LAS datasets allow the inclusion of LAS files and additional constraint features (such as breaklines) in the creation of either a point or TIN-based view of the data. Geoprocessing tools allow you to create, modify, analyze, and convert LAS datasets.
To create a new LAS dataset or update the definition of an existing one with geoprocessing tools requires one of the following license types:
- ArcGIS 3D Analyst extension
- ArcGIS Spatial Analyst extension
- ArcGIS for Desktop for Windows—Standard (or higher)
To utilize any of the 3D tools with a LAS dataset requires the ArcGIS 3D Analyst extension license.
The following lists of tools are available in ArcGIS to work with a LAS dataset.
ArcGIS for Desktop geoprocessing tools
The Conversion toolset provides the LAS Dataset To Raster tool. This tool allows you to convert LAS datasets to a raster surface model for additional analysis. These conversions allow different types of analysis, show different interpretations, or extract features from LAS data that you can use to enhance your analysis results or visualization.
To locate the LAS Dataset To Raster conversion tool:
In ArcToolbox, locate the Conversion toolset, then expand the To Raster toolset.
Converts a LAS dataset to a raster using elevation, intensity, or RGB values stored in the lidar files referenced by the LAS dataset.
Data Management toolset
The Data Management tools allow you to create and manage the LAS files referenced by a LAS dataset. These management tools allow you to update LAS datasets with new LAS files or surface constraints, edit existing LAS datasets, and even create and update statistical analysis conducted on the LAS files.
To locate the Data Management tools:
In ArcToolbox, locate the Data Management toolset, then expand the LAS Dataset toolset.
Adds lidar LAS files and/or surface constraint features to an existing LAS dataset.
Creates a LAS dataset.
Calculates or updates statistics of a LAS dataset.
Exports statistics about the spatial distribution of certain lidar attributes to a raster.
Removes references of one or more LAS files and/or surface constraints from a LAS dataset.
You can also create a LAS dataset layer from an input LAS dataset. The layer that is created by the tool is temporary. To locate the Make LAS Dataset Layer tool:
In ArcToolbox, locate the Data Management toolset, then expand the Layers and Table Views toolset.
Creates a LAS dataset layer from an input LAS dataset. The layer that is created by the tool is temporary and will not persist after the session ends unless the layer is saved to disk or the map document is saved.
ArcGIS 3D Analyst extension geoprocessing tools
A set of geoprocessing tools is available for the LAS dataset in the 3D Analyst toolbox. To ensure the toolbox is available, make sure 3D Analyst is installed and is enabled via the Customize > Extensions dialog box.
The LAS dataset conversion tool allows you to convert LAS datasets to a TIN surface model for additional analysis. These conversions allow different types of analysis, show different interpretations, or extract features from LAS data that you can use to enhance your analysis results or visualization in 3D.
To locate the LAS Dataset To TIN tool:
In ArcToolbox, locate the 3D Analyst toolset, expand the Conversion toolset, then expand the LAS Dataset toolset.
Creates a triangulated irregular network (TIN) from the lidar files referenced by a LAS dataset.
The ArcGIS 3D Analyst extension data management tools allow you to manage the classification codes defined in the LAS files referenced by the LAS dataset.
To locate the LAS dataset ArcGIS 3D Analyst extension Data Management tools:
In ArcToolbox, locate the 3D Analyst toolset, expand the Data Management toolset, then expand the LAS Dataset toolset.
Modifies the classification codes for LAS files referenced by a LAS dataset. This tool will completely change one classification code to another, which is particularly useful for updating the classification of LAS files generated prior to the introduction of classification standards in the LAS 1.1 specification. The tool can be used to ensure such data conforms to the current standards.
Changes lidar classification codes assigned to lidar points based on their proximity to feature data.
Supporting ArcGIS 3D Analyst extension analysis tools
Several analysis toolsets are available in the 3D Analyst toolbox to conduct surface analysis with raster and triangulated surfaces.
The following tools conduct analysis directly using the LAS dataset.
Interpolates surface elevation properties for point, multipoint, polyline, and polygon features from the LAS dataset surface.
Interpolates z-values for a feature class based on elevations derived from the LAS dataset.
Locates points that appear to be anomalies when compared to a surface. These points represent points that may be blunders and may need to be eliminated from the creation of the surface.
Uses an input 2D or 3D polyline feature class along with a LAS dataset surface to determine visibility between observer and target points.
Generates a line or multipatch feature class containing the results from a skyline silhouette analysis.