Wednesday, 16 August 2017

Scan you at the cemetery gates

Highgate Cemetery in North London is a grand, Grade I listed site, rightly known as much for its architecture, trees and wildlife as for its various famous residents. The latter include novelists George Eliot and Douglas Adams, political writers and activists include Karl Marx, musicians, poets, historians and scientists including Michael Faraday.
The Riegl scanner among the gravestones of Highgate Cemetery (P. Wilkes; K. Calders).
Perhaps less well-known is that, by our reckoning, Highgate Cemetery has some of the highest biomass per unit area in London. As a result, Phil, Kim and Matheus spent a day there recently using our Riegl VZ-400 to scan the highest biomass parts of the cemetery, so that we can capture the structure and biomass of some of its magnificent and unusual trees. They are unusual both in terms of some relatively exotic (by urban standards) species, as well because of the landscaping and architecture by which have helped to shape them, and which in turn they also shape.

Ivy roots (I think) clinging and enveloping a tomb, as well as a nearby tree.
The resulting data look good already, and the team have been producing some more elegant visualisations of the resulting data. Below is a flythrough of the TLS with the RGB from the camera; and following that, a nice timelapse of the scanner in action.

As we generate the results of the biomass estimation from the TLS, it'll be interesting to compare with the Environment Agency lidar tree locations and heights. I'm also intrigued to see where these trees sit in terms of their shape and size, compared to the ones from 'natural' woodlands as well as their definitively urban counterparts.