Thursday, July 19, 2012

LiDAR Point Density

Recently, I prepared an article for LiDAR News.  The purpose of the article, Mobile LiDAR Point Density, is to serve as an introduction to LiDAR point densities.  Whether from a static, mobile or aerial system there are various influences to point density or nominal point spacing.

A portrait of our founder Michael Baker Jr. hangs in our conference room. Here, a static scan with a horizontal and vertical resolution of 0.005’ at 30’ is shown. The image represents approximately 1,375,000 points and was collected using a Leica ScanStation 2.

The above image represents a colorized point cloud of an Aerial LiDAR capture - utilized collected orthophotography to perform the colorization. The collection was planned and executed to achieve a point density greater than 20 ppsm. 
There will be additional parts to the topic of point density.  The next will focus on the influences related to Mobile LiDAR densities.  While following articles will examine tools that assist in feature identification and exploitation of the point cloud and imagery.


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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.