ArcGIS Living Atlas

Lidar derived high resolution data updates to Living Atlas World Elevation Layers (June 2024)

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 lidar derived high-resolution Digital Terrain Models (DTM’s).

Terrain and TopoBathy layers are updated with:

USGS 3DEP 1 meter coverage
USGS 3DEP 1 meter coverage

Let’s see a few examples highlighting the improvements.

improvements over Liege, Wallonie, Belgium
Liege, Wallonie, Belgium – fine details over hilly terrain in urban area depicted with lidar derived 50 centimeters DTM in comparison to 24 meters WorldDEM4Ortho
improvements over Lessines Wallonie, Belgium
Lessines, Wallonie, Belgium –topography of quarry depicted with lidar derived 50 centimeters DTM in comparison to 24 meters WorldDEM4Ortho
improvements over Bratislava, Slovakia
Bratislava, Slovakia – fine details in urban area over hills of Little Carpathians depicted with lidar derived 1 meter DTM’s in comparison to 10 meters
improvements over Redwood City, California
Farm Hills, California, USA – fine details depicted in suburb of Redwood City with San Mateo County’s lidar derived 1 meter DTM’s in comparison to partial coverage of USGS 3 and 10 meters
fine topographic details of quarry in Bowling Green, Kentucky, USA
Bowling Green, Kentucky, USA – fine topographic details of quarry depicted with USGS’s lidar derived 3DEP 1 meter DTM in comparison to USGS 10 meters
improvements over a large oil field in in Kern County, CA, USA
Kern River Oil Field, California, USA – a large oil field in in Kern County in the San Joaquin Valley of California, northeast of Bakersfield in the lower Sierra foothills depicted with USGS’s lidar derived 3DEP 1 meter DTM in comparison to USGS 10 meters

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 end of next quarter.

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 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 (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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