Knowledge Base

Back to Terrain Module

Reducing LiDAR Data Size

Updated June 25, 2018

This article applies to:
  • Terrain 3D
  • Terrain Forestry
  • RoadEng Civil
  • RoadEng Forestry

Often large LiDAR files produce huge contour sets which can draw quite slowly.

We recommend also reading Softree's knowledge base item. We recommend trying to keep the modeled data set size under 5 million points (or 10 million with the 64-bit version).

After creating contours on your LiDAR data, thin them if necessary:

1. Select all contours (Select by name, Advanced, "cntr*")

2. Note number of points at bottom of Terrain screen (make sure that the window is wide enough):

In image there are 1.586 million contour points selected (the rest are LiDAR points).
If draw time is slow and large number of contour points, continue with step three.

3. In Features Tools ribbon choose Simplify / Smooth:

4. Set Simplify and enter a Tolerance you can live with. Tolerance is the maximum distance from the new simplified feature to the old complete feature.

Even a decimeter Tolerance will remove lots of points.