COVID-19 restrictions provided an opportunity to capture data without pedestrian or vehicular traffic in Venice Beach, CA. This location is world-famous but also a great site particularly for mapping data of buildings, streets, and shorelines. Thanks to the pandemic GEO1, a California-based airborne data acquisition company, was able to capture aerial imagery and lidar data without interference.
This opportunity presented several objectives such as ensuring the photos were correctly aligned with the lidar data, registering the imagery with the lidar, and using the imagery to colorize the lidar point cloud. For this project, Lidar provided a high-density / high-accuracy point cloud of the urban area.
Data had to be coordinated and captured rapidly to take advantage of the pedestrian-free areas. After data was collected it took only a matter of days to create the desired outputs. To capture both imagery and lidar, a dual collection was necessary. GEO1 captured high-resolution data of the beach utilizing the Phase One iXM-RS150F camera and a Riegl VQ480II LiDAR sensor.
The Los Angeles International Airport (LAX), is one of the most heavily trafficked airspaces in the world. It took knowledge of the area, lots of patience, and a good relationship with air traffic control (ATC) to gain access to such airspace, as these types of flying missions can present challenges for ATC. Fortunately, thanks to the pandemic, air traffic at LAX was minimal therefore allowing for efficient airborne data collection.
The final mosaic
The point cloud was first imported into the software as an intensity image, aerial triangulation was then performed on the RGB imagery. Once all identifiable points were measured, the final bundle adjustment was executed to constrain the imagery. The final mosaic was finally used to colorize the original lidar and output as the last file.