Design of a Novel Undergraduate/Graduate Course on Terrestrial LiDAR

Document Type

Conference Proceeding

Publication Date


Publication Title

2021 ASEE Virtual Annual Conference Content Access Proceedings




In today’s Architecture, Engineering and Construction (AEC) industry, Terrestrial Light Detection and Ranging (T-LiDAR), or ground-based laser scanning, is becoming an affordable and ubiquitous modern technique to produce accurate, virtual, three-dimensional (3D) point-cloud models of various existing spatial geometries. However, currently only a few engineering programs offer courses in this area. The goals of this article are twofold: (1) to present the main characteristics of a novel, project-based, technical elective course on Introduction to T-LiDAR for students in the Civil Engineering (CE), Construction Engineering (ConE) and Construction Management (CM) programs at Georgia Southern University, and (2) to assess students’ acquisition of knowledge through the adopted hands-on approach. This work describes details of the developed course to expose students to the fundamentals of T-LiDAR and engage them in specialized activities involving this modern technique to successfully complete 3D point-cloud models of real, service-learning projects. These projects benefit the community and could assist universities in attaining or maintaining their Carnegie Community Engagement Classification. The paper presents not only the scholastic and assessment components of the discussed course, but also the necessary instruments, related software packages, and training needed by instructors to deliver it, including various student sample projects to further illustrate their sizes, and the way they assist in achieving the course objectives, in terms of student academic and professional developments. Given the numerous and growing applications of T-LiDAR, it seems plausible to include a course similar to the one described in this article to the potential list of technical electives in the AEC educational curricula.


© 2021 American Society for Engineering Education.


© 2021 American Society for Engineering Education.