Nevada Patent of the Month – January 2024

In the ever-evolving landscape of land development and infrastructure planning, innovation takes center stage. DataSight, a pioneering force in research and development, introduces a new approach for automatically generating Digital Terrain Models (DTMs). This method promises a swift transformation of raw point cloud data into a precise DTM, revolutionizing the traditional, time-consuming processes associated with terrain mapping.

Digital Elevation Models (DEM) and DTMs are essential to digital land surface terrain mapping. DTM is known to be a further refinement of existing DEM methods, allowing elevation values to be regularly or irregularly spaced providing a more efficient surface representation. The most common approach to generating a DTM is by using manned surveys to collect a grid of elevation points. Unfortunately, these standard systems are not quick or effective and are not great for real-time modeling.

The claimed method starts by receiving a classified raw point cloud file, already distinguishing a multitude of ground points. It then undergoes a sophisticated series of steps, from converting ground points into a Digital Elevation Model (DEM) to applying filters for noise reduction. A highlight is the implementation of a nine-parameter 2nd-order polynomial method on an eight-grid cell neighborhood, creating a slope-gradient raster. The process involves edge detection, skeletonization, and the conversion of resulting data into 3D polylines, forming the basis for the DTM.

One notable aspect is the compression algorithm employed, where redundant and coplanar elevation data is intelligently removed, achieving an impressive data compression rate of 10:1 to 20:1. This ensures a more efficient file size, a critical factor for real-time or near-real-time applications.

The invention extends beyond just a method, as DataSight introduces a comprehensive system comprising a processor and memory. This system not only automates the DTM generation but also renders it to a user interface, providing an accessible and interactive experience.

The applications of this innovation are far-reaching, impacting industries such as commercial land development, mining, civil infrastructure, flood plain mapping, and more. The ability to create accurate DTMs within a short time frame using unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) marks a paradigm shift, reducing timelines from weeks to mere hours. The efficiency gains offered by this invention unlock new possibilities for engineers, construction workers, and planners.

DataSight’s approach addresses the limitations of existing methods, offering a leap forward in terms of speed, accuracy, and usability. 

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