Point clouds created by laser scanners can store incredibly detailed information about a physical space. However, the generation of larger data will result in larger files which may be difficult to store and process.
Large projects can have hundreds (if not thousands) of scans, sometimes creating datasets larger than one terabyte. This will strain computer hardware, testing the CPU and RAM, and greatly increase the time it takes to process laser scan data.
Processing data sets of this size is a growing problem for those working with point clouds. Data processing in the cloud offers the ability to manage incredibly large data sets and potentially handle an infinite number of tasks at once. But it all depends on the compatibility of the 3D scanning software with the point cloud.
Why switch to Cloud solutions?
The cloud is potentially THE solution for quickly process the largest sets of point cloud data. Theoretically, the cloud offers infinite processing power. But there are also practical aspects involved in the use of this tool.
The cloud will allow a surveyor to easily process his point clouds as needed. For example, most cloud services can leverage existing resources to meet increased business needs or changes. You can support the growth of your business without having to continually buy new hardware or update your existing IT infrastructure.
Cloud services have both processing memory (RAM) and disk storage to manage very large amounts of data. Terabytes of RAM and petabytes of storage can be made available to cope with the inevitable increase in the size of point clouds.
To take advantage of cloud computing, processing software must be able to integrate with the cloud. You may also need to invest in a high-quality Internet connection and ensure that there is no data transfer cap. When you move to a cloud solution, your ability to process data will not depend solely on your bandwidth.
With many more processing cores, often with higher performance specifications than a conventional laptop or desktop computer, cloud services can offer significant operational improvements. An additional advantage is that you only pay according to your usage.
With the cloud, rather than calculating the cost of new hardware, you can, on the contrary, dynamically size your ability to adapt to the processing of your data sets. Then, you will be able to deactivate these services when you no longer need them or to increase them when the need arises.
The ideal scenario is to create a good-sized project pool with cloud resources that are used almost constantly. Managing the cost of cloud resources can be a science in itself, so you have to make sure costs and efficiency are balanced. But, the option to pay only for what you need is there, and there is no need to lock up your own computer for hours when you can use someone else’s instead.
Cloud services allow a company to improve its internal and external communication with its employees during a project. Documents and data can be easily shared within a team without having to worry about purchasing additional hardware for data sharing. Point clouds can be shared on an indefinite number of devices (be it a laptop, a smartphone or a tablet).
The cloud offers a secure way to communicate with a quick response. You don’t have to be in the office – you are not limited to one or more machines. For several offices, collaboration becomes easier with the data contained in a cloud service.
The visualization of point clouds through the cloud is a scalable, customizable, flexible and secure solution for surveyors. Beyond the scalability and flexibility of the cloud, the way we approach a project changes. The cloud has its own data backup and recovery system to improve business processes. Surveyors can count on significant security of their 3D data.
The Cloud or the future of point cloud operations
When comparing cloud solutions to laptops, you need to take into account server download time, storage and connexion costs. However, when you get into the details, most cloud solutions subscriptions roughly equate to buying two external hard drives for a laptop, and cloud solutions processing speeds continue to increase depending on the evolution of technology. Data transfer time is only getting better and the cloud brings the undeniable advantage of global availability.
Whether working on a 1 GB or 1 TB project, the ATIS.cloud beyond hosting and visualizing this large 3D data, it makes this data shareable, analisable and collaborative for a multitude of users simultaneously and in Virtual Reality.