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Navigating Waters & 3D Data: Mobile Mapping on a Boat with the ROCK R3 Pro LiDAR

LiDAR technology has ushered in a new era of data acquisition and mapping, changing the way we perceive and document the world around us. In an down to earth showcase of innovation and accuracy, join us as we explore LiDAR mobile mapping aboard a boat featuring the ROCK R3 Pro.


Setting the Scene

Our story unfolds on the serene waters of Jenkinson Lake, where we've armed ourselves with a pontoon boat, a few spare hours, and the ROCK R3 Pro. Our mission? To use this innovative LiDAR device in an unconventional manner by mounting it on our boat and mapping the entire shoreline.

The Setup

The ROCK R3 Pro is securely mounted on the pontoon boat. We've adapted a mobile mount designed for vehicles and affixed it to the boat's structure. This setup ensures that the LiDAR device can scan the coastline accurately as we navigate the waters. Additionally, we've installed a GPS unit on the boat's railing to complement the LiDAR data, forming a sturdy, synchronized system.

ROCK R3 Pro Mobile Mapping on a Boat

Mapping the Coastline

As the boat gently pushes against the shoreline, we initiate data acquisition. Stability is essential for accurate results, so we make sure the boat remains stationary during this phase. Our plan is to drive along the coastline in a parallel fashion, enabling the LiDAR device to capture precise data points.

The Data Collection

The boat follows a route that includes a figure-eight pattern and a straight line to ensure comprehensive data collection. Throughout this process, our team keeps a close eye on the LiDAR device's performance, with initial results showing promise.

Data Processing

After mapping the majority of the lake's shoreline, we upload the data to the ROCK Desktop pre-processing software. This preliminary analysis allows us to confirm the success of our unique setup and the quality of the data collected.

ROCK Desktop - Coastline Data


The adventure of using the ROCK R3 Pro on a pontoon boat to map the coastline of Jenkinson Lake has been both exciting and informative. We've learned that this unconventional approach is not only possible but also highly effective. The LiDAR data collected during our journey demonstrates the potential and versatility of this technology.

As we conclude our day on the lake, we reflect on the successful outing, emphasizing the ease of setting up the LiDAR system on the boat, the importance of real-time data processing, and the surprisingly efficient use of battery power.


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