on XYZ Tile and click New Connection… and enter in a Name such as Imagery and pass in any one of the previous URLsClick OK. Double-click the layer to add it to the Layers Panel. Re-order the layers as necessary. 

qgis_connection.png

 

The results will be added to the map as shown here: 

 

qgis_azmaps.png

 Happy mapping. Please provide any feedback below. 

 

 

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