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February 1st, 2019
Category Winners Announced at the Second Annual Lidar Leader Awards Ceremony

Denver, CO – The second annual Lidar Leader Awards ceremony took place yesterday at International LiDAR Mapping Forum (ILMF) in Denver. ILMF – in cooperation with Spatial Media’s Lidar Magazine – designed this unique program to recognize excellence in five distinct categories: Outstanding Personal Achievement in Lidar, Outstanding Team Achievement in Lidar, Outstanding Enterprise Achievement, Outstanding Innovation in Lidar, and Outstanding University Achievement in Lidar.


Lisa Murray, Group Director at Diversified Communications stated of the awards, “We were delighted to host the second annual Lidar Leader Awards at International LiDAR Mapping Forum.  We started this awards series to recognize excellence in the industry and to highlight some of the amazing projects that were being presented on our program.  The lidar community has enthusiastically embraced the process, nominating over 70 individual and teams for awards this year.  In the spirit of the inaugural Geo Week co-location of ILMF, ASPRS and MAPPS, we shared the stage with ASPRS to present four of their prestigious industry awards.  Kudos to all the winners.  We look forward to recognizing your amazing contributions for many years to come.”


Dr. A. Stewart Walker, Managing Editor at Lidar Magazine agreed. “This is the second year of the Lidar Leader Awards and, during the nomination period, we hoped very much that the entries would maintain the remarkable quality that we enjoyed last year. We were not disappointed. The quality was very high indeed. We introduced two new categories this year, Outstanding Innovation in Lidar and Outstanding University Achievement in Lidar, to honor accomplishments that perhaps were not ideal fits for the three categories with which we began the awards last year. Both categories drew fine candidates and those who attended the University Lightning Round yesterday doubtless feel delighted at the talent of the next generation of lidar movers and shakers.”


Winners in each category were announced at the Awards Ceremony yesterday.


Hans (Karl) Heidemann, former Physical Scientist at the USGS EROS Center, was recognized for his Outstanding Personal Achievements in the industry. Heidemann led the development of lidar standards and specifications within USGS. He was heavily involved with the National Elevation Dataset, the National Geospatial Program and the 3D Elevation Program (3DEP), and authored three releases of the USGS Lidar Base Specifications (LBS). He was a co-author of the ASPRS Positional Accuracy Standards for Digital Geospatial Data and established the ASPRS standard for the number of lidar QA/QC checkpoints in vegetated and non-vegetated terrain. He is a long-standing, active member of ASPRS, serving on numerous committees, instructing in workshops and contributing to publications.



The Outstanding Team Achievement in Lidar was awarded to the Joint Airborne Lidar Bathymetry Center of Expertise (JALBTCX) Team for their efforts in acquiring airborne lidar bathymetry multiple times along the United States coastline as well as in Alaska, Hawaii and the U.S. territories. Additionally, the team acquired emergency response data following natural disasters such as Katrina, Sandy, Matthew, Irma, Maria and Florence. The data is used to analyze beach and dune response to storms, assess shoreline changes and support coastal resiliency. The efforts of the JALBTCX team continue to advance airborne lidar bathymetry and coastal mapping technology to greatly benefit the mapping industry.


Winning the Outstanding Enterprise Achievement Award was Woolpert, for providing many high-level contributions to the lidar industry in service, management and development ever since lidar technology was introduced. A sample of Woolpert’s accomplishments include: working with USGS to acquire and process over 350,000 square miles of lidar data in support of the 3DEP program; evaluating and improving data workflow, that led the design, integration and testing of BuckEye’s next-generation airborne sensor; and supporting US Army Corps of Engineers/JALBTCX’ bathymetric and topographic lidar acquisition.


New this year, AEye was the first to take home the Outstanding Innovation in Lidar award for the creation of the AE110 Artificial Perception System. The AE110 is a solid-state artificial perception system that takes a disruptive approach to vehicle perception. Its distributed system fuses solid-state agile lidar with a low-light HD camera, then integrates artificial intelligence to capture more intelligent information with less data. By using a distributed, software-definable system that embeds computer vision with machine and deep learning on its lidar, the AE110 puts perception engineers in control and brings intelligence to the sensor layer, which enables the type of precision and real-time perception that is critical to the rollout of safe autonomous vehicle systems.


The Outstanding University Achievement in Lidar category awarded three winners this year following the University Lightning Round took place yesterday which took place on Monday, January 28. Participants of the Lightning Round were judged on awards up for grabs in three categories, including: 1) Most commercially feasible; 2) Most innovative use of lidar; and 3) People’s Choice. Soeren Discher and Rico Richter of Hasso Plattner Institut took home the most commercially feasible award, delivering a presentation on the value of point clouds: solutions for management, analysis and presentation. Andrea Albright of University of Houston won the most innovative use of lidar award with an impressive presentation on measuring breaking waves using lidar technology. Finally, the crowd voted on the People’s Choice award, again awarding it to Hasso Plattner Institute. Each university gave remarkable presentations to an audience of geospatial and academia professionals alike.


ILMF and Lidar Magazine are excited to continue celebrating excellence in 2020 and for years to come and congratulate all the nominees and winners for their work in advancing lidar.


About International LiDAR Mapping Forum

International LiDAR Mapping Forum (ILMF) is a technical conference & exhibition focused on airborne, terrestrial and underwater lidar as well as emerging remote-sensing and data collection tools and technology used for applications including Asset Management; Civil Infrastructure; Coastal Zone Mapping; Emergency Services & Disaster Response; Land and Natural Resource Management; and Urban Modeling.


ILMF is part of a network of events and media for the global geospatial market organized by Diversified Communications, a leading organizer of conferences, trade shows and online media with 15 years in the geospatial arena, including Commercial UAV Expo Americas, Commercial UAV Europe, Commercial UAV News, International LiDAR Mapping Forum, SPAR 3D Expo & Conference,, AEC Next Technology Expo + Conference and AEC Next News. For more information, visit


About LIDAR Magazine

Lidar Magazine, a Spatial Media publication, promotes the adoption of LIDAR and imaging technology. Dr. A. Stewart Walker leads an expert editorial team, bringing insights and commentary to readers via print editions, eNewsletters, webinars and more. Published 8x annually, the magazine reaches a global audience of geomatics and engineering professionals.