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GM LiDAR Module

LiDAR Module

At a fraction of the cost of comparable applications, the Global Mapper LiDAR Module is a must-have for anyone using or managing terrestrial or airborne LiDAR as well as other point cloud datasets.

LiDAR Module Overview

The Global Mapper LiDAR Module is an optional enhancement to the software that provides numerous advanced LiDAR processing tools, including automatic point cloud classification, automatic extraction of buildings, trees, and powerlines, cross-sectional viewing and point editing, custom digitizing or extraction of 3D line and area features, dramatically faster surface generation, and much more.

Additional functionality offered in the LiDAR Module includes:

  • A convenient LiDAR Toolbar for easy access to key editing and analysis functions

  • Multiple gridding options for faster DSM or DTM generation

  • Access to point cloud files containing a billion points or more

  • Automatic point classification tools that automatically distinguish building, ground, vegetation and power lines and above-ground utility cables in unclassified layers

  • Feature extraction functionality to automatically create 3D building footprints, trees and power lines

  • Cross-sectional rendering using Global Mapper's Path Profile tool for viewing and editing the point cloud in a vertical perspective

  • 3D Digitizing or custom feature extraction using the perpendicular profile function

  • Advanced filtering options to efficiently remove erroneous or unneeded points

  • Customizable detection and reclassification of noise points

  • LiDAR scripting commands for streamlining workflow

  • Point colorization from underlying imagery offering photo-realistic point cloud rendering in Global Mapper's 3D Viewer

  • Support for reporting LiDAR statistics

  • Support for importing and exporting most common LiDAR formats

  • Support for NIR (near-infrared) data

Automatic Reclassification of Powerl

Automatic Reclassification of Powerl

Path Profile

Path Profile

LiDAR Module After Auto-Classify

LiDAR Module After Auto-Classify

The LiDAR Module was first released with Global Mapper v15 and a host of new LiDAR tools have since been added. Building on the existing functionality for identifying ground, building, and vegetation points in an unclassified point cloud, version 17 of the module, which was released in September 2015, includes a powerful new tool for detecting and automatically reclassifying above-ground utility lines. After customizing the reclassification parameters, such as minimum height above ground and linear offset threshold, the points representing power lines are automatically attributed with the Wire - Conductor ASPRS LIDAR class. Analysis of linear patterns in these reclassified points can subsequently be used to create 3D vector lines.

Addressing a major concern among LiDAR users, the latest release of the Global Mapper LiDAR Module provides an efficient and effective way to remove noise from point cloud data. This powerful filtering tool can reclassify or automatically delete any points that are beyond a prescribed elevation or height above ground threshold within a local area. Other enhancements to the module include dramatically faster data rendering and processing as well as updated filtering tools for selecting and, if necessary, removing points based on class, return intensity, color range, and many other parameters.

The module also offers a powerful new 3D feature extraction or digitizing tool. Utilizing the new perpendicular profiling function, a series of points can be placed in successive profile views resulting in the creation of 3D areas or line features. This provides a very easy way to digitize highly accurate 3D features from LiDAR or terrain data, such as road edge and curb lines, powerlines, and buildings.


Manual Reclassification

Quickly reclassify points with seven different classification types.

  • Ground Points

  • High Vegetation Points

  • Medium Vegetation Points

  • Low Vegetation Points

  • Building Points

  • Transmission Tower Points

  • Water Points


Automatic Reclassification

Automatically reclassify buildings, trees, ground points and above-ground utility cables with conveniently located button in the LiDAR tool bar. The Global Mapper LiDAR Module features improved classification to filter out likely buildings, trees and power lines along with additional parameters controls in the Ground Classify dialog. Machines with multiple cores will experience faster automatic classification of ground points. The user can also perform automatic classification on just selected points to speed up processing.

 Test Data Before Automatic Classification

 After Automatic Classification of Buildings and Trees

Classification of Power Lines

Advanced LiDAR Filtering Options

Access the LiDAR filtering options from the "Options" tab in the "Configuration Window" to allow easily filtering by classification and/or return type. Filter LiDAR points by class, elevation, color, scan-angle, source-ID, intensity, height-above-ground, NDVI and NDWI (when available), and return type when exporting, gridding, and selecting from point clouds.

Automatic Extraction of Buildings, Trees, and Powerlines

Feature extraction allows the user to render buildings, trees and power lines for greater visualization of LiDAR data. This new and powerful feature in Global Mapper is something normally only seen in software that costs thousands of dollars for a single user license. The Global Mapper Lidar module enables users to easily and quickly conduct feature extraction rendering appropriately classified lidar points as 2D and 3D feature objects. This powerful data will assist users that wish to create better and more exact earth models with realistically representative objects.

Custom 3D Digitizing and Feature Extraction

Using the new Perpendicular Path Profile function, a series of custom spaced cross-sectional views are created perpendicular to a defined path through a point cloud. 3D vertices can be quickly and accurately placed at regular intervals within each successive profile view. When the sequence is complete, either a 3D linear or area feature is created using Global Mapper's standard Digitizing tool. This is an ideal tool for delineating curbs, utility cables, pipelines, drainage ditches, or building rooflines from high-resolution point cloud data.

Colorize LiDAR Points

Colorize and view LiDAR points as RGB data by using the LiDAR module toolbar button to colorize LiDAR points from loaded imagery in memory with no export required. Users can also apply color from loaded imagery when batch converting to LiDAR LAS/LAZ files. As well as colorize LiDAR points by the following:

  • Color LiDAR by RGB/Elev

  • Color LiDAR by Elevation

  • Color LiDAR by Intensity

  • Color LiDAR by Classification

  • Color LiDAR by Return Number

  • Color LiDAR by Height Above Ground

  • Color LiDAR by Point Source ID

Dramatically Faster Gridding

With robust gridding techniques for faster, extremely flexible creation of elevation surfaces, including smart decimation through binning, and other techniques.

Path Profile Editing

The module also includes the ability to leverage the LiDAR toolbar directly in the Path Profile viewer for faster management, editing and reclassifying of points. The module includes two selection options for selecting points in the Path Profile viewer, to select by a click and drag method or selection by drawing a custom polygon to select points.


Additional File Format Support


  • E57 lidar format support

  • Leica PTS point cloud file support

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