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Contouring with Spatial ANalyst

June 03 2008 | 0 comments
Categories: ArcGIS Methods

i need to make contour lines using spatial analyst. what are the required data inputs? How do i use the contour tool?

Mapping Center Answer:

Start by reading the help. Normally, for the Spatial Analyst there are two help topics that are essential. One is about the geoprocessing tool that you will need to use, and the other is a topic that is "About" the kind of data you are producing.

In this case the Contour Tool, and in that topic you'll find, near the top a hyperlink called Learn how... If we had done our job right I could have stopped writing--but those were two of the most unhelpful topics (uncharacteristically so for the Spatial Analyst help topics) I've ever read in terms of helping someone who is new to, or needs a rudimentary understanding of what is needed.

Fortunately, buried in the help a topic that has much better information about the old contour tool (Spatial Analyst toolbar, back from the days prior to ArcToolbox and the geoprocessing environment), and it still applies to the tool as well.

I also have to confess sitting on a draft document, and as of this moment, I've realized I'm not going to get done any time soon, but the draft is likely worthwhile, so here it is: Producing Cartographic Contours with ArcGIS [2.75 Mb]. The download is a Word document inside of a ZIP file.

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