I am trying to convert XYZ-data to a point feature class. I've done this successfully in ArcMap, however, when I copy the python snippet, I get a RuntimeError.

I did make some minor changes to make the code more readable, and to loop through a series of files. Anyway, the same problems arose when I used the original python snippet.

This is my code - for the sake of brevity I have replaced some of the long path names by variables:

import os                    # enables interaction with operating system
import arcpy                 # enables use of tools within the arcpy package

RDnew = "PROJCS['RD_New',GEOGCS['GCS_Amersfoort',DATUM['D_Amersfoort',SPHEROID['Bessel_1841',6377397.155,299.1528128]],PRIMEM['Greenwich',0.0],UNIT['Degree',0.0174532925199433]],PROJECTION['Double_Stereographic'],PARAMETER['False_Easting',155000.0],PARAMETER['False_Northing',463000.0],PARAMETER['Central_Meridian',5.38763888888889],PARAMETER['Scale_Factor',0.9999079],PARAMETER['Latitude_Of_Origin',52.15616055555555],UNIT['Meter',1.0]]","#","#","DECIMAL_POINT"
#this is just the coordinate system copied from the python snippet to make it more readible.

for fn in os.listdir('.'):
    if (fn[-4:] == '.pts' or fn[-4:] == '.txt'):
        print fn + ' is processing.'
        print 'Converting XYZ-data to point feature class.'
        pts_shp = fn[0:7] + '.shp'      # using fn[0:7] to get rid of the .pts or .txt extension of the input file
        arcpy.ASCII3DToFeatureClass_3d(fn,'XYZ','shp_points/' + pts_shp,'POINT','1',RDnew,"#","#","DECIMAL_POINT")

This last line is where I get the error.

I had some errors before (among which the infamous Error 999999, which I managed to get rid off. and 'failed to execute function', which has also been solved), but I don't see what else is wrong with my code here.

Could anyone help me out and explain to me what is going wrong?

I already checked for spaces and dots in the paths and file names. My best guess would be the input or output path, but I don't see the problem.


Check your RDNew string. The extra double quotes around the # may be throwing things off. If they're meant to be in the string escape them with a backslash.

If looks like the variable has the extra ,"#","#","DECIMAL_POINT" in it from the parameters in your arcpy.ASCII3DToFeatureClass_3d call.

  • YES!!! Changing the double quotes around the # into single quotes worked! Even though the "#" were copied directly from the snippet. Thanks a lot. Out of curiosity: what do you mean by 'escape them with a backslash'? – Renée Sep 18 '15 at 17:52
  • 1
    Look at learnpythonthehardway.org/book/ex10.html and docs.python.org/2.0/ref/strings.html. Basically, there are characters that tell the language parser to ignore characters that follow. So a backslash would ignore the " and not break the string. – Branco Sep 18 '15 at 18:01

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