RIEGL RDB Project Reader

Licensing options for this format begin with FME Desktop Professional Edition.

The RIEGL RDB Project Reader allows FME to access data in RIEGL RiPROCESS or RiSCAN PRO projects.


A RIEGL Project consists of various files and folders that are organized with respect to further processing and visualization. Each project contains a root file, multiple subfolders, and multiple data and index files. A dataset is a root project file, which is an XML file that contains information such as the POP (Project Orientation and Position) transformation matrix and SOP (Scanner Orientation and Position) matrices for the point cloud data. By convention, a RiPROCESS root project file has an *.rpp extension, and a RiSCAN PRO root project file has an *.rsp extension.

The RDB_PROJECT reader is an abstraction called an FME Customized Format over the RDB file reader and the XML file reader. It extracts the a POP matrix and, if present, SOP matrices for each scanner, from the root project file and searches all subfolders in the root project folder for *P3D.rdxs point cloud files. The RDB_PROJECT reader then applies the SOP and POP matricesx to the point cloud. As a Customized Format, the RDB_PROJECT format has no metafile or messages of its own.

Reader Overview

FME considers a *.rpp file or a *.rsp root project file to be a dataset. The files required for an RDB dataset will be searched for in the subfolders of the root file path. Each dataset contains a single FME point cloud feature.

About Point Clouds

A point cloud is a type of geometry that is useful for storing large amounts of data, typically gathered from LIDAR applications. The use of LIDAR allows for fast and accurate collection of data, such as for forestry canopy measurements, or landscape modeling.

Point cloud geometry allows for quick and efficient processing of a large collection of vertices in 3D space that represent the external surfaces of objects. Together, these vertices form a model which can be transformed, and visualized. Some operations of the point cloud geometry involve thinning, splitting, and combining to produce a more useable set of vertices. This is an example point cloud image:

Data Inspector screenshot that shows a point cloud image.

Associated with each vertex are a number of properties called components, which contain a value that describes the point.

These component values can be used to classify different sections of the collection of points contained in the point cloud geometry.

All components have a name and type. Possible component types are Real64, Real32, UInt64, UInt32, UInt16, UInt8, Int64, Int32, Int16, Int8, and String. Numeric components additionally may have a scale and offset factor; in such cases, the applied value of the component will be value x scale + offset. String components additionally may have an encoding.

While components may have any name, there are a few common components that exist in several formats. These components are described in the following table.

Component Name Description
x The x component of the geometry.
y The y component of the geometry.
z The z component of the geometry.

The magnitude of the intensity of the pulse return.

color_red The red image channel value of the object at the point.
color_green The green image channel value of the object at the point.
color_blue The blue image channel value of the object at the point.

The class of the point. Categorizes a point into fields, such as ground, building, water, etc.

Values correspond to the ASPRS LAS specification.

return The pulse return number for a given output pulse.

The total number of detected returns from a single pulse.

gps_time The number of seconds since the beginning of the week.
gps_week The week number, counting from January 6th, 1980.
angle The angle of the pulse that the point was scanned at.
flight_ line The flight line number the point was detected in.
flight_line_edge Specifies whether this point lies on the edge of the scan, along the flight line.
scan_ direction The direction in which a scanning mirror was directed when the point was detected.
point_source_id A value that indicates the source of the file, for example a file number.
posix_time Used to express the time, as the number of seconds elapsed since UTC January 1st, 1970.
user_data The user data value is for the user to use.