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
30 Mar 2011 VRMesh Survey: LiDAR Point Cloud Classification Tool

Description: Vrmesh Survey is an intelligent solution for automatic point cloud classification and bare-earth extraction. It automatically and accurately classifies LIDAR point clouds into ground, vegetation, building, and others. More than 90% identification jobs will be done in a one-click process. Manual adjustments can be easily performed in a cross section view. It also provides comprehensive functionalities to generate accurate triangle meshes.
 
Software Suite lidar, bare earth, point cloud, classification
(0 rating)
3 Apr 2011 SAGA GIS

Description: SAGA GIS is a FOSS which is, besides common GIS tasks, specialized on digital terrain analysis. The software provides a lot of analysis tools which you will not find in any other software package, e.g. for morphometric or hydrologic analysis. SAGA supports various raster and vector (including LAS and SAGA point clouds) formats, DEM generation, analysis and visualization (e.g. 3D point cloud viewer, bare earth extraction). One of SAGA's main objectives is to provide scientists an easy to use API to implement own algorithms (C++) but it is also used in commercial environments. SAGA provides a GUI and can be scripted in various ways (e.g. batch/bash, python). SAGA runs on Windows, Linux and FreeBSD, both 32 and 64bit. The software is licensed under the GPL (GUI, most of the modules) and the LGPL (API).
 
Software Suite GIS, Terrain Analysis, Visualization, Raster, Vector, Pointcloud, LAS
(1 rating)
9 Nov 2011 FME

Description: FME empowers users at leading organizations worldwide to transform spatial data so that they can use and share it wherever, whenever, and however its needed. FMEs unmatched capabilities and support for 250+ spatial and non-spatial formats enable you to quickly overcome any challenge related to the use and sharing of spatial data, so you can focus your energies on your objectives, instead.

Specifically, FME supports LiDAR data formats, enabling you to leverage the wealth of information in your LiDAR assets by enabling you to quickly prepare your LiDAR data to suit your specific needs.

Safe Software, the maker of FME, is the pioneering global leader in the spatial data transformation technology market.

 
Data Management / Handling transform, convert, translate, extract, integrate, automated, repeatable
(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)
    20 Mar 2014 LIDAR Analyst

    Description: LIDAR Analyst® software is the premier feature extraction solution for airborne LIDAR data, allowing geospatial analysts to unlock the value of LIDAR by automatically extracting 3D objects such as bare earth, trees or buildings. Now the software has been upgraded with a major enhancement: an integrated 3D Viewer that delivers mission-critical high-resolution 3D exploitation and further establishes LIDAR Analyst as the Gold Standard. Enjoy the performance of viewing and manipulating LIDAR data containing over a billion points.
    LIDAR Analyst has eight years of proven heritage as one of the first commercially released LIDAR applications. The power, speed, accuracy and broad selection of tools enable users to get real work accomplished. Thats why LIDAR Analyst is so widely respected and used daily by military forces, federal agencies, local governments, academic universities and GIS services providers around the globe. Since LIDAR Analyst is an extension for Esri ArcGIS®, the products familiar environment makes it easy to install and learn.
    Use the 3D Viewer to manipulate, filter and edit LIDAR point clouds displayed in stunning color. Rapidly inventory all the buildings across a city or area of interest by using LIDAR Analysts advanced algorithms to detect, recognize, and extract complex 3D building shapes. Count the trees in a forest or scattered throughout a neighborhood. Strip away the buildings and shrubbery to reveal the true ground level for detailed terrain.

     
    Software Suite LIDAR, Automated Feature Extraction
    (1 rating)
    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)
    22 Feb 2014 RiverTools

    Description: RiverTools is a user-friendly GIS application that contains a wide variety of tools specifically designed for terrain and watershed analysis and visualization. Version 4.0 supports the latest versions of Windows, Mac OS X and Linux.
     
    Software Suite DEMs, terrain, river network extraction, contributing area, curvature
    (1 rating)
    9 Mar 2014 LiForest(LiDAR Forest Software)

    Description: LiForest (LiDAR software for forestry applications) provides a platform that enables users to freely manipulate the LiDAR point cloud and extract useful information specially for forest studies. It consists of several primary modules for LiDAR point cloud data processing, including point cloud I/O, LiDAR-based forest metric calculation, digital model generation, regression models and individual tree segmentation.
     
