SilviLaser 2012

Notes from the Ground-Based Lidar Breakout Meeting, SilviLaser 2012,
Vancouver, September 16-18, 2013

A Ground-Based Lidar breakout meeting was convened by Alan Strahler (Boston University) at Silvilaser 2012, in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. About 40 participants attended and discussed ways to create a virtual community to  support Terrestrial Laser Scanning (TLS) initiatives and collaborate in future efforts.

Alan began with a few slides of potential benefits and activities of a group of researchers working together to advance the science and applications of terrestrial lidar scanning. The ensuing discussion referenced a similar informal working group that arose in the BRDF community in the 1990s and early 2000s, which held several International Workshops on Multiangle Measurements and Modeling  (IWMMM), and in which several of the attendees had participated. One participant noted the existence of a francophone group of researchers in Canada and France in regular communication about TLS, and possible linkages were suggested.

The discussion moved to a better acronym for the group. One suggestion was TErrestrial LAser SCanning Observational Program (TELASCOP), but the name Terrestrial Laser Scanning International Interest Group (TLSIIG) appeared to have more support.

Suggestions to improve communications were focused on establishment of a website and list serve (which could serve as a place to host webinars) as well possible utilization of social networks. Short courses and workshops were seen as a way to invigorate the community. It was suggested that the group work with Nick Coops to figure out whether TLSIIG could be an official subgroup of Silvilaser and determine what activities could be planned for the next Silvilaser meeting in Beijing. There also was a suggestion that additional notes be added to the talks for TLS sessions to serve as education.

There was a great deal of interest in intercalibration efforts, shared datasets (both lidar and associated field datasets) and community classic field sites. It was suggested that the Oak Ridge National Laboratory’s Distributed Active Archive Center for Biogeochemical Dynamics (ORNL DAAC), supported by NASA, could serve as an archive and distribution facility for terrestrial lidar data and matching ALS and field datasets.

As the meeting adjourned, Alan agreed to develop a mailing list and web site for group activities.

(As noted by Crystal Schaaf, University of Massachusetts Boston)