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Creating a TIN Model from a Shapefile

Updated July 17, 2019

This article applies to:
  • Terrain 3D
  • Terrain Forestry
  • RoadEng Civil
  • RoadEng Forestry
  • Softree Optimal

Creating a TIN Model from a Shapefile

Most Shapefiles are 2D, with only horizontal coordinates. The Terrain Module will read (and write) Shape files including attributes.

After importing the data into Terrain, you will need to set All Features to have Properties Elevation & Modelled enabled.

  • Terrain | Home | All Features
  • On the Properties Panel check: Elevations & Modelled and click on Apply.

If you click on any of the contour lines, the Status Window shows an elevation of 0.0. The elevation information has been saved in a separate attribute.

The next steps will show how to extract the elevations from an attribute and assign them to the contours so they can be used to create a TIN model

  • Having all points selected (Terrain | Home | All Features):
  • Feature Tools | Assign
  • Select Attribute (for Z), click on the Attribute button.


Search for the elevation attribute on the Available list, add Elev_ft (this name may vary according to the file).Shape2.PNG

Elev_ft should be assigned to Z


Now you can crate the TIN model and displayed it in the 3D Window.