This is a good book for those who would like to understand the applications of Lidar without going into the technical details of Lidar technology, data pre-processing and processing. Chapters 4,5 and 6 of LiDAR Remote Sensing and Applications provide an excellent insight into LiDAR data applications in forestry, urban and geoscience. Each chapter includes projects which illustrate specific applications and the processing steps for various outputs of relevance to the chosen topic using ArcGIS.
The principles of Lidar data processing is well covered in Chapter 3. Beginning with a general description, the chapter goes on to explain TIN-based and raster-based filtering. Principles of DTM, DSM and DHM are explained both theoretically as well as with two detailed examples using ArcGIS. The classification of non-ground points and the use of interpolation to create surfaces are discussed. However, only IDW is explained and not other interpolation methods.
Chapter 4 on forestry addresses area wise as well as individual tree level applications. The discussion on the canopy mapping is quite exhaustive and brings out the limitations of IDW. Several new methods are illustrated but the common ones like beta spline and Kriging. Individual tree mapping and mapping of understory is also explained. While it is mentioned that full waveform analysis is used in forestry applications, it is not clear if the following examples use full waveform processing or discrete returns processing.
Chapter 5 deals with Lidar for urban applications. One of the unusual applications is the correlation of population from building profiles. Other than this, the chapter deals with road extraction as well as disaster mapping after earthquakes through change detection. Chapter 6 is perhaps the best coverage of geomorphology and geology using Lidar data. The examples are also very good illustrations of the techniques used for this purpose.
Chapter 1 covers the fundamentals of remote sensing including optical and microwave radar remote sensing. However, since the book is on LiDAR applications and essentially covers 3D aspects it would have been better to introduce photogrammetry with which LiDAR has a greater relevance. Coverage of both digital optical photogrammetry and SAR Interferometry would have been more appropriate.
Chapter 2 jumps on to the LiDAR fundamentals but the concept of the point cloud is not explained properly. The listing of LiDAR software misses QGIS which includes SAGA which is perhaps one of the best LiDAR software I have come across. The use of case studies to explain some of the basic concepts is appreciable as it will help the reader to understand the fundamentals. However, this will also require the reader to repeat the process on live data. It is not clear if the book is accompanied with a DVD containing the datasets.
Pinliang Dong and Qi Chen
CRC Press Taylor & Francis Group in 2018.