Elevation Profile tool (ArcMap 10.2+)

Ever want to show a graph of the elevational gradient profile of a stream or other linear feature?  Or maybe you just want to draw a straight line and view the topographic gradient as a graph.  Good news!  An Elevation Profile tool* in the form of an ArcMap (10.2+) desktop Add-in is now located here:


(Note 1: This drive is available only to IFWIS users.  Read on...)

In the absence of permission to access this folder, the toolbar may be downloaded to the location of your choice from the link below.  Please coordinate and limit downloads to one instance per bureau or region to minimize demands on shared drives.

Documentation from the developers is downloaded with the zipped file.  Unzip the file to location choice, if applicable.  Saving it near commonly used files (for all users in your area) improves network performance.

Once the option is loaded (Customize >> Add-in Manager >> Options tab >> Add Folder [specify location]), it can be activated in your project by simply selecting it from the Toolbars customization list at the top in your project.  Look for Elevation Profile in the drop-down list and select it.

Note 2:  You may have to refresh or restart your ArcMap project for the option to become available.

Using it is simple:

1) Set preferred options by clicking on the Profile Settings icon.  Select the output file name and units (in the example, M units ["X"] are in miles and Z units ["Y"] are in feet; the default is meters)

2) Select the line feature(s)  [Hint: begin with just one line]

3) Click the Graph icon.  It will take a short while to calculate.

The returned graph(s) will show Resolution and the number of lines calculated in the lower left corner.  Right-click to customize properties.


Using the Pencil icon, draw a line across a gradient to be graphed.  This will add a new feature to your project.

The tool appears to be pretty customizable.  Plenty of options are located on the intuitively designed toolbar.  Resize the graph by dragging the border.  The example here is the elevation profile for one linear feature,  South Fork Payette River from the mouth near Banks to Grandjean.  Right-click on the returned graph to customize label details.

Note 3:  This tool is a good candidate for replication to the regional geodatabases.  Updates are currently scheduled to take place quarterly.

If you've discovered a favorite tool worth sharing, please contact Cyndi Coulter, Angie Schmidt, Pam Bond or Brent Thomas in IFWIS.

* Special thanks to Juan Laguna and Xuguang Wang for developing this handy tool and posting it to

Updated Idaho Topo Maps Available & Using the TerraGo Toolbar

The Idaho 2013/2014 series of US Topo maps have been completed. The latest series has improvements over the 2011 series including Forest service roads and trails, structures, improved NHD, PLSS, and more. The image base for the new maps is the 2013 NAIP. GeoPDF maps can be downloaded FREE of charge at the USGS Map Store.

A GeoPDF is "an extension to Adobe's PDF 1.3 and higher versions enabling GIS functionality within standard PDF files." For more information about GeoPDF's click here. In these GeoPDFs you can toggle the layers (geographic names, boundaries, transportation, hydrography, contours, imagery) on/off.  You can also use the Search tool to look for specific named places on the map,

You can also download the FREE TerraGO Toolbar to access geospatial maps and imagery, measure distance and area, display/find coordinates, add "GeoStamps", and capture GPS information. For more information about TerraGo and to watch Training Videos, visit their website

Here is an example of what a GeoPDF with the TerraGo toolbar add-in.  You can toggle map layers on/off in the left-hand "Layers" table of contents.  The TerraGo toolbars can be enabled in through the main menu or by going to View > Extended > TerraGo GeoPDF or TerraGo GeoMark.

Geographic Names Information System (GNIS) Query

Looking for a town, city or place outside of Idaho? You can use this website to query geographic features for all of the United States and its territories at Of course you can use the IDFG GeoTools LayerFetcher to zoom to locations in Idaho in ArcGIS.