OpenTopography Tool Registry

The OpenTopography Tool Registry provides a community populated clearinghouse of software, utilities, and tools oriented towards high-resolution topography data (e.g. collected with lidar technology) handling, processing, and analysis. Tools registered below range from source code to full-featured software applications. We welcome contributions to the registry via the Contribute a Tool page.

Appearance of a tool in the OpenTopography Tool Registry does not imply endorsement, recommendation, or support, by the NSF OpenTopography Facility and is meant simply as a service to our users. OpenTopography does not guarantee the completeness or accessibility of specific content and links contributed by users. If you have been directly involved with the development of a registered tool and are not the original contributor of the tool to the registry, please email info@opentopography.org to supply updates or modifications to its entry.
Date   Tool Name Tool Type Keywords Rating
3 Dec 2010 GDAL - Geospatial Data Abstraction Library

Description: GDAL is a translator library for raster geospatial data formats that is released under an X/MIT style Open Source license by the Open Source Geospatial Foundation. As a library, it presents a single abstract data model to the calling application for all supported formats. It also comes with a variety of useful commandline utilities for data translation and processing.

GDAL is a powerful tool for converting digital elevation model (DEM) formats, performing coordinate system conversions, and the gdaldem utility provides basic processing functionality such as generation of hillshades and slope maps.

 
Data Management / Handling DEM, osgeo, coordinates, file formats
(0 rating)
18 Aug 2011 Makai Voyager

Description: Makai Voyager is an advanced 3D/4D visualization platform that allows you to fly anwhere in the world to view geospatial data, including: terrain imagery, elevation, LIDAR, volumetric and flow data, and more.
 
Visualization visualization, terrain, lidar, volume
(0 rating)
6 May 2012 LAStools

Description: LAStools are a collection of highly-efficient, batch scriptable, multi-core command line tools for processing LiDAR that is built upon LASlib (with LASzip).
  • lasground.exe extracts the bare-earth by classifying all ground points
  • lasoverlap.exe checks overlap & vertical/horizontal alignment of flight lines
  • lascontrol.exe quality checks elevations for a list of control points
  • lasclassify.exe find buildings and the trees above the ground
  • lasgrid.exe rasters very large LAS files into elevation or intensity grids
  • lasboundary.exe extracts a boundary polygon that encloses the points
  • lasheight.exe computes for each point its height above the ground
  • lasclip.exe clips points against building footprints / swath boundaries
  • lastile.exe tiles huge amounts of LAS points into square tiles
  • laszip.exe compresses the LAS files in a completely lossless manner
  • lasinfo.exe prints out a quick overview of the contents of a LAS FILE
  • lasindex.exe creates a spatial index LAX file for fast spatial queries
  • txt2las.exe converts LIDAR data from ASCII text to binary LAS format
  • las2txt.exe turns LAS into human-readable and easy-to-parse ASCII
  • lasmerge.exe merges several LAS files into one
  • lassplit.exe splits points of one (or many) LAS files into flight lines
  • lassort.exe sorts points by gps_time, point_source, or into spatial proximity
  • las2las.exe extracts last returns, clips, subsamples, translate
     
  • Software Suite filtering, clipping, reprojecting, compression, classification, DSM, DTM, TIN, contours, bare-earth
    (3 ratings)
    17 Dec 2012 ENVI LiDAR

    Description: ENVI LiDAR is an interactive geospatial software environment that allows you to create realistic 3D visualizations and easily extract important features (trees, powerlines, buildings) from LiDAR point cloud data. Elevation information contained within LiDAR can be included in your geospatial analysis projects such as viewshed and line-of-sight studies, forest inventories, right-of-way analyses, and urban planning applications. With ENVI LiDAR, you have the software tool to quickly prepare LiDAR data, accurately extract 3D features, fine-tune results, and export your results to your existing tools, such as ENVI or ArcMap, for further analysis or inclusion in your geospatial products.
     
    Software Suite LiDAR, Point Cloud, DSm, DTM, Feature Extraction
    (0 rating)
    18 Feb 2013 Optimized Pit Removal

    Description: ArcGIS (version 10.1) geoprocessing script tools for removing pits (or sinks) from Digital Elevation Models using a combination of cut and fill. This alternative to the standard Fill tool provides more realistic flow paths with less required manual adjustment. Ideal for high-resolution datasets such as LiDAR.

