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TBC Does That #1: Extract Ground Surface from Point Clouds

What Trimble Business Center does:

The increased use of point clouds by surveyors is driving improvements in analyzing, cleaning and processing point cloud data. For example, with just one click, TBC automatically extracts ground points from a point cloud to create a new classification group for surface data (a classification group may be trees, buildings, poles, etc.) and with one more click, those points create a new surface.

How this helps you:

TBC uses default settings and geometry when extracting ground points. This avoids a lengthy trial and error process, which is especially helpful when a survey site is busy with cars and people that create noise and ghost points in the point cloud. The feature is very effective in areas of rough ground or long grass because more noise can be removed with multiple iterations. It is also a time saver for users only interested in the ground, such as for contour maps, because you don't waste time classifying unnecessary objects.

How it works:

Under the Point Cloud tab:

  • click on Classify Regions, and select Ground from the drop-down menu
  • the classification quality of the extracted surface will depend on the density of your point cloud, with higher density producing better results. 

Pro tip: TBC is compatible with all kinds of point clouds, such as LAS and e57, not just Trimble files.

The “TBC Does That” series, written by the Trimble Business Center (TBC) Team, focuses on the broad range of functionality that TBC delivers to you. Periodically we will release information to help you improve productivity by making the most of TBC’s built-in tools.