Huntsville, US: At the Hexagon 2012 conference, Intergraph demonstrated a new technology that enables users to fully leverage the wealth of information in point cloud data. The centerpiece of the new functionality is the augmented viewing capability embedded in ERDAS IMAGINE, which allows users to simultaneously view LiDAR spatially linked in 2D, 3D and as a user-specified profile that can reveal cross sections of the point cloud.
“Intergraph’s new functionality truly unlocks the potential of LiDAR, taking full advantage of its rich three-dimensional content,” said Steve du Plessis, Global Product Line Executive – Remote Sensing, Intergraph. “You can open up these dense point clouds, see inside them and break them apart to reveal the information they contain to gain a new perspective of the world.”
Within the three new views, ERDAS IMAGINE provides a range of options that make it easy to understand and extract the information contained in the point cloud. Different filtering options allow you to view the points in dozens of permutations. For example, you may only want to see first-return points classified as vegetation. To improve interpretability, flexible colorization settings offer the ability to view by elevation, return, classification, file, intensity or the RGB encoding of each point which provides a lifelike, three-dimensional colour view of a point cloud. Additionally, you can view the point cloud draped over your 2D imagery, thereby obtaining a better understanding of the above-ground features portrayed by the points.
The profile view provides unique capabilities for analysing point clouds. While the standard profile view is defined by a user-specified box drawn over the 2D view of the point cloud, you can also use a polyline vector to obtain a profile view of a longer strip within the cloud. ERDAS IMAGINE can then automatically roam at a user-specified speed along this long profile view. These features are especially useful in the utilities market, where they can be used to inspect power line corridors for encroaching vegetation or other line issues. As problems are visually detected, you can pause, make measurements, record the position and add notes. ERDAS IMAGINE can then export this information to a spreadsheet that can be given to field crews who maintain the corridors.
ERDAS IMAGINE’s new point cloud technology also offers a set of tools to classify, RGB encode, subset and filter your point data. The classification tool will enable you to specify criteria for automated point classification. Users can then leverage the editing tools within the 2D and profile views to refine the results. For example, you can delete, reclassify, bias or set a constant elevation on selected points with the security of multiple-step undo and redo capabilities. In addition to thorough views of the point clouds themselves, ERDAS IMAGINE provides comprehensive views and editing of the associated metadata. You can batch and distribute all these functions for faster processing, which is especially helpful since many users opt to create smaller tiles from large LAS files.
“Intergraph is in a unique position to provide the leading point cloud solution on the market,” continued du Plessis. “As part of Hexagon, our portfolio includes in-house airborne and terrestrial LiDAR hardware technology from our sister division Hexagon Geosystems, powerful GIS analytics from GeoMedia®, the world’s leading remote sensing capabilities in ERDAS IMAGINE and LiDAR data management and serving capabilities in ERDAS APOLLO. In addition, Intergraph’s vertical market approach offers extensive domain expertize in utilities, transportation, government and security. Together, not only will our point cloud technology strengthen any organization’s LiDAR-handling capabilities, but also its user-centric implementation streamlines workflows so users can quickly and easily obtain the most from point clouds and maximise the return on your LiDAR investment.”