NYU Releases the Largest LiDAR Dataset to Help Urban Development

NYU Releases the Largest LiDAR Dataset to Help Urban Development

Author: Claire   

New York University has recently revealed the densest public LiDAR data set ever, completed by its Center for Urban Science and Progress (CUSP). The data set is 30 times as dense as a typical data set at a resolution of around 300 points per square meter, the laser scanned data was collected on a 1.5km square region of Dublin's city center, using aerial LiDAR instruments.

The project was done by Professor Debra F. Laefer and her research team, under a $1.7 million research grant named "Rethinking Tunneling in Urban Neighborhoods (RETURN)". It builds on a previous dataset and more than ten years of research.

"A city-scale dataset of this level can be applied to many projects to improve services," said Laefer in a public statement. "This extraordinary level of data quality...will help pioneer new possibilities for visualisation and analyses by urban engineers, civic agencies, and entrepreneurs trying to identify and ultimately solve urban challenges of all kinds." she said.

Check the video of the city mapping below:

The dataset includes a bird-view of the distribution and roofs of city constructions, as well as information about their vertical surfaces.

With its high imaging quality, the detailed data can be used to build 3D models of the urban landscape with details on buildings measurements, trees, powerlines and poles and even curb height, CUSP says.

The data and affiliated information is now publicly available through NYU's Spatial Data Repository, for both personal and commercial use. Open access to the high-quality data can be valuable to researchers who work on city planning and development, as well as engineers who need to develop automotive vehicles, drone fleet operation, or even scientists who need to track infectious disease transmission.

CUSP is hoping to expand the project to other cities, and currently discussions are underway to scan New York City in a similar LiDAR imaging project.

Claire Peng has over 6 years of professional experience in the media industry, covering TV, newspaper and online media. She was once a reporter and producer for Fairchild Television based in Toronto Canada, and worked as an English news reporter for the Global Times in Beijing. She writes mainly about self-driving, companies investment, and the enterprise lab.
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