Evolution of LiDAR Technology
From the mid-1990s to the present, LiDAR technology has evolved rapidly, boasting improved accuracy, speed, and affordability. In the mid-1990s, LiDAR scanners could produce 2,000 to 25,000 pulses per second. During this time, position accuracy was improved when LiDAR was linked with the GPS technology. With the invention of 3D spinning LiDAR in 2005 by Velodyne's founder Dave Hall, 360-degree vision was possible.
Today, LiDAR sensors can acquire more than one million points per second, with 5 mm accuracy, and datasets can include RGB color values. This has led to LiDAR replacing many topographic surveys and aerial photography campaigns. Along with LiDAR becoming more readily available, datasets have also become more affordable. This has led to a dramatic rise of applications using LiDAR.
Automatic Digitizing of Objects
Advancements in LiDAR technology has enabled automatic object digitization, replacing manual methods. ENVI® software, created by NV5 Geospatial, includes a variety of tools for detecting objects in LiDAR point clouds, including automatic classification and vectorization. NV5 Custom Solutions Team has developed additional tools using RANSAC-based detection, and 3D Deep Learning techniques. These tools and techniques are specifically designed to deliver high-quality results that minimize the need for post-processing QA/QC. Along with ENVI software, NV5 Geospatial has expertise in 3D data analysis through its Custom Solutions Team which works with customers around the world to deliver results for specific projects.
E-Cassini’s cloud marketplace (GeoCassini) offers a centralized platform for LiDAR data and analytics. By leveraging NV5 Geospatial's renowned analytics on GeoCassini data, users can now perform 3D object extraction and apply the results to solve industry-specific problems. The following sections will explore how different LiDAR acquisitions are required for specific 3D object detection.