I am trying to create a Digital Earth Model (DEM) using ArcPy under ArcGIS Pro 2, but I am running into some problems.

I can generate a DEM within ArcGIS Pro by selecting only the ground points under LAS files in the LAS dataset properties, but when I try to run the same code within ArcPy, it generates a DEM using all the points.

Any ideas how you select the return point type in ArcPy?

Here is the code that I have used.

arcpy.conversion.LasDatasetToRaster(lasd, "Test_arcpy_dem", "ELEVATION", "BINNING AVERAGE LINEAR", "FLOAT", "CELLSIZE", 10, 1)

As I said, this generates two different outputs, depending if I am in ArcGIS Pro or not.

  • 1
    You need to create a LAS Dataset Layer pro.arcgis.com/en/pro-app/tool-reference/data-management/… to restrict the class codes then use that layer in your LAS dataset to raster. The workflow is the same in desktop resources.arcgis.com/en/help/main/10.2/index.html#//… to create a layer then use that layer in LAS dataset to raster resources.arcgis.com/en/help/main/10.2/index.html#//… – Michael Stimson May 31 '18 at 21:34
  • That worked perfectly. If you add your comment as an answer, I will select it. – user44796 Jun 1 '18 at 15:39
  • 2
    Here is the code that I used based on suggestions from @MichaelStimson. classCodes = [2]; return_Vals = ['Last Return','First of Many','Last of Many','Single Return','1','2','3','4']; dem_layer = arcpy.CreateUniqueName('dem_layer') ## new LAS dataset layer name; arcpy.MakeLasDatasetLayer_management(lasd, dem_layer,class_code=classCodes,return_values=return_Vals); arcpy.conversion.LasDatasetToRaster(dem_layer, "DEM", "ELEVATION", "BINNING AVERAGE LINEAR", "FLOAT", "CELLSIZE", 10, 1); Note: I marked end of line with semi-colon. Not needed. – user44796 Jun 1 '18 at 17:29
  • Did that work for you? By default return_values is everything so I think that parameter can be omitted, apart from that it looks good. – Michael Stimson Jun 3 '18 at 23:32
  • It did work for me. If you post it as the answer, I will upvote it. – user44796 Jun 4 '18 at 16:17

Whether you're working in ArcGIS Pro or Desktop to restrict the class types to ground classes (2 and 8 if present) you need to create a LAS dataset layer:

arcpy.MakeLasDatasetLayer_management(lasd, "LASD_Layer",class_code=[2,8])

which you can use in your LAS dataset to raster function:

arcpy.conversion.LasDatasetToRaster("LASD_Layer", "Test_arcpy_dem", "ELEVATION", "BINNING AVERAGE LINEAR", "FLOAT", "CELLSIZE", 10, 1)

In Desktop: create a LAS dataset layer and LAS dataset to raster.

If you don't already have ground/nonground classes you can use Classify LAS Ground (also in ArcGIS Pro) by Esri or a similar tool to classify ground in your LiDAR point cloud; automatic classification of ground/nonground is usually quite successful, unlike automatic building classification but that's wandering off-topic.

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