Release of PulseWaves Full Waveform LiDAR Format

Just in time for the RIEGL LiDAR 2013 user conference, technology start-up rapidlasso GmbH has released an open data exchange format called "PulseWaves" for storing full waveform LiDAR data. The new format has been in development since December 2011 through transparent discussions at that involved many stake holders. The result is a specification simple to implement, yet versatile enough to store many different waveform flavors. PulseWaves standardizes storage and delivery for applications that benefit from information about the waveform such as forest management, biomass estimation, and LiDAR bathymetry. It complements the ASPRS LAS format for discrete returns and radically simplifies the exchange of full outgoing and returning waveforms.

The initial PulseWaves release comes with an open source reference implementation (LGPL) and a set of basic processing tools to display and convert the data. A compressed version of the PulseWaves format based on LASzip technology is in progress. With their latest release of their RiPROCESS software, RIEGL GmbH has become the first hardware vendor to allow exporting full waveform LiDAR data to the PulseWaves format. The development effort was in parts supported by RIEGL GmbH and by Airborne Research Australia (ARA) at Flinders University in Adelaide.

About rapidlasso GmbH:
Technology start-up rapidlasso GmbH specializes in efficient LiDAR processing tools that are widely known for their high productivity. They combine robust algorithms with efficient I/O and clever memory
management to achieve high throughput for data sets containing billions of points. The company’s flagship product – the LAStools software suite – has deep market penetration and is heavily used in industry, government agencies, research labs, and educational institutions. Visit for more information.

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