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LP360 2020.1 Coming Soon!

Author: Lewis Graham, April 8, 2020

We will soon be releasing LP360 version 2020.1.  While a lot of work has been put in to LP360 to support our new True View product line (forming True View Evo), we have not been neglecting our core LP360 product. As we move forward, the standalone Windows 64 bit version of LP360 has come to dominate our user base. The old ArcGIS 32 bit platform just can’t support modern dense point clouds and ArcGIS Pro does not yet support a robust third party programmer’s interface.  That said, LP360 2020.1 will run with ArcGIS 10.x.

New Features in LP360 2020.1

Among the new features coming in LP360 are:

  • Improved our automatic ground classification for the high density point clouds characteristic of new airborne laser scanners (ALS) and particularly drone LIDAR systems such as the True View 410
  • Implemented a new point cloud smoothing algorithm that reduces the noise envelop in LIDAR data. This is quite useful for hard surface work such as roadways.  A detailed look is provided later in this note
  • Improved the noise filter for classifying low and isolated points. While the Quanergy M8 Ultra that we in the True View 410 has very little noise, other scanners such as the Velodyne systems often have clusters of low and isolated points that need to be removed prior to ground classification.
  • Proximity Classifier – this new Point Cloud Task allows classification of points based on their “nearness” to other points as well as attributes of the “proximity” points. This is useful for a number of scenarios, most especially repetitively working the same site.  It allows you to essentially copy the classification from one point cloud to another using a “closeness” (proximity) criteria.
  • Full affine transform functionality for modifying point clouds. We usually use this tool for debiasing LIDAR data but it now supports 3D Translate, Scale and Rotate reprojections
  • Simple Map Grid added to the Map View. This makes it much easier to quickly assess distances and areas without resorting to the measure tools
  • Edge of Flight line Flag added to the True View Evo/LP360 Live View filter. This is quite nice for visualizing the edge of flight lines while hiding the interior portions.  It is essentially a raster footprint of the flight lines.
  • Numerous defect (“bug”) fixes

The new data smoothing algorithm will prove to be an extremely valuable tool for improving (i.e. decreasing) the noise level of point clouds, particularly on hard surfaces.  This new point cloud task is available in:

  • LP360, Advanced
  • LP360, sUAS
  • True View Evo

One very nice aspect of this smoothing filter is there are no parameters to adjust – it automatically adapts to the terrain on which it is applied.   As an example of the utility of this new filter, consider the raw, unfiltered Velodyne VLP-16 data of Figure 1.  The profile and 3D views are centered on a concrete apron of the Map View (upper left of Figure 1).  The grid in the profile view is spaced at 10 cm.  The data in the 3D view are rendered as a triangulated irregular network (TIN).  The relatively high noise of these data are readily apparent in the two views. This level of noise is typical of the Velodyne sensors (about 30 cm or so, peak to peak).

Raw LVP 16 Point Cloud On Hard Surface
Figure 1: Raw VLP-16 point cloud on a hard surface

In Figure 2 is depicted the same scene after applying the LP360 Point Cloud Smoothing (“Smoothing, Point Cloud”) algorithm.  Note the peak to peak noise in the profile view has been reduced to well under 5 cm!  You can see the smoothing effect in the 3D view where we now have a relatively noise-free surface.

VLP 16 Data After Smoothing In LP360
Figure 2: VLP-16 data after smoothing in LP360

Unlike many other smoothing implementations, this new algorithm can usually be applied to unclassified data and in a global fashion.  It is like a software upgrade for noisy scanners such as the Velodyne.

We will be releasing the latest version of LP360 within the next 6 weeks or so.  Those of you on current software maintenance will receive this update at no additional charge. 

Type: Articles, News
Categories: Resources
Topics: LP360

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