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Why are cloud solutions poised to disrupt point cloud operations?
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Why are cloud solutions poised to disrupt point cloud operations?

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Why are cloud solutions poised to disrupt point cloud operations?

The point clouds created by laser scanners can store incredibly detailed information about a physical space. However, generating larger data will result in larger files that can be difficult to store and process.

Large projects can have hundreds (or even thousands) of scans, sometimes creating data sets exceeding a terabyte. This will strain the computer hardware, testing the CPU and RAM, and greatly increase the time required to process the laser scan data.

Processing datasets of this size is a growing problem for those working with point clouds. Cloud-based data processing offers the ability to handle incredibly large datasets and potentially process an infinite number of tasks at once. But it all depends on how compatible the 3D scanning software is with the point cloud.

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Why move to the Cloud?

The cloud is potentially THE solution for rapidly processing the largest point cloud datasets. Theoretically, the cloud offers infinite processing power. But there are also practical aspects involved in exploiting this tool.


The cloud will allow a surveyor to process their point clouds easily as needed. For example, most cloud services can augment existing resources to meet increased business needs or changes. You'll be able to support your business growth without having to continually purchase new hardware or upgrade your existing IT infrastructure.

Cloud services have both the processing memory (RAM) and disk storage to handle very large amounts of data. Terabytes of RAM and petabytes of storage can be made available to handle 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.

Treatment on demand

With many more processing cores, often with higher performance specifications than a typical laptop or desktop, cloud services can offer significant operational improvements. An added benefit is that you only pay for what you use.

With the cloud, rather than calculating the cost of new hardware, you can instead dynamically scale your capabilities to accommodate your data sets. Then you can turn off those services when you don't need them or scale them up when the need arises.

The ideal scenario is to create a right-sized project pool with cloud resources in near constant use. Managing the costs of cloud resources can be a science in itself, so make sure that costs and efficiency are balanced. But, the option to pay only for what you need is there, and there's no need to tie 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 any number of devices (be it a PC, smartphone or tablet).

The cloud offers a secure way to communicate with a quick response. You don't have to be in the office - you're not limited to one or more machines. For multiple offices, collaboration becomes easier with data contained in a cloud service.

Point cloud visualization through the cloud is a scalable, customizable, flexible and secure solution for surveyors. Beyond the scalability and flexibility of the cloud, the way one approaches a project changes. The cloud has its own data backup and recovery system to improve business processes. Surveyors can count on significant security for their 3D data.

The Cloud or the future of point cloud exploitation

When comparing cloud solutions to laptops, you need to consider server download time, storage and bandwidth costs. However, when you get into the details, most cloud subscriptions are roughly equivalent to buying two external hard drives for a PC, and the processing speeds of cloud solutions continue to increase as technology advances. Data transfer times are only getting better, and the cloud brings the undeniable advantage of global availability.

That one works on a project of 1 Gb or 1 Tb, the beyond a lodging and a visualization of these voluminous 3D data, it makes this data shareable, analyzable and collaborative for a multitude of users simultaneously and in Virtual Reality.

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