You can follow the procedures below to create contour lines in GIS.
1) To create contour lines in GIS, first of all we need to have the data in x,y, z format.
2) Next thing we need to do is convert x, y, z data into shape file so that it can be loaded to Arc Gis.
3) The most easy way to convert x, y, z data into shape file is to save the data in csv format and then change this csv file to shape file from arc catalog window using create feature class.
4) After the file is changed to csv format then load the file into ArcGis.
5) Then go to 3D Analyst and then choose Interpolate to Raster à Kriging then the new feature is created will colored shaded areas.
6) Then go to 3D Analyst à Surface Analysis tools à contour
A window below pops up.
7) After the contour layer is created, we need to clip the contour to the area of shape file we are interested. We are not interested in whole domain so lets use the clip feature.
8) To use the clip feature, follow the following command
- Go to Arctoolbox
- Analysis tools
Then the following window pops up:
In some cases, you may not see the dropdown menu in the clip features because you might not have the polygon shape file. If you have the line shape file you might need to change to polygon shape file. There is a very good tutorial which explains how to change the line shapefile to polygon shape file.