When To Fly and When To Drive? Aligning Project Specifications with Lidar Mapping Technologies

6/4/2019 - 9:30am-10:20am

Lidar has become a mainstream technology for road mapping, engineering and asset management. However, each of these activities requires different lidar data specifications, and therefore, different lidar system capabilities. Mobile lidar, also known as mobile mapping systems, while well known for its accurate and dense point clouds, is only driven on paved roads and can be expensive to mobilize. Aerial lidar is characterized by wider coverages (outside road right-of-way) and superior acquisition efficiency; however, aerial lidar data is less accurate and has fewer points (lower density) than mobile lidar data. Both methods of lidar survey have their own advantages and can work well together to serve certain projects through a hybrid approach. Knowing when to select specific lidar technologies is challenging for many transportation surveyors and engineers. This presentation will shed light on several best practices for selecting the right lidar technology for the task at hand. Through practical project scenarios, it will demonstrate when either mobile or aerial lidar would be best utilized individually or when a combination approach would yield a better result.


Jose Sanfiel
Qassim Abdullah