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 to supply updates or modifications to its entry.
Date   Tool Name Tool Type Keywords Rating
8 Mar 2011 BCAL LiDAR Tools

Description: BCAL LiDAR Tools are open-source tools developed by Idaho State University, Boise Center Aerospace Laboratory (BCAL). These tools can be used for processing, analyzing and visualizing LiDAR data. They are written in IDL programming language and is intended to be used as add-on in the ENVI remote sensing software package.
Software Suite lidar, visualization, filtering, value-added products
(1 rating)
13 Aug 2011 Point Cloud Library (PCL

Description: The Point Cloud Library (or PCL) is a large scale, open project for point cloud processing.

The PCL framework contains numerous state-of-the art algorithms including filtering, feature estimation, surface reconstruction, registration, model fitting and segmentation.

PCL is released under the terms of the BSD license and is open source software. It is free for commercial and research use. The project is financially supported by multiple companies, including: Willow Garage, NVidia, Google, and Toyota

Point Cloud Analysis point clouds, visualization, processing, segmentation, filtering, feature estimation, registration
(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)
    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)
    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)
    4 Aug 2015 FUSION

    Description: The FUSION/LDV analysis and visualization system consists of two main programs, FUSION and LDV (LIDAR data viewer), and a collection of task-specific command line programs. The primary interface, provided by FUSION, consists of a graphical display window and a control window. The FUSION display presents all project data using a 2D display typical of geographic information systems. It supports a variety of data types and formats including shapefiles, images, digital terrain models, canopy surface models, and LIDAR return data. LDV provides the 3D visualization environment for the examination and measurement of spatially-explicit data subsets. Command line programs provide specific analysis and data processing capabilities designed to make FUSION suitable for processing large LIDAR acquisitions.

    Command line utilities and processing programs, called the FUSION LIDAR Toolkit or FUSION-LTK, provide extensive processing capabilities including bare-earth point filtering, surface fitting, data conversion, and quality assessment for large LIDAR acquisitions. These programs are designed to run from a command prompt or using batch programs.

    FUSION runs on all current versions of Windows and has been successfully used on LINUX systems using WINE. The FUSION/LDV visualization system is GUI based. The command line tools require the use of batch files to be most effective.

    Visualization, Point Cloud Analysis, DEM generation, DEM Analysis, Software Suite LIDAR, visualization, processing
    (1 rating)