Spring 2011 Edition
Best Practices for Creating and Using Terrain Datasets
- For lidar data, use LAS rather than ASCII formatted data.
- Because personal geodatabases have a 2 GB limit, use a file or enterprise geodatabase.
- Terrain datasets must be stored in a feature dataset.
- Use projected coordinates; geographic coordinates, such as decimal degrees, are not supported.
- Z-values should be in the same units of measure as the x,y values.
- Do not build or perform schema editing on a terrain in an edit session.
- The data in the terrain dataset should be contiguous.
- Use terrain dataset groups to boost performance at smaller scales.
- Don't use large single-point feature classes. Instead, use a multipoint feature class for large point collections (i.e., any collection of more than 500,000 points).
- Ensure feature classes that contribute to the terrain dataset have correct extents.
- Avoid adding polygon features using polygon-based SFTypes where possible; they are more expensive to enforce than breaklines.
- Use as few feature classes as possible. For example, instead of using a feature class with 50 features, use one with multipoint features instead.