What web based point cloud hosting has to offer

Truview, Potree, Octree, VRML, Etc.
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jochenstier
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What web based point cloud hosting has to offer

Post by jochenstier » Mon Feb 27, 2017 12:27 am

I am interested in feedback from the scanning community regarding what features you are looking for in an online point cloud hosting and analysis service, in particular Voxxlr.com. I realize that various solutions already exist, but I am curious to learn what features are actually useful.

In a nutshell, Voxxlr.com is a cloud service to analyze and share large point clouds entirely online using only a standard web browser. Once uploaded, a point cloud is filtered, segmented and compressed in order to provide a smooth viewing experience using an interactive 3D viewer. For a quick demo of the viewer (ideally using Chrome or FireFox), here is a link to a scan of a village published by senselfy:

http://tiny.cc/oabgjy

For a larger example consisting of several laser scans combined into a single e57 file have a look at:

http://tiny.cc/vbbgjy

For additional models and access to various tools visit http://www.voxxlr.com

As the hosting infrastructure and rendering pipeline of Voxxlr are now complete, the development effort shifts towards publishing tools that facilitate sharing and collaboration. The Voxxlr web portal already provides a rudimentary editor that allows an author to develop a presentation of a point cloud by creating viewpoints, measurements, overlays, etc. This presentation can then be shared with an audience via a dedicated 3D viewer.

At this point I am curious about the value of 2D drawing capabilities at a specific viewpoint using a simple "MS Paint" like interface to draw shapes, text etc on top of the 3D scene. A somewhat contrived example could look like this:
Untitled.png
2D drawing is less complicated than interacting with a 3D environment and in many cases it seems sufficient to document artifacts in the scene. However, once the user navigates away from the viewpoint, the overlay must disappear as it becomes misaligned with the 3D environment. 3D annotations on the other hand remain in the scene regardless of the viewpoint. Basically, the question is: Would you find such 2D drawing capabilities useful ?

In the more distant future the development effort will also address data classification, segmentation and object recognition. These are increasingly complex tasks which will likely benefit from the vast computing resources available in the cloud. I am aware that there is demand for scan to BIM conversion, and while a fully automated solution seems to be quite challenging I am curious to learn what intermediate results could speed up the conversion process.

On a final note, If you would like to experiment with your own data, simply sign up at Voxxlr.com and upload point clouds containing hundreds of millions of points in either e57, las or ply format. You can keep your data private or share it publicly on the web portal. As we are still in beta, Voxxlr is free of charge. You can always PM me or send an email to info@voxxlr.com
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Wannascan
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Re: What web based point cloud hosting has to offer

Post by Wannascan » Mon Feb 27, 2017 1:00 am

We are looking at web hosting options and our interests are: Ability for stakeholders to access and download the PC
Be able to measure distances and angles
Not be ridiculously expensive
Be able to have a "site map" where you can jump to scan locations
Be able to access the real view/ picture view from scanner locations and measure in these views as well
Be intuitive and simple

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Re: What web based point cloud hosting has to offer

Post by Scott » Mon Feb 27, 2017 2:50 am

wochenstier wrote:...
At this point I am curious about the value of 2D drawing capabilities at a specific viewpoint using a simple "MS Paint" like interface to draw shapes, text etc on top of the 3D scene. A somewhat contrived example could look like this:
...
2D drawing is less complicated than interacting with a 3D environment and in many cases it seems sufficient to document artifacts in the scene. However, once the user navigates away from the viewpoint, the overlay must disappear as it becomes misaligned with the 3D environment. 3D annotations on the other hand remain in the scene regardless of the viewpoint. Basically, the question is: Would you find such 2D drawing capabilities useful ?
I think annotating 2D images is still very useful, but the tools you develop should be done thoughtfully. Details for construction documents (CD's) are essentially annotated drawings with lots of text, dimensions, and arrows. Learn the graphic standards for detailing and plan sets and you will deliver similar tools found in CAD and modeling platforms. There is a reason that the AEC industry will choose a good tool kit, because they already use them everyday. Should point clouds be treated any differently? I don't think so. So, forget the sloppy paint program and develop a great annotation app for 2D images, in lieu of the a full feature CAD/BIM application. It should be intuitive, affordable, and attractive. The 'graphic standards' are out there to make use of. My two cents.

