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Interactive line of sight basics

Interactive line of sight is used to determine if one or more targets are visible from a given observer's viewpoint in a 3D scene. It is calculated against the currently displayed content in the view, including the ground surface and symbolized features such as buildings and trees.

Both the line of sight observer and target locations can be interactively moved through the view. The analysis parameters, vertical offsets and view distances, can be used to model real-world objects such as a person's height and binocular range. A line of sight analysis can be based on a single observer with one or more targets created from a selected path or an existing line layer.

Note:

Each line of sight object consumes part of your analytical tool display budget. Once the display budget has been exceeded, you must remove one or more of the existing lines of sight before you can create another.

The analytical results displayed by these tools are temporary and are not saved with the project, nor are they included in map packages. However, their distance settings and geometry can be exported out as a line feature class for further use. If you require the displayed analytical results as data, consider using the geoprocessing tools for visibility instead.

Create an interactive line of sight

The interactive Line of Sight tool Line of Sight Tool is located in the Interactive Analysis gallery in the 3D Exploratory Analysis group on the Analysis tab. As you save templates with custom configurations, they are added to the gallery.

Interactive line of sight creation parameters

OptionDescription

Observer Vertical Offset

The vertical offset distance to use when creating the observer point for a new line of sight. For example, a value of 6 feet places the observer 6 feet above the clicked location in the view.

Observer Minimum Distance

The minimum distance from the observer to analyze. Obstructions closer than the minimum distance do not participate in the analysis.

Observer Maximum Distance

The maximum distance from the observer to analyze. Obstructions farther than the maximum distance do not participate in the analysis.

Target Vertical Offset

The vertical offset distance applied to the clicked location when creating a new target point.

Creation methods

There are four methods for creating an interactive line of sight:

MethodDescription

Interactive Placement Line of Sight Interactive Placement

Click in the view to place the observer position. Click again to place one or more targets. This is the default method.

Observer From Camera Line of Sight From Camera

Position the view to set the camera as the observer. Click in the view to place one or more targets.

Targets Along a Line Line of Sight Along a Line

Use a selected line to create a line of sight based on a number of targets or a segment length. Multiple lines are processed as a single route where possible.

From Layer Line of Sight From Layer

Automatically generate lines of sight based on a line layer where feature attributes populate parameters such as minimum and maximum distances. Previously exported analysis objects can be revisited using this method.

Update an interactive line of sight object

To update the analysis area for an existing line of sight, select the observer with the Line of Sight tool Line of Sight Tool and use the interactive handles to adjust the location. You can reposition the objects in the x- and y-planes or drag the green arrow to move in the z-plane. The updated values are dynamically displayed.

One line of sight observer with three target locations selected for editing
One line of sight observer with three target locations selected for editing.

If you prefer to manually type values, you can update specific properties for a selected line of sight on the Properties tab in the Exploratory Analysis pane. In the pane, you browse each line of sight object in the scene to make iterative updates. Click All to modify all interactive line of sight objects at once.

Delete an interactive line of sight object

Select a line of sight object with the Line of Sight tool Line of Sight Tool and click Delete from the Properties tab to remove it. Alternatively you can press the Delete key or right-click an object and click Delete Delete. Delete all lines of sight at once by clicking Clear All Clear All in the 3D Exploratory Analysis group on the Analysis tab.

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