Focus: Lidar

Lidar, which stands for Light Detection and Ranging, is a remote sensing method that uses light in the form of a pulsed laser to measure ranges (variable distances) to the Earth. These light pulses—combined with other data recorded by the airborne system— generate precise, three-dimensional information about the shape of the Earth and its surface characteristics (NOAA, 2016).

Lidar technology

Must Read

9 Revolutionary Lidar Survey Projects

The history of Lidar goes back to the early 1960s. In 1969, a laser rangefinder and a target mounted on the Apollo-11 spacecraft was used to measure the distance from the Earth to the Moon. Now, more than four decades later, Lidar has become a fundamental technology in the geospatial sector. GIM International has compiled a list of nine inspiring and spectacular Lidar projects that show the almost unlimited possibilities... (read more)
Most Read

Producing High-quality 3D Maps from Lidar

DIPPER, a spin-off company from the University of Twente, provides a breakthrough solution for processing massive amounts of Lidar data accurately and efficiently. It offers comprehensive services related to Lidar data processing and 3D scene modelling. Since the self-developed software is highly automated, one operator working with DIPPER on one laptop can create high-quality 3D maps for 10,000 buildings within just one... (read more)
About the Focus Stories

Every month we will focus on a specific theme, featuring a selection of articles which have previously been published in GIM International magazine, to present a complete recap of the subject. If you don't want to miss these themed recaps, sign up for the newsletter (sign up here).

Focus: Articles

Mobile Lidar for Urban Streetscapes

Surveying And Mapping, Inc. (SAM, Inc.) performed a mobile Lidar survey of the historic Sixth Street district in Austin, Texas, USA, for an urban plan... (read more)

Interpolation of Lidar Point Clouds

For representing terrain heights INSPIRE, which is aimed at creating an EU spatial data infrastructure, has developed specifications for digital terra... (read more)

Lidar Flight Planning

Airborne Lidar has become a regular technology for acquiring accurate, consistent and dense point clouds. However, the constraints on specifications,... (read more)

Future-proof Data Storage

Point cloud datasets have proven to be useful for many applications, ranging from engineering design to asset management. While point clouds are becom... (read more)

Reconstructing a Church in 3D

Reconstruction and maintenance work in historical buildings such as churches requires detailed and accurate information about them, but it can be diff... (read more)

Airborne Lidar in Rainforest

At the experimental forest site Paracou in French Guiana, a range of data is being collected to enable the short-term dynamics within the tropical rai... (read more)

Lidar Scanning by Helicopter in the USA

In recent years, use of unmanned aerial systems (UASs) has soared as a means for capturing geodata by images and Lidar. However, this does not mean th... (read more)

Lidar Quality Assurance

Basic tools for processing Lidar point clouds, which can be extended depending on needs, provide a flexible platform for service providers and users a... (read more)

Pathfinding through Identified Empty Space in Point Clouds

Indoor point clouds are useful for many applications, such as for pathfinding through empty, collision-free space. Fast-performing methods are require... (read more)
About Lidar

Lidar map of Britain


Lidar, or Light Detection and Ranging surveying, is a measuring system that uses light. It is widely used in archaeology, forestry, geography, geology, seismology, remote sensing and contour mapping and is spreading to many more geomatics applications. The market for laser scanning is growing strongly as more efficient and cost-effective ways of processing Lidar data create new possibilities in a range of different fields, including construction and engineering, industrial facilities, topographical applications and cultural heritage. GIM International is closely monitoring these developments and will continually keep you updated on the innovations in this ever-changing market through this dedicated Lidar page. Whether you are interested in latest articles and news on Lidar in general or in specific topics like Lidar Survey and Mobile Lidar, you will find it here!

Airborne Lidar
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New Leica Sensor Brings Efficiency to Airborne Lidar Mapping

Leica Geosystems has announced the release of the Leica SPL100 as part of the RealTerrain reality capture solution. It enables airborne professionals... (read more)

Optech Galaxy’s SwathTRAK Wins 2016 MAPPS Grand Award

Teledyne Optech has announced that the Optech Galaxy airborne Lidar system has won the 2016 MAPPS Grand Award for Technology.  With its Swat... (read more)
Mobile Lidar

Orbit GT and RIEGL Strengthen Data Interoperability for Terrestrial Scanning

Orbit GT and RIEGL are strengthening data interoperability for terrestrial scanning by making data e... (read more)

UAS-based Lidar: A Market Update

One of the most eye-catching developments in the surveying profession is the integration of unmanned... (read more)
3D Lidar

HxGN Live: Integrating into Complete Solutions

The Anaheim Convention Center near Los Angeles, USA, was the venue for Hexagon’s latest annual... (read more)

Classifying Buildings from Point Clouds and Images

The reconstruction of building outlines provides useful input for land information systems. In the c... (read more)

Photon Lidar, a Promising Advance in Mapping Applications

Airborne Lidar has matured over the last two decades into a mapping technology routinely used for 3D... (read more)
Lidar Survey

Prototype Released for Native LAS 1.4 Extension of LASzip Lidar Compressor

Just before the kick-off of ILMF 2017 in Denver, the makers of the Lidar processing software LAStools announced that the prototype for the 'native LAS... (read more)

Lidar Surveys Reveal Devon's Hidden Archaeological Features

Aerial mapping company Bluesky has used aircraft-mounted lasers to create 3D maps of potentially important archaeological sites in Devon, England, UK.... (read more)
RIEGL VUX-1UAV Lidar Sensor

Application examples using the RIEGL VUX-1UAV Lidar sensor.

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