When working with bathymetry in the Compose Surface window, you may want to save the parameters that were used to create a composite surface as a surface model. A surface model always includes sorting rules and specific bathymetric datasets, and it optionally includes a mosaic dataset, which is referred to in the BIS geodatabase as a composite surface.
A surface model is saved in the active BIS geodatabase. If you save the surface model in an archive-enabled, versioned enterprise geodatabase, the model could exist in multiple versions. All users who will work with the surface model will need access to the BIS geodatabase that contains it, as well as access to the overviews storage location.
Within the Save Surface Model dialog box, you have the option to save a composite surface along with the sorting rules and data. When saving the surface model, you will save the sorting rules and the list of bathymetric surfaces used to create the composite surface. Later, when you load the surface model into the Compose Surface window, the sorting rules, the ordered bathymetric dataset, and the composite surface will load automatically.
If you choose to save a mosaic dataset, you also have the option to build mosaic dataset overviews. Overviews are lower-resolution images that increase display speed and reduce CPU usage, since fewer rasters are needed to display the composite surface. With overviews, a lower-resolution copy of the data appears while you view the entire composite surface. When you zoom in, ArcMap renders levels of finer resolution, which maintains performance since the mosaicked image is created over successively smaller areas. This is very useful when serving the mosaic dataset as an image service or over a network. The most appropriate overview is chosen based on the display scale.
If you choose not to save the mosaic dataset, the surface model will include the sorting rules and the ordered bathymetric datasets. To visualize the composite surface in ArcMap, you will need to generate the mosaic dataset manually with the Preview button.
In cases when you want to modify an existing surface model or save the model with a new name, you can rename the model, write a new model description, and choose whether or not to create a mosaic dataset from the model using the Save As dialog box.
There may be times when you want to dismiss a surface model that is loaded into the Compose Surface window, or cases when you do not want to save the model that was created. Closing a surface model will dismiss the active model from the Compose Surface window; this is similar to closing a document in a word processing application.
You may also want to manage your list of surface models. Within the Manage Surface Model dialog box, you can remove all overviews associated with a surface model, remove only old overviews associated with a versioned surface model, or delete a surface model from your list of active models.