Point cloud formats, structured/unstructured

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VXGrid
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Point cloud formats, structured/unstructured

Post by VXGrid »

Hi,

First time I'm asking for help here :)

I'm preparing a webinar (it's upcoming Tuesday...) "Structured vs. unstructured point clouds"
Everything regarding explanation is fine so far,
but I'd like to give the attendees a more or less complete list of file formats from all vendors.
Might be in addition helpful for other folks on here.

What I have so far:
  • Vendor | project format | point cloud format | structured / unstructured
  • ArcGIS | - | *.ASC | u - only digital surface data
  • Artec | - | ??? | u
  • ASCII | - | *.PTS, *.XYZ | u
  • ASCII | - | *.PTX | s
  • AutoDesk | *.RCP | *.RCS | su
  • DotProduct | - | *.DP | u
  • E57 | - | *.E57 | su
  • FARO | *.LSPROJ | *.FLS | s
  • GeoTIFF | - | *.GEOTIFF | u - only digital surface data -> see ASC
  • LAS/LAZ | - | *.LAS, *.LAZ | u
  • Leica | *.PTG | *.PTG | s
  • Leica | ? | *.LGS | su
  • Leica MS60 | - | *.SDB | ?
  • Leica Pegasus | - | *.HPC, *.SDC | u
  • Mantis | - | *.MPC, *.MVX | u
  • Microstation | - | *.POD | u
  • Point Cloud library | - | *.PCL | su
  • PointCab | *.LSDX | *.LSD| su
  • Pointfuse | - | *.PFC | ?
  • Potree | *.JS | *.BIN | u
  • RIEGL | *.RSP | *.RXP, *.RDBX | s
  • SCC | - | *.Pointcloud | su
  • SEMA | - | *.SPW | u
  • Surphaser | - | *.c3d | s
  • Topcon | - | *.CL3 | s
  • Trimble Realworks | .RWP | .TZF | su
  • Z*F | *.ZFPRJ | *.ZFS | s
So as you can see I need help with a lot, for example
  • Leica - is LGS everything and is there a project format?
  • Trimble
  • SCC
  • ClearEdge
Just reply all which come to your mind.
BTW if you see something wrong, please tell me!

I get the feeling there are more point cloud formats than software packages out there
Last edited by VXGrid on Fri May 07, 2021 5:00 pm, edited 5 times in total.
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Re: Point cloud formats, structured/unstructured

Post by VXGrid »

Already saw one I forgot:
ArcGIS-EsriGrid file format is *.ASC unstructured
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Re: Point cloud formats, structured/unstructured

Post by smacl »

SCC native point cloud format is .Pointcloud and includes original structure where available, e.g. set-up details and orientation and links from each point back to the setup, similarly for input file. .ASC is technically an ASCII raster DEM format file, i.e. you couldn't use it to represent a complex structure such as multi-storey house, that many of us can translate into a point cloud. Another commonly used DEM format file seen with photogrammetry that we also can convert to point clouds is GeoTIFF.

A few more dedicated point cloud formats;

.PCL from the open source point cloud library
.SDB native format for the Leica MS60, accessible through Leica SDKs
.HPC, .SDC format used in some versions of Leica Pegasus
.PFC Pointfuse native point cloud format
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Re: Point cloud formats, structured/unstructured

Post by VXGrid »

smacl wrote: Wed Apr 28, 2021 5:04 pm SCC native point cloud format is .Pointcloud and includes original structure where available, e.g. set-up details and orientation and links from each point back to the setup, similarly for input file. .ASC is technically an ASCII raster DEM format file, i.e. you couldn't use it to represent a complex structure such as multi-storey house, that many of us can translate into a point cloud. Another commonly used DEM format file seen with photogrammetry that we also can convert to point clouds is GeoTIFF.

