Display TINs in 2D and 3D

Available with 3D Analyst license.

Triangulated irregular networks (TINs) represent continuous surfaces such as terrain elevation or temperature gradient. The surface is represented as a set of facets formed by connecting data points at nodes to create adjacent triangles. Typically, you display a TIN using color-shaded relief to depict elevation. Shaded relief simulates the sun's illumination of the earth's surface. Adding color to this lets you easily see the ridges, valleys, and hillsides, as well as their respective heights. Seeing the data this way can help explain why other map features are where they are. See Change the symbology of a TIN for more information on modifying TIN symbology. A TIN can be displayed in both 2D and 3D using map and scene views.

Add a TIN as a 2D layer

To add a TIN to the active map or scene use the following steps:

  1. Click the Map tab.
  2. Click the Add Data Add Data button.
  3. Browse to the TIN and click OK to add it to the map or scene.

    The TIN Layer contextual tab appears to format appearance settings or access specific surface analysis tools for the TIN layer.

Add a TIN as a new custom elevation surface

A TIN can also be used as an elevation source. While, tThe default ground elevation surface in a map or scene is predefined it cannot be deleted. You can, however replace its elevation source, or create a new custom elevation surface and provide your own elevation source data including TINs or rasters. To learn more about elevation surfaces and creating multiple custom surfaces from sources, see: Elevation surfaces. To add a custom elevation surface for a scene using a TIN , use the following steps:

  1. In the Contents pane for a scene view, right click on the Elevation Surfaces category.
  2. Click Add Elevation Surface Add files.

    A new elevation surface is added to the scene. You can change the name of the elevation surface by double-clicking the newly added elevation surface.

  3. Right-click the new surface and choose Add Elevation Source Add Elevation Source. Browse to add the TIN you want to use as the elevation source.
  4. Alternatively, if you are using a map, and want to add a new elevation source click the Add Data Add Data button from the Map tab. Select Elevation Source Add Elevation Source and browse to the TIN. The Contents pane will update to show the ground elevation surface for the map and the TIN will get added as its elevation source.
  5. If you add more than one elevation source, you should define their order in the list of elevation sources for the elevation surface. Click the elevation source with the highest resolution, and move it to the top.

    If your elevation surface does not match the units of the scene, for example, the elevation surface measures height in feet but your scene is actually in meters, you will need to set the elevation unit to fix the elevation data source so the horizontal (x, y) units and vertical (z) units match.

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