I have a set of total station points that have elevation values for different soil Horizons across a 40x10 meter piece of land.

I have created a TIN surface for each Soil Horizon and then used the "Extrude Between" tool to fill in the gaps between the different soil surfaces (ultimately giving me an enclosed block for each soil surface, one on top of the other and so on).

I also have points that were shot in across the surface with elevation values.

I can display both the soil surfaces and points correctly.

I want to select all the points that fall inside each soil horizon, much like "select by location" in 2d GIS.

Is there a way to select features that are located in an extruded surface?

  • Does Select by Location with a method of Intersect_3D not work? This help page covers 3d select by location and lists vaild inputs, which an extrusion appears to be.
    – Chris W
    Aug 27, 2014 at 21:29
  • 1
    Are the soil horizons 'flat,' or do they vary in elevation across the 400sqm tract?
    – Barrett
    Aug 28, 2014 at 19:15
  • There is slight variation in the elevations of each soil horizon, maybe between 5 and 10 inches
    – psixi
    Aug 28, 2014 at 19:19

1 Answer 1


Perhaps one of these two methods will work for you:

ArcMAP Select by Location 3D relationships and ArcScene Select by 3D Box

How about Inside 3D (3D Analyst)? Since the output of Extrude Between is a feature class with multipatch 3D features, can you use this tool to identify the 3D Point features which are within the resulting soil horizons?

Can you use Near3D to associate the points with the nearest 3d Multipatch feature? I am not sure how this would interact with your closed and open multipatch features, but it could be another route to try, if you want to know which points intersect which soil layer.

  • Thanks for the advice, however, using the 3D select by location method still appears to be selecting points just like 2D selection only considering x and y values, much like points that fall inside a polygon. It doesnt seem to be separating the z values. Is there a better way to create the soils surfaces and figure out what points fall within each surface?
    – psixi
    Aug 28, 2014 at 19:11
  • Yes, I didn't want to remove the link though. I assume it searches in a sphere around the Z location... the second link seems to be your ticket.
    – Barrett
    Aug 28, 2014 at 19:12
  • @psixi I have updated my answer.
    – Barrett
    Aug 28, 2014 at 19:28
  • I think that might work. I'll know better in the next couple days as I look at the data. It looks like it spits out a pretty simple table with a number that corresponds to the FID number from the input table. Using a simple join I should be able to see the points with all their attributes that fall in each horizon
    – psixi
    Aug 28, 2014 at 19:58
  • alright, when i use the "extrude between" tool to create the soil horizon from two tin surfaces it gives me a multipatch surface that looks exactly right. However, it is not a closed multipatch so I use the "enclose multipatch" tool. This works and I can use the "Inside 3D" tool to select all the features that fall within the enclosed multipatch. The problem is the enclosed multipatch adds volume in the z direction that skews the data. any thoughts why or how I can fix this?
    – psixi
    Aug 29, 2014 at 18:05

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.