Processing lidar waveform data for 3D visual assessment of forest environments
Keywords: Forestry, Full Waveform Lidar, 3D modelling, Visual representation
Abstract. The objective of this report is to present and discuss a work-flow for extracting, from full-waveform (FW) lidar data, formats which are compatible with common information systems (GIS) and statistical software packages. Full-waveform, specifically for forestry, got attention from the scientific community because a more in-depth analysis can add valuable information for classification and modelling of related variables (e.g. biomass). In order to assess if this is feasible and if the results are useful, the end-user has to deal with raw datasets from lidar sensors. In this study case we propose and test a work-flow which is implemented through a selfdeveloped software integrating ad-hoc C++ libraries and a graphical user interface for an easier approach by end-users. This software allows the user to add raw FW data and produce several products which can successively be easily imported in GIS or statistical software. To achieve this we used some state-of-the-art methods which have been extensively reported in literature and we discuss results and future developments. Results show that this software package can effectively work as a tool for linking raw FW data with forest-related spatial processing by providing punctual information directly derived from the FW data or area-based aggregated information for a more generalized description of the earth surface.