All pointclouds in a project will have any entry in the project window. The pointcloud menu belonging to each cloud has Visualization and History tabs, as well as various Tools at the bottom of the menu.

The Life Cycle of a Cloud File

The cloud file (.cloud), is a Phoenix LiDAR proprietary pointcloud format (for exporting to LAZ, see the Export menu). Clouds are initially created using the Create Cloud tool, or by Playback fusing.

After a cloud is created, it can be modified. Some cloud modifications automatically save during their processing, such as colorization or ground classification. Other changes, like trajectory optimization, result in a recomputed cloud that contains changes which are not written to disk. More information about recomputing is located in the Tools section of this page

A cloud has changes which are not written to disk whenever the cloud appears in an italicized, bold font with an asterisk next to the name:

To commit the changes, and save the cloud's current state to disk, simply use File->Save. All committed changes can be viewed in the cloud's History tab.


The Visualization tab can be used to adjust the attribute(s) used to visualize the cloud:

The visualization can be adjusted using the C and V sliders, which stand for color and visibility. Adjusting the visibility slider will change which points are visible, based on the attribute being modified. Adjusting the color slider will change the start and end attribute values associated with the start (blue) and end (red) of the color ramp.

Update Histograms from Cloud may be necessary when the cloud has been recomputed and the attribute visualization no longer reflects the current state of the cloud. This is also used to load attributes when a cloud is imported from an LAZ.


The History tab shows committed changes to the cloud. You can View Commits, or Reset to Commit, which resets the state of the cloud to the selected commit.

Reset to Commit is useful when changes to a cloud need to be reverted.


Recompute Cloud tool allows users to quickly experiment with different trajectories and sensor calibration settings, without having to re-fuse a pointcloud.

Cloud Groups

When creating a cloud using the Create Cloud tool, you have the option to create a single cloud or fuse to a grid. When fusing to a grid, one cloud file will be created per grid cell:

To open a cloud group, File->Open one of the cloud files, and SpatialExplorer will automatically open the remainder of the group.

When working with data sets that cover a large spatial area (greater than 2 sq. km or 500 acres), it's best to use a cloud group, rather than a single cloud. The most notable advantage to processing with a cloud group is faster processing speeds with classification routines (such as Classify Ground).

Working with cloud groups is essentially the same as working with a single cloud, and the only difference to the user is the presence of many CLOUD files on disk.

Last updated