How to process large amounts of LiDAR data

LiDAR data are invaluable for mapping, as highly accurate contour lines and base maps can be created.

But when processing LiDAR data for larger areas, a computer can quickly become overloaded because not enough RAM is available and crashes.

To avoid this, you have to work with XML scripts for larger projects. This may seem complicated at first glance, but don’t worry: All you have to do is copy code and make some adjustments.

This is what you need to do:

  1. Download and unzip our folder structure in your chosen directory.
  2. Create a new OCAD File with the desired symbol set, map scale and georeferencing. The New Map Wizard can help you with that.
    Save this file as Template.ocd (means overwrite the Template.ocd file in the folder structure).
  3. Put your LiDAR files in the folder 0_LAZ.
  4. Open the XML_Script.xml file with a text editor and adjust the file pathes in the document.
  5. In the OCAD File menu, go to Execute XML Script and run the script.

The script imports LiDAR data and creates contour lines and a vegetation base map.
The single tiles are calculated separately and then cropped and merged together in the end.

The XML function for importing las/laz files and creating contour lines and vegetation map is also available in the OCAD Orienteering edition.

Find more about XML on our Wiki:
XML Script an LiDAR
XML Script in general

2 thoughts on “How to process large amounts of LiDAR data

  1. Stefan Kinell

    This is a nice feature that I have been missing so thanks for the script!

    When now trying it out I realize I have to answer dialogues along the way, e.g. confirm geo referencing for DEM. This makes it a bit semi-automatic and require manual involvement. Is it possible to automate this in any way in the script?

    1. OCAD Team Post author

      The XML Script function Map.ScaleAndCoordinateSystem is only available in the OCAD Mapping Solution.
      So please set the map offset in the template file before running the XML Script.

      Best Regards,
      Gian-Reto, OCAD AG


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