Landscapes, urban regions, cities, and infrastructure networks are captured with LiDAR or image-based remote sensing technologies in regular intervals. The resulting 3D point clouds represent a digital snapshot of the reality and are used for a growing number of applications. We present our research in the field of managing large-scale point clouds. This includes concepts and techniques to process and analyze point clouds of entire cities and countries, allowing us to derive information for building, vegetation, and infrastructure models. 4D point clouds, resulting from scans at different points in time, open up new ways to detect changes and establish workflows for updating and maintaining existing geodata. In addition, we present visualization and interaction techniques that allow users to interactively explore, inspect, and analyze arbitrary large and dense point clouds in the web.
University of Houston
Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering
Program Contact: Dr. Craig Glennie, Ph.D., P.E., Assistant Professor
NCALM is based at the University of Houston and is operated in partnership with the University of California, Berkeley. The center is supported by the National
Science Foundation and is associated with the multi-disciplinary Geosensing Systems Engineering & Sciences graduate program at the University of Houston.
The mission of the National Center for Airborne Laser Mapping (NCALM) is to:
•Provide research-quality airborne light detection and ranging (lidar) observations to the scientific community.
•Advance the state of the art in airborne laser mapping.
•Train and educate graduate students with knowledge of airborne mapping to meet the needs of academic institutions, government agencies, and private industry.
Penn State University is teaching LiDAR theory, practice, and applications in online geospatial programs.
Texas A&M Corpus Christi
Conrad Blucher Institute for Surveying and Science
Program Contact: Dr. Michael Starek, Assistant Professor of Geospatial Surveying Engineering and GISc
The Geographic Information Science, Geospatial Surveying Engineering, and Geospatial Computing Science Programs at Texas A&M University – Corpus Christi (TAMU-CC) offer premier geospatial science and geomatics education at the undergraduate, graduate, and Ph.D. level respectively. Our degree programs provide students with the knowledge, skills, and opportunities required by today’s highly competitive and highly paid geospatial job market. The Conrad Blucher Institute at TAMU-CC conducts innovative research and encourages scientists and professional engineers to develop and apply technology solutions relevant to surveying, scientific measurements, and to the issues in the Gulf of Mexico region. The Institute has achieved and maintains a national reputation for developing innovative geospatial science research and serves as a focused resource area for geospatial datasets relevant to the coastal environment. Specific areas of specialization include lidar, autonomous systems for surveying and mapping, machine learning, geospatial computing and analytics, coastal observation and sensing.
UNAVCO, a non-profit university-governed consortium, facilitates geoscience research and education using geodesy.
Our recent Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) research at West Virginia University in the Davis College of Agriculture, Natural Resources and Design focuses on using data collected to manage natural resources. The interdisciplinary research approach integrates programs from entomology, landscape architecture, forestry, resource economics, hydrology, soil science, and wildlife and fisheries. Our primary emphasis is on mapping areas with thermal, color infrared and different band ratios to create mosaics for detailed mapping and classification using both feature extraction and other traditional remote sensing techniques. Examples of our current applications include identifying in-stream cold water spring inputs in a high elevation native brook trout stream, comparing traditional forest field plot volume estimates to UAV derived canopy inventory, and identifying riparian vegetation and conifer regeneration after a natural forest burn.
The use of personal mobile LiDAR scanning systems is a rapidly growing field. UWO is investigating the use of backpack-mounted PLS systems for a wide-range of geologic exploration and mapping applications, including geomorphology, change-detection, and surface roughness analyses. We are currently involved in projects measuring the surface roughness of different geologic terrains in the Canadian high-arctic and of lava flows in the Snake River Plains in Idaho to evaluate satellite radar data, as well as mapping volcanic features (e.g. Spatter Cones and lava tubes), small asteroid impact structures in Estonia, and fluvial systems in Spain. In addition to geology, we are using PLS systems for forestry science and geo-hazard analyses.
Much of the innovation occurring in geospatial technologies is taking place at leading research and technical universities around the world.
Universities specializing in laser scanning research are invited to exhibit in the University Pavilion at International LiDAR Mapping Forum. Share your latest research, meet with industry professionals eager to learn of the newest innovations, and find potential collaborators.