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The Value of a Multi-Sensor Approach

Article by Todd A. Stennett, Chief Revenue Officer, Geomni

In today's rapidly advancing sensor­ development environment, don't forget to evaluate multiple data-gathering options. We've found that the majority of users-nearly 95%-are only tapping into the benefits of one or the other.

For instance, LiDAR is good for applications such as terrain mapping in vegetated areas. Obliques are good at capturing detailed imagery and measurements on facades and vertical features. Some tasks are vastly improved when using both.

Vegetation that obscures portions of a building in the imagery can typically still be penetrated by LiDAR,
yielding an accurate 3D model. Same for riparian, transportation and utility corridors. The datasets are highly complementary, but until recently, firms had to commission two flights to get both datasets. Most of our sensors capture both datasets concurrently at pulse rates that can exceed 2 million measurements per second.

Using both data sets typically yields superior results. For instance photo and LiDAR fusion is a very effective way to create holistic 30 models. One client recently combined imagery and LiDAR data to create high-resolution, photorealistic 30 mesh models for enhanced visualization of planned urban revitalization efforts.

There are considerable time and cost savings in imagery for planning costing and generating proposals as well. Many organizations are turning to immediately available imagery and LiDAR datasets for takeoff and analysis. These organizations are saving labor time and fuel/maintenance costs with desktop estimating instead of sending a crew into the field. Access to the data and tools typically averages $99 per month, bringing costs to measure a property or structure in accurate 3D down to a few dollars each. No drive time or ladders, and the models are exportable into standard CAD formats.