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
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)
24 Nov 2010 GRASS GIS (Geographic Resources Analysis Support System)

Description: GRASS is free Geographic Information System (GIS) software used for geospatial data management and analysis, image processing, graphics/maps production, spatial modeling, and visualization. GRASS is currently used in academic and commercial settings around the world, as well as by many governmental agencies and environmental consulting companies. GRASS is an official project of the Open Source Geospatial Foundation.

GRASS has a number of functions related to lidar and high-resolution DEM processing and analysis. lidar specific elements of GRASS are discussed here:

Software Suite grass, gis, osgeo
(0 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)
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)
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)
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)
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 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)
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)
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)
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)