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Introducing Geographic Information Systems with ArcGIS: A Workbook Approach to Learning GIS, 3rd Edition by Michael D. Kennedy

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3-D: 2-D (Spatial) Plus 1-D (Spatial)

This Overview will be short—because

  • ArcGIS 3D Analyst Extension is so rich in capabilities that covering it in detail in an introductory course is out of the question.
  • Many of the capabilities of ArcScene and ArcGlobe, the constituents of 3D Analyst, fall into the “a picture is worth a thousand words” category of explanation.

The size of 3D Analyst Extension is testified to by the fact that Esri has a manual1 on the subject, and John Wiley and Sons has a 200-page text on 3-D modeling using the extension.2

Throughout the text I have hinted at the possibilities of three-dimensional GIS. Before you start into the exercises, let’s look at a list of things you can do with this 3-D visualization and analysis extension. One caveat: There is a lot of overlap between the capabilities of Spatial Analyst and 3D Analyst. For example, both deal with surfaces. Spatial Analyst is more concerned with analysis and 3D Analyst emphasizes display, but these two extensions share some tools and work as a team.

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