Study: Leafy areas are the coolest in cities

Land type has an impact on local weather in urban areas, according to the findings of a joint study of CoE, University of Helsinki and Finnish Meteorological Institute (FMI).  The local temperature can vary several degrees and even small pockets of trees, water and parkland can bring a relief on hot days in the concrete jungle. Read more in the recent story in the Guardian. The research results have been published as a scientific article Urban surface cover determined with airborne lidar at 2 m resolution – Implications for surface energy balance modelling in the journal Urban Climate.


Current events: Three doctoral defenses

Three new doctors are expected in the Centre of Excellence as Ville Kankare (Univ. of Helsinki), Anttoni Jaakkola and Lingli Zhu (FGI) are defending their doctoral dissertations in June:

Anttoni Jaakkola’s defense on his doctoral dissertation Low-cost mobile laser scanning and its feasibility for environmental mapping (Edullinen liikkuva laserkeilaus ja sen soveltuvuus ympäristönkartoitussovelluksiin) will be held in Aalto University, TUAS-building, Hall AS1, Otaniementie 17Espoo, on 5 June 2015 at 12:oo. Read more on the news section

Ville Kankare will defend the doctoral dissertation entitled The prediction of single-tree biomass, logging recoveries and quality attributes with laser scanning techniques (Laserkeilaus puutason biomassan, puutavaralajien sekä laatutiedon ennustamisessa) in the Faculty of Agriculture and Forestry, University of Helsinki,also on 5 June 2015 at 12:00. The public examination will take place at the following address: EE-talo, Walter-sali, Agnes Sjöbergin katu 2. Read more

The public examination of the doctoral dissertation of Lingli Zhu will be held on 18 June 2015 at 12.00 at the Aalto University School of Engineering, Lecture hall M1, Otakaari 1, Espoo. The title of the dissertation is A Pipeline for 3D Scene Reconstruction from Point Clouds (Rakennetun ympäristön kolmiulotteinen mallintaminen pistepilvistä). Read more



A versatile low-cost mobile laser scanner system: New opportunities for applications

A novel low-cost multi-sensor mobile laser scanning system has been developed at FGI CoE-LaSR by Anttoni Jaakkola. This work is the focus of his Dr. Sc. thesis, presented in the public examination on 5th June 2015 (Press release in Finnish).

“The results show that mobile laser scanning is a feasible method for various applications of mapping the environment and that even a low-cost system can perform sufficiently in these measurements” Anttoni Jaakkola concludes.

The developed system has been demonstrated on car and UAV (umanned aerial vehicle) platforms. It allows recognizing and classifying different features in the scanned environment, i.e. those of trees, roads and snow depth more accurately compared to the formerly used systems.

With future advances of laser scanning and positioning technologies, it can be expected that price of these systems will further decrease. Widespread adoption of laser scanners, especially in the automotive industry and the new global navigation satellite systems, will significantly reduce the cost of mobile laser scanning components. Nowadays expensive mobile laser scanning systems are almost exclusively owned by mapping companies as benefits of using them requires high rates of utilization and applications with high added-value.

“With future cost reduction, mobile laser scanning will expand to new fields, as also other companies can afford to acquire such systems and utilize them in various applications.” Jaakkola foresees.

Mobile laser scanning is a measurement technology that combines accurate positioning and attitude information from navigation satellites and inertial sensors with distance measurements from a laser scanner into a point cloud that represents the geometry of the environment surrounding the measurement platform. This geometrical information can be utilized in a variety of applications ranging from 3D city modelling and infrastructure maintenance to forestry and environmental monitoring.

Picture: Anttoni Jaakkola (left) demonstrating the UAV mobile laser scanning system

More information: Senior Research Scientist Anttoni Jaakkola, anttoni.jaakkola(at), tel 358 50 3498 108

Dr.Sc. thesis Low-cost Mobile Laser Scanning and its Feasibility for Environmental Mapping

Benchmarking of terrestrial laser scanning methods: Test datasets available

FGI’s work on benchmarking of terrestrial laser scanning (TLS) methods for forestry applications progresses as planned, and new test datasets have been released in February 2015. More than 10 international groups have already downloaded the test data and more are encouraged to join. The test data can be obtained from the ftp site of the FGI, after sending a request to or

The EuroSDR project on international benchmarking of terrestrial laser scanning methods for forestry applications is coordinated by the Centre of Excellence FGI group. The project was launched in 2014 in order to gain understanding on an optimum data processing technique for future automated forest plot inventories. The objective of the project is to evaluate the quality, accuracy and feasibility of automatic, semi-automatic or manual tree extraction methods based on high-density TLS data. The data is collected in a test forest, a southern Boreal Forest in Evo, Finland.

The benchmarking project is targeting on the existing and modified algorithms, and manual measurements from the point cloud data. Meanwhile, the project is also open for all techniques that are in the research phase. National mapping agencies, companies, universities and research organizations are all welcomed to participate in the project and to provide the extracted plotwise parameters. In addition to the final report (in the middle of 2016), joint peer-reviewed journal articles on the statistical comparison results will be prepared. All participants will be invited as co-authors/co-writers in all papers.

The distributed data includes one single-scan and one multi-scan dataset for each of the 24 plots. Read more about the data in the project webpage . The TLS data are exclusively used for this project before the publication of the final project report. After that, the point cloud data will be free of use for non-commercial purposes.


Picture: Multi-scan Terrestrial laser scanning data of a test plot 3D (Picture: Jiri Pyörälä)

More information

Xinlian Liang xinlian.liang(a), Harri Kaartinen harri.kaartinen(a)

Project webpage:

LIDAR mapping

Unconvential LIDAR mapping, such as mapping from air (Airborne Laser Scanning, ALS), terrestrial (Terrestrial Laser Scanning, TLS) and mobile (Mobile Laser Scanning, MLS) platforms will be a strong focus of the department of remote sensing and photogrammetry and Centre of Excellence. Juha Hyyppä has recently given presentations on the development and future prospects of the field in the 54th Photogrammetic week, Stuttgart and ICASD workshop, Köln, and will be a keynote speaker in Silvilaser Conference, Beijing

Scroll to top