I'm trying to export a portion of Natural Earth's world 10M hillshade in ArcMap but above a certain latitude, the resolution unexpectedly changes and is really poor. This is a screenshot of the area in ArcMap. The resolution over the entire area is fine.

Screenshot of hillshade area in Arc - notice resolution over entire area is fine

When exported, there is a very distinct line where the resolution abruptly changes. Hillshade image is imported into data frame (projection is Canada Lambert Conformal Conic). It's being exported from Map View as follows: File--> Export map - exporting as Tiff. I've tried 300dpi to 600 dpi resolutions and the issue remains the same. I've also tried exporting in the same fashion as .jpg. The same thing happens.

This is the issue with every export attempt. There is a very distinct line where the resolution abruptly changes.

What might be causing this to occur?

  • Welcome to GIS SE. Could you please edit your question and describe the steps you took to export the hillshade?
    – Aaron
    Feb 28, 2020 at 20:39
  • Hey there, thanks for the reply. I'm looking at the display now in Arc and it is displaying as nearest neighbour there, not bilinear... I'm not understanding how the distinct change in resolutions is happening at that specific point. I'm exporting as a tiff to use in a graphics package.
    – Lucy
    Feb 28, 2020 at 21:08

1 Answer 1


One of the issues you maybe encountering is with the resolution of the Raster. You say the rasters resolution is 10m which are pretty large pixels. From a distance you are going to see the DEM looking really sharp and clear especially over flat area where there isn't a ton of elevation change.

However the area that you outlined appears to be a mountain range of some kind which will have cliffs and steep elevation changes. Due to your pixel size being 10m covering a 100m^2 area there is going to be more distortion in the raster as you zoom in.

A smaller raster resolution will produce better results over drastic changing landscapes.

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