[OSGeoLive] LAS libraries are going away

Jim Klassen jklassen at sharedgeo.org
Mon Apr 10 19:00:28 PDT 2023

I don't know that I can make the meeting, but as a contributor to 
OSGeoLive, a Debian user, and as someone who regularly works with 
point-cloud data, I have a few comments:

There are several existing FLOSS LAZ libraries (laszip, laz-perf and 
laz-rs for example).  I'm not sure about what, if anything, supports 
full waveform data as that hasn't been important for my work.  I'm sure 
the LAZ specification is floating around somewhere, but on a quick 
search I hit a lot of broken links. My understanding is laz-perf (C++) 
and laz-rs (Rust) are meant to be cleaner and more performant 
implementations when compared to the original laszip library.  I'm not 
sure if any of these libraries (or PDAL) meet your needs, but I would 
recommend at least considering using/expanding on what exists before 
committing to reinventing the wheel.

My understanding is that PDAL and friends were removed from DebianGIS 
for non-technical reasons, but that PDAL is still currently packaged in 
the UbuntuGIS PPA that is used by OSGeoLive.  So, I don't see a reason 
why their removal from DebianGIS would have to impact OSGeoLive.  I 
don't see laszip packaged in UbuntuGIS, but that may not be that 
important.  I know PDAL has transitioned from using laszip to using 
laz-perf, and that many other applications have transitioned to using 
PDAL over using liblas/laszip directly (for similar reasons to why 
applications tend to use GDAL instead of using libtiff/libgeotiff directly).

Overall, for OSGeoLive, the big thing I see is that the recent work of 
getting point-cloud support into QGIS, along with the ability to access 
large, freely available point-cloud datasets hosted by USGS and many 
others in EPT format (via QGIS's use of PDAL) is transformative in 
enabling people to easily work with these (generally very large) 
datasets that previously had a high barrier of entry due to the 
necessary levels of storage, compute, and steep learning curve.  I 
believe being able to showcase this functionality in OSGeoLive is 
important to educating people on what can be achieved with the current 
state of the projects under the OSGeo umbrella.

The one potential catch here is with PDAL and friends removed from 
DebianGIS, the DebianGIS packages that had optional dependencies on 
these packages will be configured to build without them.  I don't know 
if/how this may flow into UbuntuGIS, but I would suggest that we should 
make sure that the support for PDAL and friends remains enabled in the 
UbuntuGIS PPA.  If the issue here is "simply" packaging, I may be 
willing to help with that.

On 4/10/23 19:35, Vicky Vergara wrote:
> Hi, I think on wednesday we have a meeting, maybe you can join and 
> explain the problem there?
> On Wed, Apr 5, 2023 at 12:52 AM Pierre Abbat <phma at bezitopo.org> wrote:
>     https://bugs.debian.org/cgi-bin/pkgreport.cgi?archive=both;src=cloudcompare
>     LASzip and PDAL are still in Jammy, but will be removed from
>     Bookworm. The
>     next version of Ubuntu after Bookworm is released will presumably
>     not have
>     them either. I have written code that reads and writes LAS files,
>     up to version
>     1.4 (editions of 1.4 have increased the set of classes of points,
>     which I've
>     tried to keep up with). Would anyone be willing to help me with
>     the following?
>     *Finding a specification of the LAZ format, or if there is none,
>     reverse-
>     engineering the format and writing a specification so that I can
>     write code.
>     Wolkenbase, the program I wrote the LAS writing code for, reads
>     LAS files in
>     random access; this may not be possible in a compressed LAZ file.
>     *Writing code to read and write waveform data. I have no LAS files
>     with
>     waveform data, and they are not important to what I'm doing.
>     *Turning the code into a library that other programs can use. I've
>     written a
>     few C++ libraries, but none that, as far as I know, are used by
>     someone else's
>     code.
>     Pierre
>     -- 
>     The gostak pelled at the fostin lutt for darfs for her martle plave.
>     The darfs had smibbed, the lutt was thale, and the pilter had
>     nothing snave.
>     _______________________________________________
>     osgeolive mailing list
>     osgeolive at lists.osgeo.org
>     https://lists.osgeo.org/mailman/listinfo/osgeolive
> _______________________________________________
> osgeolive mailing list
> osgeolive at lists.osgeo.org
> https://lists.osgeo.org/mailman/listinfo/osgeolive
-------------- next part --------------
An HTML attachment was scrubbed...
URL: <http://lists.osgeo.org/pipermail/osgeolive/attachments/20230410/3de76374/attachment.htm>

More information about the osgeolive mailing list