    The tool also allows users to mark specific depressions to be left unmodified by setting the lowest cell to have a value of No Data. This feature can be used to establish reservoirs as well as known drainage features such as storm sewer inlets.

    Also contains a C++ executable that can be run via command line inputs independent of ArcGIS, and which operates on ASCII grid files.

     
    DEM Analysis Pit Removal, Sink Removal, Fill, Cut, Hydrologic Conditioning, Flow Direction, Flow Accumulation
    (0 rating)
    4 Sep 2014 Geomorphic Change Detection Software

    Description: The GCD software was developed primarily for morphological sediment budgeting in rivers. The volumetric change in storage is calculated from the difference in surface elevations from digital elevation models (DEMs) derived from repeat topographic surveys. As each DEM has an uncertain surface representation (which might vary in space and time), our ability to detect changes between surveys is highly dependent on surface representation uncertainties inherent in the individual DEMs. The fundamental problem is separating out the changes between the surveys that are due to geomorphic change as opposed to noise in the survey data. GCD provides a suite of tools for quantifying those uncertainties independently in each DEM and propagating them through to the DEM of difference. The program also provides ways for segregating the best estimates of change spatially using different types of masks. The overall suite of tools is more generically applicable to many different spatial raster-based change detection problems.
     
    DEM Analysis DEM error modelling, change detection, DEM uncertainty, geomorphic interpretation
    (0 rating)
    4 Sep 2014 ToPCAT = Topographic Analysis Toolkit

    Description: Topographic Point Cloud Analysis Toolkit (ToPCAT) is a software package developed by Brasington et al. (2012) used to decimate (or thin) a point cloud and calculate meaningful statistics for grid defined areas. The process of decimation can reduce computation time and produce meaningful summary outputs (e.g. zMin for modeling bare earth elevations; and detrended standard deviation for modelling surface roughness).
     
    Point Cloud Analysis TLS, SFM, point cloud statistics, point cloud decimation
    (0 rating)
    26 Jan 2015 Global Mapper

    Description: Global Mapper is an affordable and easy-to-use GIS application that offers access to an unparalleled variety of spatial datasets and provides just the right level of functionality to satisfy both experienced GIS professionals and beginning users. Equally well suited as a standalone spatial data management tool and as an integral component of an enterprise-wide GIS, Global Mapper is a must-have for anyone who deals with maps or spatial data.
    Global Mapper is more than just a utility; it has built in functionality for distance and area calculations, raster blending, feathering, spectral analysis, elevation querying, line of sight calculations, cut-and-fill volume calculations, as well as advanced capabilities like image rectification, contour generation from surface data, view shed analysis, watershed delineation, sea level rise modeling, terrain layer comparison, and triangulation and gridding of 3D point data.
    Users can now simulate fly-through recordings in high-definition with various sky models in the 3D viewer. This new Skybox tool enables users to choose from a handful of existing sky templates or custom designs. Support for 3D textures and meshes have also been added to give data a more realistic look, including support for a host of new 3D formats. Live GPS data can also now be viewed and tracked in the 3D Viewer. Version 16 features dramatically faster processing speeds for analyzing large amounts of data.

     
    Visualization, Point Cloud Analysis, DEM generation, DEM Analysis GIS, LiDAR, file format translation, data analysis, 3D, Vector Raster, image rectification, contour
    (0 rating)
    29 Jul 2015 lidar2dems

    Description: The lidar2dems project is a collection open-source (FreeBSD license) command line utilities for supporting the easy creation of Digital Elevation Models (DEMs) from LiDAR data. lidar2dems uses the PDAL library (and associated dependencies) for doing the actual point processing and gridding of point clouds into raster data.
     
    DEM generation DEM, DSM, DTM, CHM, PDAL, points2grid, gridding
    (0 rating)
    23 Jun 2011 Points2Grid

    Description: Points2Grid is a robust and scalable tool for gridding LIDAR point cloud data to generate Digital Elevation Models (DEMs). Points2Grid uses a local gridding method to compute grid cell elevation using a neighborhood defined around each cell based on a search radius provided by the user (see image below). Points2Grid offers two processing modes - in-core and out-of-core - to allow it to handle generation of rasters larger than available memory.
     
