ArcGIS Living Atlas

Updates to Living Atlas World Elevation Layers and Tools (April 2019)

ArcGIS Living Atlas of the World provides foundation elevation layers and tools to support analysis and visualization across the ArcGIS platform. In this release, world elevation layers (Terrain and TopoBathy) are updated with following elevation datasets:

Let’s see a few examples highlighting the improvements.

Vijandi, Estonia – fine details depicted with 1 m lidar DTM (bottom) in urban area over WorldDEM4Ortho 24 m (top)

Vijandi, Estonia 24m WorldDEM4Ortho
Vijandi, Estonia 1m Lidar

Geneva, Switzerland – fine details depicted with 50 cm lidar DTM (bottom) in city over WorldDEM4Ortho 24 m (top)

Geneva, Switzerland 24m WorldDEM4Ortho
Geneva, Switzerland 50cm Lidar

In this release, Slope Map and Aspect Map functions are enhanced to return class values and descriptions with legend instead of 3 band RGB values. This enhancement will also allow you to change the pre-defined symbology from client side (desktop or AGOL).

Slope and Aspect Map Legend

Elevation Analysis Tools:

With this release, elevation analysis tools (Profile, Viewshed and Summarize Elevation) no longer charge credits and are free with an AGOL subscription.

Analysis tools now include 10 meter Estonia data, which means if you run these tools over Estonia using desktop clients (ArcGIS Pro, ArcMap) and select DEM resolution as 10m or Finest, the analysis will be performed using 10 m Estonia data.

The elevation profile web application template available via ArcGIS Online configurable apps uses the ‘Finest’ DEM resolution as default and will automatically use 10 m data in Estonia.

These data updates will also be rolled out to other world elevation derivative products – Elevation 3D (Terrain3D and TopoBathy3D) and World Hillshade in this quarter.

For more information about the various data sources available in World Elevation services, check out the Elevation coverage map. Esri will keep improving World Elevation Services, Tools and derivative products by including high resolution data from open source and the Esri Community Maps program. Additionally, to contribute high-resolution elevation data to Living Atlas of the World, 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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