ArcGIS Living Atlas

High resolution data updates to Living Atlas World Elevation Layers and Tools (June 2023)

*This blog was updated in October 2023*

ArcGIS Living Atlas of the World provides foundation elevation layers and tools to support analysis and visualization across the ArcGIS system. These layers get updated quarterly with high resolution elevation data from federal agencies, open sources, and community maps program. Esri is providing these datasets as ready to use services that benefit the GIS community and extend the use of data in new and innovative ways. In this release, world elevation layers are updated with many high-resolution elevation datasets.

Terrain and TopoBathy layers are updated with:

Map showing New Zealand 1m coverage
Map showing USGS 3DEP 1m coverage

Ready-To-Use Elevation Tools:

Ready-To-Use Elevation Tools (ProfileViewshed and Summarize Elevation) are also updated with the USGS’s latest 1/3 arc second and 1 arc second datasets.

Let’s see a few examples highlighting the improvements.

Brighton, England – improvements depicted with EA’s lidar derived 1-meter DTM’s in comparison to 50-meter OS Terrain

Pre and post animation of improvements over Brighton, England

Derbyshire, England – Hindlow quarry in Derbyshire depicted with lidar derived 1-meter DTM’s in comparison to 50-meter OS Terrain

Pre and post animation of improvements over Hindlow Quarry, England

Chicago, USA – improvements over urban area depicted with Cook county’s lidar derived 0.45 meter DTM’s in comparison to USGS 10-meter

Pre and post animation of improvements over Chicago, IL, USA

Mount Taranaki, New Zealand – a dormant stratovolcano at 2,518 meters (8,261 ft), the second highest mountain in the North Island, depicted with lidar derived 1-meter DTM’s in comparison to 24 meters WorldDEM4Ortho

Pre and post animation of improvements over MtTeranki, New Zealand

Mount Si, Washington, USA – Mount Si and surrounding areas depicted with lidar derived USGS 3DEP 1-meter DTM’s in comparison to USGS 10-meter

Pre and post animation of improvements over Mt Si, WA, USA

{Update: Oct 2023} These datasets have been rolled out to the world elevation tiled services – Elevation 3D (Terrain3D and TopoBathy3D) and Hillshade (World Hillshade and World Hillshade (Dark) ).

To see the coverage extents of each source comprising World Elevation services, check out the Elevation coverage map.

You can help in improving these services by contributing high-resolution elevation data to Living Atlas of the World. To participate and learn more, check out the Esri Community Maps for Elevation program.

About the author

Rajinder has more than 19 years of experience in GIS and Remote Sensing. In his current role, he leads the community elevation program at Esri and has wide experience in cartographic visualization, image processing, databases and geo-processing. Rajinder has developed a multi-directional hillshade (esriurl.com/NextGenHillshade) algorithm to improve terrain visualization in Esri basemaps. He has also developed a fusion technique (esriurl.com/NAGIfusion) which maintains details and colors when integrating colored rasters with hillshades. Rajinder holds a Master of Science degree in Geoinformatics and a Bachelor of Science degree in Urban & Regional Planning.

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