Displaying features in ArcGlobe

When you add a layer to ArcGlobe, features with 3D geometries (for example, pointZ, polylineZ, polygonZ, and multipatches) are automatically drawn in 3D, but you may have other 2D data sources you need to visualize in 3D that do not have z-values defined. To view 2D features in 3D, you need to define their z-values. You may also want to override the z-values within 3D features and display them using another method.

The default behavior when adding 2D features into ArcGlobe is to rasterize the layer and add it as an image draped over the globe surface.

Defining base heights for layers without 3D geometry is a layer property setting in ArcGlobe under the Elevation tab. There are two ways to set the base heights of features in 3D:

Another way to create 3D symbology is to extrude flat geometries into 3D shapes. Extrusion used as 3D symbology provides a simple methods of creating three dimensional objects from 2D features. For example, points can be extruded into vertical lines, polylines can be extruded into vertical walls, and polygons can be extruded into 3D solids.

ArcGlobe layer properties allow you to combine base height and extrusion settings when displaying features. For example, you could drape building footprints over an elevation surface, then extrude them by a height attribute to create a realistic city 3D view, all without requiring 3D features.

Learn more about using extrusion as 3D symbology

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