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 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)
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)
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)
    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)
    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)
    29 Jun 2017 PDAL Ground Classification Tool (GUI Enabled)

    Description: This is a GUI enabled version of the PDAL ground classification tool which supports both SMRF and PMF ground classification methods. It provides for automated ground return classification and supports both LAS and LAZ files. Code base is PDAL version 1.5 and has been compiled for 64-bit editions of Windows 7 or greater. All necessary exe's and DLL's are included in the installer.
    DEM generation, DEM Analysis, Data Management / Handling ground return classification PDAL SMRF PMF GUI automatic automated
    (0 rating)