Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Mississippi River Levee

Given my recent travels and work assignments, it's been hard to find time to update Baker's Mobile LiDAR blog with new content.  Aaron stepped in a couple weeks ago for the Revisiting Yazoo post.  And now that products are being finalized for some recent collections, new postings will be forthcoming.  In the meantime, one of our technicians compiled a brief fly through of the Mississippi River Levee collection.

The below animation shows an intensity and colorized point cloud of a two mile stretch of levee along the east bank of the Mississippi River outside Baton Rouge.  Areas not colorized do not appear in the photographs taken by the on-board cameras.

Some of the challenges we face in colorizing point clouds include:
  • Changes in sun angle during collection
  • Orientation of the vehicle with respect to the sun (vehicle shadow in images)
  • Saturation of the upper portions of tree canopies
  • Vehicles and other extraneous objects in the images
Again, project planning comes into the "picture."  If a colorized point cloud of a roadway corridor is required, it would prove more wise to perform two shorter collections during off-peak hours (perhaps a Saturday and Sunday morning) to improve the final product.


  1. What software Did you us for this animation?

  2. We utilized Pointools for this animation.

  3. great to hear, thanks for using our software. is Pointools your first choice for point cloud animations?


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.