What is Density Map

Accurately measuring density map can be an effective and efficient solution for various kinds of problems. The density map shows the amount or intensity of materials in a specific area, and density mapping using Lidar (LIght Detection And Ranging) technology has been extensively applied to survey land cover changes, urban density distribution and forest canopy structure. For example; one common technique that uses density maps as the starting point is Random Forests (you can read more about random forests here). The construction of density map itself doesn’t have to be complicated – often times a density raster is created from raw LiDAR data by turning points into polygons and then adjusting their opacity so that it best  matches the density of the area being mapped.

Did you know density mapping can be used for more than just land cover? Density map is also applied in various areas including archaeology, oceanography, meteorological studies and many other fields. Many point cloud software programs have some level of density map support to help measure density. For example 3D pointclouds software AutoCAD RV includes density plot function that can help generate density rasters from LiDAR or DEM sources.

Why are Density Map used with Point Cloud software?

Density map is often used to better understand point density or point density variations within a scene. You can use density mapping to identify the ground surfaces and avoid intersections during accuracy assessment, for example.

You can also use density mapping to create density surface which can be used for other purposes including random forests. Density map is often helpful in point cloud software programs because you can better understand density variations within a scene, especially when terrain modeling or surface reconstruction are involved.

Density mapping techniques are widely applied in industry to process density information from topographic LiDAR data, but don’t take my word for it.