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I create a 3D view and set the vertical exaggeration to 1, but the result is definitely exaggerated in the Z direction. Why?

This occurs when your XY units are different than your Z (elevation) units. Vertical exaggeration in the 3D View assumes the X,Y and Z units are all the same. If they are not the same, then a vertical exaggeration of 1 does not equal 1:1 scaling. In this case, please refer to to the article below on determining the Vertical Exaggeration value to enter in order to get a 1:1 map:

How Can I Get A Scale Of 1:1 (Vertical Exaggeration=1) In The 3D View When My Z Units Are Different From My XY Units (E.G. Lat/Lon Or Feet And Meters)?

 

Updated November 2, 2017

 

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