I'm trying to make a topographic map of an area in Iceland, using SRTM data from here. There are other data sources, but this seems fine for what I'm trying to do.

The unedited, raw HGT file looks like this when imported into ArcGIS Pro: 1 I'm trying to find out how to convert this into a nice looking shaded relief map, similar to something like this.

After searching through the pain that is the ArcGIS documentation, I concluded that I had to do something with either the HillShade or Slope functions in the 3D Analyst toolbox. However, when I try both of these tools, the produce some very weird results.

For example, the HillShade function on default settings: 2 There is also this weird triangular prism produced: 3 And then the Slope function on default settings: 4 Even when changing the colours used it looks wrong.

How do I make a Topo map in ArcGIS Pro?

  • A low pass filter is usually needed to fuzz integer elevation values to avoid algorithmic artifacts. The documentation is likely to discuss this if you look for it.
    – Vince
    May 23, 2021 at 14:58

1 Answer 1


First you need to combined the individual tiles into a single raster, you can use mosaic to new raster tool for that.

I would then generate an on-the-fly layer using raster functions, you could smooth the raster as hinted by @Vince with the convolution tool then pass the output of that into the shaded relief tool, creating the output as shown below:

enter image description here

These are layers that only exist in the map document.

  • That fixed it! Out of interest, what Colour Ramp did you use? When I do this, it produced some weird results...
    – user183939
    May 23, 2021 at 19:36
  • All I did was just choose a different colour ramp further down the list.
    – Hornbydd
    May 23, 2021 at 19:46

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