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Mobile LiDAR: Supporting Multiple Data Needs for Mapping and Modeling Urban Environments

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This paper describes mobile Light Detection and Ranging (LiDAR) technology and its applications in mapping and modeling urban areas in support of flood risk assessments, and planning/design of Low Impact Development (LID) and green infrastructures. Mobile LiDAR is a terrestrial (ground-based) laser scanning system that can be deployed on any mobile platform, such as a car, boat, or all-terrain vehicle, to rapidly capture survey-grade data throughout complex environments where traditional survey methods become prohibitively expensive and time-consuming. The mobile LiDAR system presented in this paper can blanket an area with up to 400,000 points per second, with full 360 degree coverage, to an accuracy of .03 feet vertically. The comprehensive data capture capabilities yield a cost-effective tool for assessing critical infrastructures including roadways, structures, buildings, waterways, coastlines, utility corridors, vegetation, and bare soil. Mobile LiDAR produces a 1:1 scale, 3-D digital model that can be used in the mapping, modeling, and decision making processes.
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Keywords: LiDAR; urban mapping; urban modeling

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 01 January 2010

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