[Gfoss] [LAStools] Re: wins 2012 technology innovation award for LiDAR processing at Geospatial World Forum for LASzip

MI pare una bella storia, degna di essere diffusa: l'universita' che si
fa motore di innovazione, il passaggio ad una licenza libera che
moltiplica le possibilita', la cooperazione e lo sviluppo, e poi un
riconoscimento prestigioso.

-------- Messaggio originale --------


thank you, Karl, for the nice words. But although I may have developed
the compression technology, the quick adaption of LAZ as the "de-facto
standard" for LiDAR compression by more and more agencies and
industries would not have been possible without the support of several
folks. I want to acknowledge those who have helped tremendously to
make this happen.

LASzip had been available since 2007 on my web page in form of an API
(header files and library) and as a binary executable (but without any
license). At that time laszip.exe was nothing but an academic proof-of-
concept prototype implementation to accompany a paper on compression.
I was surprised to later find out that it had already been used by
some data vendors for data deliveries ... (-:

I was first encouraged to "open source" my laszip.exe compressor in
the fall of 2009 by companies and federal agencies who wanted LiDAR
compression but did not want to buy into the royalty-based LiDAR
compressor of LizardTech. They told me that they were worried that
this would put "financial discomfort" on them for years to come.

But the open sourcing of LASzip 1.0 did not actually happen until
Howard Butler (Hobu Inc) and Dave Finnegan (USACE) convinced me of the
benefits and promised me help with integrating and promoting LAZ via
their widely popular open source libLAS library that had forked off
LAStools in November 2007. They also motivated me to add random-access
to the decompressor. In particular Howard kept nagging me about adding
"chunking" - how he coined this functionality - to the LASzip
compression algorithm.

This gave me reason to completely re-factor the LASzip code base into
a more modular and more extensible industry-strength implementation
that would allow to incorporate changes to the evolving LAS
specification in the future. During the redesign to LASzip 2.0 a few
more ideas how to better predict the next point from the previous ones
were integrated to further improve compression ratio and speed.

At this point Michael Gerlek (Flaxen consulting) joined the effort and
helped to properly interface LASzip with libLAS (and now PDAL). Via
this interface, LAZ support is now available, for example, in FME2012,
TopoDOT, GRASS, and any other software that uses libLAS under the

Finally, Tim Loesch (DNR Minnesota) and Chris Crosby (OpenTopography)
were the earliest adopters to provide the LAZ format as an option for
downloading large amounts of LiDAR. This gave LAZ the first real
exposure to a wider audience.

I want to extend your congratulations to all of them. Thank's guys!

Martin @lastools

On Apr 25, 7:15 am, Hans Karl Heidemann <kheidem...@usgs.gov> wrote:

Congratulations Martin .... you well deserve this recognition for your
genius, effort, and willingness to support and advance the lidar industry!

H Karl Heidemann, GISP
Physical Scientist, Lidar Science
U.S. Geological Survey
Earth Resources Observation and Science Center
47914 252nd Street, Sioux Falls, SD 57198
Phn: 605-594-2861
Fax: 605-594-6529
"Nothing matters very much, and few things ... matter at all."
                                                                -- Arthur
James Balfour

From: Martin Isenburg <martin.isenb...@gmail.com>
To: LAStools - efficient tools for LiDAR processing
Date: 04/24/2012 05:15 PM
Subject: [LAStools] wins 2012 technology innovation award for LiDAR
processing at Geospatial World Forum for LASzip
Sent by: lastools@googlegroups.com


LAStools is the recipient of the 2012 technology innovation award for
LiDAR processing at the Geospatial World Forum in Amsterdam for its
LASzip lossless LiDAR compression software. LASzip is a free,
efficient, open-source solution for squeezing LAS files into 5 to 13
times smaller LAZ files. LASzip has become a de-facto industry
standard for exchanging compressed LiDAR that is used by NOAA, USGS,
OpenTopography, Dielmo3D, Fugro, Blom, Riegl, Dewberry, USACE, DNR
Minnesota, the Finnish Mapping Authority, and many more ... saving
agencies, companies, and their users many TeraBytes of disk storage
and transmission bandwidth.



Martin @lastools

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