rasterized dtm's.  mosaic them or create terrain dataset?

Discussion created by christi_nelson on Jul 6, 2012
Hi there,

I'm a bit stuck. I am new to terrain datasets.   I have hundreds of raster based Digital Terrain Models (DTMs) for Contra Costa County.  We have planners and engineers who need the data for hydraulic modeling purposes.  We also need the data for other uses, like getting z-values for other layers including benchmark locations.

If I have a terrain dataset of all these tiles, will that be enough for the modelers?  In other words, will they be consistent across tiles?  Do terrain datasets take into consideration each tile's extent and statistics?  Further, is it even possible to create a terrain dataset from rasterized DTMs??

Or, is it better to mosaic them all together and then clip the mosaic to any smaller areas we may need in the future? 

Whichever is the better choice, what is the workflow?

Attached is a screenshot of my data.  I have ArcGIS 10.0 ArcInfo level with 3D Analyst extension.  Windows XP.