DISTRIBUTED DIMENSONALITY-BASED RENDERING OF LIDAR POINT CLOUDS
Abstract. Mobile Mapping Systems (MMS) are now commonly acquiring lidar scans of urban environments for an increasing number of applications such as 3D reconstruction and mapping, urban planning, urban furniture monitoring, practicability assessment for persons with reduced mobility (PRM)... MMS acquisitions are usually huge enough to incur a usability bottleneck for the increasing number of non-expert user that are not trained to process and visualize these huge datasets through specific softwares. A vast majority of their current need is for a simple 2D visualization that is both legible on screen and printable on a static 2D medium, while still conveying the understanding of the 3D scene and minimizing the disturbance of the lidar acquisition geometry (such as lidar shadows). The users that motivated this research are, by law, bound to precisely georeference underground networks for which they currently have schematics with no or poor absolute georeferencing. A solution that may fit their needs is thus a 2D visualization of the MMS dataset that they could easily interpret and on which they could accurately match features with their user datasets they would like to georeference. Our main contribution is two-fold. First, we propose a 3D point cloud stylization for 2D static visualization that leverages a Principal Component Analysis (PCA)-like local geometry analysis. By skipping the usual and error-prone estimation of a ground elevation, this rendering is thus robust to non-flat areas and has no hard-to-tune parameters such as height thresholds. Second, we implemented the corresponding rendering pipeline so that it can scale up to arbitrary large datasets by leveraging the Spark framework and its Resilient Distributed Dataset (RDD) and Dataframe abstractions.