What Sets LiDAR Apart?
Coming May 2019
Since 2015 Wohnrade Civil Engineers has been streamlining workflows for engineers and surveyors with geospatial data needs all along the Front Range and Rocky Mountain region.
This year we plan on taking our high-quality offerings a step further by providing top of the line LiDAR data. This new capability will allow us to provide high-density colorized LAS point clouds for clients with projects both large and small in size. As engineers who use this data, we are very excited to provide this service knowing full well that we will be able to produce high-quality geospatial data that meets our own strict in-house accuracy and quality standards. Continue reading to learn what sets drone LiDAR data apart from photogrammetry and even manned aerial LiDAR.
Like sunlight through the leaves of a forest, near-infrared light emitted from an airborne LiDAR unit is able to illuminate ground features. LiDAR’s unique ability to collect multiple point returns allows it to see beyond canopy surfaces and extract a much more accurate ground surface elevation. Comparatively, attempting to extract elevation data using photogrammetry can be an ineffective technique when mapping densely vegetated areas like forests, scrublands, and wetlands.
Higher Point Density and Accuracy
Because of a much lower flight height above ground and a slower airspeed, drone generated LiDAR data is distinctly higher quality when compared to traditional manned collections. Point cloud density is an important factor when comparing traditional manned aerial collections with UAS data collections. Manned aerial data generally yields 10 points per square meter, whereas UAS LiDAR data typically yields 50 points per square meter. High-resolution imagery from a UAS platform generally results in a 1-inch pixel resolution. Whereas, aerial imagery from traditional manned aerial collections yields a 2-in pixel resolution. Which would you rather have for your project?
Accessibility and Affordability
Finally, the advent of UAS for performing aerial mapping has made the acquisition of high-quality LiDAR data affordable for projects of all sizes. The mobilization cost for a UAS platform is significantly lower than traditional manned aerial collections. Most traditional LiDAR aerial mapping companies will not consider projects that are less than 5 square kilometers (2 square miles), due to high mobilization costs. You’ll be surprised to learn just how affordable our services are, contact us for a cost estimate today!
Consider This: Operator Qualifications
Any client that is considering the utilization of UAS LiDAR technology needs to consider the qualifications of the UAS operator, and the qualifications of the individual that is processing the data. When it comes to the preparation of UAS aerial mapping, the industry is currently unregulated. Engineering and surveying clients should be aware that there is no certification process for companies that advertise aerial mapping services, and many fail to deliver the highly-accurate data that is necessary for multi-million dollar engineering and construction projects. Unfortunately, after project delays, the client realizes too late that the operator does not have the expertise to perform the services as advertised. Clients that intend to utilize UAS data to their advantage should only consider licensed professionals in the engineering and surveying professions. The majority of engineering and surveying professionals will also verify the accuracy of their data using ASPRS accuracy reporting, something that should be an industry requirement. This important step confirms that the final deliverable meets project accuracy standards and also streamlines your existing workflow.