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In recent years, three-dimensional (3D) data has become increasingly available, in part as a result of significant technological progresses in Light Detection and Ranging (LiDAR). LiDAR provides longitude and latitude information delivered in conjunction with a GPS device, and elevation information generated by a pulse or phase laser scanner, which together provide an effective way of acquiring accurate 3D information of a terrestrial or manmade feature. The main advantages of LiDAR over conventional surveying methods lie in the high accuracy of the data and the relatively little time needed to scan large geographical areas. LiDAR scans provide a vast amount of data points that result in especially rich, complex point clouds. Spatial Information Systems (SISs) are critical to the hosting, querying, and analyzing of such spatial data sets. Feature-rich SISs have been well-documented. However, the implementation of support for 3D capabilities in such systems is only now being addressed. This paper analyzes shortcomings of current technology and discusses research efforts to provide support for the querying of 3D data records in SISs.
Phelan-Schon, B., Bertolotto, M., Laefer, D.F. (2009). Storage, Manipulation, and Visualization of LiDAR Data. Proceedings of the 3rd ISPRS International Workshop 3D-ARCH 2009. 3D Virtual Reconstruction and Visualization of Complex Architectures" Trento, Italy, 25-28 February. doi:10.21427/dna5-t912