LiDAR data with Scidb?


Dear list,
Has anyone tried to use Scidb for LiDAR data processing? I thought of this while watching Paul Ramsey’s talk (video and pdf listed below) about LiDAR processing with Postgis. It appears that SciDB should be ideal for such processing. I intend to try this out over the christmas break but was hoping to hear experiences of others if they’d already attempted something similar. I’ll let you all know the results when I’ve tried this myself.

Here are the links:
And the accompanying pdf: … 4-2013.pdf
Thanks in advance,


After looking over your PDF, it seems like the data is very similar to MODIS data, and SciDB is very well positioned to store this type of data.
Take a look at this tutorial:
Note that it is rather long – about 2 hours. However, we have a MODIS demo at 4 minutes into it that shows some computations that are almost identical to the ones for LiDAR.


Thanks smarcus!

I looked at your link and watched about 30 mins of the video. I’m very hopeful that scidb might be useful for LiDAR data processing but I cannot get it to compile on my OS X 10.9. Your video link used Mac OS X for the demo (primarily RStudio) but did you install SciDB on Mac too? If so, how did you get it to work? If no, pardon the question.

Thanks for the link. Hopefully I’ll be able to compile/install SciDB and evaluate it myself!


Hi Vijay,

Yes I like my Mac too :smile: but I don’t run SciDB natively on it. We don’t support OS X at the moment. Some folks have gotten it to compile but we don’t have the bandwidth to maintain, test and support it. The demo was run using the EC2 AMI. I launched SciDB on Amazon EC2 and then connected to it via web browser.

You can actually start a copy of that same machine with the data already loaded. See viewtopic.php?f=18&t=1204. Amazon will charge you a small hourly fee to run that machine though.
Another thing I often do is use VirtualBox. I do a lot of development and prototypes using a CentOS VM on my laptop.