Automatic LiDAR Point Cloud Classification

The point cloud classification analytic is optimized for the power and utilities industry. It semantically segments, i.e. classifies, a point cloud, running as a fully automatic self-service analytic triggered by the user. Let's review the process to obtain and view a classified point cloud with this analytic.


To run this analytic, you need a survey containing a .las point cloud, without classification, or carrying an anterior classification, that will be overridden during the process. 

Generating the classification

Select the survey you wish to work in. From left-hand menu, select the analytics icon, and under the "Catalog" tab, select "Power and utilities - basics". 

Then, "Automatic Point Cloud Classification" and select "Launch" to select the input file.

A menu will appear with all the available point clouds within your survey. Select the one you wish to run the classification on.

Select, "Launch automatic point cloud classification", and "Finish."

Once launched, check the status anytime by selecting the analytics icon from the left-hand menu and selecting the "Launched" tab. 

Once completed, the point cloud classification will appear on the list with a green checkmark. Additionally, a notification is sent that can be found in the notifications icon in the top-right corner.

Browsing the classified point cloud

To view and interact with the point cloud classification, select the layers icon from the left-hand side. To change your view from 2D to 3D, select 3D from the viewing menu.

Then, from the in-site menu, select "Base layers" to find the newly classified point cloud. To view it, select the box to the right of the name.

This also opens an information panel on the right-hand side of the screen. Under "Classification" there is a color chart that allows you to quickly scan and identify classes. To further examine the point cloud, use the zoom features to zoom in and out.

Exporting the point cloud

It is possible to export the point cloud for third-party usage, once it is created. From the menu on the left-hand side, select the downloads icon. 

Under the survey in which it was created, locate the point cloud classification and select the download icon to the right.

Renaming or deleting the point cloud

It is possible to rename and delete a point cloud once created. Select "Base layers", locate the point cloud, and select its kebab menu. Three options appear: "Select", "Rename," and "Delete."

Output classes

In the output, seven classes are obtained. 

Class .las Class Number
Ground 2
Low Vegetation 3
Medium Vegetation 4
High Vegetation 5
Building 6
Wire - Conductor 14
Transmission Tower 15

Possible errors and limitations

Very Low Density Case

For point clouds containing zones with a very low point density, there may be some locally improperly classified items. In the below example, a portion of the power lines appear green, indicating they are classified as vegetation. Thus, for maximal results, ensure to provide dense enough point clouds. We suggest a minimum density of 20 pts/sqm to properly detect conductors.