Kaarta Cloud Services and Data Processing
Kaarta Cloud uses Kaarta’s advanced mapping and localization algorithms to process raw lidar data and generate a registered 3D model. Kaarta Cloud processes datasets containing one minute of lidar data for free, regardless of data set size. There is a small fee for registering datasets greater than 1 minute.
Kaarta Cloud Upload
If you have scan data from your own lidar sensor that you’d like to upload and process (including data from Velodyne and Ouster lidar), follow the instructions below.
Kaarta Cloud Resources
Having trouble getting started? Not getting the results you expect? We have the answers to your questions, tips, tricks and more to get the most out of your point cloud scans here.
Ready to Get Started?
Here’s our Quick Start Guide
Use either Veloview to log data or the appropriate ROS driver available under the “Direct Driver Installation on Windows, Mac, or Linux” section below [Note: if you already have a Velodyne (.pcap) or ROSBAG (.bag) file, you may skip ahead to Step 3].
- Generate a Velodyne (.pcap) or ROSBAG (.bag) file from a Velodyne Laser Scanner using the driver from Step 1 and angled as shown below under Scanning Tips and Tricks.
Go to the Data Upload page, fill out the form, attach the laser scan file, and click on “UPLOAD”. The Kaarta Upload Page will change to a Upload Success Page confirming your upload was received.
- Kaarta will process your data, create a 3D model, and email you a link to download the point cloud usually within one business day. The processing is automated, but is reviewed prior to emailing you the link.
Direct Driver Installation on Windows, Mac or Linux
The ROS Velodyne driver is an open source driver compatible with any system that has the Robot Operating System installed. The driver publishes messages to the /velodynepackets and /velodynepoints topics. Please log a rosbag (.bag) file containing /velodyne_packets (best) or /velodyne_points (suffiicient) that our 3D Model Generator can process.
For best results please use our drivers as we have configured the ROS Velodyne driver to work with the supported sensor models. For the VLP-16, use this ROS driver and follow instructions inside the .zip file to install and operate the driver. For the HDL-32E, it is best to log the data using Veloview in order to capture the IMU data which we can use to improve your results. Veloview works well for the HDL-64E as well, although there is no IMU data. If you chose to use the ROS driver for the 32 or 64, please be sure it publishes the right topics mentioned above. For more information on topics please see the section on Supported Sensors and Data Formats.
How to Upload Laser Sensor Files to Kaarta Cloud
Supported Sensors and Data Formats
We currently support Velodyne’s HDL-64E, HDL-32E and Velodyne VLP-16 laser sensors. We will expand our service to support other 3D LiDAR brands soon.
We process Velodyne’s .pcap and ROSBAG .bag file formats. The .pcap files can be logged by the VeloView software provided by Kitware Inc. The ROSBAG .bag files can be logged by the ROS open source driver and contains packets (best) or points (sufficient) published to the /velodyne_packets topic (in the velodyne_msg/VelodynePacket data structure) or /velodyne_points topic (in the sensor_msgs/PointCloud2 data structure) for the 3D model generator to process. In addition the following topics can also be processed by our 3D model generator:
– IMU with orientation information, topic name: /imu/data, topic type sensor_msgs/Imu
– IMU without orientation information, topic name: /imu/data_raw, topic type: sensor_msgs/Imu
– GPS data, topic name: /gps/data, topic type: sensor_msgs/NavSatFix
If you have files in the proper format, please go ahead and upload them here, otherwise, please follow the instructions to the right under “Direct Driver Installation on Windows, Mac, or Linux.”
Velodyne’s .pcap format is preferred since the file sizes are smaller and the upload time is shorter.
What to Expect
Regardless of data file size, we will register 3D models containing one minute of LiDAR data for free. Please contact us at email@example.com if you are interested in registering larger datasets.
What We Do with the Data
We will not share uploaded data with any third-party. However, we may contact you for permission to use interesting images for promotional purposes.
Kaarta Cloud™ 3D Model Generator FAQs
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.
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.
Saving a colorization generated using CloudCompare might overwrite the intensity values.
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.
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.
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.
The data can be recovered, but the process is manually intensive and is not currently provided as part of the free service.
Best results can be obtained by limiting linear velocities to less than 20 MPH and angular velocities to less than 30 degrees/sec.
The point cloud data will be available for at least one week.
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.
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!
Send requests for additional information to firstname.lastname@example.org.
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.
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.