ArcGIS Living Atlas

High resolution data updates to Living Atlas World Elevation Layers (Sept 2021)

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 a few high-resolution elevation datasets.

Terrain and TopoBathy layers are updated with:

TopoBathy layer is updated with:

Let’s see a few examples highlighting the improvements.

Broadmeadows, Wellington, New Zealand – fine details in suburb depicted with LINZ 1-meter DTM in comparison to 24 meters WorldDEM4Ortho

Suburb of Broadmeadows, New Zealand

Awhitu, New Zealand – rugged terrain of Awhitu peninsula depicted with LINZ 1-meter DTM in comparison to 24 meters WorldDEM4Ortho

Terrain of Awhitu, New Zealand

Lake Zug, Switzerland – bathymetry of lake Zug depicted with swissBATHY3D 1-meter data

Bathymetry of Lake Zug, Switzerland

San Francisco Bay, California, USA – bathymetry of San Francisco bay depicted with 2 meters data

Bathymetry of San Francisco

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) ) by the next quarter.

To see the coverage extent 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 20 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 ( algorithm to improve terrain visualization in Esri basemaps. He has also developed a fusion technique ( 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.

Notify of
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments

Next Article

Nautical chart creation is versatile with ArcGIS Maritime

Read this article