Geoprocessing tools for TIN surfaces

Geoprocessing tools allow you to create, conduct surface analysis on, modify, and convert TIN surfaces. The following lists the tools that are available through the 3D Analyst extension for use with TIN surface models.

3D Features tools

One tool in the 3D Features toolset accepts TIN surfaces as input.




Generates a line or multipatch feature class containing the results from a skyline silhouette analysis. The analysis is conducted from observer points above a functional or virtual surface and will also consider features that are encountered during the analysis. When used in conjunction with other tools, especially the Skyline Barrier tool, shadow volumes and other such features can be created.

3D Features tool

TIN Conversion toolset overview

The TIN Conversion tools allow you to convert TIN surfaces to raster surface models or to the vector features that they are composed of. These conversions allow different types of analysis, show different interpretations, or extract features from TINs that you can use to enhance your analysis results or visualization in 3D.

Converting between raster and TIN formats allows you to employ the benefits of each while modeling the same surface. For example, use a TIN to model a surface if you have features, such as lines or polygons, that you want to use to enforce natural features, such as ridges or valleys, or clip a TIN to a study area. Convert this TIN to a raster using the natural neighbors interpolation option to preserve the linear features in the output raster. You'll now be able to use spatial operators on the raster that may not have been available for the TIN. In addition, the TIN-to-raster conversion is a smoothing process, so contours you generate on the raster are smoother than they would be as a TIN.

Geoprocessing Tool


TIN Domain

This tool extracts the interpolation zone from an input TIN into an output feature class.

TIN Edge

Extracts triangle edges from an input TIN into an output feature class.

TIN Line

The tool writes the hard and soft breaklines from a TIN into a new 3D polyline feature class.

TIN Node

This tool extracts nodes from an input TIN into an output feature class and produces a 2D or 3D point feature class whose points are extracted from nodes of the input TIN.

TIN Polygon Tag

Extracts polygons with tag information from an input TIN into an output feature class.

TIN To Raster

This tool converts a TIN to a raster.

TIN Triangle

This tool extracts triangles as polygons from an input TIN into an output feature class and produces a polygon feature class whose polygons are constructed from the input TIN's triangles.

TIN Conversion tools

TIN Management toolset overview



Copy TIN

This tool copies a triangulated irregular network (TIN) in a specified version to another location.

Create TIN

Creates an empty TIN.

Delineate TIN Data Area

Defines the data area, or interpolation zone, of a TIN based on triangle edge length.

Edit TIN

Adds feature classes to an existing TIN and creates surface features of a TIN based on an input feature class.

TIN Management tools

Terrain and TIN Surface toolset

Terrain and TIN Surface tools allow you to create feature classes that extract 3D information from terrain or TIN surfaces. Using the Terrain and TIN Surface toolset, you can determine patterns that are not readily apparent in the original surface, such as slope and aspect.



Interpolate Polygon To Multipatch

This tool creates surface-conforming areal features by extracting those portions of a TIN or terrain dataset surface that fall within the extent of input polygons as multipatches.

Locate Outliers

Locates points which 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.

Polygon Volume

Calculates the volumetric and surface area between polygons of an input feature class and a terrain dataset or TIN surface.

Surface Aspect

This tool extracts aspect information from an input TIN or terrain dataset into an output feature class. It produces a polygon feature class whose polygons are categorized by the input surface triangle aspect values.

Surface Contour

Creates a feature class containing a set of contours generated from a terrain dataset or TIN surface. The output feature class is 2D and contains an attribute with contour values.

Surface Difference

This tool calculates the volumetric difference between two triangulated irregular networks (TIN), or terrain datasets.

Surface Slope

Extracts slope information from an input TIN or terrain dataset into an output feature class.

Terrain and TIN Surface tools

Related Topics

Published 6/7/2010