How To: Create a slope map from contour lines
The Slope tool can be used to create a slope map by identifying the slope from each cell of a raster surface. Contour lines are usually presented as line features in a shapefile or feature class (vector data). However, a slope map cannot be created directly from contour lines because the Slope tool does not support vector data as the input.
The instructions provided describe how to create a slope map from contour lines.
Note: The Topo to Raster and Slope tool require a Spatial Analyst or 3D Analyst license.
- Create a digital elevation model (DEM) from the contour layer.
- Navigate to System Toolboxes > Spatial Analyst Tools > Interpolation > Topo to Raster.
- Select the contour layer as the input feature data.
- Specify the location of the output surface raster.
- Set the output extent to have the same extent as the contour layer.
- Click OK. A raster layer is created from the contour.
Note: For more information on the Topo to Raster tool, refer to the following ArcGIS Web Help topic, Topo to Raster.
- Create a slope map from the DEM layer.
- Navigate to System Toolboxes > Spatial Analyst Tools > Surface > Slope.
- Select the output of the Topo to Raster tool as the input raster.
- Specify the location of the output raster.
- Select the output measurement.
- Click OK. The slope map is created from the DEM layer.
Note: For more information on the Slope tool, refer to the following ArcGIS Web Help topic: Slope.
- ArcGIS Help: An overview of the Spatial Analyst Toolbox
- ArcGIS Help: An overview of the 3D Analyst toolbox
- How To: Calculate the average slope of an area using contour lines