Tag: terrain

Import Terrain, Imagery, & OSM data into CityEngine


Build a city in less than 5 minutes  CityEngine is a powerful tool for transforming 2D GIS data into Smart 3D City Models. But what if you don’t have 2D GIS data to start with? No worries, CityEngine has you … Continue reading

Posted in 3D GIS, Analysis & Geoprocessing, Apps, Community Maps, Imagery, Local Government, Open Data, Sciences, Services, State Government, Uncategorized, Web | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Terrain Tools 1.1 released

By Kenneth Field, Senior Cartographic Product Engineer.

Prior to User Conference in 2015 we released a sample toolbox called Terrain Tools (original announcement here) that included a dozen or so tools to create beautiful, artistic terrain representations. It’s been downloaded nearly 8,000 times this past year. We’ve just released v1.1 which includes a number of bug fixes, for which we’re grateful to the community for giving the feedback that has helped improve their stability. We’re also delighted to announce the inclusion of a new tool called Plan Oblique. Continue reading

Posted in 3D GIS, ArcGIS Pro, ArcMap, Cartographic Design, Mapping | Tagged , , , , , , | 7 Comments

Take your terrain mapping to new heights


by Kenneth Field, Senior Cartographic Product Engineer Standard techniques for representing terrain, like a hillshade, are adequate for many applications, but you may want to represent terrain under different lighting conditions, or perhaps use more artistic techniques. In these cases … Continue reading

Posted in Analysis & Geoprocessing, ArcGIS Pro, Cartographic Design, Mapping, Web | Tagged , , , , , , | 65 Comments

AHN2 Netherlands in Esri World Elevation Services


In a country like Netherlands, where about half of its land is less than 1 meter (3.3 ft) above sea level, having detailed and precise elevation data is vital for applications like flood management, climate change, 3D visualization and terrain analysis. … Continue reading

Posted in 3D GIS, Analysis & Geoprocessing, App Developers, Apps, ArcGIS Online, ArcGIS Pro, Cartographic Design, Community Maps, Developer, Hydro, Imagery, Local Government, Location Analytics, Mapping, National Government, Open Data, Public Safety, Services, State Government, Uncategorized, Water Utilities, Web | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Working with Lidar Data in ArcGIS 10.1 – Workshop Video

On May 24th, there was a Live Training Seminar that was presented on Working with Lidar in ArcGIS 10.1. A recording of this training seminar is now available to view online.

Continue reading

Posted in 3D GIS, Defense, Imagery | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Visibility and Range and Position Analysis templates updated for ArcGIS 10 SP3

The Visibility and Range template and the Position Analysis template have been updated for ArcGIS 10 SP3. 

Visibility and Range template version 1.1 updates:

Visibility and Range templateThe Visibility and Range template version 1.1 modifies the Force visibility to infinity (edge of surface) option in the Radial Line Of Sight tool.  The tool now processes large surface datasets to the observer’s horizon on the surface. Effectively, on the surface of the earth, this is the farthest an observer can see without interference from the earth’s curvature. Also, the Find Local Peaks, Highest Points, and Lowest Points tools have been updated to better handle various input surfaces, and the symbology and labels for Range Rings have been improved.
You can download the updated Visibility and Range template here.

Position Analysis template version 1.1 updates:

Position Analysis templateUpdates for version 1.1 of this template include fixes for ArcGIS 10.0 SP3 and several cartographic enhancements for the result layers.
The issues fixed with version 1.1 are:  validation errors for the Locate Event, Table To Line Of Bearing, and Table To Ellipse tools; and problems with the Range Rings and Locate Event tools running as a tool layer when selecting points interactively.  Also, several of the tools have been modified so they will run with an ArcView license, rather than an ArcInfo license, which was required with the previous version.
You can download the updated Position Analysis template here.

