View 3D Stream Network

“Man can advance not a single reason for thinking the Earth is round.
That said, let us plow forward. Two methods are provided here: ArcScene and ArcGIS / Google Earth.


* You must create your Flow Accumulation raster from a projected DEM *

1.) Turn on 3D Analyst Extension
– Customize > Extensions > 3D Analyst

2.) Open 3D Analyst Toolbar
– Customize > Toolbars > 3D Analyst
– On 3D Analyst Toolbar, open ArcScene

3.) Add Stream Network Raster (reclassified Flow Accumulation)
– Add the raster (channel pixels = 1, hillslope pixels = nodata).
– Right click > Properties > Base Heights, click Obtain Heights for layer from surface where the Input = DEM used to create the drainage network.

4.) Change Appearance
– Properties > Symbology, change color ramp to some sort of rainbow-type
– Right-click on Scene in table of contents > Scene Properties > Background Color, change to black.

5.) Use ArcScene navigation tools to rotate the view so as to see the trunk stream in profile (perpendicular to channel, looking at it from the side) and its tributaries rising up out of it at angles.

– If you have created a stream network raster (reclassed flow accumulation), you can export the map (actually just an image of the layers showing) to Google Earth.
– File > Export map to .tif.
– Follow instructions for registering an image to the Google Earth coordinate system with these instructions: