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
19 Nov 2010 LViz: 3D LiDAR Visualization Tool

Description: LViz is a tool designed for 3D visualization of LiDAR point cloud and interpolated data, the tool offers import of LiDAR point cloud data (delimited text file) or interpolated surfaces (in ascii or arc ascii grid formats). LViz also offers texture mapping and user control over display settings such as data and background color. LViz was originally written for visualization of outputs from the GEON LiDAR Workflow system and is designed to run on Windows platforms. Although originally conceived for the 3D visualization of LiDAR data, LViz can be used to view any 3D point cloud data such as seismicity or gravity.
 
Visualization point cloud, lidar, viz, ascii
(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.
 
DEM generation point cloud, lidar, DEM, gridding, binning
(4 ratings)
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 Nov 2010 xyzRotatorDH

Description: A MATLAB script that takes an unreferenced 3-column xyz dataset (e.g., a TLS point cloud) and places it in a Cartesian global coordinate system (e.g., UTM) given at least one known global point (e.g. from a hand-held GPS unit).
 
Point Cloud Analysis rotation, translation, georeferencing, point cloud
(0 rating)
30 Nov 2010 xyzRotatorDH_Linux

Description: A Linux (Korn) shell script that takes an unreferenced 3-column xyz dataset (e.g., a TLS point cloud) and places it in a Cartesian global coordinate system (e.g., UTM) given at least one known global point (e.g. from a hand-held GPS unit).
 
Point Cloud Analysis rotation, translation, georeferencing, point cloud
(1 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)
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)
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)
    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)
    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)
    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)
    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 CHaMP Transformation Tool

    Description: The Ecogemorphology & Topographic Analysis Lab (ET-AL) and the RSGIS Laboratory developed this ArcGIS Add-in for the transformation and projection of CHaMP field survey data (Bouwes et al. 2011) into real world coordinates given hand-held GPS coordinates from just three benchmarks. The CTT will work with any unprojected data in a file geodatabase, and gives you multiple ways to do an afine transformation based on a simple shift and rotation. Although other transformation tools exist in ArcGIS, there is not a simple sequence of geoprocessing tools, which allow you to transform vector data in a manner that preserves the high relative accuracy of a total station survey. See Wheaton et al. (2012) and the ReadMe page for more background.
     
    Data Management / Handling transformation, georeferencing point cloud
    (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)
    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)
    30 Dec 2014 Potree

    Description: Potree is a free and open source WebGL based viewer for large point clouds. ( 20 billion and more )
    Some of its features include distance & area measurements, height profiles, clip volumes, various point rendering qualities (square, circle, interpolation, splats) and different types of materials.

     
    Visualization, Point Cloud Analysis WebGL, Viewer
    (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)
    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)
    19 Mar 2015 Civil Maps

    Description: Civil Maps allows users to upload their survey data, then specify the assets of interest and mapping specification. Upon upload, Civil Maps indexes all of the spatial information as defined in the mapping specification into a query-able format. The maps can then be dynamically generated on demand and exported to various tools such as AutoDesk Map3D from Civil Maps, which is useful for integrating into the customers workflow. The biggest pain point in the industry is the time to annotate 3D scans. Currently, processing huge 3D survey datasets is limited by the point­ and ­click annotation speed of the user and the limited resources of the users computer (I/O, CPU, Network, Memory).

    By circumventing these bottlenecks, Civil Maps is introducing a paradigm shift in the workflow of annotating 3D survey data. Advancements in parallel computing and deep learning allows Civil Maps to reduce 2 years of manual annotation work down to 2 days of processing using our cloud infrastructure

     
    Visualization, Point Cloud Analysis, Data Management / Handling deep learning, artificial intelligence, point cloud streaming protocol
    (0 rating)
    28 May 2015 LiVoxGen

    Description: LiVoxGen is a C++ program that voxelizes LiDAR data. It outputs a flat file containing voxel (volumetric pixel) information based on the user's parameters and may also output a flat file of metric information for the voxel column centroids. LiVoxGen's purpose is to analyze point densities and forest structure by dividing LiDAR data into voxels.
     
    Data Management / Handling LiDAR, voxels, free and open source software (FOSS)
    (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)
    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)
    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)
    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)
    7 Jul 2016 NERC-ARF 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
    (2 ratings)