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
20 Nov 2010 libLAS

Description: libLAS is a C/C++ library for reading and writing the very common LAS LiDAR format. The ASPRS LAS format is a sequential binary format used to store data from LiDAR sensors and by LiDAR processing software for data interchange and archival. First, libLAS focuses almost completely on providing an easy-to-program-with library for software developers wishing to implement the LAS specification in their own software. Second, libLAS exists to provide a truly open source library. Third, libLAS exists to provide advanced functionality and concentrate almost solely on the specification  not LiDAR data processing in general. libLAS a building block for developers to use to implement their own LiDAR data processing when working with ASPRS LAS data.
Data Management / Handling LAS, point cloud, libLAS
(0 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)
7 May 2011 DielmoOpenLidar

Description: DielmoOpenLiDAR is an open source software with GNU GPL license based in gvSIG for the management of LiDAR data. It allows access, visualization and analysis of the original LiDAR data, toguether with the possibility of visualizing at the same time big volumes (hundreds of GigaBytes) of original LiDAR data (irregular points in formats LAS and BIN) along with other geographic data. In the near future, it will also generate basic final products such as (DSM, DTM, intensity images, etc) and new added value final products.

Developing open source software for the management of LiDAR data, we hope to make this technology more accessible to standard GIS users and scientific communities, having as final objective increase the use of LiDAR data.

For developing this application, we had the collaboration of the Regional Valencia Council for Infrastructures and Transportation - CIT and National Geographic Institute of Spain - IGN

Point Cloud Analysis pointcloud, visualization, data management analysis
(0 rating)
9 Jun 2011 MCC-LIDAR

Description: Multiscale Curvature Classification of ground returns in 3-D lidar point clouds (las files), designed for forested environments
Point Cloud Analysis classification, filter, curvature, ground, interpolation
(0 rating)
3 Nov 2011 CloudCompare

Description: CloudCompare is a 3D point cloud and triangular mesh processing software. It has been originally designed to perform fast cloud/cloud or cloud/mesh comparison on huge datasets such as those acquired by laser scanners). Afterwards, it has been extended to a more generic 3D data editing and processing software.
Point Cloud Analysis 3D point cloud mesh comparison editing processing lidar laser scanner
(2 ratings)
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)
    24 May 2012 SPD Software Library (SPDLib)

    Description: SPDLib is a set of open source software tools for processing laser scanning data (i.e., LiDAR), including both discrete return and waveform data captured from airborne and terrestrial platforms. The aim of the software is provide you, the user, with the tools you need to process these data. The software has grown from research carried out at Aberystwyth University and Queensland University concerning the processing of LiDAR data for vegetation analysis and has continued to grow. One of the key features which differentiates this software from other LiDAR software is the ability to process and store full waveform datasets alongside traditional discrete return data
    Software Suite SPD, SPDLib, LiDAR, TLS, ALS, Full, waveform, Discrete, return, points
    (0 rating)
    27 May 2014 Whitebox Geospatial Analysis Tools

    Description: Whitebox GAT is a full-blown GIS with extensive analysis capabilities for handling LiDAR data, including specialized interpolation algorithms for LAS data, removal of off-terrain objects, and plenty of tools for processing DEMs, e.g. hydrological tools, geomorphometry, etc. Here is a description for handling LiDAR:

    Software Suite GIS, LAS file reader, interpolation, geospatial analysis
    (0 rating)
    25 Nov 2014 PointCloudViz Free Edition

    Description: PointCloudViz is a free 3D LiDAR display and processing tool supporting input LAS, LAZ and ASCII formats. It provides very interactive visualization and attribute symbology without data size limits, as well as single or multiple orthoimage draping and grid DEM export.
    LiDAR data can be imported from multiple files, and also multiple processed datasets can be displayed simultaneously.
    PointCloudViz FE is available for Windows, Mac and Linux operating systems.
    Version 2.0 includes linear measurement and information tools, Web Map Service image draping and connection to Mirage's Web LiDAR server.

    Visualization, DEM generation 3D, LiDAR, DEM, orthoimage, WMS, LiDAR server
    (0 rating)
    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)
    6 May 2016 LIDAR Widgets

    Description: LIDAR Widgets is a suite of programs that will process LAS/LAZ point files and generate 3D terrain models and contour maps. Output formats include AutoCAD DXF, ESRI ArcInfo grids, and QwtPlot3D viewable meshes with real-time pan, zoom and rotation. Converts LAS/LAZ point clouds into DXF point clouds. Also batch converts LAS/LAZ files into viewable mesh files, contour maps, 3D models, DXF point clouds or ArcInfo meshes.
    Visualization, Point Cloud Analysis, DEM generation, DEM Analysis, Data Management / Handling, Software Suite contour map, mesh, grid, DXF, AutoCAD, ArcInfo, ESRI, point cloud, terrain, LAS, LAZ
    (0 rating)
    7 Jul 2016 ARSF DEM Scripts

    Description: A collection of scripts developed by the Natural Environment Research Council (NERC) Airborne Research Facility Data Analysis Node (NERC-ARF-DAN; formerly ARSF) for generating DEMs from point clouds.
    Through command line tools or Python functions the ARSF DEM Scripts provide a common interface to generate DSMs or DTMs from LAS files using GRASS, SPDLib, points2grid, FUSION or LAStools. When using SPDLib, FUSION or LAStools will classify ground returns to produce a DTM (note license required to produce a DTM using LAStools).
    Additional utilities are available for manipulating DEMs (e.g., patching with a courser resolution DEM to fill in gaps) using GRASS.

    DEM generation DTM, DSM, LAS, GRASS
    (1 rating)
    21 Nov 2014 fleurdelas

    Description: The fleurdelas class is an IDL/ENVI implementation of a LAS file reader/writer. The class object can read, write and manipulate points and/or full waveforms contained in the binary LAS file format. It can handle any LAS 1.0, 1.1, 1.2, 1.3 and 1.4 with point format from 0 to 10. This class object therefore is very well suited to access the point structure information or the waveform information for further process. It can also filter the point cloud and generate new LAS file. However, if you need to manipulate; the Variable Length Records or the Coordinates System we will recommend you to use LAStools as it is more adapted for this purpose.
    Visualization, Point Cloud Analysis, Data Management / Handling las, idl, envi, waveform, point
    (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)