The Point Data Abstraction Library (PDAL) provides command line tools and a library for the manipulating and translating point cloud data.



Point cloud data is similar to vector point data, but optimized for the large data collection volume produced my modern data collection devices where a cloud of points are used to capture three dimensional structures, and processing chains are tailored to work with the billions of points.

PDAL provides point cloud data translation workflows, providing a common API freeing you from worrying about the many different data collection formats. PDAL provides the greatest selection of point cloud format drivers.

To unlock the power of PDAL:

  • Command line tools are provided
  • Python processing is supported using Numpy
  • Developers are provided with a direct C++ API

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Core features

  • Learning PDAL

    • Quickstart using pre-constructed Dockr image to try out PDAL at your convenience.
    • PDAL workshop with hands-on examples using PDAL applications for point cloud data processing
  • Processing

    • From the most basic format translation, to multi-stage transformations PDAL pipeline models your intended workflow
    • JSON representation of PDAL processing pipeline
  • Readers

    • The most extensive format support in the industry with over 20 supported formats
    • Provide a common representation of dimensions like X,Y,Z along with intensity to represent LiDAR pint clouds
    • Support everything from text representations, databases readers and network services
  • Writers

    • Capture your processed results with everything from text, to sqlite to geowave.
  • Filters

    • Inline operations to process your point cloud data
    • Remove, modify, reorganize and add data on the fly to your data stream