Is there an alternative to the ArcGIS Raster To Multipoint tool for Macs? The VIP thinning method is particularly of use. A comparative point cloud thinning/simplification tool to this would just as useful.

The objective is digital elevation model (DEM) (heightmap) to triangulated irregular network (TIN) (mesh) conversion on OSX.

Converting the DEM to a one-to-one (pixel to point) point cloud, to a TIN, and then using a mesh decimation algorithm is not a good option because of the sheer scale of the resulting point cloud and the time it would take to process it.

1 Answer 1


There are many solutions (look also at generating TIN from DEM using MacOSX/Unix tools?)

And even with lesser known GIS as LandSerf (DEM to TIN command)

  • Many of the suggestions here are the same as the method described in the question, where a one-to-one point cloud is created and then Delaunay triangulation applied. The advantage of the ArcGIS Raster To Multipoint tool is that it reduces the essentially 2.5D point cloud and then applies triangulation. From the documentation: "VIP - Selects a percentage of points from the input raster based on their significance." Here is an example of how it works. The problem is not triangulation, it is point cloud reduction.
    – AshRubigo
    Jun 27, 2015 at 0:18

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