i. Create Point Feature Class

The Create Point Feature Class tool takes a raw xyz point cloud in a flat ascii file (e.g. *.csv, *.txt, *.xyz, *.pts) and converts it into a point shapefile for direct use in deriving a TIN and DEM. It also allows you to specify the spatial reference (coordinate system) of the point shapefile you will create, which is required to use the shapefile in a GCD project analyses (e.g. point density estimation). The tool is a precursor to Create DEM and/or TIN tool.

The below video gives a succinct tutorial on how to use and the details of the Create Point Feature Class Tool:

Create Point Feature Class Tool


The inputs for the Raw Point Cloud to Feature Class are:
  • raw point cloud
    • An ascii text file formatted into columns of x, y, z. Other columns can be present but will not be included in the output shapefile. (headers can be commented out with a #)
  • spatial reference (optional)
    • can be in the form of a .prj file or you can load an existing shapefile that contains a spatial reference and that spatial reference will be imported.


The outputs for the tool are:
  • Shapefile or Feature Class
    • contains x, y, z fields from the original surveyed points.