April 11, 2019

Meshing point clouds faster in Surpac

Point cloud processing – 2D “speed” Meshing.   Point cloud processing in…
Avatar Ash Colton

Point cloud processing – 2D “speed” Meshing.

Point cloud processing in Surpac has been around since Surpac 6.8 and is continuing to evolve functionality (Current version is Surpac 2019). We are now starting to see some very large clouds being processed (4GB was the latest – 155 million point .las file), and whilst Surpac has no trouble displaying such a cloud (Reasonable hardware required – My laptop with 2GB graphics card and 32GB RAM does the job nicely) it can sometimes struggle to create a DTM of it.

The first question that needs to be asked is, are all 155 million points necessary? In this example, the area covered was 380,000m2 which works out to be roughly 400 points per square meter.

The second question that needs to be asked is, will I be able to do anything with this file even if I can mesh it? Even if this was possible (and given the right hardware it would be), the resulting DTM would be enormous and performing volume calculations or any further functions would be impossible.

With this in mind, I have created a workflow which meshes point clouds much faster. All that is required is a small amount of prep work to create a series of polygons that cover the area you want to mesh. (We have macros to assist if required.)

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