NYU releases the densest LiDAR dataset ever to help urban development

New York University has made available the densest public LiDAR data set ever collected, via its Center for Urban Science and Progress. The laser scanned data, collected using aerial LiDAR instruments, is about 30 times as dense as a typical data set at a resolution of around 300 points per square meter, and covers a 1.5km square region of Dublin’s city center.

The data was collected by Professor Debra F. Laefer and her research team, and includes both a top-down view of the roofs and distribution of buildings, as well as info about their vertical surfaces, making it possible to build 3D models of the urban landscape with detail around building measurements, tress, power lines and poles and even curb height, CUSP says.

Open access to this scale and quality of data has big implications for researchers working on urban planning and development, and for engineering teams tackling everything from autonomous vehicles, to drone fleet operation, to infectious disease transmission tracking and more. It’s something that would understandably be of use if captured for other cities, too – and that’s exactly what CUSP hopes to do, with discussions underway to tackle New York City with a similar data imaging project next.

If you think you can do something cool with the dataset, go ahead and grab it here – complete with both LiDAR info and related imagery.