DeLorme Publishing, a provider in digital mapping and geo-spatial data collection and distribution, has purchased two powerful airborne sensors from Leica Geosystems – the Leica ADS40 Airborne Digital Sensor and Leica ALS40 Airborne Laser Scanner. The two systems will give DeLorme, a mapping software and navigation hardware provider, the advantage of simultaneously capturing high quality images and digital elevation data using a unique combination of high-resolution digital imagery and LIDAR (light detection and ranging).
The complete airborne platform, named TopoBird, includes a specially equipped twin engine turboprop aircraft that will house the Leica ALS40 and ADS40. TopoBird’s 3D multispectral data will be collected as DeLorme conducts flyovers of 10 percent of the surface area (70 percent of the population) of the United States and will be used to augment the data in its consumer and professional products such as Street Atlas USA 2003, Topo USA 4.0, as well as the new XMap 4.0 professional software and data suite. TopoBird is also available for contracted work for other companies along with federal agencies, state, county, and municipal governments.
The ADS40 sensor produces 12-bit data with three panchromatic views, three color bands, and one near infrared band, exploiting the exciting three-line scanner concept and a number of technological innovations.
The first flight using the two Leica airborne sensors is scheduled to take place in early March 2003. The collective data from TopoBird will be paired with DeLorme’s ground camera systems and will be used to create 3D models suitable for consumer applications as well as a myriad of professional applications for land surveyors, engineers, and landscape architects, among others.