Sign up ×
Geographic Information Systems Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for cartographers, geographers and GIS professionals. It's 100% free, no registration required.

I am looking to host lidar data on my own server and give clients the ability to view that data through a web browser as a 3D point cloud (file would be in .las format or equivalent), possibly with the ability to measure features.

Does anyone know of an easy to implement piece of software that can do this?

I am not nessecarily looking for open source, and I would prefer something plug and play because I am not a programmer.

share|improve this question
Maybe something html5... –  gomapping Nov 13 '13 at 21:33
I am looking for something that someone else has possibly implemented, it does not have to be free. An example that I can download and host on my server and replace their point cloud with mine would be preferable. –  gomapping Nov 13 '13 at 22:47
I am not looking for something opensource so my question is not a duplicate. They also were using openlayers I want something stand alone. –  gomapping Nov 14 '13 at 3:26
Also following the link in the answer of the duplicate question it specifically says it is not for visualization. –  gomapping Nov 14 '13 at 3:35
Also, it seems like the answer on the other page is incomplete or not very helpful! @J-roc, if you edit your question to show what you've tried already and why it doesn't work for you, it would help. –  Simbamangu Nov 14 '13 at 7:12

6 Answers 6

up vote 8 down vote accepted

I'm a little late to the party but here is another suggestion:

It's an open souce, WebGL based point cloud viewer I've been working on for quite a while.

== UPDATE ==

It can render large amounts of colored point clouds. LIDAR data without colors will be supported soon.

Potree is based on three.js which means, you can also do everything that three.js offers, like rendering meshes, splines, lights, shadows, etc.

enter image description here

== OLD ==

Here is a nice demo:
And here is a showcase from pix4d using potree:

Source code is available at github:

And currently I'm working on a rewrite from scratch as a three.js based project:

This rewrite will have to advantage, that you will be able to use everything three.js has to offer as well, once it's finished.

share|improve this answer
This is awesome thanks!!!!!! –  gomapping May 1 '14 at 0:42
@J-roc By the way, since you were interested in support for mobile devices. I noticed that the three.js based rewrite works perfectly fine on my samsung galaxy s4 active(opera and firefox). Even rotation and zoom work using drag&pinch gestures. It will take some time before this rewrite will be stable, though. –  Markus May 1 '14 at 7:54

A quick Google search turned up:

  1. Spar Point Group has a nice writeup on several web-based point cloud viewers at
  2. This viewer is just too cool:
  3. PointCloud looks promising, and supposedly is free:
share|improve this answer
I have looked at these options and it seems that the sparpoint article examples use strange formats. The one just loads point clouds it does not allow you to host your own version with your own point clouds on your own server. And the, I see no where that it actually opens point clouds it has more to do with augmented reality. –  gomapping Nov 13 '13 at 22:42

You could look at Cesium.

A local city GIS office showed a demo of an LiDAR point cloud using Cesium at a recent conference. I don't recall if you could measure in it, but you could at least zoom, pan and rotate around.

share|improve this answer
Thanks, I'll check it out. –  gomapping Nov 13 '13 at 21:54

Check this out, they have samples on the "try now page". No limits on size, LiDAR and other xyz data types in the web browser, with no plugins and polished WebRTC collaboration. This company has been privately virtualizing substations for big energy companies building this software out for over three years, and then they added this LiDAR steaming service and are bring it public to a limited group in 2015. If you find this site is password protected I'd contact them direct. It's not right now, but I understand it will be in the future. It's like NetFlixs, but for point clouds. Works amazing on my new Mac Book Pro, video game like!

share|improve this answer is pretty nice and very easy to get going quickly. I presume the performance to be dependent on the client's ram and cpu. I had no trouble with ~350mb raw .las file in Firefox. .laz files will load faster than .las, because they're compressed and copy faster. There is no content difference once loaded however.

To load your own data click the word [Browse] in the drop down chooser (instead of the downward arrow on the right).

A screenshot (labels added after):


Github source:

share|improve this answer

For what I was looking for this seems to be my best bet, but it does not work on mobile devices as far as I can tell.


share|improve this answer

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.