[OSGeo-Standards] REPORT: my OGC membership slot

Martin Isenburg martin.isenburg at gmail.com
Thu Nov 26 04:23:26 PST 2015


I would like to use the "free (waived) meeting registrations for up to 1
person per Technical Committee Meeting" that OSGeo receives as part of
their OGC membership package to attend the nect OGC TC in Sydney and
present at the Point Cloud Domain Working Group meeting on Thursday (03
December) at 10:45 am (local Sydney time).

I plan to introduce the current design choices of the existing open source
LASzip LiDAR compressor for LAS 1.0 to LAS 1.4 (compatibility) and an
outlook on what is currently planned for LAS 1.4 (native)

The deadline for registration is tomorrow (27th) and it seems that free
(waived) meeting registrations to the TC that OSGeo receives is still up
for grabs. May I use it? If I do not hear anyone protesting within the next
24 hours I will conclude that this slot is available for me.



On Fri, Sep 18, 2015 at 6:31 PM, Martin Isenburg <martin.isenburg at gmail.com>

> Hello,
> I have used my OGC membership slot to remote-attend the ad-hoc meeting on
> Point Clouds at the OGC TC meeting in Boulder and give a presentation on
> the 5 steps I consider necessary to avoid the LiDAR point cloud
> fragmentation that the OSGeo had warned about in their Open Letter [1].
> Because the quality of my Internet connection was so poor I re-recorded a
> version of my talk [2] and submitted it as additional content for this
> weeks OGC TC meeting in Nottingham where I became a charter member of the
> newly formed Point Cloud Domain Working Group [3]. Due to INTERGEO I was
> not able to (remote-)attend this in person but I have taken the time to
> listen through the entire 2:40 hour long video recording and gave comments
> to the presentations that I send to the OGC PC-DWG today. These are
> included at the end. I do plan to attend the TC in Sydney in person.
> Another curious thing is that I (and the open source license LGPL) was
> attacked vehemently in a recent column called "Open Source Mania" by Lewis
> Graham that was published in the LiDAR News magazine. Viewer discretion
> advised and parental guidance suggested ... you will not like this FUD
> attack:
> http://www.lidarmag.com/PDF/LiDARNewsMagazine_Graham-OpenSourceMania_Vol5No4.pdf
> Regards,
> Martin
> [1] http://wiki.osgeo.org/wiki/LIDAR_Format_Letter
> [2] http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n52E6OM68UE
> [3] http://www.opengeospatial.org/point-cloud-dwg (older version)
> -----
> to:         pointcloud.DWG at lists.opengeospatial.org
> date:     Fri, Sep 18, 2015 at 6:01 PM
> subject: comments on Point Cloud DWG meeting at TC in Nottingham
> Hello,
> Sorry that I was not able to make it. The networks at INTERGEO were
> overloaded and the show busy and loud. Remember, the main objective of the
> OSGeo is to prevent the "spread" of large quantities of "pseudo open" point
> clouds in closed proprietary formats such as RAR, MrSID, or zLAS using the
> 5 step plan outlined here to prevent format fragmentation by LAZ and zLAS:
> http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n52E6OM68UE
> We have already "failed" the government of Slovenia that was either
> tricked or misinformed about how to implement "open data" and is currently
> distributing their entire national LiDAR data set in a closed point cloud
> format.
> I have just listened to the 2:40 hour long video of the Point Cloud DWG
> meeting from the OGC TC in Nottingham. Than you for providing it. Below my
> comments on some presentations.
> 1) "Serving_LiDAR_thru_existing_OGC_Services", Scott Pakula, Pixia
> I agree that there are better ways to serve up LiDAR than ftp links and if
> existing OGC protocols can enhance the user exprience that is great. But
> too much of this talk seemed to advocate that we *need* a better user
> experience and that sounds more like a business opportunity based upon the
> distributed point data. I do not require my government to provide me
> anything more than a functional area-of-interest query to access my
> tax-payer collected point data - even if it as simple as some open layers
> shapefiles pointing to a ftp site.
> The download capability of the OpenTopography portal alone, for example,
> is a great example for a simple, useful, and widely popular LiDAR portal.
> Everything beyond that can be done by those that care about providing
> better user experiences and those can be great business models. But I do
> not see why the OGC needs to have any say in one particular user experience
> over another other than advocating all of them to be based on open
