What is the LAS Format?

The LAS file format is a public file format for the interchange of 3-dimensional point cloud data data between data users. Although developed primarily for exchange of lidar point cloud data this format supports the exchange of any 3-dimensional x,y,z tuplet. This binary file format is a alternative to proprietary systems or a generic ASCII file interchange system used by many companies. The problem with proprietary systems is obvious in that data cannot be easily taken from one system to another. There are two major problems with the ASCII file interchange. The first problem is performance because the reading and interpretation of ASCII elevation data can be very slow and the file size can be extremely large even for small amounts of data. The second problem is that all information specific to the lidar data is lost. The LAS file format is a binary file format that maintains information specific to the lidar nature of the data while not being overly complex. 继续阅读“LASER (LAS) FILE FORMAT EXCHANGE ACTIVITIES”

10 Must Consider Solutions for Working With LiDAR in GIS or UAV Mapping Projects

We all are well aware of LiDAR and the benefits of LiDAR, if not then spend some time searching out how organizations are turning to LiDAR for high precision 3D and aerial mapping projects. There’s LiDAR centric industry magazines out there (See LiDAR Magazine for example), LiDAR discussion groups, facebook pages, meetups and much more. Mapping companies small and large are all looking at the technology as a solution for creating amazing 3D data products or for simply filling in the gaps in their maps, webmaps, and apps. We explore some options for professionals interested in LiDAR by sharing 10 Software solutions that you might want to consider to help managing, analyzing, and working with LiDAR.

LiDAR dataset of a section of highway (Source: Safe Software)
LiDAR dataset of a section of highway (Image Credit: Safe Software)
  1. Rapidlasso LAStools  – LAStools is a collection of highly-efficient, scriptable tools with multi-core batching that process LAS, compressed LAZ, Terrasolid BIN, ESRI Shapefiles, and ASCII.  this product suite is used  heavily used in the commercial sector, government agencies, research labs, and educational institutions alike for filtering, tiling, rasterizing, triangulating, converting, clipping, quality-checking, etc… The company also an has open-source LiDAR compressor tool (award winning) called LASzip for those with a need for compressed LiDAR.
  2. LiDAR Compressor  – The company has a number of fine solutions that will help the LiDAR user be much more productive including their LiDAR Compressor Tool which enables users to reduce LiDAR file sizes by 75 percent or more while retaining all of your points and all of the precision and accuracy of your point data.  Also from Lizardtech is their GeoGofer Solution to help locate your LiDAR data.
  3. LiMo – LiDAR Mobile App – Developed by OGSystems, this is a LiDAR viewing app for android and iOS. The app is available for free on the Google play store and apple iTunes app store. With the app, users can not only view but also manipulate either their own point clouds or download existing data provided by OGSystems servers.
  4. Global Mapper LiDAR Module – This solution offers the ability to quickly identify and classify building and vegetation points in unclassified LiDAR data, a new tool to automate the feature extraction process for creating 3D vector buildings and trees, and dramatically improved automatic classification of ground points. The LiDAR Module offers an array of post-processing tools that enable the querying, filtering, editing, reclassifying, and exporting of LiDAR data.
  5. TerraSolid for processing LiDAR data – Terrasolid develops software products that are used for processing LiDAR and image data from airborne and mobile laser scanning systems. TerraSolid products are able to use the pointclouds in a geospatial settingTerrasolid develops software products that are used world-wide for processing point cloud and image data from airborne and mobile systems.
  6. LiDAR in ArcGIS – ArcGIS offers many tools for managing lidar point clouds and deriving useful products from them to aid scientific research and decision making. Learn more about Working natively with Lidar data with Esri solutions. Esri has also authored a paper in their ArcNews publication titled 5 Ways to Use Lidar More Efficiently
  7. RiALITY on iPad from Riegl – This app  allows users to experience LiDAR data in a completely new environment. It also allows easier LiDAR data demonstrations through the use of an iPad. RiALITY features true color point clouds and 3D navigation. In a breakthrough technological development, the app features an Augmented Reality Mode. The Augmented Reality Mode allows point clouds to be virtually projected into the real world.
  8. LP360 – This solution turns ArcMap Basic edition into the world’s most powerful GIS environment for LIDAR point cloud processing. Whether from airborne LIDAR or drone collected imagery, 3D point clouds have become a critical base mapping layer. LP360 provides tools from rapid visualization and derived product generation through advanced features such as automatic ground classification and building footprint extraction.
  9. Certainty 3D – Software for working with and extracting featured from LiDAR data. Solutions include TopoDot for point cloud data processing, TopoLift to support your laser scanning, and TopoPlanner & TopoMission, free apps to help plan, estimate and manage your scanning projects. Their products address the challenges of data management, quality assessment and extraction of 3D CAD models from LiDAR data.
  10. Merrick MARS – The Merrick Advanced Remote Sensing (MARS®) software suite is a comprehensive, production-grade Windows application designed to visualize, manage, process and analyze LiDAR point cloud data. The MARS suite includes MARS FreeView (basic LiDAR visualization), MARS Explorer (LiDAR data classification and processing), MARS Explorer QC (automated feature processing), and MARS Production for advanced processing and more.
  11.  BONUS — Safe Software, FME  has a number of built in functionality that enables users to process and analyze raster data products. FME can support the transformation of point cloud data into over 300 data formats! Note, Dale Lutz of Safe addressed the topic of LiDAR  in a blog post that discussed how Esri was knocking down the barriers to working with LiDAR data via their native support for LAS within ArcGIS at R 10.1.

