- The Canadian Consortium for LiDAR Environmental Applications Research, C-Clear is working with ASPRS to advance the industry through knowledge transfer programs.
- Research conducted by C-Clear in 2004 identified a significant need in the end user community for training programs.
- End user training courses are now available through Nova Scotia Community College Center for Geographic Sciences – COGS.
The Canadian Consortium for LiDAR Environmental Applications Research, C-Clear was formed in 2000 soon after the ASPRS established their LiDAR subcommittee, and for many of the same reasons. C Clear was initiated by Optech, but it soon transitioned to the Geography Department at Queens University and eventually to Nova Scotia after a successful airborne sensor acquisition proposal with AGRG – the Applied Geomatics Research Group.
I have recently been in contact with the Chair of the ASPRS LiDAR subcommittee, Chris Hopkinson, who is also a research scientist at AGRG. Originally AGRG’s mission was focused on technology testing and application development, but they soon realized that they could have a greater impact by focusing on knowledge transfer with their end user partners.
In 2004 AGRG conducted a market research project to evaluate LiDAR industry training needs. Using the results AGRG has implemented a number of training programs at COGS – the Center for Geographic Sciences at Nova Scotia Community College, which is the parent of AGRG. They have assisted researchers all around the world with LiDAR data sets and training.
Their market research found that there was at least an order of magnitude, in terms of volume, greater need for end user training then from the private sector service providers. As a result COGS offers training focused on assisting end users in preparing better RFPs and in understanding how to make more effective use of the LiDAR data once they receive it.
I think most countries could use an outreach program like this. Kudos to all those involved.