Wednesday, January 22, 2014

A Free Look at the Luxor Hotel in Las Vegas

A while back, I wrote a brief post on FUSION LIDAR viewing software.  In this post, I will use real world data with the FugroViewer, freeware from the Dutch company Fugro.  

I downloaded LIDAR data from EarthExplorer -- focusing on downtown Las Vegas, specifically the pyramidal Luxor Hotel. The hotel's shape is so constraining that it needs specialized elevators, which tilt and shimmy, up to visitors' rooms. Of course, it is noteworthy to mention that LIDAR is also being utilized to search for ancient lost pyramids.

At first glance, the Luxor hotel is hard to pick out.  However, increasing the point display size from the menu helps to highlight its unique shape. Alternatively, I could also have tried turning off some returns or chosen to highlight specific values for different LIDAR attributes. Redder points have higher elevation values.  Click on the screenshots below to magnify them. 

Can you see the Luxor Hotel?
LIDAR points can be converted into TINs to help visualize what we are looking for.  The three panes below show three different views: overhead (left), a cross-section profile (upper right), and 3-D (bottom right).

Left: Overhead view with a view selected with the Profile tool.  Top Right: View from the Profile Tool.  Bottom Right: A 3-D view of the TIN generated from the LIDAR data clearly showing the Luxor Hotel and nearby attractions.

A slightly cleaned up 3-D view of the Luxor Hotel.
Lastly, LIDAR can be used to measure dimensions with great precision and accuracy.  The Luxor Hotel is listed at 107m.  Using the measurement tool, a height of ~ 107m  (104.7m) is calculated.

How tall is the Luxor Hotel?  Here, a quick measurement calculates about 105 meters-close to its actual 107m.
UPDATE on 1/25: I was able to add in imagery in Fugro viewer.  It has to be a single-band georeferenced image.

NEW: LIDAR data with satellite imagery underneath.

Google Street View of the Luxor and surrounding area

See also:
FUSION Viewer
LIDAR Exercises

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