Elevation can help with 3D visualizations by creating relief in your 3D scene. Elevation surfaces define height values across the extent of a map or scene. Other layers are usually draped on top of the elevation. In most cases, data for an elevation layer comes from an elevation service. Currently, tiled elevation layers are supported in the LERC format.

The following types of source URLs can be used to add an elevation layer and create relief in your ArcGIS Map:

  • Item page URL
  • Elevation service URL

Elevation tiles can also access data from LERC encoded tile packages stored locally.

A tile package is a single .tpk (or .tpkx) file containing tiles, and you can share the file as you would with any file. Compared with .tpk files, .tpkx files provide better performance on network shares and cloud store directories. The spatial reference of the elevation should match with the basemap and image tile layers. See Spatial references for more information about coordinate systems.

When you have multiple elevation sources, the last item added to the collection takes precedence and is displayed topmost in the Modes Panel UI. You can apply mesh modification to remove or change the altitude of specified polygon areas to the elevation surface that is defined by elevation sources.

Set elevation

The Terrain 3D from ArcGIS Online and its spatial reference is Web Mercator (Auxiliary Sphere).

To use the default elevation source, click the Elevation tab, and select Terrain 3D.

To use custom elevation sources:

  1. Click + Add New at the bottom right in the Elevation panel to open the pop-up window.
  2. Enter the online service URL for the elevation service or a local file package path in the Source field.
  3. Enter the name of the source in the Name field.
  4. Click Add.
  5. Find the newly added elevation source in the Elevation panel.
  • To use a .tpk or .tpkx file package as an elevation source, use the absolute file path for the Source.
  • To change the elevation source order, click and select Move up or Move down.
  • The elevation source at the top of the list has the highest priority.
  • To change an additional elevation source name, click and select Rename.
  • To zoom the Scene view camera to the extent of an additional elevation source, click and select Zoom To.
  • To delete an additional elevation source, click and select Delete.
  • To disable elevation, uncheck Enable All.
  • To use a privately hosted elevation layer, select the matching configuration from the Authentication drop-down list in the Add New Elevation Layer pop-up window. For more information about using private content, see user authentication.

Refer to FAQ for troubleshooting data loading issues.

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