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Re: What web based point cloud hosting has to offer

Post by LPaulCook » Mon Feb 27, 2017 6:32 am

Great start!
I think that the next step is to add the ability to make measurements, vertical, horizontal and slope distances and add the ability to add tags which open to details and hyperlinks to additional information at the place that the tag is placed. Much like the FARO Webshare2Go app does now. If you are not familiar with that app search on YouTube to see what it does.
Thanks for asking.
L. Paul Cook, PLS
www.LPC3D.com

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Re: What web based point cloud hosting has to offer

Post by Oatfedgoat » Mon Feb 27, 2017 9:43 pm

Owner/Operators want to be able to have a way for non techy users to create links on features in a simple to use point cloud viewer.

These links may be in the form of:
- an inspection photo taken on site
- A customisible form that can be accessed and edited in the field or in the office (a link between the office and site for snagging/inspection etc)
- a simple hyperlink to a file that is on a server or web url
- a direct link to an Asset Information Database. This as far as I can tell is what the industry is missing and has huge potential for revenue and user base. This would essentially be for large organisations/infrastructure owners that have existing databases in multiple systems and want a visual link between it's database fields and a visual 360 way of viewing and locating each asset.

They don't want to have complicated walk/fly tools that deter the largest potential user base of their valuable information.
Be aware that there are already existing popular solutions such as Leica's TruView Global, Faro's Webshare and the various Potree based ones that are usually offered to the end consumer of the data at very low additional cost to the survey or even free. (a small cost to the creator of a few $1000 is common)
This area of the market is saturated. I don't think that these types of solutions have reached the pinnacle of their evolution yet and I expect them to still be developed, but there is not yet a comprehensive user friendly enterprise solution anywhere. Crack that, and you're onto a winner..... and will probably need a cheap/free version to establish a user base!

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Re: What web based point cloud hosting has to offer

Post by jochenstier » Wed Mar 01, 2017 12:28 pm

Thanks for all the feedback. Your opinions are quite valuable and will certainly influence the next development steps. There is
often quite a disconnect between the people developing software and the ones using it. It looks like this forum is a good
place to bridge this gap.

It is an exciting time for Voxxlr as the visualization engine is complete and the development of useful features begins. In a
few weeks I will provide another update here with the latest developments, and hopefully get more of your feedback.

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Re: What web based point cloud hosting has to offer

Post by st.silviu » Wed Mar 01, 2017 5:59 pm

Hello.
I would like to see a simple VR point cloud viewer with only walk and fly through ...may be nice to accommodate non-professionals with point clouds. 

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Re: What web based point cloud hosting has to offer

Post by HSzwarc » Thu Mar 02, 2017 10:49 am

Oatfedgoat wrote:Owner/Operators want to be able to have a way for non techy users to create links on features in a simple to use point cloud viewer.

- a direct link to an Asset Information Database. This as far as I can tell is what the industry is missing and has huge potential for revenue and user base. This would essentially be for large organisations/infrastructure owners that have existing databases in multiple systems and want a visual link between it's database fields and a visual 360 way of viewing and locating each

[...]

This area of the market is saturated. I don't think that these types of solutions have reached the pinnacle of their evolution yet and I expect them to still be developed, but there is not yet a comprehensive user friendly enterprise solution anywhere. Crack that, and you're onto a winner..... and will probably need a cheap/free version to establish a user base!
I agree, that the link to one or several databases is an important aspect of such a software for enterprises. I'm the account manager for several large enterprises and I noticed a couple of other aspects:
- a big company needs an intuitive software, that people can use without being familiar with point clouds and without any training.
- there are several different ways of acquiring data, but all the data should be viewable in one single software (if you want to learn more about this aspect you can send me a PM). After several big customers did request this, we at NavVis decided to open up our software to import other data
- there needs to be a way to create information, change information, add links to data, view the information to a predefined set of users and achieve the information
The biggest challenge is to create a platform that can be used by several different user groups. Employees of the company, visitors, logistic providers, service companies, ... In my opinion the viewing of the data is the least important aspect. The user friendly and intuitive interaction with the digital twin will be the game changer.

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