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Soaring Through the (Point) Clouds

Kris Majury
January 18, 20112 min
It seems that every time we met up with spatial superheroes this past year

It seems that every time we met up with spatial superheroes this past year – whether at an FME User Meeting or industry event – LiDAR and point cloud data was a hot topic. As access to these datasets becomes more common and the price of acquisition drops, more and more of you are looking for a way to incorporate it into your workflows. You asked, we listened, and FME 2011 supports point clouds!

Readers and Writers – FME 2011 supports LAS (multiple versions), Pointools POD (Point database), XYZ ASCII.

Transformations – Your two most requested transformations were 2D clipping and surface modeling. In addition to these, you can translate formats, thin, reproject, split, clip, chip, combine, tile, and inspect data.

So, whether you need to generate a DEM or TIN and drape imagery and vector data over your surfaces, or clip out specific areas for further use, FME 2011 handles it with the same intuitive workflow you’re accustomed to. Classification filtering lets you manipulate different return types, or strip the data down to bare earth.

What are you using point cloud data for? Now that the tools are in place, tell us how you’re using them – or how you’d like to use them. Share your point cloud stories and plans to help us shape the vision for our 2012 development plan. And hey, maybe your story will get featured in an upcoming issue!

Learn more about point cloud data and FME at Dmitri’s Point Cloud Lab on FMEpedia at www.safe.com/PointCloudLab.

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