Elevation Profile Improvement

06-08-2011 09:18 AM
Status: Open
Labels (1)
Occasional Contributor II

Would love to be able to produce elevation profiles better... 
- Multi-Surface Display (with options for filling in between surfaces)
- add vertical exaggeration scale and scale definition options
- add to layout as editiable graphics, rather than rasterized image (or, even better, provide option to add as shapefiles within a seperate data frame with XY and Z coordinates "flipped" along the profile line - i.e. X coordinate would be distance along line, Y coordinate would be equivalent to Z, with some sort of option to apply vertical exaggeration while producing)
- provide options to display other 3D features alongside the surface profile (within X distance (i.e. underground utilities, boreholes, etc.)

Ultimately this type of tool would work in ArcMap, allowing display of profiles next to traditional map frames...

Thanks for posting this idea. For me, the major one would be being able to set the vertical exaggeration so you don't have to calculate it manually all the time.

Also I would like to see the ability to move the profile line that's drawn over the top of the DEM and have the profile graph update dynamically. To my knowledge, at present if you move the line, the profile graph remains the same and is therefore incorrect. You also have no way of telling if the profile line has been moved.
The graphs are really cool and very flexible, ie complicated.
I would like to see more help and examples of the options. The "Learning By Exploration" required is a bit hit-and-miss.
Who knows what the difference is between "properties" and "advanced properties"?

I have found belatedly that you can add multiple themes, but to synchronise the scales you have to have generated M and Z values for the lines and point events with spot heights.
You can export the data table to Excel and to an image or PDF.

What I would like to be able to do is replace the features in the graph document in Python, or some sort of API to script multiple graphs. I realise that it is a third party plugin so options are limited.

It's strange, there are many people posting questions in the esri support forums about having the ability to easily extract profiles of multiple surfaces in a single graph, but these postings are never answered by esri support...
Of course, the ETSurface tool does this quite well, but you have to purchase this extension (not from ESRI). Always been confused by the great things that Xtools and ET provides that ESRI simply does not provide. And I am, very much, and ESRI fan.
It would be GREAT to be able to generate a multi-surface profile graph (stack profile) on the fly. The stack profile GP tool is ok, but would like to be able to interpolate a 3D line over two or more TINs and get back a graph showing the elevation profile of all functional surfaces.
Yes, cross-section support needs to be enhanced.
by Anonymous User
Just found an extension called "CrossView for ArcGIS" that handles this beautifully.  It still is a 3rd party extension that costs, but it is less glitchy than ET Surface, and way more useful than 3D Analyst's sad attemps at cross sections and profiles.
Would still love to have this funcionality  without having to go to a 3rd party....
On a daily basis I create pipeline alignment sheets.  One of requirements for creating these maps is to include a pipeline elevation profile graph.  To make these alignment sheets we use production mapping straight line diagrams which allows us to leverage data driven pages, but when we have to insert the profile graph as an image and break out into individual pages.  This becomes a tedious task when creating hundreds of alignment sheets and the pipeline route changes frequently during the planning stages.  Adding the capability for dynamic profile graph would be a great benefit.  

it's similar to this https://community.esri.com/ideas/4782.

a lot of peole need this.

we also need:

- export to dwg/dxf

- adding more than one dataset, also flat-data like a landuse or parcel shapefile

- it should work dynamically and fast like in arcmap but also with a set of cross sections in a fc/shapefile


Hi all,

There are a number of ideas on this page, which is great. I wanted to see if you'd had a chance to try the new interactive Elevation Profile tool in ArcGIS Pro, to see if some of your workflows can be met.



Quick summary of requests:

  1. Multi-surface support - not yet, but planned for a future release of Pro (ie: 3.1 or later)
  2. Vertical exaggeration - you can resize the chart size display (as an image), or export the display to a line feature or table (GDB or CSV) and create a Chart object directly
  3. Export as data (with distance-along axis values) - supported
  4. Show other vector features on profile line - not yet, but planned for a future release (3.1 or later)
  5. Ability to edit the profile line - supported (by editing the in-scene graphic reference line)
  6. Full control over appearance - supported (limited set of properties for the displayed graph, per below image, and full control by exporting to a data table and creating a Chart)
  7. Stacked profile graphs - not yet, but planned for a future release (3.1 or later), that will work on multiple surfaces in the scene (eg: geological strata) as well as 'top-most-hit-objects' (eg: the skyline of a city from the buildings)
  8. Pipeline graph case - potentially supported, because you can select many features and we will (in memory) attempt to collapse them to a single connected line for the profile graph. It won't support multi disconnected lines, though.
  9. Export to DWG/DXG - not supported, no plans at this time. Could potentially be handled by exporting to a 3D line feature first.
  10. Adding more than one dataset - not sure... is this similar to #7?
  11. Work fast / dynamically - yes, it pulls the max-resolution data from the elevation data sources that contribute to the Ground surface
  12. Set of cross sections - not supported yet, assuming similar to #7? If yes, then planned for future.

Screenshot of profile graph display options (per #6)


I hope this helps get you started on evaluating the interactive profile graph in Pro!

Thanks, Nathan.


@NathanShephard thank you for posting this. However, I cannot find this tool. The only tool available from the Exploratory 3D Analyst menu is "Object Detection". Just updated ArcGIS Pro today (personal use license). 

Referring to this page


Any help would be appreciated