[OSGeo-Standards] Q4 2015 REPORT: my OGC membership slot

Martin Isenburg martin.isenburg at gmail.com
Mon Dec 21 04:16:05 PST 2015


I have used my OGC membership slot to attend the second meeting of the
recently formed Point Cloud Domain Working Group that took place during the
December 2015 OGC TC meeting in Sydney, Australia. I gave a presentation
during which I first repeated our concern about LiDAR format fragmentation
and data lock-in via a proprietary storage format. I also outlined again
the technical steps that should be taken to avoid that by exploiting the
natural break in the LAS format due to LAS 1.4 (similar to [1] and [2]). I
went on explaining some of the technical details, first behind geometry
compression in general and then on a few of the choices that were made in
2009/2010 when the open source LASzip compressor was first designed.

A representative of ESRI also attended the meeting but did not present. We
did have a small personal chat but nothing of relevance was said and no
offer to any form of resolution was made.

On the contrary. Just a few days ago ESRI has released a new tool that
converts compressed LiDAR from the open LAZ format to their closed zLAS
format. An (intentionally funny) blog post on this "awakening of the dArc
Force" with a few more details is available on my personal company web
pages here:


I plan to use my OGC slot to point out this new development that suggests
that ESRI has no interest in finding a timely solution to avoid format
fragmentation. I therefore request for my OGC slot to be extended for
another six months.



PS: I also used my OGC slot to meet Cameron Shorter for the first time in
person. After the meeting he took me on a leisurely walk along the
waterfront showing me the Harbor bridge and the Opera House. (-:

[1] http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n52E6OM68UE
[2] http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gD4r_mprA6Q
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