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LiDAR Special Interest Group, part 2


Using MLS to Document Northern Arizona's Natural Resources

Presenter: Andrew Sanchez Meador

The ability to acquire and record precise, dense, and geo-referenced 3D information is a growing need in a variety of applications, ranging from civil engineering and construction to forestry and environmental science applications. The most effective way to acquire these data is with Lidar (Light Detection and Ranging) and mobile Lidar scanners (MLS). Lidar is a remote sensing method that uses light in the form of a pulsed laser to measure the distance from a known location to an object. Researches at Northern Arizona University present preliminary findings using GeoSLAM’s ZEB HORIZON MLS to accurately map and quantify ponderosa pines forest conditions, precisely describe the distribution of coarse woody debris in priority watersheds, supplement airborne Lidar to more exactly describe Mexican Spotted Owl habitat, and document historical cultural sites and popular recreation destinations throughout northern Arizona.

Takeaway: Mobile laser scanning is an effective way to acquire data using Lidar and has many applications in natural resource management.

Who should attend: Land managers, planners, and those interested in natural resource management, as well as anyone interested in learning more about the capabilities of mobile laser scanning.

Thinking about SLAM, MLS Methods, and Resulting Point Clouds

Presenter: Taylor Handschuh

For years, innovation and colloquialism has had us "looking towards the sky" to speak of the highest of technology or ideas. Today when we are speaking of LiDAR, there are lofty ideas around MLS and TLS that have become more grounded. While ALS is not stagnant, there is much to-do around point cloud and 3D data captured from MLS as we consider classification and feature extraction. Go Anywhere technology like GeoSLAM (Simultaneous Localization And Mapping) Mobile LiDAR scanners shines light on mapping new places using contemporary methods, however one must mind their end product prior to starting their project. Whether LiDAR mapping a cave for search and rescue preparedness, a building for a digital twin, conducting a municipal asset inventory, or capturing precision measurements of our natural environment over time, MLS introduces some caveats around point density, occlusion, visualization, spatial reference and data quality - some of which have been addressed and others sparsely documented.

Takeaway: There are countless applications for LiDAR scanning and even dozens of uses for a single scan. There are some considerations during data capture and post processing methods that can take your data further, some tools that already exist, and some that need to be created.

Who should attend: Those interest in LiDAR, Facilities and Asset Managers. Professionals in: Forestry, Ecology, Mining, Public Safety, Hazard Mitigation, Insurance, Environmental Assessment, Construction, Design, Land Use. Those interested in BIM, or VR/AR application.

Comparing Mobile, Terrestrial, and Airborne Lidars for Forest Assessment

Presenter: Jonathon Donager

Accurate and detailed information on forest structure and composition is fundamental to the management and conservation of forests. Sufficient and timely field data can be hard to acquire. New technologies such as mobile laser scanning (MLS) are promising for rapid assessment and inventory applications, however a better understanding of its accuracies and biases among forest structure metrics is necessary for broader applications. In this study, we present preliminary results comparing MLS with airborne laser scanning (ALS) and terrestrial laser scanning (TLS) for assessing key forest structural attributes for a ponderosa pine forest near Flagstaff, Arizona. We present considerations of both accuracy and logistics of these instruments and discuss how MLS may be more effective than other remote sensing techniques for applications including those where tree bole and canopy occlusion, scanner mobility, terrain and GPS fix are particularly challenging.

Takeaway: MLS is well suited to forests of the southwest for rapid data collection. Algorithms for MLS provide accurate forest structure information. As a landscape sampling tool, MLS provides information necessary for active forest management and planning. Below-canopy metrics are much better than ALS derived metrics. Data collection is quick and easy.

Who should attend: Natural resource managers/planners, field data collection, 3-dimensional data analysis, forest, watershed and wildlife habitat interests.

LiDAR Special Interest Group, part 2
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