LASmoons: Kiti Suomalainen

Kiti Suomalainen (recipient of three LASmoons)
Energy Centre
University of Auckland, New Zealand

Auckland enjoys 2050 hours of sunshine annually, comparable to Melbourne (2100) and Istanbul (2026), yet it is lagging behind in solar power installations. However, Auckland Council is committed to a sustainable pathway in mobility and energy consumption, aiming at solar photovoltaic (PV) installations powering an equivalent of over 176 500 homes by 2040 (approx. 37% of all homes), among other sustainability targets. The council has recently (2013/2014) conducted a LiDAR survey of the Auckland region (image 0), which they have provided to me for free for this project.


This project aims to use this data, to quantitatively and accurately assess the solar potential of Auckland region rooftops, and provide the results free for the public. Image 1 gives a crude example of what the results may look like. Using LAStools I expect to efficiently get a more detailed DSM and corresponding elevation rasters. The goal is for any resident or user to be able to zoom in to any property within the extent of the collected LiDAR data and get an idea of the solar potential on that particular rooftop. Results will be given in average winter day, average summer day and average annual solar radiation per rooftop (or optimal x sq metres of rooftop – e.g. optimally placed 4 typical sized panels‘ area).


appoximately 2250 aquare kilometres of LiDAR data collected in 2013.
+ average point density: 1.5 points per sq metre.

LAStools processing:
create DTM tiles with 0.5 step, ground points only (classification 2), using the more efficient ‚.bil‘ format [las2dem]
2) create DSM tiles with 0.5 step, first returns only, using the ‚.bil‘ format [las2dem]
3) merge DTM and DSM tiles into single elevation raster [las2grid]
4).extract building footprints from the classified .las tiles (classification 6) for visualisation of final results, and reality checks [lasboundary]
5) use the raster files to calculate daily (winter day, summer day) and annual solar radiation on each rooftop (Solar Roof Tools by esri)

Auckland Council, Low Carbon Auckland – Auckland’s Energy Resilience and Low Carbon Action Plan, July 2014.
NZ Aerial Mapping and Aerial Surveys Limited, LiDAR Flyover 2013/14 Project Final Report for Auckland Council, June 2015.

0 Kommentare zu „LASmoons: Kiti Suomalainen“

  1. I would like to get in contact with Kiti. I am an archaeologist working on a project on Puketutu, an island in the Manukau Harbour in Auckland. I want to use the Lidar data from the Council to remove the vegetation on the island (last return) and create a DTM that can be used for e.g. hillshade to show small elevation differences on the ground that could indicate Maori gardening sites within the volcanic landscape. The data that I got was via an engineering company and seemed to be already modified in a way that the ground surface underneath the trees has not enough data for the task. I hope that Kiti could point me towards where the problem is. Cheers, Hans

    1. Hi Hans,
      I’m not sure if the data I have differs, and how much, from the data that you are using. If you give me your contact details, I can put you in touch with the right person at AKL Council, so you can maybe try their data and see if you get any better results.
      Cheers, Kiti

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