Support for Geographic Coordinate Systems

We find on many projects that we need to be on an arbitrary coordinate system.

Please consider adding support for lat/long.

Hi @jsmith1,

Thanks for trying Pix4Dsurvey and asking! For now, as you noticed, we only support projected coordinate systems in the EPSG library. We’ll certainly add more, but we need to be sure we do it well. You mention arbitrary and Lat/Lon - would your arbitrary be a projected coordinate system with a local 0,0? Or are you doing something different?


This is a must. Surveys are regualarly required on arbitrary coordinate systems and without this Pix4DSurvey is a non-starter for us. We do lots of jobs in both projected coordinates and local coordinate systems (sometimes 0,0 but more often 5000,10000).


Almost all surveys we do are ground scaled from around a single projected point, ideally near the centroid of the project, and rotated to grid with the combined scale factor published by some surveyors, but not by most, primarily because they do not understand what they actually are publishing. The reason we as surveyors (at least in some states) do this is because there are minimum standards which we need to adhere to. Here in Virginia for example the state plane is based upon a centrally located region of the state with an elevation of around 400’ (guessing). Up here in the Appalachians at 1100’ and higher the horizontal distance between the same lat and lon on grid and on the ground is about 0.15’/1000’ which exceeds our minimum standards. In other words an optical instrument or a chain will not match the state plane grid and the amount it misses it exceeds the mandated minimum standards.
since a projected coordinate system is just a a scaling factor, a rotation, and a grid coordinate equal to a Lat Lon using a published mapping projection it seems like there would be a way to use the site calibration file produced in Pix4d mapper to allow an arbitrary system to be used in Survey. It also would be nice if having bought Mapper there would be a discounted price on additionally buying Survey as a plugin or bundle.

I am experiencing a similar problem with importing a new pointcloud into Pix4D Survey from a laser scanner. The point cloud las file is on an arbitrary coordinate system and cannot be received by Pix4D Survey without the “Unknown Las Coordinate System” dialog box displaying. This design flaw has rendered Pix4D Survey void for the purpose of processing our laser scanner data. It looks like a great design for processing survey point clouds, but most of our survey information is on an arbitrary system that isn’t currently supported by the software. An update to allow the importing of las files from all coordinate systems would be greatly appreciated as our company currently can’t use the software until this is resolved.

Hi @info.esasurvey ,

Thanks for letting us know about your need to use an arbitrary coordinate system. In your case, are you bringing in a scan in an arbitray CS to an existing Pix4Dsurvey project started from photogrammetry? And is the laser scan data truly arbitrary (like from a BLK360) or on a local/engineering coordinate system? We’re working on a flow to allow local/engineering coordinate systems, and will keep expanding the scope of what’s allowed, so any feedback is helpful.

Thank you for considering my feedback. I am bringing in a .las point cloud exported from the laser scanner into a completely new job in Pix4DSurvey. The scan is from a GeoSlam handheld laser scanner and is truly arbitrary (similar to the Leica BLK2Go). I have attempted to import the same point cloud into Pix4DSurvey on a local 1000,3000 coordinate system, but also to no available.

Many Thanks

Thanks for those details! Its really helpful to know. In that case, a workaround would be to take your .las and use a tool like las2las to write a WKT of a projected coordinate system to a new version of the same .las - but doing that could introduce issue in other parts of your workflow, depending on how other product read and use the coordinate system.

How long until we can use arbitrary coordinates in pix4dsurvey? I just got the trial and ran into this same problem. I’d love to see this feature get updated. As some surveyors mentioned above we use 0,0, 5000 or 10000 for local coordinates. This would be a major improvement to your software, a very desirable and helpful one for us.
For the mean time I am re running a project on Pix4DMapper on a state plane coordinate, will this work on Pix4DSurvey? This is my first time trying Pix4D survey, so I have no idea what it will support or not. I ran into the arbitrary coordinate issue so thats why I am reproducing my work in state plane now and I am hoping Pix4DSurvey will work with it this time… Any advice with P4DSurvey helps, thank you!!

I am testing some sample las data from the DJI Zenmuse L1, trying to see if we can import into survey to generate elevation and contours for proof of concepts to some potential clients. getting import error “unknown cooridate system(s)”

is there a work around ? Arbitrary CSs are coming, though it will take a little while. As for state plane coordinate systems, you should be good to go!

@droneopticsguam If there’s a coordinate system written to the .las, it should work when importing to a new Pix4Dsurvey project. That said, I’ve seen the same with an L1 dataset, and in that case there was no WKT written to the .las. Your best options are to bring in a Pix4Dmatic or Pix4mapper project for the same area that is already in the right coordinate system and then the L1 in the same CS. OR you could see about exporting the .las from the source differently, or use a tool like LAS2LAS to force in a OGC WKT to the .las.