    DEM generation gridding, P2G, point cloud, binning, local gridding, DEM
    (0 rating)
    5 Jul 2018 Lidar360

    Description: Lidar360 is a comprehensive point cloud post-processing software suite developed by GreenValley International Inc (GVI). It offers a huge collection of tools and functions, from basic point cloud management tools like outlier removal, normalization, projection, and extraction, to advanced algorithms for industry-specific applications, e.g. Terrain, ALS/TLS Forestry, and Powerline Survey. The Lidar360 suite consists of 5 modules (as of June 2018):
    1. Framework -- contains a number of core toolsets to effectively visualize and interact with lidar point cloud including display modes, statistics, data management, classification tools, vector editing and strip adjustment;
    2. Terrain -- a suite of GIS tools for calculating slope, roughness, aspect & contours from surface models. Additionally, it contains tools for repairing surface models, i.e., spikes, holes and extraneous values;
    3 & 4. ALS/TLS Forestry -- The ALS Forestry functions allow users to calculate essential forest metrics including elevation, intensity, canopy cover, LAI etc., and provides regression models and segmentation algorithms such as CHM Segmentation & Point Cloud Segmentation. The TLS Forestry tools are specifically designed to work with terrestrial lidar data. It offers a wealth of tools including Gaussian Mixture Model Classification and TLS Point Cloud segmentation, enabling the users to better classify ground, leaf and trunk points and segment individual trees from TLS point cloud data; and,
    5. Power

     
    Visualization, Point Cloud Analysis, DEM generation, DEM Analysis, Data Management / Handling, Software Suite Point Cloud Processing, Terrain Classification, ALS Forestry, TLS Forestry, Lidar Power line Survey
    (0 rating)
    20 Nov 2010 Points2Grid Utility (winP2G)

    Description: The Points2Grid Utility is a simple tool for the generation of Digital Elevation Models (DEMs) from lidar point cloud data. The Points2Grid Utility is a Windows application that utilizes the same local binning algorithm deployed in the OpenTopography lidar system to offer rapid generation of DEMs from large volumes of LiDAR point return data. Note that winP2G is no longer supported - information about newer implementations of the algorithm can be found here: https://opentopography.org/otsoftware/points2grid
     
    DEM generation point cloud, lidar, DEM, gridding, binning
    (4 ratings)
    12 Jan 2017 planlauf/TERRAIN

    Description: planlauf/TERRAIN is an easy-to-use application for Windows 7/8/10 to visualize Digital Elevation Models. It uses state-of-the-art techniques from the gaming industry like 'Mesh Decimation', 'Normal Mapping' and 'Level of Detail' to reduce the size of the models significantly while preserving the visual details of the original model. A 30 day trial version without any restrictions is available.
     
    Visualization, Point Cloud Analysis, DEM generation, DEM Analysis
    (0 rating)
    21 Apr 2019 DEM.Net Elevation API

    Description: Free .Net Open Source library for DEM access and analysis (elevation queries, height maps, 3D exports textured)
     
    Visualization, DEM Analysis, Data Management / Handling 3D, heightmaps, elevation, gpx
    (0 rating)
    23 Sep 2014 TerEx

    Description: The TerEx Tool automates the process of mapping terraces and floodplains from high resolution topography data (works best on <3m grid resolution). The tool maps terraces and floodplains from user-defined parameters including, a local-relief threshold selected by a variable-size moving window, minimum area threshold, and maximum distance from the channel to identify and map discrete terrace and floodplain surfaces. Subsequently, the tool automatically measures planform area, absolute elevation, and height relative to the local river channel for each terrace polygon. TerEx can be run in a Python environment or as a GUI plugin for ArcMap. See Stout and Belmont, 2014 and the users manual for explanations of tool functionality and several test cases that provide guidance on parameter values for a wide range of landscapes.
     
    DEM Analysis terrace, mapping, feature extraction, floodplain
    (0 rating)