I have been offered two types of point cloud for my 3D Project. The data will be used by the environmental agency in various projects e.g. flood-risk analysis, dyke conservation, and nature conservation.

The first product is from airborne laser scanning and the second from aerial photogrammetry. The accuracy of the data is more important, meaning that +-20cm rounded to mm is more important than having +-1m with 6 decimals places.

Which of these two products would be more accurate in the sense of "correct"?

  • Food for thought.... is it precision you are after or accuracy. Looks like you would want accuracy first. I am reading you question to mean both ways are accurate to your standard and you only need to know the system that gives you more decimal places in the returned values.
    – ZrSiO4
    Dec 7, 2017 at 15:40

1 Answer 1


In my work, earthworks volume calculations and land-form shaping, I have found point clouds from Aerial photos more accurate than truck/tripod mounted laser scanning. I have to say we contract out the Aerial photo gathering, in other words we use specialists.

Whereas we collect the scanner data ourselves and a lot more goes into the processing than perhaps we have the capability.

That said, I would ask for a sample/demonstration of each and compare. Could be that with the right expertise gathering and processing the data, there is no difference. For example you could make out small objects (inches) in the point cloud of scanned data. This shows the level of precision and accuracy possible.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.