Florida Lidar Tradition Continues

A synopsis of the 16th UF/FL-ASPRS Lidar Workshop


The Florida Region of the American Society for Photogrammetry and Remote Sensing (FL-ASPRS) and the University of Florida (UF) Geomatics Division held the Spring Geospatial Workshop on 9 May 2024. The workshops continue to meet, in-person and virtually, at the Mid-Florida Research & Education Center of the University of Florida’s Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences and over Zoom. The Workshops are open, free of charge, to all interested persons. The spring 2024 Workshop hosted 72 on-site participants and 86 virtual attendees from eight US States (California, Massachusetts, Michigan, Missouri, New York, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, and South Carolina) and universities in three countries (Canada, Colombia, and Ghana.) The UF/FL-ASPRS workshops serve as both a bi-annual FL-ASPRS meeting and as educational outreach to the general photogrammetry and remote sensing community. With respect to the ASPRS mission statement, “to promote a balanced representation of the interests of government, academia and private enterprise”, the program focuses on these three sectors with presentation sessions devoted to each. Below is a synopsis.

State and federal updates

The workshop started with 10-minute briefings from several state and federal agencies focused on Florida-based projects. The Suwannee River Water Management District (Paul Buchanan) and the Southwest Florida Water Management Districts (Nicole Hewitt) presented updates. Alex Reed from the Florida Department of Environmental Protection/Florida Seafloor Mapping Initiative provided a high-level update on the project while consultants, Heather Geyer (Fugro), Rick Householder (Woolpert) and Emily Klipp (Dewberry), presented detailed lidar acquisition updates for each FSMI region. René Baumstark (Florida Coastal Mapping Program) discussed the FCMaP deep-water prioritization study that was recently conducted. Federal agencies were represented by the US Geological Survey (Xan Fredericks) speaking on the new USGS Data Collaboration Announcement, and Karen An (NASA/Jet Propulsion Laboratory) updating the Workshop on the NISAR satellite launch date.

Keynote speaker

Christopher Parrish (Oregon State University and former ASPRS President) discussed technologies for near-shore bathymetry.

Academic presentations

Research presentations included a technique for advanced tree inventory using automated lidar classification (Meagan Anderson, Dewberry), a discussion of student opportunities at the University of Florida/Geomatics (Amr Abd-Elrahman), modeling shoreline erosion using climate variables (Nithish Manikkavasagm, Florida Atlantic University) and distributional patterns of mesopelagic scyphozoa (Diana Phillips and Manual Ploner,Nova Southeastern University) [ed – I had to look it up: jellyfish].

Sponsor participants

The Workshop welcomed one new Platinum Sponsor, KPM Franklin, and a continuing Platinum Sponsor, McKim & Creed. Gold Sponsors included seven continuing sponsors: Dewberry, Fugro, GPI Spatial, Inc., Kucera International, Inc., Pointerra3D, RieglUSA, Inc., and Woolpert, Inc. Several Silver Sponsors (3002 Surveying, Pickett and Associates, and Noble Precision Technologies) and Bronze Sponsors (The Sanborn Map Company, Inc., SurvTech Solutions, Inc., and TileDB, Inc.) also gave support.

About the Author

Alvan “Al” Karlin

Alvan “Al” Karlin, Ph.D. CMS-L, GISP is a senior geospatial scientist at Dewberry, formerly from the Southwest Florida Water Management District (SWFWMD), where he managed all the remote sensing and lidar-related projects in mapping and GIS. With Dewberry, he serves as a consultant on Florida-related lidar, topography, hydrology, and imagery projects, as well as general GIS-related projects. He has a Ph.D. in computational theoretical genetics from Miami University in Ohio. He is a director of the Florida Region of ASPRS, vice president of ASPRS at national level, an ASPRS Certified Mapping Scientist-Lidar, and a GIS Certification Institute Professional.