Thinning Feature Vertices in LP360

We have lot of LP360 customers with a variety of disparate feature collection and editing needs.  To begin to address these needs, we introduced a completely new set of Feature Edit tools in the 2016/2017 releases of LP360 (standalone).  Last month I introduced the new Feature Analyst tool that will be available in LP360 2017.1 (As mentioned in the beginning of the newsletter, we reset our version numbering scheme, moving the December releases to January).  These new versions are slated for release on 23 January (yes, of 2017!).

In this article, I want to look at a few tools that you can use to intelligently thin feature vertices.  You may need to thin vertices for a variety of reasons.  A primary driver is to improve the appearance of line work – that is, sacrifice a small bit of accuracy to improve the looks.  In volumetrics, where we do not care so much about how good the stockpile toe looks, thinning will improve the volumetric computation speed.  Finally, there are many downstream applications that cannot support features with overly dense vertices.

Let’s consider the feature (shown in blue) of Figure 1.  This is an outline of a water body (about 8/10th of an acre) created via a semi-automated process.  It is shown in the context of the LIDAR data (displayed as a Triangulated Irregular Network, TIN) from which it was extracted.  Note that even in the zoomed out view, I can see some objectionable meanderings in this boundary.  Selecting with the vertex edit tool shows 1,502 vertices spanning a total length (perimeter) of about 1,000 feet.

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Lewis Graham has written 65 articles