[pdal] COPC

Howard Butler howard at hobu.co
Mon Aug 23 07:03:24 PDT 2021


The Hobu, Inc. team has recently been developing an extension of the LAZ 1.4 format called COPC – Cloud Optimized Point Cloud – that seeks to cover the niche of single-file, spatially organized point cloud that can be remotely accessed. Inspired by Cloud Optimized GeoTIFF, COPC augments an LAZ file by providing EPT hierarchy organization in the VLRs of the file, along with dynamically chunked LAZ storage. This design property allows remote clients to be able to range-read through the file over HTTP. 

We currently have a draft specification https://copc.io/DRAFT-SPEC.html and example Autzen file, and we know of a few folks implementing readers for the format. If this is of interest to you, please provide comments on the specification at the GitHub page. Our goal is to make it as simple as possible.

Some features of COPC include:

* It's just a LAZ 1.4 file. No need to implement a special reader if all you care about is the point cloud content without organization.
* It contains EPT-like hierarchy information as VLRs that smarter clients can used to navigate the file without fetching all of it.

We expect to implement reader capability in the next PDAL release to take advantage of COPC files, and we hope to see COPC support land in things like Potree, EPT-tools, and commercial products like Safe FME in the near future. If you are interested in supporting the effort through funding or an implementation, please contact us.


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