I have an SDE Raster that displays relief, but I want to display elevation. How would I go about doing this?

  • 9
    Could you please clarify what it means to "display relief"? Among the many possibilities that come to mind, a raster of "relief" could have values that are (a) hillshade intensities only, (b) hillshade and contour colors, (c) slope, (d) slope and aspect, (e) elevation above a local vertical datum. In some of these cases elevation is readily recovered, but in others it cannot be reconstituted, so it really matters what you have.
    – whuber
    Commented Apr 3, 2012 at 17:56
  • Turns out the relief raster was created from a DEM like 15 years ago, and does not have an attribute table. According to my professor, I'm "scr--ed." (His censorship). Thanks for the response! I'm still a beginner, so I appreciate the direction you gave me!
    – Diana
    Commented Apr 4, 2012 at 19:58
  • 2
    Diana, Having an attribute table is not relevant--that's just a matter of how the data are stored. Even when a raster is available as a raw image, for instance, you can extract information from it. I don't want to sound too encouraging, though: often the effort of reconstructing a DEM is a lot of work, so you undertake it only if the data are valuable and irreplaceable.
    – whuber
    Commented Apr 4, 2012 at 21:12

1 Answer 1


You could simply get a DEM of the same region from another source, like SRTM. Then you could even overlay the transparent, colormapped DEM image over the shaded relief you already have, if you want.

Hope this helps

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