3D Fence Toolbox now works with ArcGIS Pro

Blog Post created by bgerlt-esristaff Employee on Apr 17, 2017

This Spring we released a new version of the 3D Fences python tool box.  The new release works in both ArcGIS Pro and ArcMap. The 3D Fences Toolbox was introduced in November 2015 and originally ran only in ArcMap.  For detailed description of the toolbox and how it works please read Transforming 3D Data into Fences and Curtains with Geostatistical Tools,  ArcUser Winter 2016 article. 

This python toolbox now consists of two tools enabling the interpolation of point data in the Z (vertical) dimension.   The Parallel Fences tool creates equally spaced fences parallel to the X, Y or Z dimension. X and Y dimension fences will run East-West and North-South respectively in the Z dimension.   Z dimension fences will  be stacked in the standard XY "flat" (horizontal) planes at regular Z intervals.  The Feature-Based Fences tool creates vertical fences in the Z dimension along features in a polyline feature class and,  in Pro, it can also use Map Notes line layers as input.   The Map Notes line layers enable users to create ad hoc features along which fences will be interpolated.  An added benefit of using the toolbox within Pro is that it can be used with either a Scene or Map.  The primary output is a 3D point feature class, optionally time enabled.

The original toolbox also contained a third Interactive Fence tool that only works in ArcMap.  This tool is not needed in Pro because use of Map Notes features provides a new way to achieve the same functionality using the Feature-Based fence tool with better control of fence location, creation, selection and symbology.


Using Map Notes in an ArcGIS Pro Scene to create 3D fences

Insert either a Scene or Map in your Pro project and add your point data to the TOC. (I am working in a scene below. My TestPts layer represents a fictional oil leak in the Gulf of Mexico.)

Insert Map Notes, and remove point and polygon map note layers to avoid confusion.

Open the Edit tab, select Create Features, and then select your Map Notes line feature in the Create Features pane.

Digitize line features in you Map or Scene and save Edits.

Run the 3D Fences, Feature-Based Fences tool.

Style your output layers and view.


In the screenshot above, I symbolized the points used in the interpolation as red dots.  You can also see the end of the Map Notes base fence protruding past the interpolated fence.  This is because the tool limits interpolation to the extent of the data, not the fence.  I would be interested in hearing your opinions about enabling  extrapolation to the full length of the fence and limiting the results to the minimum bounding area of the sample points instead of the minimum bounding envelope of the sample points. 

All feedback is welcome and I hope you find the toolbox helpful.