• Are you and your readers aware of the SMARTDoc Heritage conference being held at Penn in November? Several talks will address the benefits and short comings of close range and long range laser scanning for recording at heritage sites. It’s somewhat rare to have the technology critiqued by users and might be informative for makers and vendors who are trying to break into the heritage recording field.

    Conference website:

  • Hi there. I was wondering if you could give me (or direct me to a place where I can find) a current stat on the purchases and usage of LiDAR systems to date (across the board as well as by application). Any information would be helpful.

    Thank you.

  • Hi Gene, I was wondering if you had any sort of estimate on how many Aerial Laser Scanners there are operating these days? Might make for a fun article commentary if this isn’t well known?

  • I’m a Autocad pipeline mapper, I was intrested in finding schools or training for LiDAR mapping. I’m in Oklahoma so a school or training session close or something I can do online. Im also looking to take ArcGIS classes in the future. I would like to know if they offer for ArcGIS classes or training for this too.

  • Hi Gene,
    I thought you might be interested in new technology that that precisely measures conductor temperatures using disparate technologies and processes, such as LiDAR. Thermal Direct™, unveiled by Utility Risk Management Corporation (URMC) this week, is capable of enhancing the reliability and efficiency of the nation’s electric grid. We will be presenting a webinar this Friday on April 1 at 2pm eastern, providing an overview of the technology and recent testing using Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI) sensors.

  • Gene,
    Recommend you add Hexagon 2011 to your list of conferences. Leica Geosystems is part of Hexagon and lots of good LiDAR topics will be presented and discussed.

  • Hello Gene,
    Our company, Makai Ocean Engineering, has released a demo version of their 3D/4D visualization software, Makai Voyager. The driving motivation behind its development is to provide scientists with an easy to use program to process, analyze, and display the exponentially increasing amount of data being collected from atmospheric and other sensors around the globe.

    The full version will allow users to view and interact with large and complex scientific datasets in an immersive 3D environment. The program runs on a standard desktop PC running Windows, Mac OSX, or Linux, and can handle a wide range of data, including: terrain imagery, elevation, LIDAR, volumetric and flow data, KML objects, and more, all in a geo-referenced, “Google Earth” type platform. A free viewer will allow clients to view and analyze data that has been pre-processed by the full version. Software modules specific to various scientific fields are currently under development.

    The general public is invited to visit to download and test the free demo version 1.0, which will include capabilities for viewing terrain imagery, elevation, LIDAR, and web map services (WMS) datasets. Beta testers will be able to explore 3D landscapes and influence the direction of the software development. Demo version 1.1 will feature volume and flow data capabilities, and is expected to be released in the second half of September.

    Also, please check out a short LIDAR-specific movie

  • Hi Gene,

    Saw your post about our company LiDAR VFX and thought I would bring to your attention some of the more recent updates to our page. Be sure to take a look at the new galleries for The Avengers, Green Lantern, and Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows available at: We have also recently started a Facebook page where we will be posting updates on projects past and present:


  • Gene,

    I’m sorry for this poorly researched question, but I thought you could get me pointed in the right direction. How well do lower density (2 pts/meter square) regional lidar acquisitions support higher density mobile acquisitions? Is there any additional benefit that can be gleaned from the regional lower density data acquired to meet orthophoto rectification or floodplain mapping specifications?

    Thanks for being a good news source for this field.


  • Hello Gene,

    I saw your post about the Autodesk Augmented reality plugin. I thought you and your readers might be interested in our app. Ut’s called Augment, it’s free and available on iPad, iPhone and Android. It lets you visualize any 3d model in Augmented Reality. We support obj, stl (only ascii ones), collada and blend format. You can have a look at the video : and get the app from our website : .

    Let me know if you want more information, I think it can have a great utility in the 3d scan and printing industry !

  • Gene,

    We are a six year old company in the Bay Area of northern California and were one of the first companies in our area to begin scanning. I have used Leica throughout but just tested out a Faro for one recent project. With the expanding market in service providers I am finding more and more companies that are just starting the scanning business with very little experience.
    Our company is one of surveyors that turned to scanning. As such we register all our scans on control established by sound surveying practices. We have learned the hard way in order to be where we are today. Our scanning workflow is unbeatable, defend-able in court and repeatable. This comes from being surveyors first.
    The one thing we are lacking is a big enough marketing effort and as such have been flying under the radar for too long. The downturn in the economy played a part in that but now that things are ramping up again, we could use some exposure.
    Thanks for your persistence in reporting and here’s to a great 2013.

  • I am a Registered Land Surveyor practising in Botswana and have been lucky to plod through all the eras of survey instruments over the years. Now we have scanners. How do I start learning -very very keen.

