Comparing Data Collection Technologies for Infrastructure Projects
A well-known remote sensing study conducted by the University of Mississippi’s Center for Advanced Infrastructure Technology evaluated airborne LiDAR against aerial photogrammetry. Sponsored by NASA’s Stennis Space Center through the Mississippi Space Commerce Initiative and supported by the Mississippi Department of Transportation, the Raleigh Bypass Alignment Project encompassed a 9-kilometer (5.8-mile) long highway alignment near Raleigh, Miss. The project’s objective was to evaluate and compare the data accuracy, efficiency, time savings and cost-effectiveness of airborne LiDAR and aerial photography, using a total station survey as ground truth. The LiDAR survey method collected terrain data and Global Positioning System information in a two-hour flight. After the data collection, the data were loaded into computer stations for future treatment and final products generation such as a digital elevation model (DEM), contour lines, a color-coded map, a flythrough and 3-D visualization images. For this project 1-ft contour lines were generated from the DEM formed from the bare-earth data points, saving considerable time and reducing cost when compared with the other sources.