Tuesday, September 14, 2010

LIDAR Analyst 5.0 released

It has been a while since I have used LIDAR Analyst in ArcGIS. In very early days it had interesting features like building extractions, tree/forest extraction but it worked on images only. But that was long time ago. This release comes from Overwatch Systems.

Latest version reads typical inputs like LAS, ASCII, 3D shapefile and DEM and this is to be expected. Main features include:

  • Importing and processing LIDAR data returns in a variety of data formats including LAS, ASCII text, DEM, MrSID Compressed LAS, or point shape file
  • 100% automated 3D feature extraction
  • Simple, fast and accurate extraction of bare earth terrain
  • Extraction of 3D buildings with complex rooftops
  • Extraction of tree points and forest regions
  • Extraction of contour lines for depicting elevation
  • Terrain Analysis
  • Automated attribution for extracted features such as building height, orientation, roof type, stem diameter, crown width, etc.
  • Conversion tools for ASCII text and point shape file to LAS format
  • Exporting result features to KML file format to display in Google Earth™ and Microsoft Virtual Earth
  • Classification of LAS point clouds based on LIDAR Analyst extractions and user settings
  • Batch processing
  • Advanced 3D editing tools for manipulating vectors and terrain surfaces
  • Integration with ESRI’s Model Builder
Features I would be interested in testing would be automated feature extraction because I have seen cases where instead of squared buildings you end up with wacky shapes. This was the case in particular where point distance was larger (over 1.5 m). 

KML export could be an interesting one. Different clients handle different versions of KML differently. ArcGIS Explorer ignores unsupported tags (namely from 2.1 version of KML) but should use and render other tags.

As an Esri user I am interested in geoprocessing and Model Builder integration.  At this time there isn't much on this topic apart the quote in brochure:
Integration with ESRI's Model Builder provides true end-to-end geoprocessing capabilities.
Brochure for LIDAR Analyst is available here.

If you get an opportunity to test it or some of it's features I would like to hear from you.

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