Kudan Mobile Mapping Dev Kit Case Study: Cornell University Forestry Research


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We are excited to showcase the successful case studies of our mobile mapping kit by our clients in diverse global applications. In this article, we highlight the collaboration with Biosphere Modeling and Monitoring (BioM2) Lab, Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology at Cornell University, shedding light on the transformative impact of our Mobile Mapping Dev Kit for forestry applications.

Kudan Mobile Mapping Dev Kit with dual lidars (left) and an example point cloud of an old-growth temperate mixed forest (right)

Context and Challenge

The BioM2 Lab at Cornell University has been working on vegetation research for many years. This necessitated a comprehensive understanding of various biometric parameters on trees within designated forests. Metrics such as tree trunk and canopy diameters, along with tree density in specific zones, are imperative for their investigations. Historically, the department had relied on a conventional terrestrial scanner affixed to a tripod for conducting laborious 3D laser surveys. While the accuracy of the obtained data met their standards, the process itself proved less than optimal, particularly when dealing with densely forested areas. The intricate landscape demanded numerous scans to eliminate blind spots within the 3D point cloud, a task that was particularly time-intensive. To illustrate, capturing data for an area as modest as 50m x 50m (150ft x 150ft) could consume 90-120 minutes using conventional methods.


In a strategic shift, the forestry department transitioned from conventional techniques to Kudan Mobile Mapping Dev Kit (both backpack and handheld configurations). Depending on the specific environment, they effectively employed both single and dual lidar options. The dual lidar configuration, in particular, emerged as a game-changer. It facilitates the comprehensive capture of canopies at varying heights, along with intricate details such as tree trunks and leaves closer to the ground. By simply traversing the target area with the kit, they are able to collect data to generate an accurate 3D point cloud of the areas.

Results: 6x-8x efficiency gain without compromising accuracy requirements

The deployment of the Kudan Mobile Mapping Dev Kit yielded remarkable results. The process of scanning a 50m x 50m area was streamlined to under 15 minutes, in stark contrast to the previous 90-120 minutes requirement with their traditional terrestrial scanner. Moreover, the precision attained with our technology aligned with their analytical demands for tree-related studies.

This video shows one of the point clouds they captured with our kit in a temperate forest. Notably, in densely populated tree environments, our kit’s efficiency gains were even more pronounced, given that the conventional methods necessitated a higher number of scans to mitigate occlusion-related blind spots.

Xiangtao Xu, Assistant Professor at Cornell University heading up the BioM2 Lab, enthusiastically shared his insights: “The Kudan Mobile Mapping Dev Kit has significantly expedited our data collection process, and provided adequate precision for our analysis. This enhancement has enabled us to gather extensive datasets within our time-constrained field trips.”


This case study underscores the profound advantages of integrating the Kudan Mobile Mapping Kit into your work process. Our technology empowers users with heightened scanning efficiency, all without compromising the precision required for the applications. Please send an inquiry for further information.

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