An open petition for unrestricted point cloud exchange

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Daniel Wujanz
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An open petition for unrestricted point cloud exchange

Post by Daniel Wujanz »

Dear colleagues,

I'm part of the laser scanning industry since 2004 when a student version of myself received a magical box with a reflectorless rangefinder which recorded a breathtaking 1000 points per second. I fell in love with point clouds and never had a proper job ever since.

Looking back, certainly a lot has changed and improved on the sensor side. On the other hand, not much has changed - processing the captured data still remains the bottleneck of this industry. People discuss scanner speed and the latest threadripper specs but entirely forget about the power of file formats.

Up to now people are forced to use "exchange formats" such as E57 in order to move from one software to another - if direct access via proprietary formats is denied. I'm not going too much into details but this restriction is a major hurdle which slows down the growth of this industry.

Discussions within the community led to the idea to initiate a grassroots movement in form of an open petition which aims to overcome artificial barriers in point cloud exchange. This would lead to unrestricted research and faster cycles of innovation as well as more profitable workflows. Such an endeavour can only succeed if all levels of the industry contribute. Hence, this petition seeks for support among hardware manufacturers, software related businesses, service providers, research institutions or generally anybody who works with point clouds. The petition and more insights on the subject can be found under the following address: https://openpointcloudformats.org/.

Daniel - on behalf of my fellow initators in the forum (Ananda, Lieven, Martin and Shane)
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Re: An open petition for unrestricted point cloud exchange

Post by smacl »

To anyone working with large point clouds, losing precious time and space importing and exporting data into different formats for various packages, can I ask you to read, sign and share the petition linked above.  What we are asking is that all those involved in developing solutions that generate or work with point cloud data, to implement a consistent and efficient interface to their native data, such that it can be read by any other package without the need for going through an intermediate disk file.  This will greatly simplify interoperability between point cloud processing packages, saving considerable time, space and other computer and manpower resources for all involved. 

To solution developers, watch this space for upcoming details on how to quickly and painlessly support this initiative.
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Re: An open petition for unrestricted point cloud exchange

Post by landmeterbeuckx »

I support this petition and contributed a (little) bit to it because in my views point cloud exchange is the key to let even more people know about this incredible technique.

So this would be benificial to all parties, hardware, software and providers of scan data, the last one being myself.

In the old days of only cad a dwg was to be readable and deliverable by all who used any cad package. To me this is the same discussion.
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Re: An open petition for unrestricted point cloud exchange

Post by pmalatzky »

We thoroughly support this initiative.

Over the years I can recall countless instances where the need to convert from one format to another in order to work with various origin datasets has hobbled and delayed project delivery.

Free and open point cloud formats would take this technology to another level. Imagine what could be achieved if this hurdle was removed?
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Re: An open petition for unrestricted point cloud exchange

Post by christopherbyrne18 »

Hey,

As nice as this would be as long as the big manufactures have a vested interested in maintaining the horrid 'Software as a service' model and the eleventy nine ever changing modules that accompany it I can't see this changing any time soon. Whay would they want you to be easily import their raw data ito cheaper softwarefor registration etc?

Will sign uup all the same,

Good luck.
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Re: An open petition for unrestricted point cloud exchange

Post by Jason Warren »

Thank you for posting and a great initiative... signed up ;)
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Re: An open petition for unrestricted point cloud exchange

Post by yankoch »

Done!
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Re: An open petition for unrestricted point cloud exchange

Post by smacl »

christopherbyrne18 wrote: Thu Sep 16, 2021 9:37 amWhy would they want you to be easily import their raw data ito cheaper softwarefor registration etc?
It happens already, as evidenced by the many posts on this forum discussing how to register Faro data in Cyclone for example. Being able to import and export data is also already a basic requirement of any point cloud processing software. What we're striving to achieve here is simply that this become an efficient, robust and lossless process. For example, if we look at Leica LGS, we see a compact, efficient format for storing point cloud data, images and all the ancillary data that goes with it. To provide this data to a non-Leica user involves a lengthy export process that sometimes fails and will lose certain important aspects of the data. Far better to be able to simply provide the LGS without all that mucking about. Good for the user but also good for Leica as by providing interoperability they have also added value to their own product.

The plan is that those involved in solution development who have signed this petition will adopt an interface allowing robust and efficient interoperability and those who are using such solutions demand it. Most organisations working with point cloud, and supplying point cloud data to customers, already have this requirement.

More of my ruminations and discussion on the thinking behind this on LinkedIn here
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Re: An open petition for unrestricted point cloud exchange

Post by HagaeusBygghantverk »

YES!!!!!

I will get the Swedish Heritage board to sign it as soon as possible.

On a private note, Leica will never have me as a costumer as long as they lock me in with their ransomware. I love the scanners though.

/Thomas
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Re: An open petition for unrestricted point cloud exchange

Post by christopherbyrne18 »

smacl wrote: Thu Sep 16, 2021 10:08 am
christopherbyrne18 wrote: Thu Sep 16, 2021 9:37 amWhy would they want you to be easily import their raw data ito cheaper softwarefor registration etc?
It happens already, as evidenced by the many posts on this forum discussing how to register Faro data in Cyclone for example. Being able to import and export data is also already a basic requirement of any point cloud processing software. What we're striving to achieve here is simply that this become an efficient, robust and lossless process. For example, if we look at Leica LGS, we see a compact, efficient format for storing point cloud data, images and all the ancillary data that goes with it. To provide this data to a non-Leica user involves a lengthy export process that sometimes fails and will lose certain important aspects of the data. Far better to be able to simply provide the LGS without all that mucking about. Good for the user but also good for Leica as by providing interoperability they have also added value to their own product.

The plan is that those involved in solution development who have signed this petition will adopt an interface allowing robust and efficient interoperability and those who are using such solutions demand it. Most organisations working with point cloud, and supplying point cloud data to customers, already have this requirement.

More of my ruminations and discussion on the thinking behind this on LinkedIn here
I know this very well, have done it in the past myself with Faro & Riegl data. But this is exactly my point. Whts in it for the manufacturer who make the best registration software? Well apart from Reg360 whis is best forgotten.
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