Point cloud scene layers provide fast display of large volumes of symbolized and filtered point cloud data. They are optimized for the display and sharing of many kinds of sensor data, including lidar. Point cloud scene layers can be built directly from a LAS dataset layer and help support sharing 3D point content across the platform. You create point cloud scene layers by generating a scene layer package (.slpk) file on disk and publishing it as a scene service on Portal for ArcGIS or ArcGIS Online. Optionally, you can preview the scene layer package as a layer directly in ArcGIS Pro.
A point cloud scene layer supports only point cloud data in LAS format, which is referenced by a LAS dataset. Individual LAS files can also be used as input to the point cloud scene layer. Optimized LAS (.ZLAS) files are not supported. If a LAS dataset references any ZLAS files, they are ignored. A point cloud scene layer is only supported in the 3D category of a scene.
Point thinning and scalability
Point cloud scene layers are scalable, allowing you to work with large point cloud datasets quickly and efficiently. Rendering very large point sets is generally slow, partially due to hardware limitations. Point cloud scene layers are efficient in that the areas you need to visualize are rendered at an optimized point resolution. The Display Limit and Density allow you to control how many points are rendered.
Follow these steps to access these settings.
- Select a point cloud scene layer in the Contents pane.
- On the Appearance tab, in the Point Display group, choose the applicable point thinning options for the selected point cloud scene layer.
Applying a Display Limit sets a size limit to the number of points used to display the point cloud scene layer. The default value is 1,000,000. If, for a given display extent, a point cloud scene layer exceeds the specified point count, the layer switches to be more generalized.
This setting controls the density of points enforced by the point cloud scene layer. You set it interactively by using the slider bar. Move the slider to the left toward Min for a coarse point resolution and to the right toward Max for a finer resolution. As you move the slider bar, the density of the points on-screen automatically change and update.
Working with geoprocessing tools
A point cloud scene layer is not supported as input to any geoprocessing tools, except the Validate Scene Layer Package tool.
A point cloud scene layer can be published as a service layer and uploaded to Portal for ArcGIS or ArcGIS Online using the Share Package geoprocessing tool.