Geoprocessing tools for editing terrain datasets

A set of geoprocessing tools for editing existing terrains is available in the 3D Analyst toolbox. To ensure the toolbox is available, make sure 3D Analyst is installed and have it enabled via the Tools > Extensions dialog box.

In ArcToolbox, locate the 3D Analyst toolset, then expand the Terrain Management toolset. The image below depicts the nine tools located in the Terrain Management toolset that can be used to edit terrain datasets.

Tools used to modify an existing terrain dataset

Terrain Management geoprocessing tools

Geoprocessing tools


Add Feature Class To Terrain

Adds one or more feature classes to a terrain dataset. The feature classes must reside in the same feature dataset as the terrain dataset.

Add Terrain Pyramid Level

Adds new pyramid level(s) to an existing terrain dataset.

Append Terrain Points

Adds points or multipoints to a terrain dataset.

Build Terrain

Performs the necessary steps to make a terrain dataset usable after it's initially defined. It's also used to bring a terrain up to date after it's been modified.

Change Terrain Reference Scale

Changes the reference scale used by a terrain pyramid level.

Change Terrain Resolution Bounds

Changes the pyramid level resolution bounds for a given feature class contributing to the surface of the terrain dataset.

Create Terrain

Creates a new terrain dataset inside the specified feature dataset. Use Add Terrain Pyramid Level, and Add Feature Class To Terrain, followed by Build Terrain to complete the terrain definition and construct a usable terrain.

Delete Terrain Points

Deletes points from a terrain dataset within an area of interest from one or more feature classes.

Remove Feature Class From Terrain

Removes reference to a feature class participating in a terrain dataset. If the feature class is embedded it will be extracted and dereferenced.

Remove Terrain Pyramid Level

This tool removes a pyramid level from a terrain dataset.

Replace Terrain Points

Adds points and multipoints to the collection of data used by the terrain dataset, replacing data that had previously been used.

Terrain editing tools in the Terrain Management toolset

Geoprocessing tools can edit properties of a terrain as well as embedded multipoint feature classes. Editable properties include pyramid definitions and information about participating feature classes. Changes other than those specifically associated with pyramid reference scales require a rebuild of the terrain. You can make multiple edits followed by one call to Build Terrain. This is more efficient than performing a build after every edit operation.

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