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Susan Smith
Susan Smith
Susan Smith has worked as an editor and writer in the technology industry for over 16 years. As an editor she has been responsible for the launch of a number of technology trade publications, both in print and online. Currently, Susan is the Editor of GISCafe and AECCafe, as well as those sites’ … More »

Overwatch releases the 3D viewer, LIDAR Analyst 5.1

February 14th, 2013 by Susan Smith

Skip Maselli, Overwatch vice president of Geospatial Solutions, spoke on their new product LIDAR Analyst 5.1 3D Viewer, for managing LIDAR data with mission-critical high-resolution 3D exploitation.

LIDAR 3D Viewer image showing extracted Seattle downtown with threat dome.

GISCafe Voice: Can you tell me what are the most important features of this new release?

The most important feature in LIDAR Analyst 5.1 is its new 3D Viewer, which delivers mission-critical 3D exploitation. When analysts see our 3D visualization tools, they’re amazed by everything we’ve packed into this product. The 3D Viewer loads and displays LIDAR data sets containing more than a billion points, and enables you to conduct terrain analysis, view-shed analysis and 3D measurements that aid in the decision-making process. And since LIDAR Analyst generates data for all the extracted objects, you can evaluate building area, dimensions, orientation and other attributes. We didn’t just create a product that looks good, we built it for users to get real work completed.

GISCafe Voice: What types of market changes do you foresee in the area of Lidar data?

Aerial LIDAR data collection has dramatically increased over the past few years and we see no signs of that stopping. In fact, the data is only becoming higher resolution – down to centimeter point spreads. As people gather more and more data, they are starting to realize the value of LIDAR to solve unique problems. People are moving beyond questions such as, ‘What is LIDAR?’ to questions like, ‘Here’s what I want to achieve, what tools and techniques will allow me to make it possible?’ I foresee a time when LIDAR becomes just as much a standard part of the workflow as satellite imagery. That’s why we continue to invest in our LIDAR Analyst software, adding stunning 3D visualization capabilities and maintaining our respected feature extraction routines. The demand is growing, people just need the right tools and training.

GISCafe Voice: Who are your main customers for this product?
We have a diverse group of customers using LIDAR Analyst because the product has a long heritage and can meet a variety of needs. Military applications are obvious for mission planning and simulation. But we also have a large presence among university professors and graduate students who are conducting research, and among county GIS offices and geospatial service providers that use LIDAR to answer questions beyond standard imagery. I know examples of people using LIDAR Analyst to create highly-detailed terrain models, examine changes along the coastline, inventory all the buildings across a city, or assess land-use patterns and forest biomass.

Overwatch is a strategic business of Textron Systems Advanced Systems, an operating unit of Textron Systems, a Textron Inc. company.

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Categories: lidar, remote sensing, satellite imagery

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