Integration of panoramic photos and LiDAR

Although basic data type handled by Pointscene is point cloud, to enrich visual information you can add also vectors and panoramic photos. There are several tools that’ll help to manage all these information and make the most of it. Today I want to focus on how to overlay point and vector data with panoramic photos.

360 panorama and point cloud uploaded by Jonne Davidsson

Point clouds are great at representing the current state of an area. However, sometimes they are difficult to work with. It isn’t uncommon that in such big data set like point cloud it’s hard to correctly identify all objects. For the various reasons, the shape of the object might appear distorted because of missing points on its surface. Sharp edges are especially hard to represent and the quality of that representation depends very much on scan resolution. Fortunately, these inconveniences can be reduced. It’s worth to capture also 360 photos along scanning the area. This can save you a lot of time and effort when trying to recognise objects from the point cloud.

How to display panoramic photos

Let’s start with the basis. To enter panoramic photo view click white sphere marking the image acquisition location. This view will give you an overlook on how the territory looked like and what objects could be captured. In some cases, it’s much easier to distinguish a curb looking at the photo instead of using only point cloud. And then you can measure or vectorize this feature. Still, it might be useful to see at what point the line snaps. Here are two ways how to do it.

Switching to panoramic photo view- full scene by MapXact

Go to Options in the right-hand corner of the window and choose Photos. You can change the display order of the image and point cloud. Set Background mode to active and the point cloud will be overlayed on top of a panoramic photo. Individual points will be visible together with the photo. A similar effect can be achieved by lowering the opacity level of the image.

The results of changing Background mode (top) and Opacity (bottom)- full scene by MapXact

In the planning phase of the project, it is often required to display present condition and design information together. In Pointscene, one way to achieve it is to use Peek mode. This tool lets you see through image layer. In that way, you can examine particular details of the point cloud or vector data. For example, it might be used to check how pipelines and cables run beneath the ground. If you want to see a bigger picture of the area, use Background mode.

Peek mode and Background mode allow examining vector data- full scene by MapXact

In conclusion, 360 photos can add meaningful context to collected data and fill in the information lacking in the point cloud. If you want to know how to include panoramic photos in your data, check the previous texts here and here.

What to read next

  • To learn best practices for generating point cloud from 2D images see the last text here.
  • Read comparison of two drone mapping softwares here
  • Check how to learn more through point cloud visualisation options here

Test Pointscene today

Want to know how to include point clouds in your projects? Visit to explore many examples in gallery or start free trial and upload your own data within minutes.