Laser scanning of the Netherlands

Photo: Mogens Bjørn Nielsen
In January 2011, COWI A/S and Eurosense won a project for data capture of a high resolution point cloud to produce a very detailed and accurate height model of the Netherlands. The data capture has been started in March 2011 and will continue in the winter of 2011/2012 after a break during the summer while the trees are covered with leaves.

The customer, is the Dutch national institution, Rijkswaterstaat, which is the national agency that provides dry feet, clean and sufficient water and a quick and safe flow of traffic. COWI's services constitute part of the other version of a nationwide, accurate height model. 

The Netherlands under sea level
As we all know, water runs downwards - also in the Netherlands. About half the area of the country is less than 1 metre above sea level and 38 percent is below sea level. A comprehensive system of dikes protects these areas against flooding and a lot of pumping stations control the ground water level. The highest point, Vaalserberg, is in the south-eastern part of the country and is 321 metres above sea level.

With the characteristic geography of the Netherlands, a great part of the country being below 0 level, an updated and accurate height model is of essential importance for many planning projects within infrastructure, environment and physical planning. 

Accurate height model produced with the newest technology

The data capture is made with the newest LiDAR (LIght Detection and Ranging) equipment installed in aircraft. LiDAR is a laser scanner that works like a kind of an echo sounder with laser pulse. In this project, 178,600 "shots" are made each second. For the data capture in the winter of 2011/2012, COWI will use a quite new "state-of-the-art" model, which will be available on the market the summer of 2011.

The data will undergo extensive manual processing, adapting it completely to the user's needs and documentation of accurate and reliable data. The Dutch users are considered very qualified users who through many years have built up a "world-class" expertise in using the data actively for a great number of planning projects and activities. COWI looks forward to meeting these high demands and expectations together with our local partner.


Leading provider of mapping services
To participate in a project of this nature is another important indication of COWI's position in the European mapping market. COWI has - in a few years - succeeded in attracting attention within laser scanning projects.To take part in the production of a height model in the Netherlands is another significant step in being a leading provider of mapping services within the prioritised markets of COWI.

LAST UPDATED: 04.11.2017