LiDAR 2017-06-08T22:35:26+00:00

LiDAR Services

LiDAR (Light Detection and Ranging) saves you money and time – and maybe headaches, too. With LiDAR, there’s no need to wander in the woods looking for tall trees, assessing slopes and scouting roads. Field time is reduced, which means time and cost savings for our clients, no matter what industry they work in.

Chartwell’s LiDAR services include acquisition management and data management solutions, freeing you to concentrate on other tasks. We can save you the time required for tendering as well as software and hardware costs. Our web-based data access tools allows you to view, mark up and download LiDAR data products and more (e.g. contours, Canopy Height Model and road alignments) without the need for specialized software or massive amounts of storage space.


How Does LiDAR Work?

LiDAR stands for Light Detection and Ranging and consists of a laser rangefinder working in conjunction with GPS and orientation systems. It is an accepted method of generating precise and direct georeferenced spatial information regarding the Earth’s surface and its characteristics.

Airborne LiDAR is a multi-purpose survey and mapping tool used around the world in a broad range of industries. Sensors aboard aircraft collect vast amounts of high-accuracy XYZ points that are used to map terrain and just about anything between the sensor and the ground, including trees and electrical transmission lines.

The resulting “point clouds” are separated into classes according to the user’s needs: ground, vegetation and buildings, for example. In turn, the class datasets can be used to economically model terrain, forest canopy and more over large areas with unprecedented detail as illustrated below.

Canopy Penetration

In the LiDAR example below, we see terrain with the vegetation “stripped off” by using the ground class only. This detail is possible because LiDAR points (or returns) are possible wherever the laser pulse from the sensor can find a path to the ground and back. While nothing is perfect, LiDAR is the most cost-effective method of accurately surveying forested areas.

With its multi-return capability, LiDAR provides the dual benefit of accurately mapping the ground and the features above it. This makes it very cost-effective for applications like forestry and vegetation management because both terrain and tree height can be surveyed at the same time.


The cross-section below illustrates how returns come from both the canopy and from the ground, with ground returns being much sparser under canopy than in open areas. An adequate density of points on the ground in the forested area to the left of the creek would be very unlikely without LiDAR’s multi-return capability. Then, the key becomes proper classification to separate ground returns from the other classes.


LiDAR Services



LiDAR is your complete mapping solution because it can be effectively used for operational planning and design while the cost savings can more than pay for the cost of data acquisition. With LiDAR, Chartwell Consultants’ forestry professionals can create the most efficient plan to develop an entire tenure now and into the future.

Chartwell has developed a project-based approach that makes LiDAR affordable for any size area. We can identify the most attractive timber with surprising accuracy and prepare preliminary cutblock and road designs in the office. Field time, the most costly aspect of a Forester’s job, can be reduced to confirmation and final details. Plus, improved planning means your AAC can be harvested with minimal outlay. Better design means more efficient harvesting so logging and maintenance costs are reduced.

LiDAR makes a perfect tool for the utilities and energy sector because of its numerous applications. Add up all of the savings and an investment in LiDAR can pay big dividends. Companies all over the world have used LiDAR data for design and electrical transmission line re-rating for years. Vegetation Management can now be effectively handled at a substantially lower cost by combining LiDAR desktop analysis with traditional field survey.

Chartwell’s experienced Foresters and Engineers perform “office recce” – identifying areas of concern, potential danger trees, drainage etc. – before heading into the field for flagging and finalizing clearing boundaries. This strategy means we spend less time in the field, where costs add up quickly.



Flexibility is a key feature of how we work. We can customize our analyses to your preferences (level of risk and preference for danger trees or clearing, for example) as well as to the specific conditions in your area.

Access roads are expensive. Recycling existing access can be $100,000/km less than building new. Chartwell’s experience can help you find the hidden potential beneath the canopy.

With key LiDAR staff coming from the LiDAR and aerial mapping industry, Chartwell has tendered LiDAR surveys for many satisfied clients. Our experience and knowledge allow us to understand your needs and frame them so that aerial survey companies are better able to deliver the right products.

In addition, because we order frequently, we can often get preferred pricing from LiDAR companies.

You can rely on Chartwell to maximize the value of your LiDAR investment.

LiDAR datasets  with millions – even billions – of points can be a challenge to store and work with. Chartwell offers customizable LiDAR and imagery data management solutions to suit your needs.

Don’t have the space or software to store and view LiDAR data and derivatives? Chartwell can warehouse these datasets and provide secure online access for you that includes a viewer with mark-up, basic analysis and download functionality.

LiDAR and imagery data becoming unmanageable? Chartwell can perform a “data audit” and recommend tailored solutions, such as specialized databases that will not only allow you to query the points spatially and by attributes but also take up less space on your server or hard drive.

Contact us to see how we can turn unwieldy collections of huge files into accessible resources.

LiDAR data is an investment. It makes sense to make the most of any investment. Chartwell staff have years of experience working with LiDAR datasets to extract the valuable information they hold. Call us or email us to request examples of we have enabled clients to get more out of their LiDAR data than they thought possible.

You can rely on Chartwell to maximize the value of your LiDAR investment.