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True View EVO:
The Point Cloud Swiss Army Knife

Author: Lewis Graham, September 4, 2020

Every True View sensor includes a version of True View EVO, our post-processing software. The primary function of EVO, of course, is to post-process data from the True View sensor.  For sensors that include a positioning system, this includes that portion of the workflow as well.  This is very nice because you do not have to leave our post-processing environment to engage with a tool such as POSPac (the Applanix software for post-processing APX position and orientation data) – it’s just built in.

If you are using a True View 3D Imaging Sensor (3DIS), the output is a stunning 3D LIDAR point cloud colorized by the True View 3DIS dual mapping cameras.  These data can be used in any downstream software that can ingest colorized point cloud data in LAS format (which is just about all engineering and GIS software these days).

True View EVO Capabilities

However, before you export to something following post-processing, you might want to investigate capabilities within EVO.  True View EVO is based on the Advanced version of LP360, our industry standard LIDAR processing software.  As such, there is a very long list of processing capabilities that you can use.

Volumetric Data

For example, Figure 1 shows an industrial area collected with a True View 615 3DIS.  This is our system that uses the RIEGL miniVUX-2UAV, a 200 kHz, survey grade laser scanner.  Before we discuss EVO, notice the fact that the RIEGL has easily captured a very detailed point cloud of coal piles. This is not an easy feat with a LIDAR system! It is a testament to the very high sensitivity of this instrument. 

The primary purpose of this particular project was to provide volumetric data for various plant resources such as fuel (coal), feeder stock and so forth.  This particular flight (we flew multiple, disjoint areas on this project) was quite short with an objective of collecting the coal inventory.  This sub-site is about 5 acres, requiring a flight time of less than 10 minutes.  The total data processing time to reach the point of Figure 1 was less than 10 minutes as well so you can see already that a True View system is all about high productivity. 

One of the many tools contained in True View EVO is an automatic stock pile “toe” finder.  This tool is initiated by simply clicking a point on the desired pile.  The toe is then automatically digitized.  Occasionally the toe will meander away from the pile due to the lack of a well defined demarcation between adjacent piles.  No worries – EVO has several “feature edit” tools that make short work of “shaping” the errant parts of a toe.   You can see the yellow outline of the automatically digitized toe in Figure 1.  In addition to automatically finding toes, our tool can also automatically classify overhead features such as stockpile conveyors (essentially tagging these points with a label “not part of the pile”) to prevent them from distorting the true volume. 

Automatic Toe Definition Of Coal Stockpile
Figure 1 :Automatic Toe Definition Of Coal Stockpile

Of course, once you have toes you need an easy way to compute volumes. EVO has an extensive set of volume computation algorithms. These range from creating a surface from the toe vertices for a volume base to differential volumetrics for borrow pit computations. Thus, there is really no need at all to exit your True View EVO workflow do to volumetric work – we have you fully covered with quick, easy tools. 

A short list of the type of tools in EVO is:

  • Full accuracy analysis tools that comply with American Society for Photogrammetry and Remote Sensing (ASPRS) vertical and horizontal accuracy assessment standards
  • Automatic stockpile toe detection with automatic overhang elimination (e.g. conveyor classification)
  • Extensive set of volumetric analysis tools
  • Automatic ground classification – talk about a time saver!!
  • Automatic Rail detection and centerline vectorization
  • Automatic planar surface extraction and vectorization (used for finding building footprints)
  • Data smoothing algorithms – very useful for smoothing data over surfaces such as roadways
  • Many interactive classification tools
  • Extensive collection of feature editing tools for doing line work
  • Contour generation
  • Tools to generate a variety of elevation models from point cloud data (DEM generation)
  • Profile and cross-sectioning tools
  • The ability to create and inject breaklines into elevation models

 

Software Development Continues

We are never finished with LP360/EVO. We have a team of full time developers who are adding not only new True View sensors to the workflow but also new tools to satisfy ever expanding user needs.  For example, we are currently adding tools to automatically classify power line points and create catenary features (see Figure 2).  This tool will appear in the next standard release of True View EVO/LP360 (2020.2).

Automatic Powerline Extraction Prototype
Figure 2: Automatic Powerline Extraction Prototype

There are a number of companies selling drone LIDAR sensors. We differentiate from these by providing full systems. Flying the sensor is the easy part. Efficiently processing the data, however, is key to a successful project. 

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