Drone Mapping - SfM versus Low Precision LIDAR
Published On: June 19, 2018
The topic of choosing between LIDAR or dense image matching to perform high accuracy drone mapping, is often a polarizing subject, with pro-LIDAR fans being companies who own a LIDAR and the pro-dense image matching fans being companies who do not use LIDAR. Since these opinions are not very useful in helping you choose the right method for your drone mapping needs, I am going to present some information that will allow you to make an informed choice. I will begin by focusing on systems with precision having a standard deviation greater than 2.5 cm. These systems typically use LIDAR scanners originally designed for automotive applications and typically cost less than US $100,000. I will term these Low Precision LIDAR (LPL) systems. The second half of the article (which I intend to publish in a few months) will focus on scanners with precision better than 2.5 cm (and typically much better) that are purposely built for aerial (and mobile) high accuracy scanning. These systems are typically above US $100,000 in cost. I will refer to these systems as High Precision LIDAR (HPL). GeoCue/AirGon own or have owned both types of systems and thus this article is based on direct observation and experimentation.