Is it possible to export a surface and terrain model files from an aerial, LiDAR point cloud (LAS) set?
I am using SAGA GIS for very basic operations, but I couldn't find this option (and I have a hunch SAGA GIS should support both operations).
You may check GRASS GIS 7 which comes with some Lidar support:
See therein: - DEM/DSM separation the simple way by selection of Lidar returns - DEM/DSM separation the more complex way
The plan is to expand the Wiki page furthermore (users may edit).
Edit: Here is an online course available:
"Analyze multiple return lidar data and create DEM and DSM", see http://courses.ncsu.edu/mea582/common/GIS_anal_grass/GIS_Anal_grgeomorph1_2014.html
There's a great tutorial from Wichmann et al. (2012) 1 here.
Using SAGA GIS to process LiDAR data and create nDSM and DTM is a 6-step procedure very easy to follow.
1- Wichmann, V.; Conrad, O.; Jochem, A.: LiDAR Point Cloud Processing with SAGA GIS. In: Hamburger Beiträge zur Physischen Geographie und Landschaftsökologie 20, S. 81-90.
Super fast LiDAR processing tools (either standalone or as ArcGIS toolbox). They have a las2dem tool which can create output in any of these formats: BIL, ASC, IMG, FLT, XYZ, DTM, TIF, PNG or JPG.
A newer option is the lidR library in R. https://github.com/Jean-Romain/lidR
It is specifically designed for forest analysis but includes general purpose lidar processing tools. I like the way it combines sophisticated algorithms with straightforward syntax and quick visualizations (plot and plot_3D).
Check out the grid_terrain command for extracting a dem from a las point cloud. It gives you a choice of three interpolation methods: idw, tin, and kriging. Note: This assumes your las file is already classified with ground points identified. If not run lasground first.
The link below provides a list of all commands with examples.