Thierry Badard at the heart of a new research project for the mapping of forest waterways in Quebec

Our researcher Thierry Badard, also director of the Centre de recherche en données et intelligence géospatiales (CRDIG, Geospatial Data and Intelligence Research Center) has just obtained, together with his colleagues Éric Guilbert and Sylvain Jutras, a grant of $ 190,500 from the FRQNT Team research projects program. This 3-year project will exploit the full potential of new LiDAR data recently acquired by the Quebec provincial government.

These very high resolution geospatial data make it possible to produce precise and complete information on the height of the forest canopy, the slope of the terrain and the presence of paths and watercourses. These data can now be used to create river maps with unmatched precision and accuracy. However, the existing methods, developed to process aerial photos, are no longer suitable for data volumes of several hundred terabytes and require numerous manual interventions. As part of this project, the researchers propose an innovative approach to automate the process and guarantee an improved end result.

Visit the CRDIG website for more information

More specifically, this approach is based on (1) terrain modeling carried out by triangulation based on the lidar points on the ground directly making tile-mapping and interpolation unnecessary and (2) modeling of watercourses from thalwegs to avoid pre-treatment in the field and manual waterway connections.

To implement their approach, the research team set the following two objectives:



Design a massive geospatial data architecture that makes it possible to process lidar points, store the triangulation and provide the tools necessary for the analysis of the terrain model;


Develop new algorithms for the detection of rivers from triangulation that take into account the paths in the calculation of flows.

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