ArcGIS Living Atlas

High resolution data updates to Living Atlas World Elevation Layers and Tools (June 2021)

This blog was updated on 29th September, 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 the 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 datasets.

Terrain and TopoBathy:

These layers are updated with the following datasets:

3DEP 1m coverage June 2021

Ready-To-Use Elevation Tools:

Ready-To-Use Elevation Tools (i.e. ProfileViewshed and Summarize Elevation) are also updated with 10 meters elevation data for Switzerland, Liechtenstein and Italy.

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

Matterhorn, Switzerland – a near-symmetric pyramid peak (4,478 meters) at Swiss and Italian border depicted with swissALTI3D 50 centimeters data in comparison to 24 meters WorldDEM4Ortho

Improvements in Matterhorn, Switzerland with swissALTI3D 50 centimeters data

Jungfrau, Switzerland – one of the main summits of the Bernese Alps (4,158 meters) and most glaciated part of the mountain range showing improvements with swissALTI3D 50 centimeters data in comparison to 24 meters WorldDEM4Ortho

Improvements in Jungfrau, Switzerland with swissALTI3D 50 centimeters data

Bern, Switzerland – Old town of Bern at bend of Aare river and a UNESCO World Heritage site, showing fine details with swissALTI3D 50 centimeters data in comparison to 24 meters WorldDEM4Ortho

Improvements in Bern, Switzerland with swissALTI3D 50 centimeters data

Entlebuch, Switzerland – a UNESCO biosphere reserve depicted with swissALTI3D 50 centimeters data in comparison to 24 meters WorldDEM4Ortho

Improvements in UNESCO Biosphere, Entlebuch with swissALTI3D 50 centimeters data

Vaduz, Liechtenstein – Vaduz and surrounding areas depicted with swissALTI3D 50 centimeters data in comparison to 24 meters WorldDEM4Ortho

Improvements in Vaduz, Liechtenstein with swissALTI3D 50 centimeters data

Vesuvius National Park, Italy – an Italian national park centered on the active stratovolcano volcano Vesuvius, depicted with 10 meters INGV data in comparison to 24 meters WorldDEM4Ortho

Improvements in Vesuvius, Italy with with 10 meters INGV data

Sinkyone State Park, California, USA – improvements depicted with 3DEP 1 meters data in comparison to 3 and 10 meters FEMA/NED

Improvements depicted with 3DEP 1 meters data in Sinkyone State Park, California, USA

Ponce, Puerto Rico – fine details in hilly sub-urban area depicted with 3DEP 1 meters data in comparison to 10 meters NED

Improvements depicted with 3DEP 1 meters data in Ponce, Puerto Rico

[Update: 29 Sept 21] These data updates 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 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 16 years of experience in GIS and Remote Sensing. He came to Esri about 12 years ago and has worked with various teams in different capacities. 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. By virtue of his strong research interest in terrain visualization, Rajinder has developed a multi-directional hillshade (esriurl.com/NextGenHillshade) algorithm to improve terrain visualization in Esri basemaps, which is also available as part of world elevation layers. 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 from the International Institute for Geo-Information Science and Earth Observation (ITC), The Netherlands, and a Bachelor of Science degree in Urban & Regional Planning from GND University, Amritsar, India.

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