I am wondering if anyone has come up with an automated or semi-automated workflow for extracting manhole covers from LiDAR data in ArcGIS? I was thinking about looking at the change in elevation relative to the road or perhaps the shape.

Any guidance?

If the LiDAR point spacing is high enough resolution potentially 4points per meter or higher you may be able to extract in ArcGIS by running las to raster with intensity values. Would also require that the ground is classified as to remove canopy cover overhanging streets. Then additional raster segmentation tools to extract potential manhole locations. And then raster to polygon to point.

If point-data already exists then just apply the DEM raster elevation from the LiDAR to the manhole point data for height. Slope can also be applied similarly by running the slope GP tool and parsing the raster value back to the feature.

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    Welcome to GIS Stack Exchange. How would a LiDAR intensity raster would help to find manholes? Is the manhole colour too different from the road? Perhaps you can add a screenshot to clarify. – Andre Silva Mar 11 '16 at 12:56

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