继续阅读“10 Must Consider Solutions for Working With LiDAR in GIS or UAV Mapping Projects”


Agenzia Spaziale Italiana (ASI) – Italian Space Agency WWW server
Astrium is Europe’s leading space company.
Belgian Institute for Space Aeronomy
SPENVIS (SPace ENVironment Information System)
University of Bremen – Institute of Environmental Physics and Remote Sensing (IUP/ife)
GOME (The Global Ozone Monitoring Experiment)
SCIAMACHY (Scanning Imaging Absorption SpectroMeter for Atmospheric CHartographY)
Bristol University Centre for Remote Sensing
British National Space Centre (BNSC)
RSADU – Remote Sensing Applications Development Unit
Central Laboratory of the Research Councils (CLRC) – UK
BADC – British Atmospheric Data Centre
ATSR – Along Track Scanning Radiometer Project
Chalmers University of Technology – The Remote Sensing Group at the Departement of Radio and Space Science, Gothenburg, Sweden
CNES – Centre National d’Etudes Spatiales
University College London – Mullard Space Science Laboratory
University of Copenhagen – Institute of Geography
Chips (The Copenhagen Image Processing System)
Danish Center for Remote Sensing (DCRS) – Dept. of Electromagnetic Systems, Technical University of Denmark
DEFINIENS provides software solutions for intelligent information management in digital analysis of remote sensing imagery. – Munich, Germany.
Delft University of Technology – Photogrammetry and Remote Sensing
DLR Web Portal – German Aerospace Center (Deutsche Zentrum für Luft- und Raumfahrt)
Doxiadis GeoImaging S.A (DXGI) – Athens, Greece
EARS – Environmental Analysis & Remote Sensing Ltd – They are working in a multi-disciplinary environment, such as crop yield forecasting activities, energy and water balance monitoring, and forest monitoring – Delft, The Netherlands
Earth Observation Sciences, Ltd (EOS) – Specialists in the science, technology and application of Earth observation and environmental data management – Surrey, UK
Earth Oriented Science Division at Space Research Organization Netherlands (SRON)
Ecole des Mines de Paris, Remote Sensing and Modeling at Center for Energy Studies
Ecole Nationale du Génie Rural des Eaux et des Forêts (French Institute of Forestry, Agricultural and Environmental Engineering), Le Laboratoire Commun de Télédétection (LCT)
Electromagnetic Waves Research Institute – “Nello Carrara”, Firenze, Italy
Envia Oy – Environmental applications, weather stations, satellite imagery, geomatics. Finland
ERA-Maptec – Ireland
ESA – European Space Agency
earthnet online
Earth Observation Programme
EDMS Home Page – ESA Official Documents Management Service (EMITS, DODIS, ESALEX)
Announcements of Opportunity (AO) Web Site
ESSC Home Page – Environmental Systems Science Centre at The University of Reading, England
EUMETSAT – Europe’s Meteorological Satellite Organisation
EUMITS – EUMETSAT Invitation To Tender System 继续阅读“世界遥感机构大全”




















The Web Installer is the easiest method for newbies to install ownCloud on their web host like Godaddy or Hostgator. I will go through the installation and also troubleshoot some possible errors that might come up during the installation.

