Creating DEMs from LIDAR multipoints

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07-01-2014 09:07 AM
New Contributor III
I have LIDAR multipoints and would like to group them into tiles and then make DEMs out of the tiles. All my multipoints are stored in a GDB format. Can anybody put me on the right path on how to accomplish this? This is my first time fooling with LIDAR data and I want to learn about elevation data.

Thanks,
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19 Replies
Frequent Contributor
Hi Scott,

If you have multipoint files, the best way I know to make a raster is to use multipoint to terrain tool, then terrain to raster.  If you need to have them tiled together, I would create a mosaic dataset, then you can add each of your raster DEMs to the mosaic dataset.  If you have actual .las files, you can add those directly to a mosaic dataset, or add them to a las dataset (.lasd) and use that to generate your dem. 

I'm not overly familiar with the multipoint route, I prefer .lasd usually, since it makes it easier to handle the points and returns, and I'm not sure of a way to convert back from multipoint to a las file.

If anyone else has some good input, I'd love to here it.

http://resources.arcgis.com/en/help/main/10.1/index.html#/A_quick_tour_of_lidar_in_ArcGIS/015w000000...

http://resources.arcgis.com/en/help/main/10.1/index.html#//009t0000003p000000
New Contributor III
Thanks for the reply IamMurray! What I was going to try and do is just use the Select By Location tool in ArcMap and select all the points that fell in the tile and just create my tiles that way and then just create the DEM files from that but I've never done this before so thanks for the help
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New Contributor III
I'm not seeing a multipoint to terrain tool. Is there anything I need to enable to get access to it? Or what toolbox is it in?
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Frequent Contributor
Sorry I stole that multipoint solution from another thread, and didn't check for the actual tool

That thread can be found here.

http://gis.stackexchange.com/questions/78961/proper-workflow-for-las-to-dem-conversion

Apparently it takes a few tools to build a terrain, see this link.

http://resources.arcgis.com/en/help/main/10.2/index.html#//005v0000001p000000

Do you only have multipoint files, or could you obtain the .las files?
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New Contributor III
I used the Point to Raster tool and it created me an .adf file which I'm reading is a raster grid file. Is there anyway to create a .dem file from this?
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Frequent Contributor
A DEM is a raster, just the raster values are the elevation data.  So you should more or less have what you need(though you may want to rerun it so your raster has a different file type such as a .tiff, if you are saving it not in a gdb that is). You shouldn't need it to have a .dem extension.
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New Contributor III
Is there anyway I can export it out to a .dem file?
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Frequent Contributor

I'm terribly sorry, I didn't realize my hyperlink didn't post last time.

Raster to DEM

USGSDEM -- USGS ASCII DEM (and CDED)

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Frequent Contributor
Here is a REALLY old thread I found, the only one I could find discussing converting to .dem(apparently the USGS specific DEM format).

Hopefully that can help you out.  Guess I'm too new to GIS to know about .dem
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