Terrametrix maps urban terrain

Terrametrix, a surveying company, recently embarked on a 3,690-mile, six-city, eight-day tour to capture a 3D model of urban terrain using StreetMapper, a high-precision mapping system that employs vehicle-mounted laser scanners.

The tour began in Kansas, where Terrametrix used StreetMapper to map 6.6 miles of urban interstate highways and ramps in two hours, the company said. They used the data to produce a digital terrain model of the paved surfaces.

Terrametrix moved on to Cincinnati, where the company used StreetMapper to scan a three-mile trolley route, surrounded by an urban canyon of tall buildings and trees. The next stops on the tour were a survey of an urban interchange in Newark, N.J., and 11 miles of a four-lane freeway in Washington. This same stretch of highway had previously been surveyed with static laser scanning; StreetMapper data was used for comparison with these results.

StreetMapper is a result of a joint venture between 3D Laser Mapping, German company IGI mbH and technology company Riegl. The system uses laser scanning technology and precision navigation that includes a solution for reduced Global Positioning System coverage in urban areas.

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Trudy Walsh is a senior writer for GCN.

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