The primary purpose of this RFI is to identify potential options for providing robust management, file access and exploitation of numerous, large-volume lidar datasets acquired by the USGS through the 3D Elevation Program (3DEP)  Options may be in the form of a single application, suite of tools, or bundled software/hardware platform and will hopefully optimize storage, processing and serving of the lidar point cloud data and derivatives through web services.

Here is a link the the RFI on

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Point Cloud Texture – Part 2

This is the second in a series explaining the use of Google Streetview to add texture to a point cloud.

In this video, the author improves the result of texturing a 3D mesh with a screenshot of Google Streetview, by estimating the focal length of the Google Streetview viewer, using the free VisualSFM Structure from Motion software.

This method is part of the work described in the paper:
B. Sirmacek, J. Lichtenauer, “A semi-automatic procedure for texturing of laser scanning point clouds with Google Streetview images”, ISPRS GEOSPATIAL WEEK CMRT 2015, France, 2015.

Posted in 3D Modeling, airborne LiDAR, Research, reverse engineering, Security, SLAM, Software | Tagged , | Leave a comment

China and Italy Announce Research Center

The current and future activities of the China-Italy Joint Research Center (JRC) for Laser Remote Sensing were officially presented with an inauguration ceremony at the Roma-Tre University here on Friday.

The JRC was set up between Italy’s National Interuniversity Consortium for the Physical Sciences of Matter (CNISM) and the Beijing Research Institute for Telemetry (BRIT) in September 2012.

Its research is mainly focused on the various possible applications of the laser remote sensing technology, also known as Lidar, in making active responses to climate change, in monitoring and assessing pollution conditions in both atmosphere environment and oceans.

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OGC Forms Point Cloud Group

The Open Geospatial Consortium (OGC) has announced that they are forming a domain working group to investigate point cloud data and that they are requesting feedback.

The Point Cloud DWG is being established to address the gap in the OGC standards baseline with regard to interoperability issues related to sharing and processing point cloud data. The group will not create new standards but will provide a collaborative discussion forum to define and understand issues, requirements, use cases or barriers to interoperability that are of concern to the point cloud community.

The draft charter is available for review at Comments should be sent via email to and are due by 18 July 2015.

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RiCopter UAV in Action

In April 2015, the German company ArcTron 3D GmbH, renowned in cultural heritage and archeology, worked together with RIEGL on a unique research project.

Posted in 3D Modeling, airborne LiDAR, Autonomous vehicles, cultural heritage, Historic Preservation, UAVs | Tagged , | Leave a comment

Open Lidar Data

LIDAR-pagham-blogIn 2013,  the UK government made their extensive library of lidar data available for free for the first time for non-commercial use to anybody who wanted it. Since then more than one million kmof data has been downloaded.

Following the Winter Floods 2014, we committed to ensuring our information is available, by publishing as much of it as possible as Open Data – free of charge and restrictions. From September 2015 on all our LIDAR data will become Open Data and everyone will be able to use it for free.

Kudos to all involved.

Posted in airborne LiDAR, Business Development, Data, Environmental, Government, Mapping | Tagged | 1 Comment


If you think that a proposal to create a 700 satellite internet-from-space constellation is, well “pie in the sky” then you better read this article. This may not be directly related to  3D laser scanning, but the potential impact on our industry and the world for that matter will be tremendously enabling. Essentially you will have high speed Internet like you have GPS and probably better since I am sure it will work inside.

With Richard Branson and Airbus behind it you don’t want to bet against it.

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The National Cathedral in 3D

3D laser scanning helps reveal the secrets of Gothic architecture. Here is the link.


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Lidar Helps Blind Driver ‘See’

nfbThe National Federation of the Blind  developed the Blind Driver Challenge which calls upon developers and innovators to create interface technologies to allow those who are blind to drive a car independently. Held at the Daytona Speedway as a pre-race event for the Rolex 24, a blind driver was to independently drive the vehicle down the main straightaway, onto the road course.

A person blind from birth was able to drive a vehicle outfitted with sensor technology to give him an understanding of the environment generated by a combination of Allied Vision’s cameras, LIDAR systems, and GPS localization systems. The fusion of all this data was able to give this person the ability to ‘see’ the environment as a person would be able to see through their own eyes.”

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Texturing a 3D Mesh Using Streetview – Part 1

There are several different ways for texturing 3D models with Google Streetview images; in the video Jeroen Lichtenauer explains how to do this texturing by a manual process. For more information and for your questions you can use the contact form at

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