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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.

Surface placement sample

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 to use the sample

The application loads a scene showing three points that use the individual surface placement rules (Absolute, Relative, and either Draped Billboarded or Draped Flat). Use the control to toggle the draped mode, then explore the scene by zooming in/out and by panning around to observe the effects of the surface placement rules.

How it works

  1. Create a GraphicsOverlay for each placement mode, setting SceneProperties.SurfacePlacement:
    • Absolute, position graphic using only its Z value.
    • Relative, position graphic using its Z value plus the elevation of the surface.
    • DrapedBillboarded, position graphic upright on the surface and always facing the camera, not using its z value.
    • DrapedFlat, position graphic flat on the surface, not using its z value.
  2. Add graphics to the graphics overlay, GraphicsOverlay.getGraphics.add(Graphic).
  3. Add each graphics overlay to the scene view by calling SceneView.getGraphicsOverlays().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 DrapedBillboarded, DrapedFlat, and Relative surface placement modes.


3D, absolute, altitude, draped, elevation, floating, relative, scenes, sea level, surface placement

Sample Code

        <esriUI:SceneView x:Name="MySceneView" />
        <Border Style="{StaticResource BorderStyle}">
                    Content="Draped billboarded"
                    IsChecked="True" />
                <RadioButton x:Name="FlatButton" Content="Draped flat" />
// 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, 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;
using Windows.UI.Xaml;

namespace ArcGISRuntime.UWP.Samples.SurfacePlacements
        "Surface placement",
        "Position graphics relative to a surface using different surface placement modes.",
    public sealed partial class SurfacePlacements
        private GraphicsOverlay _drapedBillboardedOverlay;
        private GraphicsOverlay _drapedFlatOverlay;

        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(53.05, -4.01, 1115, 299, 88, 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
            _drapedBillboardedOverlay = new GraphicsOverlay();
            _drapedBillboardedOverlay.SceneProperties.SurfacePlacement = SurfacePlacement.DrapedBillboarded;

            _drapedFlatOverlay = new GraphicsOverlay();
            _drapedFlatOverlay.SceneProperties.SurfacePlacement = SurfacePlacement.DrapedFlat;

            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 triangle symbol
            SimpleMarkerSymbol triangleSymbol = new SimpleMarkerSymbol(SimpleMarkerSymbolStyle.Triangle, Color.FromArgb(255, 255, 0, 0), 10);

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

            TextSymbol drapedFlatText = new TextSymbol("DRAPED FLAT", Color.FromArgb(255, 255, 255, 255), 10,
            drapedFlatText.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
            _drapedBillboardedOverlay.Graphics.Add(new Graphic(point, triangleSymbol));
            _drapedBillboardedOverlay.Graphics.Add(new Graphic(point, drapedBillboardedText));

            _drapedFlatOverlay.Graphics.Add(new Graphic(point, triangleSymbol));
            _drapedFlatOverlay.Graphics.Add(new Graphic(point, drapedFlatText));

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

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

            BillboardButton.Checked += BillboardedClick;
            FlatButton.Checked += FlatClick;

        private void BillboardedClick(object sender, RoutedEventArgs e)

        private void FlatClick(object sender, RoutedEventArgs e)