  • Hi Gene,

    I would really like to be apart of this great attempt to standardized our profession datasets, it has irritated me since I started working with LiDAR data back in 2002. I had actually spent time on the ASPRS LiDAR committee, (while I was the ASPRS Alaska Region President) in its infancy and I had to stop it at the time, due to the fact I was HEAVY into production mode (over 12 projects at one time and over 400 to date), and now after an accident that has left me homebound and paralyzed, I would consider it an privilege to assist in anyway I could!! My brain is still fine!! LOL

    I also think that providers MUST comply with the USGS V1.0 Metadata format. Firms these days do not seem concerned and it’s apparent that they NEVER look at the data once it’s delivered. I have completed numerous projects with the V13 and V1.0 compliance met and exceeded on over 10 USGS TERM contracts, through my USGS TERM contracts , MINE I call them, because I used my experience and connections to get these valuable contracts for both AeroMetric AND Digital Solutions (DAS)
    In addition, working with the ladies and gents from the USGS (around the country to create and contributed to the creation of their CLICK website, I was like member 15!

    I am working again with DAS, as well, but in a reduced capacity till I start feeling better!!! But I NEED to work and I think this would be great for both me and the people on the E57 sub-committee.

    I would provide any documentation on my experience and reference in the industry. Not to name toss, but I will anyway. I know these individuals would support my volunteerism, Martin Flood of GeoCue fame! LOL, You yourself, we have spoken several times over the years, Arttu of TerraSolid, Lewis Graham of GeoCue, Jamie Young, currently with AeroMetric, Hans Erik Anderson, formally with the USFS and now National Park Service in Anchorage and Washington State University, Karl Heideman USGS LiDAR guru. Mark Renslow another LiDAR guru, Mark Romano current with Earth Eye, formally Earth Eye, Ken Comeaux Magnolia formally 3001, Jeffery Yates GM for Datem, helped create their model for LiDARGrammetry an their LandScape software, working directly with GeoCue, in the creation and development of their model, utilizing my 30 years of photogrammetric experience as an ASPRS Certified Photogrammetrist #812. Also worked with ESRI, AutoDesk and Microstation companies directly to help bring them up to speed, it was amazing to me what they did NOT know.

    I have also created and worked as a presenter on literally hundreds of presentations on both the Alaska and National (ILMF conferences) levels to spread the knowledge wealth in order to not only teach accuracies, planning, acquit ions GPS and sensor specific post-processing software for most all of the most sensitive and accurate LiDAR sensors in existence from both Optech and Leica, but also pass on my hard learned techniques for dealing with the LiDAR specific issues that will and do continue to arise. Also, establishing solid relationships with a large variety of these companies’ brightest individuals!

    Gene, as you may be able to tell, I WANT to do this, strictly volunteer, if you need my resume or references, my list is both distinguished and extensive. I feel honored to have worked with and continue to work with some of the most intelligent and professional individuals in the entire world!!

    Let me help and way I can, feel free to contact ANYTIME with any questions you may have.

    Thanks Gene, like I have said over the years, I have thanked you for ALL that you have done to make the profession I love more accurate, trusting and KNOWN by the layman managers who have $$$ to spend!!

    Bob Thomason
    Cell: 813.753.9747

  • Gene,
    I am very interested in the e57 interoperabilty standard and would like to help although I do not know exactly what skills I can bring to the table.
    I teach Remote Sensing and Geomatics with specialisations in the software applications of Civil 3D, Realworks, AutoCAD and, more recently, Revit at an Institute of Technology in the Republic of Ireland. I have been teaching for 10 years.
    Prior to that I worked for a number of years as a digital photogrammetrist using Leica DPW systems.
    I have limited coding abilities but I am willing to offer these skills, some time and a European/British Isles academic’s perspective. If these might be of help to you, please contact me.


  • Gene,

    I enjoy your news articles and I am very interested in LiDAR.
    What program is best suited for importing the .las files obtained from Earth Explorer? Is there any other way to view the data from LiDAR on a internet based program (similar to USGS CLICK)? I am a surveying student and would like to use the information for future projects. Right now I have access only to Terramodel and AutoCAD. Thank you.

  • A few days ago a Swiss company called SenseFly posted a video showing how they used drones to make a point cloud model of the Matterhorn. 300 millions points later, they made a beautiful model. Watch them collect the data in this video:

  • Hello

    I need information for Monitoring glacier with Lidar Technologie.

    I am develop a proyect for mine.


    Nelspn SANHUEZA

  • Aloha Gene
    Was wondering if there are any sites or blog sites that cover terrestrial Lidar mapping. There are No schools or coruses out here in hawaii. and would like to beter prepare myself for the future of this techonlogy.
    This magazine has given me greater insight of whats to come. but asking question to people utilizing equipment in this area would weight in as a better experince in continuing education. Any advice or streering direction is greatly appreciated. Mahalo (Hawaiian for-Thank you) for you time.

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