[Qgis-developer] Lidar data into QGIS

isenburg martin.isenburg at gmail.com
Wed Jan 29 20:09:54 PST 2014


> Lidar data in LAS format are increasingly widespread. Leaving aside all 3D
> frenzy, we
> would be interested in simply displaying them in QGIS, with their useful
> attributes
> (classification and intensity), either with a native driver or through an
> available
> library.

I am *very* interested in supporting this in any way I can. My original
background is Computer Graphics so writing point rendering engines is
something I "should" be good at (makes you wonder, though, if you ever used
lasview) ... (-;

I have been spending a lot of time capacity building in the Asia / Pacific
region and the combination of QGIS and LAStools could be a much more useful
training tool if there was native LAS/LAZ visualization and simple editing
in QGIS. ESRI's ignorant move [1,2,3] on creating a new proprietary LiDAR
format puts this on the front-burner for several passionate geo-geeks.

I suggest to do this in a multi-step approach:

(1) single LAS/LAZ file support: biggest (initial) bang for this buck. a
relatively simple in-core point viewer with basic point inspecting,
coloring, and editing capacity. This alone would cause ripples. 

(2) area-of-interest selection from one/multiple LAS/LAZ files from a
corresponding map of boundary polygons and/or hillshade or intensity rasters
computes for the LiDAR

(3) long term: support for interactive browsing of entire LiDAR projects via
pyramiding and spatial indexing from (slightly-processed) folders of LAS/LAZ
or via a PDAL/PostGIS pipeline connection.

I would be excited to get personally involved starting on (1) followed by
(2) asap. The OSGeo Code Sprint in Vienna would seem like the perfect
gathering to get a skeleton functionality in place as several names in this
thread are listed to show up there.

[1] http://rapidlasso.com/2013/12/30/new-compressed-las-format-by-esri/
[2] http://blog.lidarnews.com/esri-announces-las-compression
[3] http://boundlessgeo.com/2014/01/lidar-format-wars/

> All the licensing issues around libLAS/LSTools are a bit obscure to me, so
> I
> wonder if someone has already dealt with this.

My bad, sorry for that. In preparation for a new feature release I have
simplified the license and the wording for LAStools / LASlib / LASzip (or so
I hope).


Hope to see many of you in Vienna.

Martin @LAStools

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