Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Question of the Day

Typically, when I make presentations on Mobile LiDAR, I take a brief moment to step into a point cloud to introduce the audience to the unlimited perspectives one can take when visualizing the information.  Taking the 3D data and flattening it into a 2D screen capture does not do the information justice.

In today's presentation, I pulled up an interchange system with 4 levels of interstate highway and ramps with a similar aspect to what you see below - an aerial view.  The question from an attendee was (to paraphrase) "how do you get an aerial view from a system mounted on a suburban?"  My response was to make an analogy to ArcGIS and various feature datasets as these were well versed GIS users.  I have had this question in the past but moved about the room to represent the change in perspective.  

Having spatially sound, 3D information allows for an infinite number of perspectives - includes the position of the observer, target and a field of view.  This ability provides the framework for a number of applications including line of sight analysis, obstructions, glide slopes, transportation/infrastructure design and 4D modeling.

What is Mobile LiDAR?

Mobile LiDAR (Light Detection and Ranging) systems are comprised of vehicle-mounted lasers, cameras and GPS/INS navigation systems to capture highly-detailed and accurate three-dimensional (3D) topographic information for surveying and engineering applications. Michael Baker International became an early adopter of Mobile LiDAR technology by acquiring our first system in 2009, with further expansions in 2014 and 2015 that increased our fleet to four (4) Optech Lynx SG1 Mobile LiDAR systems. Over that period our systems have completed more than 300 projects throughout 29 different U.S. States (and multiple countries), and encompassing hundreds of thousands of miles. Our project portfolio includes applications in roadway design, 3D modeling, railroad corridors, signaled intersections, utility infrastructure, asset management, pavement condition assessment and airport infrastructure.