> standards. Also ... for future slides: It's capitalized LAStools and LASzip
> ... (-:
> 2) "The ASTM E57 File Format for 3D Imaging Data Exchange", Gene Roe,
> Lidarnews
> E57 is a great standard and heavily used in terrestrial LiDAR projects by
> many in this industry. Adding compression to E57 is certainly useful. But
> there are some inaccurate statements on slide 4. PTS and PTX are ASCII
> formats and thus - by definition - *not* proprietary. Better examples would
> have been MrSID and zLAS. Here a definition of what a proprietary format is:
> http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Proprietary_format
> That LAZ is not listed on the "How Do People Store 3D Data Today?" slide
> despite the fact that pretty much all large LAS collection being hosted as
> LAZ will not surprise anyone who followed the "LAZ clone" controversy. Over
> the past two years I have regularly lamented that part of why ESRI seemed
> to get away with forcing yet another proprietary format upon us was the
> bias in the reporting of (sponsor-financed) geospatial media outlets that
> was improperly informing their readership. Gene had the most notorius
> record of all in reporting every incremental advance of the "LAZ clone" on
> Lidarnews while ignoring the screaming controversy. The inaccuracies on
> slide 4 suggest that this bias continues, so I have little choice but to
> advise taking his statements on other formats with a grain of salt.
> Another inaccuracy is the claim that LAS does not allow extensions. I have
> been part of the process of adding the "extra bytes" concept into the LAS
> 1.4 specification that allows a user-defined and documented addition of new
> per-point attributes.
> That said, I really must complement Gene and his colleagues on their
> amazing achievement with E57. It is of great use to the industry as I have
> just witnessed first hand at INTERGEO. But I wish Gene could see the E57
> format as a complement (not a competition) to the LAS/LAZ format for the
> (many) situations where the much simpler LAS format is not sufficient -
> such as storing multiple scans positions in a terrestrial project or
> co-registered imagery.
> 3) "OGC WCS: Format-independent Point Cloud Services", Peter Baumann,
> Jacobs University
> Great presentation. Not much to add. Except that the coordinate resolution
> in the GML encoding on slide 4 makes me really worry. Given their values
> those seem to be projected xyz coordinates and writing them down with 15
> digits after the decimal points (=> that is the unit of femtometers [fm], a
> typical length-scale of nuclear physics as the radius of the gold nucleus
> is approximately 8.45 fm) reminds me of this story:
> http://rapidlasso.com/2015/09/02/england-releases-national-lidar-dem-with-insane-vertical-resolution/
> 4) IQumulus, Jan Boehm, UCL
> Great presentation. Only comment. LASzip will also compress any additional
> per-point attributes stored to a LAS file. How well depends on the
> resolution and how coherent the attribute is stored. But compression will
> not suffer as much as suggested.
> 5) "Point Cloud Photogrammetry", Jean-Baptiste Henry, Thales Group
> Two small comments: (1) We can add "confidence values" to ech point to
> LAS/LAZ via the "Extra Bytes" functionality. (2) Do not overestimate the
> "suitfulness" of the ASPRS LAS Working Group (LWG) as a standardization
> body to co-operate with. The current LWG is a notoriously untransparent
> groups with an unratified working protocol written overnight that has no
> established procedures such as record keeping / votings process  / regular
> meetings / or anything else that are core to a normal standardization body.
> 6) "Management and direct use of massive point clouds". Edward Verbree, TU
> Delft
> I agree that we need a point cloud *Web service* that could potentially
> offer multi-resolution access. This is a completely orthogonal to the OSGeo
> request for distributing point clouds only in *open* formats. Such a
> service could either operate from a data base but also a folder of point
> clouds stored in either LAS / LAZ / E57 /PTS / XYZ files (optionally at
> multiple resolutions) or some other open point cloud format current or
> future.
> There was a *wrong* statement at 2:20:25, some mumbling about a"full
> commercial package"? That was quite missleading. LASzip is 100% and open
> source but TU Delft has in addition decided to license rapidlasso's
> LAStools software academically for some of the more complex operations but
> the LAZ format has absolutely no dependence on that.
> Regards,
> Martin (to the best of my knowledge and on behalf of OSGeo)
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