3D Laser Scanning and 3D Photogrammetry – the fight will continue

There are so many similarities between 3D photogrammetry and 3D laser scanning. Both technologies are used to capture point clouds where points have XYZ coordinates. I like to add that the differentiator is that in 3D photogrammetry we are usually capturing points to model a surface (e.g. a TIN or grid) as opposed to a true 3D point cloud (e.g. multiple points with the same XY but different Z's).

Challenges in the adoption and acceptance of 3D laser scanning, being the (much) more recent technology. For example, the cost and learning curve. I agree with this, however as the authors note this is changing. We face the same challenge in 3D photogrammetry, which still carries a bit of a stigma as a dark art within the broader geospatial community. However times are changing and new technology will continue to flatten out the learning and cost curves...

The authors argue that this is a misconception and go on to outline why 3D photogrammetry and 3D laser scanning are complementary. I completely agree with this point: both technologies have advantage and should be implemented as needed on a case-by-case basis. I think we're seeing this in the context of the airborne mapping world as well - an increasing number of organizations are opting for optical and LIDAR systems for simultaneous collection. The Leica RCD105 Digital Camera is a good example of this, as it is typically sold alongside an ALS LIDAR system.