A long time ago (2011!) I wrote about using an invisible layer in Dekho that users could still select & identify from.
We it seems that old trick is still useful nowadays.
A gripe of mine, and many people on the Esri Geonet forums, regarding vector tile caches are that they do not support identify or query methods as the attributes are not stored in the cache. I can call it a gripe as the OSM/Mapbox specification for vector tiles does allow for attributes – but this would slow it down.
So, how do you utilise a vector tile cache and have identify/query functionality?
You use an invisible (raster tile) cached map service!
So how do you do it?
- Publish a cached map service but don’t populate any tiles.
- Follow the instructions (here) to set a blank map tile
- Publish a vector tile cache using the same data
- Create a webmap that overlays the cached map service over the vector tile cache
- Note: make sure the invisible layer is above the vector tile cache layer
- Note: don’t add the vector tile cache as a basemap
And you are done! You now have a vector tile cache for fast drawing and an invisible layer to identify/query!