PDAL: It Rhymes With GDAL

Michael Smith (US Army Corps of Engineers)

09:30 on Saturday 21st September (in Session 51, starting at 9 a.m., EMCC: Room 4)

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Description: PDAL is a BSD-licensed library for translating andmanipulating point cloud data of various formats, analogous to the GDAL raster library.

PDAL is a BSD licensed library for translating and manipulating point cloud data of various formats. It is a library that is analogous to the GDAL raster library. PDAL is focussed on reading, writing, and translating point cloud data from the ever-growing constellation of data formats that are being developed for working with multi-dimensional emitted-pulse scanning systems. While PDAL is not explicitly limited to working with LiDAR data formats, its initial rollout is focused in that area. PDAL also supports spatial database storage of point clouds (currently Oracle with PostGIS currently in development) and can translate point clouds to DEMs using the Points2Grid library (incorporated into PDAL). PDAL contains decimation, cropping, mosiaking, reprojection (including vertical datum support), scaling, and a numpy programmable filter. PDAL includes command line tools as well as an VRT-like XML language used to build processing pipelines. These pipelines permit the sequencing and chaining of multiple operations against data and minimize passes through the data. PDAL is being sponsored by the US Army Corps of Engineers and is the backbone of a centralized Lidar data warehouse being used by the Corps and other federal agencies in the US Deptment of Defense.