Problem: Generic error returned when running the Summarize Elevation tool in ArcMap


The Summarize Elevation geoprocessing service tool calculates the elevation, slope, and aspect information for features based on ArcGIS Online elevation data. In some instances, running the tool in ArcMap generates an operating system error, "Error 999998: Unexpected error."

To use this service in ArcGIS for Desktop 10.2.1 and later, log in to the ArcGIS Online organizational account, and in the Catalog window navigate to Ready-To-Use Services > Elevation > Tools > Elevation > SummarizeElevation.

For earlier versions, users with an ArcGIS Online Organization account must create a connection to elevation.arcgis.com/arcgis/services in the GIS Servers folder in the Catalog window.


The issue occurs if the features are spread across a large spatial extent.

In some instances, the use of high resolution digital elevation model(DEM) data also results in the error.

Solution or Workaround

Create subsets of large data into areas of smaller spatial extent before running the Summarize Elevation geoprocessing service tool.

  1. Create subsets of the features, and export the data to make separate shapefiles.
  2. Add the shapefiles as layers to ArcMap, and run the Summarize Elevation geoprocessing service tool.
  3. Use the Merge geoprocessing tool to combine the layers into a single dataset.

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