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
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)
18 Aug 2011 Makai Voyager

Description: Makai Voyager is an advanced 3D/4D visualization platform that allows you to fly anwhere in the world to view geospatial data, including: terrain imagery, elevation, LIDAR, volumetric and flow data, and more.
 
Visualization visualization, terrain, lidar, volume
(0 rating)
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)
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)
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:
http://whiteboxgeospatial.wordpress.com/2014/03/16/working-with-lidar-data-in-whitebox-gat/

 
Software Suite GIS, LAS file reader, interpolation, geospatial analysis
(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)
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)
18 Jan 2016 Landlab

Description: Landlab is a Python-based modeling environment that allows scientists and students to build numerical landscape models. Landlab was designed for disciplines that quantify earth surface dynamics such as geomorphology, hydrology, glaciology, and stratigraphy, but can also be used in related fields.

Landlab provides components to compute flows (such as water, sediment, glacial ice, volcanic material, or landslide debris) across a gridded terrain. With its robust, reusable components, Landlab allows scientists to quickly build landscape model experiments and compute mass balance across scales.

 
DEM Analysis, Software Suite model, water, erosion, routing
(0 rating)
6 Jul 2016 terrainShadingMask

Description: terrainShadingMask is a free collection of terrain masks for various locations. They are given in geometrical (.obj files) and textual (.hor files) forms.
A terrain shading mask is a diagram which maps the silhouette of the surrounding terrain (hills, valleys, mountains, tree tops...) around the chosen location.
Building simulation softwares (IES VE, Trnsys 3D, Design Builder...) can use the .obj geometry files, while solar-photovoltaic-thermal software (PV*SOL, PVsyst...) can use .hor files.

 
Visualization, DEM Analysis terrain, shading, mask, profile, horizon, hor, angle, Meteonorm, PVSOL, PVsyst, IES VE, Trnsys 3D, Design Builde
(0 rating)
12 Jan 2017 planlauf/TERRAIN

Description: planlauf/TERRAIN is an easy-to-use application for Windows 7/8/10 to visualize Digital Elevation Models. It uses state-of-the-art techniques from the gaming industry like 'Mesh Decimation', 'Normal Mapping' and 'Level of Detail' to reduce the size of the models significantly while preserving the visual details of the original model. A 30 day trial version without any restrictions is available.
 
Visualization, DEM Analysis
(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)