When I use the LAS Dataset To Raster tool in ArcMap I get an unwanted interpolation outside of the actual study area, like this:

enter image description here

According to Esri this can be prevented by changing the definition of the input LAS dataset: http://pro.arcgis.com/en/pro-app/tool-reference/conversion/las-dataset-to-raster.htm

Including a study area boundary as a clip constraint in the definition of the input LAS dataset is highly recommended. One reason is to prevent interpolation from occurring outside the real data extent of the survey. Secondly, there can be a severe performance penalty when using natural neighbor options if the data area is not properly defined.

But how do you achieve this? I can't find these options in the Las Dataset To Raster menu.

My input values are as follows:

enter image description here

Defining a processing extent doesn't seem to work either.

1 Answer 1


Keeping in mind that defining a processing extent did not work, you could run the Las Dataset To Raster tool in python and set an analysis mask as follows:

arcpy.env.mask = "study_area.shp"

The tool can be used in python with the following function:

arcpy.LasDatasetToRaster_conversion(in_las_dataset, out_raster, {value_field}, {interpolation_type}, {data_type}, {sampling_type}, {sampling_value}, {z_factor})

Here is more information about the mask environment setting: https://pro.arcgis.com/en/pro-app/tool-reference/environment-settings/mask.htm

and the tool (along with python code samples): http://desktop.arcgis.com/en/arcmap/10.3/tools/conversion-toolbox/las-dataset-to-raster.htm

  • Yes, I addressed that at the very end of my question. It doesn't seem to work.
    – Linebeck
    Mar 30, 2018 at 23:07
  • @Linebeck sorry, my bad. Look at the edit I just made Mar 31, 2018 at 1:53
  • Thank you. This is what I executed in python, but the result was the same as before: "arcpy.env.mask = "lasdataset" arcpy.LasDatasetToRaster_conversion(in_las_dataset="lasdataset", out_raster="[the new file and location]", value_field="ELEVATION", interpolation_type="BINNING AVERAGE LINEAR", data_type="FLOAT", sampling_type="CELLSIZE", sampling_value="100", z_factor="1")
    – Linebeck
    Mar 31, 2018 at 8:43
  • Maybe I should forget using the las dataset to define a border and instead use for example a shapefile. But how do I create a shapefile with the same outline as all of the las files in the las dataset?
    – Linebeck
    Mar 31, 2018 at 8:52
  • 1
    Yes, the las files are rectangular. I "solved" my issue creating a polygon outlining the borders of the las files and then creating a new las dataset with the polygon as a surface constraint. Of course, after creating the polygon I could have just used it to clip the raster and didn't really need to bother with the surface constraint.
    – Linebeck
    Apr 5, 2018 at 11:20

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