A few more dedicated point cloud formats;

.PCL from the open source point cloud library
.SDB native format for the Leica MS60, accessible through Leica SDKs
.HPC, .SDC format used in some versions of Leica Pegasus
.PFC Pointfuse native point cloud format
Thanks Shane
Are the mentioned ones structured or unstructured?
SCC is doing both, I added the note for ASC and geotiff,

PCL is unstructured (last time I checked around 5 years ago)?
The MS60 could produce structured data, but I'm not sure if it does?
Pegasus data would be unstructured natively.
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Re: Point cloud formats, structured/unstructured

Post by Peyman Bashiri »

I have a question too, is it possible to convert/export unstructured point cloud to structured?
Peyman
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Re: Point cloud formats, structured/unstructured

Post by smacl »

VXGrid wrote: Wed Apr 28, 2021 5:41 pm
smacl wrote: Wed Apr 28, 2021 5:04 pm SCC native point cloud format is .Pointcloud and includes original structure where available, e.g. set-up details and orientation and links from each point back to the setup, similarly for input file. .ASC is technically an ASCII raster DEM format file, i.e. you couldn't use it to represent a complex structure such as multi-storey house, that many of us can translate into a point cloud. Another commonly used DEM format file seen with photogrammetry that we also can convert to point clouds is GeoTIFF.

A few more dedicated point cloud formats;

.PCL from the open source point cloud library
.SDB native format for the Leica MS60, accessible through Leica SDKs
.HPC, .SDC format used in some versions of Leica Pegasus
.PFC Pointfuse native point cloud format
Thanks Shane
Are the mentioned ones structured or unstructured?
SCC is doing both, I added the note for ASC and geotiff,

PCL is unstructured (last time I checked around 5 years ago)?
The MS60 could produce structured data, but I'm not sure if it does?
Pegasus data would be unstructured natively.
MS60 is structured when you use the SDK and and also include total station obs and photos.

Pegasus data is also contains structural information in addition to the scan data which can be used in conjunction with the scan data to good effect. Mobile scanning structural data is obviously different to terrestrial in that it is a trajectory file that matches position and orientation with time which can then be matched to raw or corrected scan data. From what I gather, getting similar structural data for the blk2go is not so easy which is a pain.
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Re: Point cloud formats, structured/unstructured

Post by smacl »

Peyman Bashiri wrote: Wed Apr 28, 2021 7:34 pm I have a question too, is it possible to convert/export unstructured point cloud to structured?
Peyman
If you had the position and orientation details for each setup, along with a way to link them back to the related scan points, yes.
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Re: Point cloud formats, structured/unstructured

Post by blazaj »

Hi Martin,

Trimble Realworks project format is .RWP
Trimble structured pointcloud format is .TZF ( it would be really nice to have it in PointCab on import ;-)
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Re: Point cloud formats, structured/unstructured

Post by Peyman Bashiri »

smacl wrote: Wed Apr 28, 2021 8:38 pm
Peyman Bashiri wrote: Wed Apr 28, 2021 7:34 pm I have a question too, is it possible to convert/export unstructured point cloud to structured?
Peyman
If you had the position and orientation details for each setup, along with a way to link them back to the related scan points, yes.
Thanks, I was asking about aerial LiDAR (drone or fixed wing).
Peyman
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Re: Point cloud formats, structured/unstructured

Post by smacl »

Peyman Bashiri wrote: Wed Apr 28, 2021 9:20 pm
smacl wrote: Wed Apr 28, 2021 8:38 pm
Peyman Bashiri wrote: Wed Apr 28, 2021 7:34 pm I have a question too, is it possible to convert/export unstructured point cloud to structured?
Peyman
If you had the position and orientation details for each setup, along with a way to link them back to the related scan points, yes.
Thanks, I was asking about aerial LiDAR (drone or fixed wing).
Peyman
Aerial LIDAR will work much the same way as mobile mapping, i.e. you have a trajectory file consisting of six parameter scanner position and orientation at regular timing intervals. For every LIDAR ping you have distance and time. You use the time to interpolate scanner position and orientation and from there, the ground position. If you have ground position and time and the trajectory, you can re-computer raw distance, apply any corrections or colouring, and recompute ground position.
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