COMBINING AIRBORNE OBLIQUE CAMERA AND LIDAR SENSORS: INVESTIGATION AND NEW PERSPECTIVES
Hybrid sensor solutions, that feature active laser and passive image sensors on the same platform, are rapidly entering the airborne market of topographic and urban mapping, offering new opportunities for an improved quality of geo-spatial products. In this perspective, a concurrent acquisition of LiDAR data and oblique imagery, seems to have all the potential to lead the airborne (urban) mapping sector a step forward. This contribution focuses on the first commercial example of such an integrated, all-in-one mapping solution, namely the Leica CityMapper hybrid sensor. By analysing two CityMapper datasets acquired over the city of Heilbronn (Germany) and Bordeaux (France), the paper investigates potential and challenges, w.r.t. (i) number and distribution of tie points between nadir and oblique images, (ii) strategy for image aerial triangulation (AT) and accuracy achievable w.r.t ground truth data, (iii) local noise level and completeness of dense image matching (DIM) point clouds w.r.t LiDAR data. Solutions for an integrated processing of the concurrently acquired ranging and imaging data are proposed, that open new opportunities for exploiting the real potential of both data sources.