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Technical Paper

The Multipatch Geometry Type

The multipatch geometry type, a geographic information system (GIS) industry standard developed by ESRI in 1997, is used to define the exterior shell representation for 3D objects. This document demonstrates how you can create the multipatch geometry via ArcObjects.

The multipatch geometry type is used for storing 3D objects - such as buildings, geological bodies, 3D no-fly zones, etc – in both the geodatabase and shapefile formats. Multipatch features cannot be created interactively using the standard editing user interface, but rather must be constructed by using one of the following methods:

  1. Through certain geoprocessing tools, such as Extrude Between or Layer 3D to Feature Class.
  2. By importing data from existing models, such as SketchUp, COLLADA, 3D Studio Max, or OpenFlight.
  3. Through ArcObjects code

This whitepaper provides in-depth directions and methods for the third option – creating multipatch geometries through ArcObjects programming. It also includes example code you can reference, or even use directly, in your development efforts.

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