    Point Cloud Analysis Forest metrics, regression models, individual tree segmentation, point cloud segmentation
    (2 ratings)
    4 Sep 2014 GeoNet

    Description: Computational tool for the automatic extraction of channel networks and channel heads from high resolution topography
     
    DEM Analysis channel heads, channel networks, nonlinear filtering, geodesic curves, curvature analysis
    (2 ratings)
    5 Mar 2015 Global Mapper LiDAR Module

    Description: The Global Mapper LiDAR Module is an optional enhancement to the software that provides numerous advanced LiDAR processing tools, including automatic point cloud classification, feature extraction, cross-sectional viewing and editing, dramatically faster surface generation, and much more. At a fraction of the cost of comparable applications, it is a must-have for anyone using or managing LiDAR data.
     
    Visualization, Point Cloud Analysis automatic point cloud classification, feature extraction, cross-sectional viewing and editing, drama
    (0 rating)
    10 Mar 2015 Tiffs (Toolbox for Lidar Data Filtering and Forest Studies)

    Description: Tiffs (Toolbox for Lidar Data Filtering and Forest Studies) is a professional software that is highly automatic, very fast, and accurate in generating bare earth models, digital surface models, digital height models, and extracting forest information from individual trees to regional scales.

    Tiffs was featured in the cover of the 2007 February issue of Photogrammetric Engineering & Remote Sensing (PE&RS), the official journal of photogrammetry and geospatial society in the U.S. The core algorithms in Tiffs have won a couple of prestigious awards including the Best Paper Award in the Remote Sensing Specialty Group of Association of American Geographer in 2005. Most of the algorithms are published in the peer-reviewed journal PE&RS. The filtering algorithm was validated with the benchmark dataset provided by ISPRS (the International Society of Photogrammetry and Remote Sensing). The comparison with the other well-known algorithms showed that our algorithm achieved the best overall accuracy. The tree isolation method used a conquer-and-divided strategy and has the advantages of minimizing both omission (missing trees) and commission (overcounting trees) errors. The canopy structure estimation is based on an innovative metric called canopy geometric volume, which has solid scientific roots in plant allometry.

     
    Point Cloud Analysis, DEM generation, DEM Analysis, Data Management / Handling, Software Suite filtering; DEM; CHM; individual tree analysis; area-based analysis; statistical modeling
    (0 rating)
    21 Jul 2015 TopoToolbox

    Description: TopoToolbox is a suite of MATLAB functions for topographic analysis. The major aim of TopoToolbox is to offer helpful analytical GIS utilities in a non-GIS environment in order to support the simultaneous application of GIS-specific and other quantitative methods. Key methods include advanced methods of flow direction derivation, stream network extraction and manipulation, slope-area analysis, chiplots, and swath profiles.
     
    Visualization, DEM Analysis MATLAB, tectonic geomorphology, DEM analysis
    (0 rating)
    9 Apr 2013 LP360 for ArcGIS, LP360 for Windows

    Description: LP360 for ArcGIS is an extension to ArcMap that allows visualizing and processing of very large point clouds (LIDAR and dense image matching) in a familiar GIS desktop environment. Available in three levels of capability, LP360 provides tools from rapid visualization and derived product generation through advanced features such as automatic ground classification and building footprint extraction.

    LP360 adds to the native viewing capabilities of ArcGIS 10.1 by providing the capability to work with very large projects such as county-wide aerial LIDAR data sets. From Quality Check to advanced feature extractions, LP360 is the tool of choice for LIDAR professionals throughout the world.

     
    Visualization, Point Cloud Analysis, DEM generation, DEM Analysis, Software Suite LIDAR, Classification, Breaklines, Visualization, Automatic Extraction, Volumetric Analysis
    (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)
    18 Mar 2011 River Bathymetry Toolkit (RBT)

    Description: The (RBT) is available for free and is under active development. Tools exist for cutting cross sections and longitudinal profiles into high resolution DEMs to extract hydrologic parameters such as wetted area, bankfull width, hydraulic radius, gradient and sinuosity. It is possible to save the cross section properties as a ShapeFile and then add them to a map. Using an automated detrending algorithm we are able to remove the overall valley slope. Tools are being created that use the detrended raster to investigate flooding outside a main channel at any prescribed discharge or flow stage.
     
    Software Suite LiDAR, bathymetry, river, raster, detrending, water, RBT
    (0 rating)