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Lidar (light detection and ranging) is an optical remote-sensing technique that uses laser light to sample the earth’s surface and produce highly accurate x,y,z measurements. Contour lines can be created from the lidar data (.las) to give information on elevation of the earth’s surface. Each contour line feature is created by connecting contiguous points with equal height values from the lidar data.
The instructions provided describe how to create contour lines from lidar data.
Create an LAS dataset before creating contour lines from the lidar data. For instructions on how to create an LAS dataset, refer to the following web help document, Managing LAS datasets: Creating a LAS dataset.
Note: Spatial reference must be defined for each LAS file. ArcGIS reads and uses this spatial reference information. Defining the spatial reference at the LAS dataset level alone is not enough. LAS data might not be displayed due to different projections between the map and the LAS data, or the spatial reference for the LAS files is not defined properly.
Note: The first option requires the 3D Analyst extension, and the second option requires either the 3D Analyst extension or the Spatial Analyst extension.
Note: Binning interpolation determines the value of a pixel by examining the points that fall within the pixel to determine the final value. Triangulation interpolation is recommended for low-density Lidar data where it uses Delaunay triangulation to create a surface from a network of triangular facets defined by nodes and edges covering the surface before rasterizing it.
Note: Every Lidar point can have a classification assigned to it, defining the type of object that has reflected the laser pulse including bare earth or ground, the top of a forest canopy, or water. For more information of the Lidar data classification, refer to the following documentation: Lidar point classification. For steps to filter the Lidar data, refer to the following documentation, LAS dataset layer properties in ArcMap: Filter tab.