Enhancing Urban Drainage and Infrastructure Management with Mobile LIDAR

James Quirin, DevOps Manager/Senior Project Surveyor, WSSI

In recent years, the management of urban drainage systems has become increasingly complex, especially in areas with mature infrastructure and stringent spatial constraints. Traditional methods of surveying and mapping, while effective, often come with significant drawbacks such as prolonged traffic disruptions, safety risks, and limitations in data accuracy and detail. This presentation proposes a transformative approach to urban infrastructure management and enhancement using Mobile Light Detection and Ranging (Mobile LIDAR) technology. Mobile LIDAR stands at the forefront of surveying technologies, offering a high-speed, accurate, and non-intrusive means of capturing detailed features and topographical data. Our studies focus on the application of this technology in areas with challenging drainage and infrastructure scenarios. By harnessing Mobile LIDAR, we were able to develop precise topography, extract critical tree locations, and identify and locate key infrastructure elements such as storm and sewer systems. The advantages of Mobile LIDAR are multifaceted. Primarily, it significantly enhances data acquisition by allowing collection from a moving vehicle, thereby reducing or eliminating the need for physical access to busy or hazardous roadways in urban environments. This not only ensures the safety of the surveying team, but it also minimizes disruptions to the community. Furthermore, the depth and accuracy of data collected facilitate more informed decision-making in the planning and execution of infrastructure improvements, stormwater management, and urban planning. This presentation will share experiences from projects in Arlington, Alexandria, and Falls Church, and highlight the advantages of utilizing mobile LIDAR technology.  

Author Bio

James Quirin graduated from Rowan University in 2010 with a Bachelor of Science in Physics/Mathematics. He began his survey career in 2011 providing IT and survey support for Autodesk, Trimble and Leica survey solutions. James is currently the DevOPs Manager and a Senior Project Surveyor at Wetland Studies and Solutions, Inc. He joined Wetland Studies and Solutions, Inc., a Davey Tree Company, in 2019 after previously working as a Reality Capture manager and consultant in the surveying field. James has an extensive background in the development, implementation, and training of reality capture solutions. He has logged thousands of hours on Unmanned Aerial Vehicles systems and managed over 300 reality capture projects in various states across the East Coast.