Use of LIDAR data in tourism

Touristic valorization of LIDAR data using innovative explorer maps and augmented reality (AR) applications

Explorer Map Nohen
©GeoBasis-DE / LVermGeoRP (2019), dl-de/by-2-0, [data edited]; preparation and design: UCB & alea design e.K.
Augmented Reality Smartphone Display
Foto: Franziska Mai

Current data from airborne laser scanning systems describe topographic objects and structures in natural and cultural landscapes in an unprecedented level of detail. LIDAR (light detection and ranging) makes it possible to break new ground in the tourist processing of previously neglected travel regions and thus to increase the attractiveness of tourism away from the known travel destinations.

With manageable effort, large sections of terrain can be prepared and cartographically displayed with regard to their natural, but also their cultural landscape characteristics. LIDAR hiking maps and virtual representations based on them, presented as Augmented Reality (AR) apps for smartphones, are intended to provide local authorities with the opportunity to enrich their hiking trail network cost-effectively and increase its attractiveness.

Based on the data of the Nohener Naheschleife, the feasibility of such applications has already been tested during a pilot project. An alternative view of the landscape in the form of "explorer maps" as well as the integration of new technologies such as Augmented Reality (AR) - applications in hiking tourism can not only increase the attractiveness of hiking routes for the classic hiking tourist but also inspire new target groups, such as young people and technology-oriented adults, to visit the destination “Traumschleife”.

As outlined above, the touristic valorization of LIDAR data for hiking tourists is to be realized by two products:

  • A new thematic map series, so-called "explorer maps", which cartographically highlight the microstructures in the area of the respective Traumschleife, and
  • Complementary smartphone apps, which use augmented reality technology to provide an appealing visualization of these structures on site as well as background information.

If the evaluation of the designed maps and apps is positive, a nationwide rollout is planned.

Consortium Institute for Software Systems (ISS) of Trier University of Applied Sciences, Agentur alea Design
Duration 2018 - 2020
Funded by Verein für Heimatkunde im Landkreis Birkenfeld e.V.

Project Management at Trier University of Applied Sciences:

Prof. Dr. Peter Fischer-Stabel
Prof. Dr. Peter Fischer-Stabel
Professor FB Umweltplanung/Umwelttechnik - FR Informatik


Informatik, Visualisierung, Geomatik


Birkenfeld | Building 9925 | Room 149


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