Lower technical and financial barriers have led to a proliferation of lidar point-cloud datasets acquired to support diverse USGS projects. The objective of this effort was to implement an open-source, cloud-based solution through USGS Cloud Hosting Solutions (CHS) that would address the needs of the growing USGS lidar community. We proposed to allow users to upload point-cloud datasets to CHS-administered Amazon Web Services storage where open-source packages Entwine and Potree would provide visualization and manipulation via a local web browser. This functionality for individual datasets would mirror services currently available for USGS 3DEP data. After the software packages could not satisfy internal technical and security requirements, we explored alternative possibilities to securely and readily transfer, process, share, and visualize large-volume point-cloud datasets via the cloud. We summarized the lessons learned throughout the course of the project in a report on current priorities and obstacles for lidar practitioners in the USGS.
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“A screen capture of a web browser displaying USGS 3DEP point-cloud data acquired”