ArcGIS Living Atlas

Data updates to Living Atlas World Elevation Layers and Tools (December 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 and tools are updated with a few high-resolution elevation and bathymetry datasets.

Terrain and TopoBathy layers are updated with:

3DEP 1m coverage update

TopoBathy layer is updated with:

Ready-To-Use Elevation Tools:

Profile tool has been updated with GEBCO 2021 grid for 500 m (15 arc second) DEM Resolution option.

Let’s see a few examples highlighting the improvements with before and after images.

Cone Peak, California, USA – the second highest mountain peak (1571 m) in the Santa Lucia Range of the Los Padres National Forest depicted with USGS’ 3DEP 1 meter data in comparison to 10 meters

Mountain peak in the Santa Lucia Rang

Little Christmas Mountain, Texas, USA– part of Christmas Mountain range next to Big Bend National Park depicted with USGS’ 3DEP 1 meter data in comparison to 10 meters

Terrain of Little Christmas Mountain, Texas

Liezen, Austria – fine details in urban area depicted with 1 meter data in comparison to 10 meters

Urban area of Liezen, Austria

Seattle, Washington, USA – bathymetry of Puget sound depicted with USGS CoNED 1 meter topobathy data in comparison to 90 meters

Bathymetry of Puget Sound, Seattle

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 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 ( 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.

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