The Lidar Surfacing Toolset (LST)
Airborne lidar data processing services
The CSIRO Vegetation Sensing and Information team provides a range of services to assist in the analysis of airborne lidar datasets.
4 September 2008 | Updated 14 October 2011
The CSIRO Vegetation Sensing and Information team has been analysing lidar data for vegetation and terrain applications for several years and has built robust software tools to provide a quick and cost effective analysis of lidar datasets.
Our services include:
generating GIS layers at user-specified resolution for vegetation, terrain and streams
field data validation by extracting and analysing lidar data for regular and irregular field data plots
field data validation by providing GIS layers calculated using field data relationships
combining data sources, providing classifications based on analysis of combinations of lidar and multi/hyperspectral data
software services - depending on individual requirements, software solutions may be available for continued management of lidar datasets.
Datasets in ASCII or LAS format can be analysed. We have successfully processed datasets as large as 200GB in the past.
Through our collaborations with universities and commercial companies, our capabilities are in a constant state of development, as is the state of lidar sensor technology.
The challenge of analysing massive datasets
While lidar is an excellent technology for vegetation analysis, it generates potentially enormous datasets, which can be very challenging to successfully manipulate.
Through our collaborations with universities and commercial companies, our capabilities are in a constant state of development
CSIRO manages datasets anywhere from a few million points (or smaller) to billions of points.
Depending on the point density of the data (number of points per cubic metre), these datasets can represent small regions such as high resolution plantation compartments, or large regions such as the Murray River floodplain, stretching approximately 400 kilometres from east to west.
The Lidar Surfacing Toolset
Our scientists have developed the Lidar Surfacing Toolset (LST), a software package purely for analysing lidar data, which has been designed to provide maximum flexibility when dealing with lidar datasets.
Some of the software’s capabilities include:
import and manage multiple lidar datasets over the same area as one, integrated lidar dataset
create a variety of interpolated vegetation and terrain surfaces for an entire dataset, or specific regions within the dataset
create interpolated surfaces at any desired resolution (taking into account memory limits of the computer running the software) from sub-metre upwards
extract the raw lidar data points for rectangular, circular, or arbitrary polygon regions (plots) within the data extent
export plot statistics (point cloud statistics) for each defined plot
visualize plot point data using histograms or 3-dimensional displays
export selected plot points to Excel-compatible files for further processing.
The LST is currently an in-house tool used by the Vegetation Sensing and Information team to quickly and efficiently analyse large lidar datasets.
When required, the LST may be made available to research partners to assist in developing lidar-based solutions to forestry problems.
Learn more about CSIRO Land and Water.