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ArcGIS Runtime SDK for .NET

Surface placement

This code sample is available for these platforms:
View Sample on GitHub

Position graphics relative to a surface using different surface placement modes.


Use case

Depending on the use case, data might be displayed at a consistent, absolute height (e.g. flight data recorded relative to sea level), at a relative height to the terrain (e.g. transmission lines positioned relative to the ground), or draped directly onto the terrain (e.g. location markers, area boundaries).

How it works

  1. Create a GraphicsOverlay for each placement mode, setting SceneProperties.SurfacePlacement:
    • Draped, Z value of graphic has no affect and graphic is attached to surface
    • Relative, position graphic using its Z value plus the elevation of the surface
    • Absolute, position graphic using only its Z value
  2. Add graphics to the graphics overlay, GraphicsOverlay.Graphics.Add(Graphic).
  3. Add each graphics overlay to the scene view by calling SceneView.GraphicsOverlays.Add(overlay).

Relevant API

  • Graphic
  • GraphicsOverlay
  • LayerSceneProperties.SurfacePlacement
  • SceneProperties
  • Surface

About the data

The scene launches with a view of northern Snowdonia National Park. Three points are shown hovering with positions defined by each of the different surface placement modes.

Additional information

This sample uses an elevation service to add elevation/terrain to the scene. Graphics are positioned relative to that surface for the Draped and Relative surface placement modes.


3D, altitude, draped, floating, scenes, sea level, surface placement

Sample Code


        <esriUI:SceneView x:Name="MySceneView"/>
// Copyright 2017 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, WITHOUT WARRANTIES OR CONDITIONS OF ANY KIND, either express or implied. See the License for the specific
// language governing permissions and limitations under the License.

using Esri.ArcGISRuntime.Geometry;
using Esri.ArcGISRuntime.Mapping;
using Esri.ArcGISRuntime.Symbology;
using Esri.ArcGISRuntime.UI;
using System;
using System.Drawing;

namespace ArcGISRuntime.UWP.Samples.SurfacePlacements
        "Surface placement",
        "This sample demonstrates how to position graphics using different Surface Placements.",
    public sealed partial class SurfacePlacements
        public SurfacePlacements()


        private void Initialize()
            // Create new Scene
            Scene myScene = new Scene

                // Set Scene's base map property
                Basemap = Basemap.CreateImagery()

            // Create a camera with coordinates showing layer data
            Camera camera = new Camera(53.04, -4.04, 1300, 0, 90.0, 0);

            // Assign the Scene to the SceneView
            MySceneView.Scene = myScene;

            // Create ElevationSource from elevation data Uri
            ArcGISTiledElevationSource elevationSource = new ArcGISTiledElevationSource(
                new Uri(""));

            // Add elevationSource to BaseSurface's ElevationSources

            // Set view point of scene view using camera

            // Create overlays with elevation modes
            GraphicsOverlay drapedOverlay = new GraphicsOverlay();
            drapedOverlay.SceneProperties.SurfacePlacement = SurfacePlacement.Draped;

            GraphicsOverlay relativeOverlay = new GraphicsOverlay();
            relativeOverlay.SceneProperties.SurfacePlacement = SurfacePlacement.Relative;

            GraphicsOverlay absoluteOverlay = new GraphicsOverlay();
            absoluteOverlay.SceneProperties.SurfacePlacement = SurfacePlacement.Absolute;

            // Create point for graphic location
            MapPoint point = new MapPoint(-4.04, 53.06, 1000, camera.Location.SpatialReference);

            // Create a red circle symbol
            SimpleMarkerSymbol circleSymbol = new SimpleMarkerSymbol(SimpleMarkerSymbolStyle.Circle, Color.FromArgb(255, 255, 0, 0), 10);

            // Create a text symbol for each elevation mode
            TextSymbol drapedText = new TextSymbol("DRAPED", Color.FromArgb(255, 255, 255, 255), 10,
            drapedText.OffsetY += 20;

            TextSymbol relativeText = new TextSymbol("RELATIVE", Color.FromArgb(255, 255, 255, 255), 10,
            relativeText.OffsetY += 20;

            TextSymbol absoluteText = new TextSymbol("ABSOLUTE", Color.FromArgb(255, 255, 255, 255), 10,
            absoluteText.OffsetY += 20;

            // Add the point graphic and text graphic to the corresponding graphics overlay
            drapedOverlay.Graphics.Add(new Graphic(point, circleSymbol));
            drapedOverlay.Graphics.Add(new Graphic(point, drapedText));

            relativeOverlay.Graphics.Add(new Graphic(point, circleSymbol));
            relativeOverlay.Graphics.Add(new Graphic(point, relativeText));

            absoluteOverlay.Graphics.Add(new Graphic(point, circleSymbol));
            absoluteOverlay.Graphics.Add(new Graphic(point, absoluteText));