LiDAR Rises to New Heights

As we enter 2011, we can hardly believe that Imaging Notes has been covering this industry for 26 years, and independently owned by Blueline Publishing for six years! I am so grateful to all of you who make creating this high-quality publication possible. Thanks to our partners, Secure World Foundation and The Institute for Global Environmental Strategies. Thank you to those who have contributed articles; to our advertisers, who provide the bulk of the revenue so that we can make a living doing something we care about; to the team that pulls it all together, and finally to our readers, for whom, really, we are doing all of this!

Myrna James Yoo, Publisher, ImagingNotes

The remote sensing and geospatial industries have come far in the short time that I have been involved. Geospatial companies are still working on the transition from having mostly government to mostly commercial customers, and we launched LBx Journal in 2009 to address that business market. We have seen imagery and data adopted more quickly for consumer applications. And now LiDAR has emerged as the next big thing – allowing customers to build more accurate 3D models, to map the underside of bridges using scanners on boats, and to model the insides of buildings to centimeter accuracy. The possibilities and growth of LiDAR are incredible.

Our feature on LiDAR provides interviews of several prominent LiDAR experts, showing that terrestrial, especially mobile LiDAR is exploding, with software still lagging behind. This article is a technical update. Future issues will address applications and benefits. We hope to see you at ILMF (International Lidar Mapping Forum) in New Orleans in February!

Utilities are using LiDAR data to map their powerlines and other assets. We have two additional articles relevant for utilities and energy companies in this issue. The Smart Grid Value Chain by Dr. Mark Feldman and the interview of André Parris of Bloomberg are both about the importance of location data for utilities and energy companies.

On a panel at the Geospatial World Forum in Hyderabad, India, I am speaking about another growth area for the geospatial field – the power of Community Remote Sensing/Citizen Mapping, which puts the power of geospatial technologies into the hands of the people – the masses. It allows anyone to contribute data from “the field” to maps and projects with their smartphones and other handheld devices. It also allows them to access data from those devices to use the information more easily.

An example of the pervasiveness and as yet unrealized potential of CRS is the unexpected announcement of new NGA Director Letitia Long at the GEOINT Symposium, that the NGA is embracing this concept by allowing users to serve themselves with online on-demand access to GEOINT knowledge. Read about the inherent challenges and opportunities for this vision in the story by Josh Hartman of the Center for Strategic Space Studies.

Tell us how we can better meet your needs, and thank you for reading.

—Myrna James Yoo

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