Point cloud in a webserver

Viewing point clouds is difficult, it often requires special software to view it. What if there was a different way to view them if you could just view them in a browser.

There is. www.potree.org is a free open source program that can be used to to stream point clouds from you own server. However setting it up is not done via a GUI interface.

  1. Download and install XAMPP and start a local server
  2. Right mouse click an run XAMPP as an admin
  3. Download Potree convertor from github
  4. Install on C:\PotreeConverter_1.6_windows_x64
  5. Open up a terminal window using by typeing cmd
  6. Go to the root directory C:\ by typing cd\
  7. Copy and paste the point cloud you want to stream to your C directory. The point cloud should be in .las format
  8. With the .las in the C:\ Change directory using “cd” and go the potree convertor directory
  9. Run the program by typing “PotreeConverter.exe C:/pointcloud.las -o C:/xampp/htdocs/potree --generate-page pageName”


    • Potreeconverter.exe” runs the potree converter exe file.
    • C:/pointcloud.las” is the location of the las file.
    • -o” is the output directory
    • "pageName" is the name of the file
  1. This means that it will output a file called “pageName” to a folder called potree in the following path. “C:/xampp/htdocs
  2. To run the file, enter the following into the browser
  3. "http://localhost/potree/pageName.html"

Have fun!

Great article from Sarah Lorek on why you need to laser scan your next project.

If you’re a contractor looking to step up your tech game in the highly-competitive construction industry, 3D laser scanning could be the next logical step towards making your jobs more efficient— saving you time and money.

How Does It Work?

3D laser scanning emits millions of laser lights and by timing their return, can accurately and precisely calculate their 3D locations, to produce multiple high-speed scans, brought together into one system. It works by digitally capturing the dimensions and spatial relationships of objects using the reflection of a laser light.

The technology has a wide array of jobsite applications, including:

Pre-construction as-builts Building Information Modeling (BIM) Virtual Design Construction (VDC) Quality Control during construction Comparing design intent to as-built conditions When objects or existing site conditions are scanned, millions of data points are recorded (invisible to the human eye) and the result is an accurate depiction of the scanned site or object. This accurate depiction is called a point cloud.

Point cloud data goes into a common reference system where it’s merged into a complete model. This process is called alignment or registration, and dozens of scans can quickly be stitched together. The 3D CAD Model created from the point cloud can then aid in extending BIM workflows.

Why Would You Need It?

3D laser scanning is quickly becoming the norm in the AEC industry. In fact, technology is advancing much faster than the industry itself. According to KPMG’s Global Construction Survey from 2016, the industry is yet to fully embrace technology, and just over 20% of respondents said they’re changing their business models to accommodate this rapid growth. In addition, data volume is rising quickly, causing most executives and project owners to struggle to make sense of the information. The result is an industry far behind others in adopting the latest tech.

The bright side? A small group of contractors now have the advantage.

Since much of the industry has struggled to adopt even the most basic technology, firms that do are catapulted well above the competition. With the ability to capture data at one million points per second, with a scan time of only three minutes, adopting 3D laser tech is a great first step.

Although the benefits go beyond just three, the video below will give you a good idea of how scanning technology can catapult your firm well above the competition.

About the Author: Sarah Lorek

Sarah is the Content Manager/Editor for Constructible and Trimble MEP. She has worked on many large scale marketing campaigns for Fortune 500 companies, helping them define their story and shape a compelling narrative. Now, she focuses on creating and sourcing valuable thought leader content for our readers.

San Francisco "Affordable" housing - now costs $750,000 per unit to build.

Truly shocking, and well worth a read...a San Francisco "affordable" housing unit now costs $750,000 to build. Scanforce.io can help control those rehab costs with rapid, accurate capture of existing conditions, resulting in less re-work, and fewer change-orders. The pressure is on like never before to make the construction process more cost-effective. https://lnkd.in/g3iE63s

Laser scanning helps save time and money.

We’ve just launched www.scanforce.io to bring next generation laser scanning technology to real estate owners, managers, designers, and builders. The new tech enables us to deliver 2D floor plans, 3D BIM models, and 360° photo walk throughs in 5 days. Contact me if you, or someone you know, is starting a project and needs as-built digital building plans - fast.  Here's a good article on why it makes financial sense:  https://lnkd.in/gxPKPjs

Great article & video - Laser Scanning: The New and Improved Tape Measure.

Great article & video - Laser Scanning:  The New and Improved Tape Measure.  Scanforce.io can bring all this tech to your next project.  Not every Architect, GC, or building Owner/Manager has the resources to implement laser scanning technology in-house.  Here’s a great article and video posted by a general contractor about how they are incorporating next generation construction technology into standard operating procedures.