I have the bathymetry data in .DAT format and I want to create the bathymetry map in ArcGIS but don't know how to do that. I know how to create DEM from elevation data points but have never used .DAT format data, neither the bathymetry.

  • What do you see when you open this file in a text editor? – nadya Jan 21 '17 at 2:09

.DAT files can be very different inside. See the possibilities here and here.

If you can open this file in a text editor then your file is an ASCII file. Then it can be already gridded (raster) or xyz (points) data (see this answer). Try to rename it from .dat to .txt and open in ArcGIS directly or using import XY data.

And check these answers: first and second.

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  • Thanks Nadya. I can open the file as text but I think that the points are not organized individually based on the coordinates. I previously created DEM from elevation points, which had 3 columns (Latitude, Altitude and Elevation). However, in the current bathemetry file there are no columns. Instead the points are from West of the lake towards East, and around the lake are all 999 values. Is there a way I could send you the file to have a look at it like email? On the top there are information like: - x increases with rows, y increases with columns. Thanks – Farshad Jan 23 '17 at 17:59
  • So your data are grid which is already regular DEM. Read this answer. Probably it is ESRI grid and 999 is code for no data. You can edit your question and add there the beginning from your text file (the first several lines). And also try to rename your .dat to .asc and open in ArcGIS – nadya Jan 23 '17 at 18:17

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