Point Cloud to Contour

Summary

The Point Cloud to Contour tool extracts elevation contours from input point cloud data by developing a triangular irregular network (TIN) from ground class points. This is then used to construct lines of equal elevation that are output as a polyline.

Usage

Navigate to and click on Terrain > Point Cloud to Contour.

LiDAR360 Terrain

Settings

  • Input Data: The input file can be a single point cloud data or a point cloud dataset which must have classified ground points and have been loaded in LiDAR360 software.
  • Scale: There are 11 scales for generating the point cloud, which correspond to different height intervals. For instance,
    • 1:500: 1:500 scale.
    • 1:1000: 1:1000 scale.
    • 1:2000: 1:2000 scale.
    • 1:5000: 1:5000 scale.
    • 1:10000(default): 1:10000 scale.
    • ... ...
  • Contour Base (m)(default value is "0"): The elevation value of each contour line is relative to a user-defined Contour Base elevation. Contours falling at lower elevations relative to the Contour Base elevation will take on negative values and contours falling at higher elevations relative to the Contour Base elevation have positive values. The default Contour Base elevation value is zero (0) meters. Generated lines of equal elevation are evenly spaced and the distance separating any two contour lines will be held constant.
  • Triangle’s Maximum Length (m)(default value is "30"): This parameter allows users to set a maximum edge length value, in meters (m), of arcs found in the triangulation network, constructed from elevation attributed ground points, that is used to generate contours. If the length of a triangle side, or arc, in the network is greater than the defined threshold, that edge will be excluded from the construction of elevation contours.
  • Minor Contour (default state is checked): The Minor Contour option allows users to define what is also referred to as the 'half-distance contour'. When the major contour interval, which is defined by the Scale, does not adequately show the topographic detail of an area (such as when little local relief is present, i.e., flat areas), the contour lines are drawn at the Minor Contour Interval. The Minor Contour Interval option is turned ON by default.
    • Spacing (m)(default value is "2.5"): Height interval, the absolute value of height difference between two adjacent minor contour lines.
    • Color (default value is "yellow"): The color of Minor Contours.
    • Line Weight (default value is "1"): The weight of Minor Contours.
  • Basic Contour (default state is checked): The Basic Contour option allows users to include lines of equal elevation that represent the landscape. The Basic Contour option is turned ON by default.
    • Spacing (m)(default value is "5"): Height interval (in meters), the absolute value of height difference between two adjacent basic contour lines.
    • Color (default value is "Blue"): The color of Basic Contours.
    • Line Weight (default value is "2"): The weight of Basic Contours.
  • Major Contour (default state is checked): The Major Contour option allows users to include bold contour lines that facilitate easy interpretation of terrain and topography. Major Contours are drawn at the Base Contour and at every 4th interval above and below the Base Contour. For example, if the Base Contour elevation is 0 meters, the Basic Contour Spacing is 100 meters (m) and the maximum ground point elevation found in the input file(s) is 1000 meters, then Major Contours would appear at 0 meters, 400 meters and 800 meters.
    • Spacing (m)(default value is "25"): Height interval (in meters), the absolute value of height difference between two adjacent major contour lines.
    • Color (default value is "Red"): The color of Major Contours.
    • Line Weight (default value is "3"): The weight of Major Contours.
  • Generate Notes Elevation Points (default state is checked): Generate notes elevation points in outputs.
    • Radius (m)(default value is "15"): A Note Elevation Point is generated within a region with a defined radius.
  • Optimization: Optimized settings for smoothing the generated contours.
    • Mean Smooth (default state is checked): The Mean Smoothing contour optimization method replaces the measured or estimated (interpolated) ground elevation points along a contour line (otherwise known as contour points) with mean contour points that represent weighted average X and Y coordinates of adjacent contour points found on a given line of equal elevation. This operation will reduce the number of contour points used to construct the contour line and will smooth the outputs of the Point Cloud to Contour tool. Users can choose to include 3, 5 or 7 neighboring contour points in the calculation of the weighted average X, Y coordinate locations of mean contour points. By default, the Mean Smoothing Contour Operation Setting is turned ON and 5 neighboring contour points are used to find the weighted average contour point location.
      • 3:The number of neighboring contour points participating in smoothing at the current point is 3.
      • 5 (default):The number of neighboring contour points participating in smoothing at the current point is 5.
      • 7:The number of neighboring contour points participating in smoothing at the current point is 7.
    • Bezier Smooth (default value is "155"): The Bezier Smoothing contour optimization method replaces the measured or estimated (interpolated) ground elevation points along a contour line (otherwise known as contour points), with contour points that fall within an angle threshold range from 0 to 180 degrees. The larger the threshold setting, the smoother the contour lines.
    • Delete the contour when its area <(m²)(default value is "10"): When the area of the closed contour is less than this threshold, it will be deleted.
    • Delete the contour when its length (m)(default value is "5"): Non-closed contours are deleted if their length is less than this threshold.
  • Generate Shp (default):Save Point Cloud to Contour tool outputs to a shapefile (.shp) format with the following feature attributes: contour line type, contour line width, contour line color, and contour line elevation. Users can choose to output the generated Contour features as a 2-D or 2.5-D polylines. Point Cloud to Contour tool outputs will be generated as 2-D shapefiles by default.
  • Generate DXF: Save Point Cloud to Contour tool outputs to a Drawing Exchange Formatted (.dxf) file. NOTE: LiDAR360 supports the generation of DXF format contour files, however, the software does not currently support the reading and visualization of DXF formatted Contour lines files.
  • Output path: The path of the generated contour lines file(s) to save.
  • Default Value: Click this tool option to restore all default parameters.

Point cloud data (left below) and contour map (right below).

LiDAR360 Terrain

Note: Before using this tool, ground points should be generated in advance.

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