Users of the Propeller Platform can download and export many different file formats to use in third-party software. We ensure that each file format is tested to verify that they are compatible and perform as they would in your portal.
What software and file formats are tested?
Trimble Business Center (TBC)
Global Mapper (GM)
Global Mapper is a GIS software package specializing in geospatial processing tools and data import and export of numerous file types. To learn how Global Mapper can be used with Propeller, check out our Knowledge Base article on splitting or crop point clouds or creating contour files from a DEM.
Quantum GIS (QGIS)
QGIS is a free, open-source application that allows users to create, edit, analyze, and visualize geospatial data.
Civil 3D is a software solution that aids in planning, designing, and managing civil engineering projects. To learn how to export TIN Surface DWG to a DXF, import orthophotos into Civil 3D, or simplify a TIN Surface, check out our Knowledge Base for more information.
ESRI's ArcGIS is a common tool for compiling, editing, publishing, and sharing geospatial data.
Could Compare is an open-source tool that handles 3D point cloud and meshing on Windows, macOS, and Linux. To learn how to download and install Cloud Compare or how to convert .TIFF to .XYZ, visit our Knowledge Base.
Third-Party Software Troubleshooting
Some software packages have limited BigTIFF format support or large GeoTIFF files. BigTIFFs are automatically produced when the Orthophoto is around 4GB, or it is deemed necessary for file creation. When downloading a pre-baked or on-demand Orthophoto GeoTIFF from Propeller, you may encounter a file that does not open in your package due to this limitation.
As a workaround, you may Export a Cropped Portion of Your Orthophoto From a Measurement and do one of the following:
- Export a lower-resolution Orthophoto.
- To maintain a higher resolution, break up the site into several smaller on-demand exports or,
- *include a world file in the request.
*Opening a Large Orthophoto in Trimble Business Center (TBC)
Large GeoTIFF files (not necessarily bigTIFFs) are tagged as Unreferenced Images in TBC.
When extents are not tightly trimmed to area with data (not areas with "no data"), there could be a higher chance that the TIFF will be unreferenced in TBC.
This issue can be resolved through the presence of a world file.
1. Ensure that the Orthophoto and worldfile (.tfw or .wld) are in the same folder and have the same name.
2. Create/Open a Project.
3. Click Home > Import.
4. In the Import tab, navigate to the location of the files.
5. Confirm that the File Type of the Orthophoto is Georeferenced Image (World).
6. Select the file and click Import.
*Displaying an Orthophoto or Point Cloud file in the Proper Orientation in QGIS
You may encounter files that is not displayed in the proper orientation when loaded in QGIS. When the map view shows a flipped display of an orthophoto or point cloud file, i.e. the coordinates of features are negated, the workaround is to assign the coordinate system of the file:
1. Open the Layer Properties.
2. Go to the Source information.
3. Depending on the default CRS detected, change the Assigned Coordinate Reference System (CRS):
- From default Project CRS: unknown to the correct CRS; or
- From default detected CRS to Project CRS: unknown.
LAZ 1.4 may not be fully supported yet by other third-party software not listed here. The compatibility issue may be resolved by downgrading the version to 1.2.
Here are some recommendations to set the desired version.
PDAL via writers.las
1. Open a shell where PDAL can be accessed
- Download Miniconda and install it.
- Open a Conda shell, then install PDAL by running this command on the shell:
conda install -c conda-forge pdal
if your QGIS was installed via OSGeo4W network installer, this may already be available on your machine.
- Download OSGeo4W network installer.
- Pick one or more packages to install, ensuring PDAL is included.
- Run the OSGeo4W shell.
2. Set the las minor version by typing this command:
pdal translate --writers.las.minor_version=2 input.laz output.laz
- input.laz can be changed by dragging the desired file to the shell
- change output.laz to folderdirectory/filename.laz of the output
LASTools via las2las
Unzip the LASTools folder.
Open Command prompt (cmd).
Change directory to where las2las is (/bin)
Type the following command to set the minor version to 2:
las2las -i input.laz -set_version 1.2 -o output.laz
Setting the minor version to 2 doesn't automatically create a GeoTIFF Variable Length Record (VLR) wherein the CRS of LAS 1.2 is represented. This may cause some software to be unable to identify the CRS of the file. If this is the case, the target projection should also be set.
To set minor version to 2 and set the file's projection within a GeoTIFF VLR
If the target projection has an EPSG code:
las2las -i input.laz -set_version 1.2 -target_epsg <code> -o output.laz
If the target projection is a UTM zone:
las2las -i input.laz -set_version 1.2 -target_utm <UTM zone> -o output.laz
For other possible CRS options, see https://las2las_README.txt
1. Open the Point Cloud file in Global Mapper.
2. Right-click on the file > Layer > EXPORT - Export Layer(s) to New File.
3. Select LIDAR LAS File or LIDAR LAZ (LAZsip) File as the Export format.
4. Set Lidar LAS/LAZ Export options to:
- Format Version: 1.2
- Global Encoding: 0
5. Click OK and Save the file.