MapInfo Pro

 View Only

MapInfo Monday: LiDAR Analysis

  • 1.  MapInfo Monday: LiDAR Analysis

    Posted 10-31-2022 06:43
    Happy #MapInfoMonday!

    In today's post, we will look at loading Point Cloud data into MapInfo Pro using the LiDAR Surface Analysis tool​. This tool allows you to convert Point Cloud (LAS and LAZ) files into a digital elevation model in the form of a raster grid.

    Here is an example of the resulting elevation grid. The raster grid below has a cell size of 1 meter. The resolution of the final raster grid partly depends on the number of points per square meter in the input LiDAR files. MapInfo Pro can help you determine a reasonable cell size from the input files.

    You find the LiDAR Surface Analysis tool in the LiDAR Tools dropdown on the Raster tab or via the LiDAR Surface control on the Map tab.

    You will have to select the input files in the form of individual files or folders. In my example, I have selected an entire folder of LAZ files to use. The files in the folder should have the same structure and coordinate system. You will have to specify these settings per group of files as you can see below.

    You also have to select one or more columns for processing. Typically, you will at least select the elevation or Z column that holds the elevation for the points measured.

    You can however select other columns too. Often LiDAR point files hold additional information of which some can be useful in the resulting raster grid. You could for example decide to also include the Red, Green, and Blue columns that typically would hold a color value that together would make it possible to visualize the raster grid as an image. This does of course require that your Point Cloud files hold this color information.

    Once you have configured the files to use, click OK to get back to the main LiDAR Analysis window.

    Now it's time to configure the processing of the selected files.

    First, you have to select the type of surface you are looking for. In my example, I have selected Top Surface which is similar to a Digital Surface Model (DSM) with buildings and vegetation.

    Then you have to configure the calculation by setting the Maximum Triangle Size and the Cell Size. I chose to go with the suggested values.

    Also, remember to specify the name of the resulting raster grid.

    I have chosen 100 LAZ files with a total size of 3.15 GB.

    Click Process to start processing the data.

    After some time, the resulting raster grid will be opened into a map window. The resulting raster grid is just shy of 0.5GB in MRR format.

    The white areas you can see inside the raster grid are areas where the density of the LiDAR points isn't high enough to interpolate a value. This causes the triangle sides to get too big compared to the Maximum Triangle Size set earlier.

    LiDAR processing has been discussed earlier on the MapInfo Community. Try searching for it via the Search field in the top left corner. MapInfo Pro also comes with dedicated tools for analyzing Tree Canopies using LiDAR data.

    If you are using LiDAR data, we would love to hear more about what you are using it for.

    Peter Horsbøll Møller
    Principal Presales Consultant | Distinguished Engineer
    Precisely | Trust in Data