Create terrain from a local raster

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Set the terrain surface with elevation described by a raster file.

Image of create terrain from a local raster

Use case

In a scene view, the terrain surface is what the basemap, operational layers, and graphics are draped onto. For example, when viewing a scene in a mountainous region, applying a terrain surface to the scene will help in recognizing the slopes, valleys, and elevated areas.

How to use the sample

When loaded, the sample will show a scene with a terrain surface applied. Pan and zoom to explore the scene and observe how the terrain surface allows visualizing elevation differences.

How it works

  1. Create an ArcGISScene and add it to a SceneView.
  2. Create a RasterElevationSource with a list of raster file paths.
  3. Add this source to the scene's base surface: ArcGISScene.getBaseSurface().getElevationSources().add(RasterElevationSource).

Relevant API

  • RasterElevationSource
  • Surface

Additional information

Supported raster formats include:

  • CIB1, 5, 10
  • DTED0, 1, 2
  • GeoTIFF
  • HFA
  • HRE
  • IMG
  • JPEG
  • JPEG 2000
  • NITF
  • PNG
  • RPF
  • SRTM1, 2

Offline data

  1. Download the data from ArcGIS Online.
  2. Extract the contents of the downloaded zip file to disk.
  3. Open your command prompt and navigate to the folder where you extracted the contents of the data from step 1.
  4. Execute the following command:

adb push MontereyElevation.dt2 /Android/data/com.esri.arcgisruntime.sample.createterrainfromalocalraster/files/MontereyElevation.dt2

Link Local Location
Monterey Elevation Raster File /Android/data/com.esri.arcgisruntime.sample.createterrainfromalocalraster/files/MontereyElevation.dt2


3D, elevation, raster, surface, terrain

Sample Code
 * Copyright 2019 Esri
 * Licensed under the Apache License, Version 2.0 (the "License");
 * you may not use this file except in compliance with the License.
 * You may obtain a copy of the License at
 * Unless required by applicable law or agreed to in writing, software
 * distributed under the License is distributed on an "AS IS" BASIS,
 * See the License for the specific language governing permissions and
 * limitations under the License.

package com.esri.arcgisruntime.samples.createterrainfromalocalraster;

import java.util.ArrayList;

import android.os.Bundle;
import android.util.Log;
import android.widget.Toast;

import androidx.annotation.Nullable;
import com.esri.arcgisruntime.loadable.LoadStatus;
import com.esri.arcgisruntime.mapping.ArcGISScene;
import com.esri.arcgisruntime.mapping.Basemap;
import com.esri.arcgisruntime.mapping.RasterElevationSource;
import com.esri.arcgisruntime.mapping.view.Camera;
import com.esri.arcgisruntime.mapping.view.SceneView;

public class MainActivity extends AppCompatActivity {

  private static final String TAG = MainActivity.class.getSimpleName();

  private SceneView mSceneView;

  @Override protected void onCreate(@Nullable Bundle savedInstanceState) {

    mSceneView = findViewById(;

    // create a scene and add a basemap to it
    ArcGISScene scene = new ArcGISScene();

    // add the scene to the sceneview

    // specify the initial camera position
    Camera camera = new Camera(36.525, -121.80, 300.0, 180, 80.0, 0.0);

    // raster package file paths
    ArrayList<String> filePaths = new ArrayList<>();
    filePaths.add(getExternalFilesDir(null) + getString(R.string.raster_package_location));

    try {
      // add an elevation source to the scene by passing the URI of the raster package to the constructor
      RasterElevationSource rasterElevationSource = new RasterElevationSource(filePaths);

      // add a listener to perform operations when the load status of the elevation source changes
      rasterElevationSource.addLoadStatusChangedListener(loadStatusChangedEvent -> {
        // when elevation source loads
        if (loadStatusChangedEvent.getNewLoadStatus() == LoadStatus.LOADED) {
          // add the elevation source to the elevation sources of the scene
        } else if (loadStatusChangedEvent.getNewLoadStatus() == LoadStatus.FAILED_TO_LOAD) {
          // notify user that the elevation source has failed to load

      // load the elevation source asynchronously
    } catch (IllegalArgumentException e) {
      // catch exception thrown by RasterElevationSource when a file is invalid/not found
      logErrorToUser(getString(R.string.error_raster_elevation_source_load_failure_message, e.getMessage()));

  private void logErrorToUser(String message) {
    Toast.makeText(this, message, Toast.LENGTH_LONG).show();
    Log.e(TAG, message);