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Publish an elevation image service

The scene viewer in Portal for ArcGIS includes World Elevation Services from ArcGIS Online. In some areas, these services have a 30 meter resolution. If you have higher resolution elevation data for a particular area, you can publish it as a cached image service, add it to your portal, and use it in the portal scene viewer to provide a higher-resolution elevation surface on which to draw your 3D hosted scene layers.

Prepare source data

Obtain source elevation data for your area of interest. The source data can be from LIDAR, photogrammetry, spot, or contour sources, but you need to create a DTM from it. Save the derived raster DTM as a stand-alone TIFF or load it into a geodatabase as a raster dataset.

Publish from ArcMap

Once the DTM dataset has been configured, publish it as a cached image service from ArcMap.

  1. Start ArcMap.
  2. If you do not already have a GIS server publisher connection, create one in the Catalog tree.
  3. Either connect to the geodatabase containing the raster dataset, or map a connection to the folder containing the TIFF.
  4. Right-click the DTM and click Share as Image Service.
  5. Choose to Publish a Service and click Next.
  6. Choose the GIS server you want to publish to, type a name for the image service, and click Next.
  7. Specify the folder on the GIS server where you want the image service to be stored.
  8. Click Continue to open the Service Editor.
  9. You can set different parameters and values for the service, but you must set the following required values in the Service Editor:
    1. Choose Imaging on the Capabilities panel.
    2. On the Caching panel, choose all of the following:

      • Choose Using tiles from a cache for the Draw this image service option.
      • Choose ArcGIS Online / Bing Maps / Google Maps for the Tiling Scheme.
      • Specify the Levels of Detail appropriate to your data.
      • Choose the option to Build cache automatically when the service is published.

  10. Open the Caching > Advanced Settings panel and set the following values:
    1. Specify a location on the GIS server for the Cache directory.
    2. Set the Area of interest to cache to Full extent of the dataset.
    3. Choose LERC for the Tile Format.
    4. The default Compression value of 0.5 is appropriate for world image services but, in most cases, you will be publishing elevation data for a much smaller area such as a city or region. In those cases, set the Compression to 0.1.
  11. Add a Description, Summary, and Tags on the Item Description panel.
  12. If publishing to a federated GIS server, open the Sharing panel and share the service with the portal or with everyone.

Now you can add the layer to the scene viewer. See Add layers in the Create scenes section of the Portal for ArcGIS user help for more information.