Oh well in that case! Hopefully 3 Manifold 'Lifers' can sway the powers that be into native support. *Edit 4 now - hi Mike!
I think LASTools is a really good piece of software but I don't want to spend 5,000 Euros and a cumulative 20% per year (1000 in year 2, 1200 in year 3, 1440 in year 4 etc) in maintenance. I also think it's far better suited to a different kind of project than my clients want.
Radian could be revolutionary to point cloud processing because, honestly, the fun and easy part of my job is flying the drone. The fun and hard part is turning that mountain of data into outstanding products. If I can perform SQL queries against my cloud to achieve what I need then I couldn't be happier.
Adam, here is a simpler use case that is actually quite complex in its own right.
The file RGP Cloud clip is screen shot of a section of a cloud containing about 7 million points. It is a freshly paved parking lot enclosed by a fence and surrounded by flood lights. The parking lot contains newly built truck bodies, so the data is pretty noisy. Also, there are voids in the data because of the characteristics of the asphalt. You can also see voids in the deep shadows around the truck cabs.
The Scalar Z Cloud Clip file shows the same data coloured by elevation. You can see the heads of the lights, some of the posts are picked up as are sections of the fence.
Lastly, the Scalar Z Cloud Detail file shows a small part of the point cloud (400,000 points) with the normals computed. You can see how 'soft' the trucks look and a ridge where the shadow of the light falls across the parking lot. The 'flat' parking lot... isn't.
There is, however, a trend to a lower elevation to the upper left. There is a catch basin up there somewhere. I want to take out the trucks and smooth the parking lot so that it represents reality significantly better than what you see in the clips.
RGP Cloud Clip.JPG
Scalar Z Cloud Clip.JPG
Scalar Z Cloud Detail.JPG
Don't expect, suggest!