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MIMIC: An Innovative Methodology for Determining Mobile Laser Scanning System Point Density

National Centre for Geocomputation, National University of Ireland, Maynooth, Co. Kildare, Ireland
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Remote Sens. 2014, 6(9), 7857-7877;
Received: 1 July 2014 / Revised: 18 August 2014 / Accepted: 18 August 2014 / Published: 25 August 2014
PDF [2257 KB, uploaded 25 August 2014]


Understanding how various Mobile Mapping System (MMS) laser hardware configurations and operating parameters exercise different influence on point density is important for assessing system performance, which in turn facilitates system design and MMS benchmarking. Point density also influences data processing, as objects that can be recognised using automated algorithms generally require a minimum point density. Although obtaining the necessary point density impacts on hardware costs, survey time and data storage requirements, a method for accurately and rapidly assessing MMS performance is lacking for generic MMSs. We have developed a method for quantifying point clouds collected by an MMS with respect to known objects at specified distances using 3D surface normals, 2D geometric formulae and line drawing algorithms. These algorithms were combined in a system called the Mobile Mapping Point Density Calculator (MIMIC) and were validated using point clouds captured by both a single scanner and a dual scanner MMS. Results from MIMIC were promising: when considering the number of scan profiles striking the target, the average error equated to less than 1 point per scan profile. These tests highlight that MIMIC is capable of accurately calculating point density for both single and dual scanner MMSs. View Full-Text
Keywords: point density; mobile mapping systems; performance; LiDAR point density; mobile mapping systems; performance; LiDAR

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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY 3.0).

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MDPI and ACS Style

Cahalane, C.; McElhinney, C.P.; Lewis, P.; McCarthy, T. MIMIC: An Innovative Methodology for Determining Mobile Laser Scanning System Point Density. Remote Sens. 2014, 6, 7857-7877.

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