filters.hexbin

A common questions for users of point clouds is what the spatial extent of a point cloud collection is. Files generally provide only rectangular bounds, but often the points inside the files only fill up a small percentage of the area within the bounds.

Hexbin derive from input point buffer

Hexbin output shows boundary of actual points in point buffer, not just rectangular extents.

The hexbin filter reads a point stream and writes out a metadata record that contains a much tighter data bound, expressed as a well-known text polygon. In order to write out the metadata record, the pdal pipeline command must be invoked using the –pipeline-serialization option:

Dynamic Plugin

This stage requires a dynamic plugin to operate

Example 1

The following pipeline file and command produces an JSON output file containing the pipeline’s metadata, which includes the result of running the hexbin filter:

{
    "pipeline": [
        "/Users/me/pdal/test/data/las/autzen_trim.las",
        {
            "type" : "filters.hexbin"
        }
    ]
}


$ pdal pipeline hexbin-pipeline.json --metadata hexbin-out.json
{
  "stages":
  {
    "filters.hexbin":
    {
      "area": 746772.7543,
      "avg_pt_per_sq_unit": 22.43269935,
      "avg_pt_spacing": 2.605540869,
      "boundary": "MULTIPOLYGON (((636274.38924399 848834.99817891, 637242.52219686 848834.99817891, 637274.79329529 849226.26445367, 637145.70890157 849338.05481789, 637242.52219686 849505.74036422, 636016.22045656 849505.74036422, 635983.94935813 849114.47408945, 636113.03375184 848890.89336102, 636274.38924399 848834.99817891)))",
      "boundary_json": { "type": "MultiPolygon", "coordinates": [ [ [ [ 636274.38924399, 848834.99817891 ], [ 637242.52219686, 848834.99817891 ], [ 637274.79329529, 849226.26445367 ], [ 637145.70890157, 849338.05481789 ], [ 637242.52219686, 849505.74036422 ], [ 636016.22045656, 849505.74036422 ], [ 635983.94935813, 849114.47408945 ], [ 636113.03375184, 848890.89336102 ], [ 636274.38924399, 848834.99817891 ] ] ] ] },
      "density": 0.1473004999,
      "edge_length": 0,
      "estimated_edge": 111.7903642,
      "hex_offsets": "MULTIPOINT (0 0, -32.2711 55.8952, 0 111.79, 64.5422 111.79, 96.8133 55.8952, 64.5422 0)",
      "sample_size": 5000,
      "threshold": 15
    },
...

Example 2

As a convenience, the pdal info command will produce similar output:

$ pdal info --boundary /Users/me/test/data/las/autzen_trim.las
{
  "boundary":
  {
    "area": 746772.7543,
    "avg_pt_per_sq_unit": 22.43269935,
    "avg_pt_spacing": 2.605540869,
    "boundary": "MULTIPOLYGON (((636274.38924399 848834.99817891, 637242.52219686 848834.99817891, 637274.79329529 849226.26445367, 637145.70890157 849338.05481789, 637242.52219686 849505.74036422, 636016.22045656 849505.74036422, 635983.94935813 849114.47408945, 636113.03375184 848890.89336102, 636274.38924399 848834.99817891)))",
    "boundary_json": { "type": "MultiPolygon", "coordinates": [ [ [ [ 636274.38924399, 848834.99817891 ], [ 637242.52219686, 848834.99817891 ], [ 637274.79329529, 849226.26445367 ], [ 637145.70890157, 849338.05481789 ], [ 637242.52219686, 849505.74036422 ], [ 636016.22045656, 849505.74036422 ], [ 635983.94935813, 849114.47408945 ], [ 636113.03375184, 848890.89336102 ], [ 636274.38924399, 848834.99817891 ] ] ] ] },
    "density": 0.1473004999,
    "edge_length": 0,
    "estimated_edge": 111.7903642,
    "hex_offsets": "MULTIPOINT (0 0, -32.2711 55.8952, 0 111.79, 64.5422 111.79, 96.8133 55.8952, 64.5422 0)",
    "sample_size": 5000,
    "threshold": 15
  },
  "filename": "\/Users\/acbell\/pdal\/test\/data\/las\/autzen_trim.las",
  "pdal_version": "1.6.0 (git-version: 675afe)"
}

Options

edge_size
If not set, the hexbin filter will estimate a hex size based on a sample of the data. If set, hexbin will use the provided size in constructing the hexbins to test.
sample_size
How many points to sample when automatically calculating the edge size? [Default: 5000]
threshold
Number of points that have to fall within a hexbin before it is considered “in” the data set. [Default: 15]
precision
Coordinate precision to use in writing out the well-known text of the boundary polygon. [Default: 8]