GIM International features a short technology update on LiDAR tech – explaining linear, Multispectral Lidar, Geiger-Mode and single-photo LiDAR and all the point-cloud magics.
Lidar Pyramids in Xochicalco (courtesy of GeoAir, Mexico)
Current topographic databases are commonly based on aerial images and maintained by national mapping agencies with a significant amount of manual work. Developments in laser scanning and point cloud processing could provide significant cost savings via automation of mapping processed with improved output and quality of data.
Multimodal Lidar data will increasingly be used in the future thanks to the development and availability of capable sensor technologies. Ever-smaller systems with similar or improved performance will provide applications using virtually any platform to operate Lidar for mapping and surveying. Aircraft, drones, vehicles, backpacks and handheld mapping systems all serve as means to gather complementary data for virtually any task imaginable.
Emerging single-photon technology has the most potential as a sensor solution for providing dense point clouds with low unit costs for country-level data acquisition. Multimodal laser scanning from airborne and terrestrial perspectives can be utilized for obtaining more detailed data from selected areas.
Dense point clouds with multispectral information provide a common starting point for automated modelling workflows and direct visualization applications, forming the future topographic core data. They represent a significant asset for business in improved forestry and infrastructure management, and provide a platform for developing several future applications.