In a six-block area of St. Pete Beach around Corey Avenue the mobile survey vehicle collected data using a sophisticated mapping technology called LiDAR, Light Detection and Ranging.
ST. PETE BEACH – Consultants mapped a six-block area around Corey Avenue from the inland waterway to the Gulf recently. The collected data will be used as a part of the city’s master planning, said Jerry Dabkowski, assistant vice president for Michael Baker Jr. Inc.
In 90 minutes on Oct. 22, a mobile survey vehicle gathered survey-grade data of the Corey Avenue district using a high-resolution mapping technology called LiDAR – Light Detection and Ranging, said Stephen Clancy, GIT assistant vice president for Baker.
“There are two lasers on the vehicle that together collect about a half million points per second. There are also two cameras on board that capture up to three pictures per second each. As we drive down the street, the system is saturating everything it sees with invisible laser measurements. Coupling those measurements with the vehicle’s GPS and orientations systems, we’re able to develop the point clouds,” Clancy said.
Using traditional survey methods, it would take about six months to map the same six-block area. Using LiDAR the entire city could be surveyed in about one and a half days, Dabkowski said.
The mapping data looks at roads, utilities and critical infrastructure. It looks at details including houses, power lines, ramps, fire hydrants, paint stripes and leaves. It also can be used to concentrate on a specific feature, such as ruts in a road. If chosen, planners can turn off the visibility of trees or buildings, for example, Clancy said.
People would be able, for example, to see how a two-story building developed according to zoning guidelines would look as a part of the streetscape using the data gathered, City Manager Mike Bonfield said.
The mapping technology also can show changes over time, Dabkowski said.
“It sets the base and you can come back and see if you have a problem with sinking or if something has moved,” Dabkowski said.
In November, the community will be able to see conceptual plans, drawings and renderings derived from the LiDAR data. The city will receive the data for future use, as well, Clancy said.
Community input sessions are planned for Nov. 19-22. The November sessions will include workshops and one-on-one conversations with community members. Public meetings are planned at City Hall Nov. 20-21.
Consultants plan to walk the streets and talk to stakeholders, Clancy said.