GPI Geospatial, Inc. Combines Experience with Industry-Leading 3D Technology

The Firm

South End Trail 3 GPI – Point cloud collected with our RIEGL VQ-1560i aerial LiDAR sensor (+/- 70PPSM)

With 40+ offices located throughout the eastern half of the United States, GPI Geospatial, Inc. (GPI) has been providing 3D remote sensing solutions to a wide range of private and government customers for over 50 years. They are an employee-owned organization with a dual focus on employee and customer satisfaction, while delivering quality products and services.

GPI purchased their first RIEGL LiDAR scanner in 2008 (LMS–Q680i). Stacey Russell, Marketing Director, commented, “Utilizing RIEGL’s LiDAR equipment has enabled us to continue to transition, grow and further develop our 3D services through the production of high-quality deliverables and diversification of collection techniques, including UAV, aerial (fixed and rotary wing), mobile and static LiDAR.” 

The company specializes in merging different LiDAR applications, seamlessly integrating them into a contiguous solution. This has provided a catalyst for growth across multiple market segments. In the last two to three years, the geospatial team has doubled in size, expanding past the 100-person mark.


GPI owns and operates multiple aircraft and vehicles equipped that are equipped with both imagery and LiDAR sensors. These provide high accuracy, simultaneous data collection using multiple sensors from their fixed wing aircraft and ground-based vehicles. 

In 2008, GPI began making investments in RIEGL’s 3D laser scanning equipment. Since then ,they have continued to research and purchase the latest hardware and software to support the growth of their service offerings. 

GPI currently has two RIEGL VMX-450 mobile laser scanning systems, a RIEGL LMS-Q680i Airborne LiDAR Sensor, a RIEGL VQ-1560i Dual Channel Airborne Mapping System, and 2 RIEGL VZ-400i terrestrial laser scanning systems. They use RIEGL’s RiPROCESS suite to manage and process data captured by their RIEGL LiDAR sensors, along with a variety of CAD, GIS, photogrammetric, and feature extraction software.  

South FL Mobile LiDAR 2 GPI – Point cloud collected with our RIEGL VMX-450 mobile LiDAR sensor (+/- 1000PPSM)

Purchasing Decisions

GPI has had the benefit of having their aircraft physically located near RIEGL USA’s headquarters in Orlando, FL.  This close proximity has allowed for system testing, equipment integration and performance measurements on a regular basis. Through these processes, they were able to quickly identify that RIEGL’s full-waveform and multi-target detection solution was the correct product to match their high accuracy mapping demands. 

The high pulse repetition rates, combined with the dual waveform processing channels, have enabled GPI to increase their collection speeds and point density for both aerial and ground-based acquisitions. Russell noted, “When we compared the RIEGL sensors with other manufacturer’s products, we determined that these advantages would give us an edge over our competition.”

Systems Integration

GPI’s RIEGL equipment is used daily. Use of this equipment ranges from aerial LiDAR for USGS 3DEP to small private development sites, volumetric sites and high accuracy transportation corridors.  Their mobile units are pounding the streets and rails, collecting a wide range of geospatial information including high resolution rail data, transportation and development corridors, as well as large area asset management collections. 

The static sensors are an everyday piece of equipment for their traditional survey crews. They utilize the scanners for a diverse range of uses, including high resolution bridge scanning, topographic surveying, horizontal and vertical control densification, monitoring, and building information modeling (BIM) work. Having a single manufacturer for all of their LiDAR equipment allows GPI to integrate the LiDAR data seamlessly across all platforms.

Recent Projects

GPI has successfully completed thousands of projects ranging in size and complexity. Here are examples of a few challenging projects using an array of their aerial, mobile and static RIEGL sensors:

  • Miami Dade ITD LiDAR – Miami-Dade County, Information Technology Department – Acquired 650 sq./mi. @ 2,000’ AMT using the RIEGL VQ-1560i aerial LiDAR sensor yielding over 30ppsm of high accuracy and dense point clouds. Calibrated and classified LAS tiles and geodatabase were the primary deliverables.
  • I-526 Charleston South Carolina Department of Transportation – Acquired a combination of mobile and aerial LiDAR on a 13-mile corridor using the RIEGL VMX-450 mobile LiDAR sensor and the RIEGL VQ-1560i aerial sensor. Extremely dense and accurate mobile LiDAR point clouds (2,000ppsm) was used to map roadway hard surfaces, which were merged with the aerial point cloud covering soft surfaces of Right of Way width.
  • Atlanta Hartsfield Airport Phillips & Jordan- Scanned numerous tunnels using the high-speed static RIEGL VZ-400i 3D laser scanner integrated with 360 degree, georeferenced imagery for this BIM Project. The extremely dense point cloud was used for highly detailed and accurate Revit MEP models.  

Looking Ahead

Collecting and mapping information in a 3D environment is critical for every project as the technology is growing at a very rapid rate and being integrated into everyone’s daily life. We are seeing a large transition in its use for design and construction for infrastructure, including the advancement of autonomous vehicles and transportation. Smart cities are integrating 3D technology to improve livability metrics. Deep learning and artificial intelligence are utilizing 3D data in their decision-making algorithms. As data storage and processing capabilities continue to increase, the use of 3D technology will become even more prevalent in the future.  

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