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How To: Create contours from XY data using 3D Analyst

Summary

Instructions provided describe how to create contours from XY data using 3D Analyst.

Procedure

  1. Start ArcCatalog.
  2. Browse to the table that contains the XY data.
  3. Right-click on the table and select Create Feature Class > From XY Table.
  4. Select the X Field and the Y Field and leave the Z Field as <none>.
  5. Select an appropriate coordinate system.
  6. Specify an output shapefile or feature class and click OK.

    Note:
    This tool is documented in ArcGIS Desktop Help > Contents > ArcCatalog > Exploring the values in a table > Creating new data sources from the values in a table.

  7. Convert the points to a surface with one of the two methods below.

    � Convert the points to a raster surface using a Surface Interpolation method available in 3D Analyst.
    Note:
    These interpolators are described in detail in:
    ArcGIS Desktop Help > Contents > Extensions > 3D Analyst > Creating Surface models

    � Create a TIN from the input points.
    Note:
    See the ArcGIS Desktop Help > Contents > Extensions > 3D Analyst > Creating Surface models.

  8. Create contours from your surface using the Contours tool in 3D Analyst > Surface Analysis.
  9. Select the Input surface from the dropdown list.
  10. Select a Base Contour and a Contour Interval based on the "Input height range".
  11. Set a Z factor, if necessary.
  12. Specify an output feature class and click OK.

    Note:
    For information can be found in the ArcGIS Desktop Help > Contents > Extensions > 3D Analyst > Analyzing surfaces > Deriving contour lines from a surface.

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