What do you do with my data?
A Kaarta employee looks at the registered point cloud and produces images and acts as a layer of quality assurance by determining if a better registration could be accomplished with post-processing steps. An email with links to the generated files are sent to the customer with some observations, questions, and/or comments as needed. Sometimes we ask permission to post images on our web site. Occasionally, we get data sets that help us improve our algorithms. We never share your data with any third party.

What do I do if I need .las (or other formats) instead of the provided .ply?
We recommend the use of CloudCompare to generate alternate formats to the one provided by our automated laser scan registration service. CloudCompare is available for Windows, Mac, and Linux systems and is also available from source files (http://www.danielgm.net/cc/).  Point clouds can be saved in the following formats: BIN, ASCII, PLY, LAS, E57, VTK, PN, PV, PCD.  CloudCompare can also be used to create meshes.

Why does my registered point cloud not look like the image sent in the Point Cloud Registration email?
Kaarta may apply colorization to the registered point cloud for better visualization.  This will show you what can be achieved.  The intensity values from the laser scanner are preserved, so the .ply file does not contain any color information.

Why doesn’t my point cloud contain intensity data?
Saving a colorization generated using CloudCompare might overwrite the intensity values.

Why does my file take so long to upload?
Internet connection speeds vary and some of the data files can be very large. Raw scanner data in .pcap format is much smaller than ROS .bag files containing the same scanner data. 

Why is my point cloud blurry?
Range measurement accuracy translates directly into registration blur. Rapid motions, particularly angular velocities can cause skewing in the data. Specular reflections and direct glare can cause scanners to generate incorrect distance measurements for a couple of frames, sometimes resulting in double registrations of the same surface. Whiteboards have even been seen to affect distance measurements, particularly at more oblique angles.

How should I collect data from an aerial vehicle?
The Instructions page contains information on how best to set up laser scanners for use with our software. Additional information can be obtained by describing your application by email to kaarta.com.

Why does my point cloud look more like art than a real scene? 
We have seen this primarily when the wrong driver was used to collect data from a VLP-16 using ROS. Initially the ROS driver worked for the Velodyne HDL-32E and had to be “hacked” to work with the VLP-16. The latest driver available from ROS should be configured correctly and should be used with the appropriate laser scanner. Note that the Kaarta Instructions page contains links to download drivers that can be used with ROS Configurations. For those interested in collecting lidar data only, Velodyne’s Veloview does a good job of generating the smaller .pcap files.

How do I know if I used the right driver to collect data?
You can look up your configuration, or collect a small dataset and submit it to us for processing. We will let you know if the driver you are using does not match the sensor you are you using.

What do I do with data collected with the wrong driver? Is it salvageable?
The data can be recovered, but the process is manually intensive and is not currently provided as part of the free service.

Can I use the IMU in the HDL-32E to improve point cloud registration for faster linear and angular speeds?
We are currently working on this capability and expect the driver to be available at the Instructions page in the coming months. If you use this driver with your HDL-32E, the service will be able to process your IMU data allowing your data collection platform to achieve more dynamic movement.

What angular and linear speeds should I limit my collection platform to for best results?
Best results can be obtained by limiting linear velocities to less than 20 MPH and angular velocities to less than 30 degrees/sec.

Can you register my laser scanner data with my GPS/IMU data or camera imagery?
This is not available through the web service. Contact Kaarta at info@kaarta.com if you would like to do this.

Can I register my Velodyne HDL-64E laser scanner data?
The HDL-64E generates large files in a short amount of time and has a separate calibration file that you would also need to upload in order to register the data. The comments field on our Upload Data page should be used to identify the scanner files that the uploaded calibration file is associated with.  Small datasets (<500MB) are roughly 1 minute of scanning data and it is currently possible to register with our free service. To register larger datasets, please contact us for setting up a paid service.

How long will my data be available if I need to re-download the .ply file?
The point cloud data will be available for at least one week.

When will I be able to register larger data sets?
Our extended registration service accessible through the web interface is expected to go online in September, 2015.  If you need to register a file larger than 500 MB before then, please contact us.

How can I generate laser scanner data to take advantage of your service?
This service currently requires data from a 3D scanner taken using Veloview and saved as a PCAP file or using our provided ROS driver. Best results are obtained by limiting speed and turning rate as described on the Instructions page. More 3D scanner models will be added to the service in the near future. Stay tuned!

Who can I talk to if I have additional questions?
Send requests for additional information to info@kaarta.com.

Does this registration service work for aerial vehicles?
Our free registration service is intended to process data primarily from ground or handheld platforms. Special care can be taken with aerial applications if they follow the instructions for aerial deployment shown on the Instructions page.

Should I update the linux operating system on Stencil?
Stencil was delivered with a specific configuration between the Operating System and the Application Program. Updating the Linux OS may result in incorrect operation of Stencil for mapping or localization.

Help. I updated the Linux OS and Stencil intermittently fails with a red indication on the USB Indicator. (This issue only applies to Stencils purchased after 12/1/2016)

After a recent Linux system update, the Velodyne sometimes looses network connection to Stencil after restart (i. e. Stencil is running and the Velodyne is turned off, then back on). Adding a DNS server reduces the frequency of occurrence for this issue. On Stencil's desktop, click network icon, then "Edit Connections", double click "To Velodyne" and choose "IPv4 Settings". Add a DNS server as in the image and click "Save". 


A more practical way to prevent the problem from happing is turning on Velodyne before turning on Stencil, and not turning on/off Velodyne while Stencil is on. If the issue occurs, click network icon on Stencil desktop, then click "Enable Networking" to disable network and click one more time to re-enable network. The problem should be fixed.


Frequently Asked Questions