To Install ownCloud on GoDaddy you need:

0. Make sure to select a Linux server as a hosting server. If your site is not being hosted on a linux server or you’re unsure contact GoDaddy, let them know that you need a Linux server as your hosting server.

1. A domain name and hosting account. to be used for ownCloud only unless you know enough to troubleshoot errors without effecting an already running website on that hosting.

2. You need access to your hosting via FTP. Any hosting company will walk you through the FTP set up for free.

3. Go to, click on Host ownCloud yourself button.



1. In the Install OwnCloud Server window click on </>Web Installer button, this will open  Install ownCloud using the Web Installer window providing basic instruction on how to upload the file via FTP.

2. The first step has a link that says Right-click here, click on it to download the setup-owncloud.php.

3. Connect to your hosting via FTP and upload setup-owncloud.php to the root directory of your web host.

4. In the web browser enter http://www.

5. Follow the instructions to install and configure ownCloud.

If you get “Magic Quotes is enabled. ownCloud requires that it is disabled to work properly.”

1. Access to your hosting via FTP. BACK UP the .htaccess and php.ini

2. Copy or drag out the php.ini to your desktop, right click, open with notepad.

3. In php.ini add these lines:

; Magic quotes for incoming GET/POST/Cookie data.
magic_quotes_gpc = Off
; Magic quotes for runtime-generated data, e.g. data from SQL, from exec(), etc.
magic_quotes_runtime = Off
; Use Sybase-style magic quotes (escape ‘ with ” instead of \’).
magic_quotes_sybase = Off

4. Save it and rename the php.ini to php5.ini

5. Upload php5.ini to the root directory of your web host.

kill web system processes on Linux shared hosting accounts:

    1. Log in to your Godaddy, Account Manager.
    2. From the Products section, click Web Hosting.
    3. Next to the hosting account you want to use, click Launch.
    4. In the Stats & Monitors section of the hosting Control Panel, click the System Processes icon.
    5. Click End Web and follow any prompts.
    6. Reload the phpinfo.php page to see if the desired changes have taken effect.
    7. Done!!!

if you get No input file specified error after disabling Magic Quotes:

Once OwnCloud is installed, Although GoDaddy supports PHP 5, the default PHP.ini file needs a little help. Open the php5.ini file to edit and add the following entry.

cgi.fix_pathinfo = 1

in case cgi.fix_pathinfo = 1 by it self didn’t work then also Configure the .htaccess file to deal with the proper security permissions needed for the application. Just replace the .htaccess file in the ownCloud root directory with this one. remember to back up before applying any changes. If it doesn’t work revert the owncloud .htaccess to original and replace the .htaccess file in the root directory with the following information.

ErrorDocument 403 /core/templates/403.php
ErrorDocument 404 /core/templates/404.php
< IfModule mod_php5.c>
php_value upload_max_filesize 513M
php_value post_max_size 513M
php_value memory_limit 512M
< IfModule env_module>
SetEnv htaccessWorking true
< /IfModule>
< /IfModule>
< IfModule mod_rewrite.c>
Options -Multiviews
RewriteEngine on
RewriteBase /
RewriteCond $1 !^(index\.php|css|gfx|js|swf|robots\.txt|favicon\.ico)
#RewriteRule ^(.*)$ /index.php/$1 [L]
RewriteRule .* – [env=HTTP_AUTHORIZATION:%{HTTP:Authorization}]
RewriteRule ^.well-known/host-meta /public.php?service=host-meta [QSA,L]
RewriteRule ^.well-known/carddav /remote.php/carddav/ [R]
RewriteRule ^.well-known/caldav /remote.php/caldav/ [R]
RewriteRule ^apps/calendar/caldav.php remote.php/caldav/ [QSA,L]
RewriteRule ^apps/contacts/carddav.php remote.php/carddav/ [QSA,L]
RewriteRule ^apps/([^/]*)/(.*\.(css|php))$ index.php?app=$1&getfile=$2 [QSA,L]
RewriteRule ^remote/(.*) remote.php [QSA,L]
< /IfModule>
< IfModule mod_mime.c>
AddType image/svg+xml svg svgz
AddEncoding gzip svgz
< /IfModule>
Options -Indexes

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