• December 06, 2018

    PacTrans Technology Transfer Success Story 2018 #4: 3D Virtual Visibility Analysis Program

    In 2015, PacTrans funded a project lead by Oregon State University Associate Professor of Civil & Construction Engineering, Michael Olsen, titled 3D Virtual Sight Distance Analysis Using Mobile LIDAR Data. This research project investigated advanced safety analysis methodologies for drivers’ sight distance (SD) based on high resolution data acquired using lidar (light detection and ranging) technology. “This research presents a systematic processing and analysis workflow for virtually evaluating available sight distances by using lidar data sets named SiDAL (Sight Distance Analysis using Lidar). This approach enables one to repeatedly analyze the same scene while considering a variety of vehicle types as well as multimodal forms of transportation (e.g., bikes, pedestrians). The sensitivity of this technique to modeling resolution was analyzed by using a case study of an intersection with restricted visibility. The results showed the ability to capture significantly more detail about visibility constraints in comparison to conventional measurements.”

    While the results of that project developed an algorithm that allowed the research team to successfully analyze a wide range of scenarios, Dr. Olsen believes the developed algorithm has a great potential for supporting evaluation of SD constraints for many transportation agencies worldwide. To promote wider distribution and rapid dissemination of the program, Dr. Olsen and his research team utilized PacTrans Technology Transfer Success Story funds to cleanup, optimize, package, and disseminate the code into an easy to use program with a simple, yet powerful, graphical user interface (GUI) that can readily be used by a typical transportation engineer in their workflows. They also developed data converters such that the program can use the standard ASPRS las format as well as ASCII text files as input for efficiency. In addition, the developed tool is distributed with some basic training materials (e.g., sample dataset, program user manual, and videos of examples) to support it.

    The produced software tool, Sight Object Distance Analysis (SODA), along with accompanying materials including a user manual, tutorial, and example datasets based on our prior PacTrans project in 3D visibility analysis have been placed on the learnmobilelidar website here: http://learnmobilelidar.com/software-tools/