I am looking for a software that would be able to store huge point clouds generated from LIDAR and stereo camera scans of terrain and urban areas (with buildings etc.). I need to visualize the data and possibly also edit it. Everything should be doable via web browser.

I found map servers like MapServer and GeoServer but since they are rather complex I did not investigate these in depth yet. I also do not know if they can store elevation at all and thus if they are suited for point clouds (they seem to be rather for 2D maps).

According to this post point clouds should be possible to store the point cloud in a custom PostGIS database. There also is a PostgreSQL extension for storing point clouds. This post led me to the Potree web based point cloud viewer. All these pieces together may form the software in question except the visual editor part.

I prefer open source software.

I am afraid such a complex piece of software with all the features I need may not exist in a single package yet. If anyone could at least confirm this assumption, that would be nice so that I do not need to waste time on further research...

2 Answers 2


I don't think that either MapServer or GeoServer will be able to handle large point cloud datasets, though they can both use PostgreSQL/PostGIS as a data source. If you want some open source software to provide a web service (this is what software like MapServer or GeoServer do) then your only choice as far as I know is Rasdaman/Petascope; where Rasdaman is the data manager and Petascope provides the data service (WCS/WCPS/WMS/WPS).

You can trial Rasdaman (and indeed MapServer and GeoServer) on the OSGeo-Live distribution.

Also see: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rasdaman


Don't know what software they use ... but http://cyark.org might be interesting to you ... it lets one view 3D scans of heritage sites as point clouds with millions of points in the web browser.

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