– The annual International LiDAR Mapping Forum (ILMF), held February 17-19 in Denver, attracted LiDAR professionals from 30 countries who attended to learn about the latest advances in technology and hear about industry changes and developments first-hand from industry experts. The three-day conference and exhibition focused on airborne, terrestrial and bathymetric LiDAR used to support transport, urban modelling, coastal zone mapping, utility asset management, 3D visualisation and GIS applications. These sectors are widely employed to improve mapping and imagery for customers across a wide range of industries from federal, state and local government departments to commercial enterprises.
ILMF 2014 included a technical program of 60 technical papers, technical workshops and ASPRS “Hot Topics” sessions, as well as an exhibition of more than 50 organizations showcasing the newest technologies and services for the LiDAR market, some of which was launched at ILMF. Additionally, new research coming out of academic institutions was on display in the new university pavilion. Mobile mapping rigs were also available for demonstrating the latest in mobile data capture.
“The program provided LIDAR professionals an outstanding opportunity to learn about data capture systems, data fusion/classification and processing techniques, and the increasing integration of key technologies,” said Lisa Murray, ILMF Director. “We’re delighted by the response to ILMF 2014 from exhibitors, presenters and delegates and thank them for participating.”
ILMF opened Monday morning with ASPRS (American Society for Photogrammetry and Remote Sensing) “Hot Topics” sessions. After an introduction by Lewis Graham, President and CTO of GeoCue Corporation, Dr. Michael Hauck, the new executive director of ASPRS, delivered a presentation on the future of LiDAR, titled “From Galileo to Radiohead and Beyond…” In it, he posed the idea of certification for LiDAR professionals. A poll of the audience showed overwhelming support for the idea. Dr. Hauck’s presentation was followed by two additional “Hot Topics” presentations and a Q&A session.
That afternoon, Alastair MacDonald, ILMF Advisory Board member and Managing Director of TMS International Ltd., welcomed delegates and kicked off the ILMF programming. The keynote featured Z+F’s Sven Kurz and Euclideon’s CEO Bruce Dell, who spoke about new technologies and their ability to open new business opportunities for the scanning industry.
Following the keynote, LiDAR experts participated in a Plenary Panel Discussion led by Mr. MacDonald. Participants were Lewis Graham, GeoCue; Amar Nayegandhi, Dewberry; Matt Bethel, Merrick & Co.; Roy Nelson, Ball Aerospace; and Leyton Hobbs, Woolpert. The discussion covered game-changing technologies, including flash mode LiDAR and Small Unmanned Aerial Systems (SUAS).
ILMF programming then continued with break-out sessions and technical workshops that ran through Thursday, February 19th. ILMF tracks were Data Acquisition, Coastal Zone & Bathymetric LiDAR, Recent Projects, Recent Projects/Emergency Response, Recent Projects/Challenging Environments, Forestry, GIS/Data Handling/Point Clouds, and Mobile mapping.
2014 was the first year ILMF was organized by SPAR Point Group, which is owned by Diversified Communications, a global media company based in Portland, Maine, USA. ILMF was acquired by SPAR Point Group in 2013. “Our goal was to serve as good stewards of ILMF, which Versha Carter and her team ran exceptionally well for many years,” said Ms. Murray. “Based on feedback about this year’s event, we’ve done just that.”
Ms. Murray said that her team will continue to work with key members of the LiDAR community to shape the event as the market evolves and grows. “With the recent report by MarketsandMarkets that the global LiDAR market will grow by more than 15% annually over the next five years to reach $551.3 million by 2018, opportunities are abundant for those in the market,” said Ms. Murray.
The next edition of International LiDAR Mapping Forum will take place February 23-25, 2015, again in Denver.
About International LiDAR Mapping Forum (ILMF)
International LiDAR Mapping Forum is the premier event for the LiDAR market, attracting professionals from all over the world. A major focus of this event is the three day world class Technical Conference, where speakers from the international LiDAR community will report on latest technology advances and recent projects, highlighting actual experiences and lessons learned in aerial, terrestrial and bathymetric LiDAR with a focus on mobile mapping. Another key component of the ILMF event is the international exhibition held alongside where dozens of leading companies in this rapidly growing global market will be showcasing new LiDAR products and a wide range of new technologies and services. Technical workshops are hosted by exhibiting companies and are aimed at providing operators, managers and potential purchasers of equipment with an understanding of the basic principles and fundamental benefits and technology associated with LiDAR while providing the more seasoned experts with up-to-date information on current developments. For more information, visit http://www.lidarmap.org/international. ILMF is presented by SPAR Point Group.
About SPAR Point Group
SPAR Point Group organizes conferences and provides news and information for professionals involved in 3D imaging technologies, including LiDAR. Content– delivered in-person and online– gives practitioners tools and information to make better business decisions. SPAR Point Group organizes International LiDAR Mapping Forum, SPAR Europe, European LiDAR Mapping Forum, SPAR International and SPAR Japan and publishes SPARPointGroup.com and SPARView. SPAR Point Group is wholly-owned by Diversified Communications. For more information, visit http://www.SPARPointGroup.com and http://www.divcom.com.