What is Lidar Mapping?
Used in aerial mapping and surveying, LiDAR stands for Light Detection and Ranging.
A laser scanner sensor is mounted in an aircraft and fires millions of laser pulses to the ground. Laser pulses penetrate tree canopies to build a 3D view of vegetation, infrastructure and the ground surface.
The primary output from this technology is the classified, colourised point cloud
Ground features such as trees, can be switched off to reveal the bare earth surface.
The 3D point cloud is highly accurate (within 10cm vertically and horizontally), and can be viewed in 3D at any perspective.
Once the data is processed, various maps can be produced from the LiDAR point cloud including aspect, canopy height, bare ground surface, drainage, contours, erosion, and irrigation. The applications for LiDAR are unlimited.
Agriculture, Water and Forestry
LiDAR Mapping can be used to assess areas subject to flooding and create water flow accumulation maps used to select optimal planting areas.
Used in conjunction with infrared imagery, data can be used to monitor health and productivity of vegetation and track growth by showing the height trees. Multiple surveys over time can determine which trees are growing faster and likely to be more productive.
Natural Resource Management
Regular surveys can monitor and help manage coastal and soil erosion and bathometric LiDAR sensors collect data up to 22metres under water.
Urban Planning, Land Development & Wind/Solar Energy
Aerial LiDAR sensors can map large areas and produce base data for planning new infrastructure developments, drainage, and determine the best locations for wind turbines or solar panels.
3D models of the earth’s surface can be displayed with or without ground vegetation and man-made structures, depending on the application. Vegetation canopy models calculate biomass and land clearing or re-vegetation areas.
In mining, LiDAR is often used to calculate the volume of stockpiles to measure the amount of material removed from the ground or to be loaded on a ship.
Once an aerial LiDAR survey is completed, it can be repeated regularly to monitor infrastructure development, erosion or changes in vegetation.
Atlass-Aerometrex is a local LiDAR survey company engaged in aerial surveys over Queensland and New South Wales. LiDAR models were used for the smart city development.
Follow this link for a short video introduction to LiDAR.
To find out more information about aerial surveys, see CISC member Atlass – Aerometrex.