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Add Terrain Points


Adds multipoints to an embedded terrain feature class by appending them or by using them to replace existing multipoints that fall within the same extent.


This is a deprecated tool. To learn more about how this tool works click here to view archived documentation. This functionality has been added to the Append Terrain Points tool.


  • This tool adds multipoints to a feature class embedded in a terrain. The terrain and the embedded feature class must already exist.

  • Only multipoints can be embedded in a terrain. Therefore, the input feature class must be of type multipoint.

  • This tool performs two types of operations: APPEND and REPLACE. Use the method argument to indicate which mode of operation you want to use.

  • Either operation uses a rectangular Area Of Interest (AOI). By default, the AOI is equal to the extent of the input feature class. The Geoprocessing Environment can be used to define a specific extent if a subset of the input feature class is desired. In the case of APPEND, the vertices of the input feature class that fall within the AOI will be added. REPLACE works in two phases. First, vertices of the embedded feature class that fall within the AOI are deleted. Then, those within the AOI of the source feature class are added. If a multipoint crosses the AOI boundary only those vertices within the boundary are operated on.

  • If you want to add points to a regular feature class, potentially referenced by a terrain but not embedded in it, use the Append tool.

  • Add Terrain Points looks for an existing edit session to piggy-back on. This supports undo if the edit session was initialized to support undo (e.g., using the Editor inside ArcMap™). If there's no edit session, it starts and stops one itself, in which case there is no chance for an undo.

  • In order to use this tool on a terrain inside an SDE™ database, the terrain needs to be registered as versioned. You do this by registering the feature dataset the terrain lives in as versioned.

  • Adding points to an embedded feature class will invalidate the terrain. Run Build Terrain after adding points.


AddTerrainPoints_3d (in_terrain, terrain_feature_class, in_feature_class, {method})
ParameterExplanationData Type

The terrain dataset to be modified.

Terrain Layer

The embedded feature class to which points will be added.


The feature class containing the points to be added.

Feature Layer

Indicates whether points are appended to the target or used to replace those in the target.


Licensing information

  • ArcGIS Desktop Basic: Requires 3D Analyst
  • ArcGIS Desktop Standard: Requires 3D Analyst
  • ArcGIS Desktop Advanced: Requires 3D Analyst

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