The 2016 International LiDAR Mapping Forum (ILMF), held last week, February 22-24 in Denver, boasted a record 908 attendees, as well as a sold out exhibit floor with more than 65 leading metric mapping solutions providers. Hundreds of professionals from the LiDAR community convened at the event 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 underwater LiDAR as well as emerging remote-sensing and data collection tools and technologies for a range of sectors including: Asset Management; Civil Infrastructure; Coastal Zone Mapping; Emergency Services & Disaster Response; Land and Natural Resource Management; and Urban Modeling among others.
The ILMF 2016 Conference Program included presentations from over 60 industry experts who shared case studies highlighting their experiences and lessons learned as well as insight surrounding the latest LiDAR technology to hit the market, new data fusion/classification and processing techniques, and the increasing integration of key technologies. The Product Preview sessions, which took place on Monday, February 22, were well attended and gave exhibitors the opportunity to present on the newest supplier advances and best practices for specifying, planning and executing projects.
Over 65 world-leading companies, including Microsoft, RIEGL, and Leica Geosystems, showcased the latest LiDAR products, technologies, and services on the exhibit floor. See the complete exhibitor list here. The buzz on the floor was evident and reflected the movement and growth happening in the industry. As a result of the heightened demand for market access and exhibit space, the ILMF team executed a space draw onsite, in which 48 companies re-signed to exhibit at ILMF 2017, representing 51% of available exhibit space for next year’s event.
Geiger-mode and single-photon LiDAR were among the major topics trending at the conference. With growing excitement, the industry gathered at a packed session to hear the US Geological Survey (USGS) present about their evaluation of the capabilities and limitations of single photon LiDAR and Geiger mode LiDAR, as well as the suitability of these new technologies for 3DEP data collects and other large-area projects.
Another major trend at ILMF this year was the increased market for integrated systems. A few different vendors, including Juniper Unmanned, Pulse Aerospace, and YellowScan, showcased fully integrated systems around a specific LiDAR sensor for a specific use, for instance indoor mapping and UAV mapping. ILMF Editor, Sean Higgins, highlights the four major trends at ILMF 2016 here.
ILMF conference content focused on UAVs was also of particular interest as aerial surveying & mapping professionals are considering UAV integration as an added service. Attendees were able to learn about the pros and cons that come with the adoption and integration of UAV/sUAS and become informed on topics such as regulations and liability considerations, data acquisition and data integration/management considerations, quality and accuracy realities, and aerial market opportunities and threats.
The next edition of International LiDAR Mapping Forum will take place February 13-15, 2017, again in Denver.