What's new in the 3D Analyst toolbox

With the introduction of the LAS dataset and increased demand for additional 3D analytical operations, the 3D Analyst toolbox at 10.1 features eight new tools along with numerous performance and functionality improvements to existing tools.

Toolset changes

Several new toolsets have been introduced at 10.1 to accommodate new tools and reorganize existing ones into logical groupings that emphasize their utility.

New tools




3D Features toolsetBuffer 3D

Creates a 3D buffer around point or line features.

Enclose Multipatch

Creates closed multipatch features in the output feature class using the features of the input multipatch.

Conversion > From LAS Dataset toolsetLAS Dataset to TIN

Exports a triangulated irregular network (TIN) from a LAS dataset.

Data Management > LAS Dataset toolsetChange LAS Class Codes

Modifies the class code values of LAS files referenced by a LAS dataset.

Set LAS Class Codes Using Features

Classifies data points in LAS files referenced by a LAS dataset using point, line, and polygon features.

Functional Surface toolsetIntersect 3D Line With Surface

Computes the geometric intersection of 3D line features and one or more surfaces to return the intersection as segmented line features and points.

Stack Profile

Creates a table and optional graph denoting the profile of line features over one or more multipatch, raster, TIN, or terrain surfaces.

Visibility toolsetSun Shadow Volume

Creates closed volumes that model shadows cast by each feature using sunlight for a given date and time.

Improved tools

Several tools were enhanced to provide a more robust experience with airborne lidar data in the LAS format by supporting the LAS dataset as an input surface:

Additional tool changes include the following:



Add Surface Information

Supports polygon as an input feature, thereby allowing the summary of surface characteristics by area.

Construct Sight Lines

OBSRVR_OID field added to the attribute table of the output feature class which helps identify the unique ID of the observer point used for constructing the sight lines.

Difference 3D

An optional output table can be created to establish the link between each feature in the difference output, the originating feature, and the subtraction feature used to create the output. This table could be used to establish a relationship class that maps to the attributes of each contributing feature class.

Import 3D Files

An optional anchor point feature can be provided to align the imported 3D models within a given coordinate system.

Intersect 3D (3D Analyst)

Provides for the specification of the output geometry, thereby offering a wider range of applications for the tool. The available options are:

  • SOLID—Creates a closed multipatch representing the overlapping volumes between input features. This is the default.
  • SURFACE—Creates a multipatch surface representing shared faces between input features.
  • LINE—Creates a polyline feature class representing shared edges between input features.
LAS to Multipoint

A new option has been added for specifying that input folders will be recursively scanned to read LAS files in their subdirectories, thereby allowing one parent folder to be entered as an input in lieu of numerous child folders.

Line of Sight

OBSTR_MPID field added to the attribute table of the output feature class which identifies the unique ID of a multipatch obstruction.

Point File Information

A new option has been added that returns an improved point spacing estimate for LAS files.

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