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Stereo mapping in ArcGIS Pro

Available with Image Analyst license.

ArcGIS Pro stereo mapping provides the capabilities to view stereo pairs and collect 3D features. You can collect 3D point, line, and polygon features for various workflows such as parcel editing, creating simple 3D buildings, and measuring distances and heights. For stereo viewing, you can use either active shutter eyewear or red and cyan anaglyph glasses.

The editing experience in a stereo map is consistent with the standard editing experience in ArcGIS Pro for creating and editing feature class data. While editing, you can use existing layers, symbols, and templates. The output of your feature creation or editing session is saved directly to a geodatabase and can support multiuser concurrent editing workflows.


Stereo mapping requires the ArcGIS Image Analyst extension.

Stereo data sources

Stereo mapping supports satellite data, aerial image data, and drone data. The image data source for stereo mapping can be a mosaic dataset, that manages a collection of stereo models, or a single stereo model, as a stereo image pair.

The images for stereo mapping should be block adjusted for best results. Poor adjustment quality will result in a poor stereo display. After the data source is defined for the stereo map, a stereo alignment quality control check should be performed. Add the images into your stereo map and locate an object; if the object in left and right images line up horizontally, the images are geometrically correct for stereo viewing and accurate feature compilation. The software has the capability to manually adjust the Y parallax for correcting the stereo misalignment, but it is recommended that this adjustment be performed using the block adjustment tools before using it in stereo mapping.

Geometrically correct
This image is geometrically correct for stereo viewing and feature compilation.
Geometrically incorrect
This image is not geometrically correct for stereo viewing.

If the images have not been geometrically adjusted for stereo viewing, the Ortho Mapping tools can be used to perform block adjustment and building the stereo models. The mosaic dataset containing the adjusted images and stereo models can then be used as an input for stereo mapping.

Recommended Stereo Mapping workflow

If the images have been geometrically adjusted, create a mosaic dataset, add the images using the appropriate raster type, and built stereo model using the Build Stereo Model tool.

The stereo source can also be defined by two images representing one stereo model. Aerial images must have the camera model defined in the data, and satellite data needs rational polynomial coefficients (RPC), and the images must overlap each other.

Enable stereo viewing

To enable stereo viewing, you must first turn on the appropriate stereo mode, which is dependent on the type of stereo eyewear you will be using.

  1. Click the Project tab, and click Options.
  2. On the Options dialog box, click the Display tab.
  3. For Stereoscopic mode, choose either 3D shutter glasses or 3D cyan/red glasses.
  4. Click OK.

The app will restart with the new settings enabled. Now you can start your stereo workflow.

Shutter glass requirements

The following requirements are needed to use active shutter eyewear with stereo mapping:

  • Your operating system must be Windows 8.1 or higher.
  • Your monitor screen refresh rate should be at least 120 Hertz.
  • Your NVIDIA graphic settings must have stereoscopic 3D capabilities enabled.


Only NVIDIA graphics cards support shutter eyewear for ArcGIS Pro.

You can enable your NVIDIA stereoscopic 3D settings from the NVIDIA Control Panel as follows:

  1. Open your NVIDIA Control Panel.
  2. Expand the Stereoscopic 3D section.
  3. Click Set up stereoscopic 3D.
  4. Check the Enable stereoscopic 3D check box.

Not all NVIDIA graphics cards support stereoscopic 3D capabilities.

Add stereo images

To start a stereo workflow, you need to have a stereo map view.

To insert a new stereo map, follow the steps below:

  1. Click the Insert tab.
  2. In the Project group, click the New Map button New Map, and click New Stereo Map New Stereo Map.

When the Stereo Map view is active, the Stereo Map tab is available. The Stereo Map tab has all the tools you need to view and work with the stereo pairs.

Start by clicking Set Source Set Source and choose your stereo map input. You can either set the source as Stereo model collection or as Stereo model. Stereo model collection allows you to choose a mosaic dataset as your stereo source. The mosaic dataset must contain a collection of block-adjusted stereo models. Stereo model allows you to choose a left and right image pair as your stereo source. The stereo pair needs to have either a camera model or RPCs associated with the image data. You can click Add Data Add Data to add other layers you want to view in your stereo view, including the feature layers you want to edit in stereo. You can use the Model Selector Model Selector option in the Stereo Model group to open the Stereo Model Selector pane and choose the exact stereo pair to work with.

See Feature compilation using stereo mapping for more details on how to collect or edit feature data in Stereo Mapping mode.

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