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Point Cloud Formats

Point Cloud Formats

LiDAR data is freely available on the Internet, but good luck trying to get it into Civil 3D. The two most popular formats, from my observations, are LAZ and zLAS. LAZ is a compressed LAS, but that format is open-source, so Autodesk should include it. As things stand right now, you have to use LAStools to uncompress a LAZ. zLAS is an ESRI proprietary format. ESRI has a free "tool" for unlocking it to LAS.
Except for Tiff's, I've not run across ANY of these other supported file formats:

 

PointCloud3.pngPointCloud1.png

 

Dave

7 Comments

What are you asking for here: tools to decompress the LAZ file format and the ESRI zLAS file format, or for Civil 3D to use those files in their compressed state?

 

I would rather focus on more powerful tools for working with the Point Cloud data instead of on tools that duplicate existing decompression tools.

 

Regards,

Peter Funk
Sr Product Manager
Civil 3D
Autodesk, Inc.

Status changed to: Future Consideration
 
troma
Mentor

@Pointdump Your comments requested

Pointdump
Mentor

Peter,

 

Thank you for your comment.

 

"...focus on more powerful tools for working with the Point Cloud data instead of on tools that duplicate existing decompression tools."

 

OK, but how are you going to work on data if you can't bring that data into C3D? I guess that's my point. And I just do not understand why ReCap changes a perfectly usable LAS format into something that can't be used anywhere else. ReCap is an interesting Viewer, but at some point you have to DO SOMETHING with data to make it useful.

 

And how about those "existing" decompression tools? I certainly didn't find out ANYTHING about them from the Knowledge Network. If you want people to use an Autodesk product to work on point clouds, then you should provide some links to things like LAStools. You could put it like this:

Autodesk can't afford to spend time and money to make common formats usable in our products. Instead, go get this FREE program off the Internet...


Dave

 

dgorsman
Consultant

I think the point of the post was the design paradigm of ReCap: the ReCap program itself can reference many different data formats, and then the different AutoDesk products only need to implement the code for reading ReCap RCS and RCP formats.  Otherwise they would need to implement separate importers for LAS, LAZ, PTG, PTX, etc. for every AutoDesk product, and/or duplicating third-party efforts such as the ESRI tool you mentioned.  To me, implementing a common front-end is far more efficient use of development resources.

 

But your post doesn't really answer the question: tools to decompress the LAZ file format and the ESRI zLAS file format, or for Civil 3D to use those files in their compressed state?

Pointdump
Mentor

D,

 

"...tools to decompress the LAZ file format and the ESRI zLAS file format, or for Civil 3D to use those files in their compressed state?"

 

Both, I guess. I'm spotting a trend here that I think Autodesk should jump on. Aerial LiDAR (think drones) is the wave of the future for Topos. And being able to grab data quickly and use it for productive designs is kinda important.

 

ReCap, as far as C3D goes, is useless. It may have some fantastic abilities in BIM applications, but being able to nose around inside a building's point cloud is not useful for Civil Design. 

 

Dave 

Status changed to: Gathering Support
 

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