ArcGIS Living Atlas

High resolution data updates to Living Atlas World Elevation Layers and Tools (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:

New Zealand 1m coverage as of October 2023
USGS 3DEP1m coverage as of October 2023

TopoBathy layer is updated with:

New Raster Function:

Terrain and TopoBathy layers now have a new raster function ‘Elevation_Feet’ to dynamically provide heights/depths in feet. The function can be invoked from processing templates in ArcGIS Pro and ArcGIS Online Map Viewer. Pop-ups on elevation layers have been updated to provide heights in both meters and feet and can be used in webmaps and web apps.

Popup on Terrain showing elevation values in feet and meter

Ready-To-Use Elevation Tools:

Ready-To-Use Elevation Tools (ProfileViewshed and Summarize Elevation) are updated with the 10 meters DTM’s of Italy.  Profile tool has been updated with GEBCO 2023 grid for 500 m (15 arc second) DEM Resolution option.

Let’s see a few examples highlighting the improvements.

Lyon, France – hilly urban areas depicted with lidar derived 1-meter DTM’s in comparison to 24 meters WorldDEM4Ortho

Lyon, France – hilly urban areas depicted with lidar derived 1-meter DTM’s in comparison to 24 meters WorldDEM4Ortho

Saint-Laurent-du-Var, France – a suburb of the city of Nice depicted with lidar derived 1-meter DTM’s in comparison to 24 meters WorldDEM4Ortho

Saint-Laurent-du-Var, France – a suburb of the city of Nice depicted with lidar derived 1-meter DTM’s in comparison to 24 meters WorldDEM4Ortho

Whangamatā, New Zealand – improvements depicted with lidar derived 1-meter DTM’s in comparison to 24 meters WorldDEM4Ortho

Whangamatā, New Zealand – improvements depicted with lidar derived 1-meter DTM’s in comparison to 24 meters WorldDEM4Ortho

Colorado Springs, USA – urban areas depicted with lidar derived USGS 3DEP 1-meter DTM’s in comparison to USGS 10 meters

Colorado Springs, USA – urban areas depicted with lidar derived USGS 3DEP 1-meter DTM’s in comparison to USGS 10-meter

These data updates will be rolled out to the world elevation tiled services – Elevation 3D (Terrain3D and TopoBathy3D) and Hillshade (World Hillshade and World Hillshade (Dark) ) in early 2024.

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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