I have a shapefile with 3D contour lines.


I want that based on this information to generate for all this area a 3D grid of points with certain distance from each-other like every 50cm.


I use Arcgis Desktop Advanced 10.2.2


This could be done with Arc's Topo To Raster tool. This tool uses some algorithm for interpolating a raster surface from data you would find on a topographic map. There's a lot going on in this tool, so take the time to read through the Arc resources page for best results.

You can set contours as your primary data source, and it will generate a surface for you. You could then use Raster to Point conversion tool to create a feature class of points that would be at the center of raster cell.

It's important to understand the limitations of generating an elevation surface, and then spot elevations, from contours lines. Contour lines are generalized (typically) already, so creating a surface from them will be even more generalized. I.e. the output shouldn't be treated like the original data from which the contours were created.


This article is very good in relation to contour generation.

I also found another website, where more methods are explained with examples. http://esurveying.net/land-survey/contour-map-software

  • 1
    If you are affiliated with that site in any way you need to disclose that within your answer. – PolyGeo Aug 4 '17 at 7:11

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