Paul Ramsey has a great tutorial on using the pointcloud extension with PostgreSQL / PostGIS: http://workshops.boundlessgeo.com/tutorial-lidar/
You can get point cloud and all that goodness running a variety of ways. Probably the easiest is to download OpenGeo Suite from Boundless: http://boundlessgeo.com/solutions/opengeo-suite/download/
If you are an Ubuntu user, try a docker instance to run PostGIS with PDAL, pointcloud, etc in a container:
Also, I’m working toward a simple installer script for Ubuntu 14.04 and for Vagrant, which is a fork of Vincent’s docker install:
One tip for those using, say QGIS instead of GeoServer for connecting and visualizing your data. Change any views created on the fly to tables, e.g.:
CREATE VIEW medford_patches AS SELECT pa::geometry(Polygon, 4326) AS geom, PC_PatchAvg(pa, 'Z') AS elevation FROM medford;
CREATE TABLE medford_patches AS
pa::geometry(Polygon, 4326) AS geom,
PC_PatchAvg(pa, ‘Z’) AS elevation
CREATE VIEW medford_patches AS SELECT pa::geometry(Polygon, 4326) AS geom, PC_PatchAvg(pa, 'Z') AS elevation, id FROM medford;
QGIS doesn’t like those views
with casts for some reason… . without an id.
If the code I’m working on now works, it will do some height calculations using pointcloud, will show up on Github, and may include a little bonus pointcloud tutorial here. Stay tuned.