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Detecting Change Becomes Easier Using Point Cloud Data

Blue Marble Geographics Gets Hands On With Change Detection

On March 3, 2022, David McKittrick, Outreach and Training Manager for Blue Marble Geographics, made a virtual presentation at GeoIgnite, Winter Geo conference. McKittrick spoke on change detection using lidar and point cloud data. Blue Marble Geographics is a software company, and creator of the application, Global Mapper Pro.

McKittrick discussed how we are able to detect and analyze change using lidar and point cloud data, as well as why we have become so interested in detecting change. There is increased use of these types of technologies in detecting change. He spoke about change detection at a micro and macro scale, as well as identifying individual points showing change, and determining an acceptable threshold beyond significant change.

The question of “Why is change detection more prevalent” was addressed. McKittrick showed how there was a rapid expansion of data availability and the creation of tools that are easy to use for analyzing change within multiple

timeframes and scales. He also discussed how there is more awareness of change not always being a good thing.

Where is change being detected? Agricultural production, tree growth, urban landscape, and Geomorphological shifting, are just a few among a large list of areas with significant changes.

McKittrick discussed using Digital Terrain Model (DTM) and Digitial Surface Models (DSM). He generated a DSM during the presentation so he could give a visualization of not only where changes occurred, but also the extent of the changes within two areas. 

McKittrick “rolled up his sleeves” and gave a “hands-on” demonstration with the Global Mapper Pro to show how the application and change detection works through two scenarios. 

A deep, heartfelt thank you to Blue Marble Geographics, a Silver Sponsor for Canada’s National Geospatial Conference, GeoIgnite, Winter Geo.

An intriguing Q and A session followed the presentation. You can watch the live-streamed presentation on Youtube below.