Skip To Content

Specify an elevation for 3D features

On the Edit tab, in the Elevation group, you can specify z-values when you create z-aware features. You can specify a constant z-value or set the elevation mode to get a z-value when you click an active surface. In a scene, you can also set z-values by clicking the view.

Your current elevation settings are saved with the active map or scene. Switching between a map and a scene restores your saved settings for the active view.

By default, z-values are applied to new features in the following ways:

  • In maps, the default z-value is set to zero (0).
  • In scenes, z-values are derived from the active elevation surface when you click the scene.

For steps to convert a map to a scene, see Configure a scene for 3D editing .

Tip:

You can verify if feature geometry stores coordinate z-values in the layer properties dialog box. In the Contents pane, right-click the feature layer, click Properties and click the Source tab.

Turn on elevation mode

Clicking the top half of the mode button turns the elevation mode on and off.

  1. On the Edit tab, in the Elevation group, click the top half of the elevation Mode button Constant.

    The elevation mode saved with the active map or scene is enabled.

Specify a constant z-value

When you create a z-aware feature in a map or scene, you can specify a constant z-value by typing it in the elevation text box. In a scene, you can optionally autofill it by clicking the active view.

The following workflow shows you how to add z-aware data to a map and specify a constant z-value.

  1. In the Catalog pane, do one of the following to add a z-aware feature layer to your map:
    • Expand Databases Databases, expand the database containing your data, and drag the feature class onto the map.
    • Right-click the default database and create a new z-enabled or multipatch feature class.

    Creating a feature class or dragging one onto a map adds the layer to the current map and creates a feature template with default settings.

  2. On the Edit tab, in the Snapping group, enable your snapping preferences.
    Tip:

    You can press and hold the spacebar to temporarily turn snapping off as you sketch a feature.

  3. On the Edit tab, in the Features group, click Create Create Features.

    The Create Features pane appears.

  4. In the pane, click a feature template that creates z-aware features.

    The construction toolbar appears at the bottom of the map.

  5. On the Edit tab, in the Elevation group, click the Mode arrow and click Constant Constant.

    The elevation text box is enabled.

  6. Specify a constant elevation z-value using one of the following methods:
    • Click the elevation text box and type the z-value.
    • To autofill the text box when you are working in an active scene, click Get Z from View Get Z From View and click a surface.
  7. Create the new z-aware feature using one or more of the following methods:
    • Click the map, drag the pointer, and click the map again.
    • Right-click and use the context menu to specify x,y,z coordinate locations, distance, and direction.
    • If the feature is a z-enabled polyline or polygon feature, use the tools on the construction toolbar.

      Construction toolbar

    The z-value in the text box is applied to all new vertices and features.

  8. To stop using the elevation tool and apply the default z-value, click the top half of the Mode button and turn the elevation tools off.

Specify z-values by clicking a surface

When you create a z-aware feature in a map or scene, you can also specify z-values by clicking an elevation surface that exists in the map. This mode is available only with maps containing one or more elevation surfaces.

The following workflow shows you how to add z-aware data to a map and specify a constant z-value.

  1. In the Catalog pane, do one of the following to add a z-aware feature layer to your map:
    • Expand Databases Databases, expand the database containing your data, and drag the feature class onto the map.
    • Right-click the default database and create a new z-enabled or multipatch feature class.

    Creating a feature class or dragging one onto a map adds the layer to the current map and creates a feature template with default settings.

  2. On the Edit tab, in the Snapping group, enable your snapping preferences.
    Tip:

    You can press and hold the spacebar to temporarily turn snapping off as you sketch a feature.

  3. On the Edit tab, in the Features group, click Create Create Features.

    The Create Features pane appears.

  4. In the pane, click a feature template that creates z-aware features.

    The construction toolbar appears at the bottom of the map.

  5. On the Edit tab, in the Elevation group, click the Mode arrow and click Surface Surface.
    1. If more than one surface is defined for the map, click the Surface drop-down arrow and choose a surface.
  6. Create the new z-aware feature using one or more of the following methods:
    • Click the map, drag the pointer, and click the map again.
    • Right-click and use the context menu to specify x,y,z coordinate locations, distance, and direction.
    • If the feature is a z-enabled polyline or polygon feature, use the tools on the construction toolbar.

      Construction toolbar

    The z-values are derived from the active elevation surface where you clicked the map, and they are applied to the geometry as you create the feature.

  7. To stop using the elevation tool and apply the default z-value, click the top half of the Mode button and turn the elevation tools off.