On my way to the FunGIS LiDAR workshop in Cairns, I stopped in Adelaide to visit Airborne Research Australia. Flinders University recorded my talk on the capabilities for LiDAR processing with LAStools. In this introduction I use a recent project in the Canary islands, Spain, in Spring of 2012 as the example. We created canopy height maps, forest density grids with LAStools and showed that the LiDAR already owned by the municipal government agency could be used to significantly improve their photogrammetrically derived DTMs.
Here is a video of my talk at ELMF 2011 on “LASzip: lossless compression of LiDAR data”.
Airborne or mobile laser scanning technology (LiDAR) collects billions of xyz points that are typically stored in the LAS(er) format. LASzip is a lossless compressor to turn large LAS into smaller LAZ files. Encoding and decoding speeds are 1 to 4 millions points per second and compressed files are only 7 to 25 percent of the original size.Compression and decompression happen on-the-fly in a streaming manner and random-access is supported. A reference implementation unencumbered by patents or intellectual property concerns is freely available with an LGPL-license here.