Point Cloud to TIN and/or DEM

The convert point cloud shapefile to TIN and/or DEM takes a point cloud shapefile of x,y,z values and an survey extent shapefile and converts them to a Triangular Irregular Network (TIN) and gives the option to create a DEM from the TIN.

There are many different interpolation methods and options to consider when making a DEM for use in a GCD.  For background information for why a DEM created from a TIN was chosen click here. Additionally for more insight as to why 2 feet resolution has been selected as the default cell resolution for the output DEM click here.
The Point Cloud to TIN and/or DEM Tool is located under the Data Preparation menu under the Survey Preparation menu:

When the Convert Point Cloud Shapefile to TIN and/or DEM button is clicked the tool menu is shown:

The inputs for this tool are:
  • Point Cloud Shapefile
    • point shapefile containing the original surveyed z values. This file can be created using the Raw Survey File to Shapefile Tool located under the Data Preparation tab.
  • Extent Polygon
    • polygon shapefile of the survey extent for the point cloud shapfile. This can be created through in GCD with the Create Bounding Polygon Tool.
  • Spatial Reference (optional)
    • can be in the form of a .prj file or a shapefile that contains a spatial reference.
  • Cell Size of DEM (optional)
    • The cell size to for the DEM, this option is only activated once the user checks the Create DEM option. 2 feet is currently the default
The outputs for the tool are:
  • TIN (optional)
    • TIN created from the original surveyed values contained in the point cloud shapefile. This will not be output if the user selects the Delete TIN option
  • DEM (optional)
    • DEM created from the TIN. This is only created if the user selects the Create DEM option.

For a demonstration of this tool and an explanation of why or why not to create the two outputs see the video below:

MBES Tools - Point Shapefile To TIN & DEM