Scientific Research and Essays

  • Abbreviation: Sci. Res. Essays
  • Language: English
  • ISSN: 1992-2248
  • DOI: 10.5897/SRE
  • Start Year: 2006
  • Published Articles: 2758

Full Length Research Paper

Airborne light detection and ranging (LiDAR) point density analysis

José Balsa-Barreiro1, Joan Pere Avariento2 and José Luis Lerma2*
  1Institut Cartogràfic Valencià, C. Santos Justo y Pastor 116, 46022 Valencia, Spain. 2Department of Cartographic Engineering, Geodesy and Photogrammetry, Universitat Politècnica de València, Cº de Vera, s/n. Edificio 7i. 46022 Valencia, Spain.
Email: [email protected]

  •  Accepted: 23 July 2012
  •  Published: 23 August 2012



The point density is a preeminent parameter on airborne laser scanner surveys. It is not only related to accuracy but costs and savings. The lack of uniformity of the point density across the survey is well-known in the scientific community. This paper analyzes the behaviour of the point density derived by an oscillating mirror laser scanner on different single strips on flat bare ground in order to estimate a meaningful mean density value. The variation of the point density at both extreme ends of the oscillating mirror scan is meaningful. It will be demonstrated that excluding the extreme sectors across the strip corresponding to 1/8 of the swath width (12.5% of the sampling area, half in each side) for the computation of the mean density value is enough to satisfy light detection and ranging (LiDAR) specifications for national level surveys.


Key words: Light detection and ranging (LiDAR), point density, point distribution.