LIDAR Leaders

How does your organization stay effective and relevant? It’s often said that setting and achieving goals is key. The trick lies in choosing the right targets. Many can look at a market and see opportunities; fewer can do so while selecting a path that’s complimentary to their team’s unique composition. Those that do generally find success on a repeat basis—there’s something in their “DNA” that allows them to succeed more often than not.
One way to approach enterprise planning is to imagine a “no constraints” scenario. If money was no object, and you could purchase any technology and arrange a dream team of support staff, where would you start and why? Would you remain focused on bottom line results or attempt to solve problems others couldn’t? Perhaps you’d develop a new product or change the nature of your offering entirely. Considering such a scenario may more sharply focus your motives for existence and long-term interests.
LIDAR magazine reaches a wide range of firms, all at various stages of the tech implementation scale. As LIDAR plays an increasing part in asset digitization, many will find themselves entering the “reality access” business—the old adage “you can only improve that which you measure” is relevant as ever, while seemingly everything becomes measureable.
Since most of our readers specialize in a given area of LIDAR or will, we’re evolving our coverage by appointing specialized experts in the fields of Airborne, Mobile and Terrestrial tech. Given the space constraints of the magazine, an all-new, revitalized website and specialty newsletter for each area will offer a deeper dive for each of these sections. The print edition will continually host a variety of topics.
On the Airborne side of things, I’m proud to introduce our newest Managing Editor, Dr. Stewart Walker. Having formally retired from BAE Systems in August, Stewart brings decades of experience with deep knowledge of airborne imaging processes and photogrammetric technologies. Look for an exciting newsletter and contributions from Stewart in the weeks and months to come.
One of Stewart’s first projects is an exciting new collaboration with the organizers of the International LIDAR Mapping Forum, held February 5-7 in Denver. We’ve come together to offer the first ever “LIDAR Leader” award program, honoring firms and accomplishments worthy of emulation. After all, those that have successfully applied LIDAR technology, utilized it in innovative ways or generally “pushed the envelope” deserve to be recognized! We can all learn from what’s worked for the folks that “got it right”. We’ll in turn bring their stories and formulas to the magazine, in attempt to aid you in your own planning and decision-making.
Dr. Walker has joined a robust panel of judges that will review submissions and vote on key criteria. The inaugural ceremony will have special significance given the ILMF’s 2018 co-location with ASPRS, widely expected to increase attendee diversity. You can review submission criteria for the awards, deadlines and more at
Building Documentation—USIBD Matters
In August, we announced a partnership with the US Institute of Building Documentation (USIBD). As their official publication, we’ll collaborate to share information amongst our respective audiences, including a regular column in the magazine titled “USIBD Matters”. The first instance of this column is on page 47, explaining the group’s history, etc.
From the release: The U.S. Institute of Building Documentation ( and Spatial Media, publisher of LIDAR Magazine have joined forces to showcase the growing building documentation industry. The groups will work to promote industry standards, increased membership in the institute and to raise awareness of USIBD’s “Certified Building Documentation Professional” (CBDP) certification.
John Russo, Founder and President of USIBD said “LIDAR Magazine is widely recognized as the industry’s voice of record on a variety of issues, addressing building documentation, heritage preservation, BIM technology and more. We’re appreciative of their commitment to our organization”.
All current and future USIBD members will receive LIDAR Magazine as part of their membership. In addition to the magazine, a newly focused newsletter and thought leadership initiative from Spatial Media titled “Construction 2020” will be utilized to reach contractors and other building professionals considering the adoption of documentation technology.
Ken Smerz, long-time contributor of LIDAR Magazine’s “The Business of Laser Scanning” column and operator of industry leader Eco3D ( remarked “For some time now, we’ve been encouraged to encounter USIBD’s Level of Accuracy (LOA) specification across a variety of RFP’s. We’ll continue working to foster the acceptance of USIBD standards moving forward.”
Spatial Media will utilize LIDAR Magazine, sister publication The American Surveyor and the newly developed Construction 2020 project to support this initiative.
I went on to say: “The building documentation space is rapidly evolving so it’s good to have key voices on the same page. We’ve long valued the USIBD’s effort to standardize the implementation of LIDAR technology.”
There’s much going on as you can see with the rest of this edition. Please enjoy it and don’t hesitate to reach out if you have a project or story you’d like to share.
Enjoy the magazine,
—Allen E. Cheves // Publisher