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Introduction to Lidar, Data Access, and Processing with OpenTopography

Presenter(s):  Chelsea Scott, Matt Beckley

Abstract: In this hands-on session, we will begin with an introduction to airborne lidar technology focusing on the basics of data acquisition, point clouds, point classification and filtering, and digital elevation model (DEM) generation and processing. We will then use OpenTopography (https://opentopography.org/) for a series of hands-on activities where participants will follow along and explore datasets of interest. OpenTopography is an NSF-funded project that streamlines discovery, access, and processing of open-access, high resolution topography datasets. Participants will use OpenTopography to process and examine different attributes of point clouds, construct raster DEMs, and perform topographic differencing on multi-temporal datasets to examine landscape change. As time and interest permit, we may do an additional demo with the open source CloudCompare software (http://www.cloudcompare.org/) which supports visualization and computations of lidar point clouds and other 3D datasets.

Key Takeaway: Participants should expect to gain a deeper understanding of lidar technology and data  (including data acquisition, DEM processing, point classification) and have learned how to visualize point clouds and raster datasets using OpenTopography.

Intended Audience: Geospatial professionals and others seeking an introduction to lidar technology, as well as data discovery, access, and analysis using OpenTopography.

About the presenter(s):

Matt Beckley is a data engineer at OpenTopography. Chelsea Scott is a postdoctoral researcher at Arizona State University.