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Jorge Delgado García
Vicerrector de Planificación, Calidad, Responsabilidad Social y Comunicación
Universidad de Jaén
Campus de las Lagunillas, Edif. Rectorado (B-1). 23071 Jaén (España)
I agree, I find it amazing how many companies still push proprietary formats for no good reason at all, but I guess it comes down to controlling/keeping their market hold.
Could be worse, they could have taken a proposed new variant of an open format and bastardised it for their own needs ... I’ll avoid naming names; you know who you are! ;-)
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Here’s my perspective.
Initially I was dismayed by the news. The State of Minnesota has been using LAZ compression to store LiDAR data for several years. We won’t be changing how we store the data either as it makes no sense at all to go to a proprietary format however we have a lot of stakeholders that are heavy users of ESRI software.
After pondering this notion for a while I csme to the conclusion that it’s fine for ESRI to develop their own proprietary compression and indexing schemes. IF (and that’s a big if) the products prove to be better and faster in their software then I’ll welcome using it.
Competition is one of the things that drives innovation and improvement and I would expect Martin would likely not sit still if LASTOOLs compression and indexing were outdone.
I for one am not going to stop putting pressure on ESRI to read LAZ compressed data. I’m going to continue to send them e-mails and press for them to write into their software the ability to ingest LAZ compressed LiDAR data. They support all kinds of vector and raster formats and I see no reason for them not to support LAZ format if their users continue to demand it.
Keep up the good work Martin…
Results from a quick test with a fairly large LAS 1.2 file (30.8GB; 1,274,979,476 points; combined terrestrial scans; point data format 2: x, y ,z, intensity, RGB; Scale Factor 0.001 in x/y/z):
Original LAS file size: 30.8GB (33,149,466,689 bytes)
LAZ file size (default options): 7.78GB (8,356,090,204 bytes)
ZLAS file size (default options - “Scan file”/”Rearrange points”): 6.78GB (7,284,551,680 bytes)
Decompressing both files resulted in the original data from what I can see.
Thank goodness for solid-state drives! ;-)
So, a slight win in *this instance* from ZLAS, but for me, an open format will almost always be my preferred choice. The industry has too much to lose by letting one company dominate the market with a proprietary/closed format in my opinion. As mentioned, this was also a single run, so counts very little towards proving which compression technique is ‘best’, but I think that’s only half the issue here …
Dr Stuart Mowbray
Group Engineering Software
☎+44 (0) 1904 736757 (internal ext: 36757)| ✉Stuart....@Renishaw.com
One Format to rule them all, One Format to find them,