Posted in Defense | Tagged , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Visibility and Range template available for download

Visibility and Range
The new Visibility and Range template is available for download from Arcgis.com.
The Visibility and Range template is a set of tools for assessing observer and target locations, packaged together for Intelligence Analysts.   These tools allow an analyst to evaluate the terrain from an observation and targeting perspective.
The Highest Point tool is useful for identifying possible observation post locations by finding the highest point on the terrain in a specified area.  Once an observation point is located, the Radial Line of Sight tool can be used to analyze the surrounding terrain to find areas that are visible to, or hidden from, the observer (or from multiple observer locations). The Linear Line of Sight tool lets an analyst determine whether or not a specific target is visible from a given location, and helps identify hidden and exposed terrain along the line.  It takes terrain into account, but also can evaluate other types of obstructions, such as fences and walls, stored as features.
The Range tools are useful for finding the areas that are within range of a given weapon. The Range Rings tool allows the analyst to create range rings with radials around points at specified intervals and distances. The Range Fan tool lets an analyst create range fans interactively, or from features with range, bearing, and traversal attributes. These tools can be useful in evaluating the current or future placement of weapons.

Posted in Defense | Tagged , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Determining a Z-factor for scaling linear elevation units to match geographic coordinate values

It is common to see data in a geographic coordinate system (GCS).  It’s an easily understood, world-wide coordinate system, and many datasets use GCS as part of their spatial reference.  However, there are drawbacks to using a geographic coordinate system. One of the most prominent is evident when doing surface analyses over terrain with X,Y coordinates stored in latitude longitude and with elevation values stored in linear units such as meters. This is a problem because degrees of latitude and longitude are angular units measured on a sphere, and meters are linear units measured along a plane. Degrees of longitude are also of variable length, depending upon the latitude, and degrees of longitude represent significantly larger distances than meters over most of the globe (except very close to the poles). Continue reading

Posted in Defense | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

Adjusting image / raster display quality in ArcScene

One question we hear a lot is “why does my high-resolution aerial imagery get downscaled when I add it into ArcScene?”  The answer is that ArcScene automatically reduces all imagery resolution because ArcScene is memory-based and if your image is large (and exceeds available memory), ArcScene can become unresponsive. Think of the automatic downscaling as a self-defense mechanism.


So, while you can’t change the default resolution of the imagery as it’s added into ArcScene, you can adjust the image resolution using a quality control slider after it’s in your document.  The quality slider is on the raster layer’s Layer Properties dialog, under the Rendering tab, and is titled “Quality enhancement for raster images”. Move it one step to the right and click OK. The image should improve. Navigate around and, if you’re still happy with performance, try another notch up.

If you reach ArcScene’s performance limit and the image quality STILL isn’t good enough for your needs, then you will need to clip out a new, raster image for your area of interest, and then repeat the process of finding the most appropriate display quality on the slider. You can also keep the larger, full extent image in the Scene document (with a lower resolution) for general background, if needed to provide context.

The trick is to adjust the slider one step at a time, until you find the optimum “display vs performance” setting that you are after for this particular doc. This value is hard to predict because it is also reliant upon what other layers are inside your ArcScene view. Also, because it’s difficult to test for contiguous chunks of available memory before attempting to allocate it, you should save your document often.

Nathan Shepard

Posted in 3D GIS | Tagged , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Interesting in 3D Analyst and lidar?

Come visit us at ELMF in The Netherlands: 


This two-day technical conference will focus on the use of lidar to support transportation, urban modeling, and coastal zone and asset mapping. Esri will demonstrate how to manage large amounts of three-dimensional spatial information using the ArcGIS system of GIS products. ArcGIS accurately represents and extracts feature information from lidar, 3D laser scanning, and other remotely sensed data types; ties it to specific locations; and integrates it with other spatial data for analysis and sharing. Use ArcGIS and the ArcGIS 3D Analyst extension for the ability to model the world as it should be, in 3D. 

You can find development staff at booth 26!

Posted in 3D GIS | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment