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Interpolate From Point Cloud


Interpolates a digital terrain model (DSM) or a digital surface model (DSM) from a point cloud, using one of the provided interpolation methods.


  • The point cloud can either be in the form of LAS files or a solution point table.


InterpolateFromPointCloud_management (in_container, out_raster, cell_size, {interpolation_method}, {smooth_method}, {surface_type}, {fill_dem})
ParameterExplanationData Type

Path and name of the file, folder, or feature layer. The input can be a folder of LAS files or a solution point table from orthomapping tools.

The LAS files can be the output from the Generate Point Cloud tool, where LAS points are categorized as ground and above ground. The solution point table is output from either the Compute Block Adjustments tool or the Compute Camera Model

Folder; File; Feature Layer

The output raster dataset location, name, and file extension.

The output can be in any writeable raster format, such as .tif or .crf.

Raster Dataset

The cell size of the output raster dataset.


The method used to interpolate the output raster dataset from the point cloud.

  • TRIANGULATION Also known as triangulated irregular network (TIN) linear interpolation designed for irregularly distributed sparse points, such as solution points from block adjustment computation.
  • NATURAL_NEIGHBORThis is similar to triangulation but generates a smoother surface and is more computationally intensive.
  • IDWThis is used for regularly distributed dense points, such as point cloud LAS files from the Generate Point Cloud tool. The IDW search radius is automatically computed based on average point density.

Select a filter to smooth the output raster dataset.

  • GAUSS3x3A Gaussian filter with a 3 by 3 window.
  • GAUSS5x5A Gaussian filter with a 5 by 5 window.
  • GAUSS7x7A Gaussian filter with a 7 by 7 window.
  • GAUSS9x9A Gaussian filter with a 9 by 9 window.
  • NONEDo not apply a smoothing filter.

Create a digital terrain model or a digital surface model.

  • DTMCreate a digital terrain model by interpolating only the ground points.
  • DSMCreate a digital surface model by interpolating all the points.

A DEM raster input that is used to fill NoData areas. Areas of NoData may exist where pixels do not have enough information, from the input, to generate any values.

Raster Dataset; Raster Layer; Mosaic Dataset; Mosaic Layer

Code sample

InterpolateFromPointCloud example 1 (stand-alone script)

This is a Python sample for the InterpolateFromPointCloud tool.

import arcpy
                                           'c:/data/dsm.crf', '10',
                                           'IDW', 'GAUSS5x5', 'DTM')

Licensing information

  • ArcGIS Desktop Basic: No
  • ArcGIS Desktop Standard: No
  • ArcGIS Desktop Advanced: Yes