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12.01.2015 16:29 Alter: 3 yrs

CAST Team Laserdata: The bigger picture

15.01.2015 - Austrian venture Laserdata specialises in extracting valuable information from complex laser-scanning data, e.g. the potential for solar energy in a city.

If you have been fined for driving over the speed limit lately, it is likely your illegal act was detected by LIDAR (Light Detection and Ranging) technology, which uses a laser beam to establish the exact distance between the object and the laser-scanner. Nowadays, this widespread method of measuring distances by laser is also used for mapping landscapes, forests or even whole cities and countries. Frederic Petrini-Monteferri, the Managing Director of Innsbruck-based Laserdata GmbH, and his co-workers have found more friendly and useful applications for laser-scanning technology and the interpretation of its data.

Yes, we scan – and that's a good thing

“A laser scanner can be mounted on all sorts of vehicles,” Petrini explains. “From an aeroplane, entire countries can be scanned – in fact, all of Austria is already laser-scanned. If you use a car or a stationary scanner, you get detailed information from a ground-level point-of-view.” While laser scanning delivers extremely precise data about our surroundings, it also poses several problems for those who want to make use of the information. The main problem with the raw data – which experts call the “point cloud” – is there is so much of it. This is where Laserdata steps on the playing field. “Extracting useful information out of the point cloud with the help of intelligent software is our core competence.” says Petrini. “We not only offer our customers professional interpretation of the data, but we also develop and sell customised software packages to those who want to do the analysis and administration of the data themselves.”

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