Short Course

*AEG makes no guarantee or warranty as to the accuracy or authenticity of the information provided in each course. 

 Information is provided on the basis that all persons shall be responsible for assessing the relevance and accuracy of its content.


Short Course 1: Collecting and Using 3D Topographic Data


Monday, September 14, 2020



8:00 am - 4:30 pm


COST (per person): 

$250 Member Professionals 

$300 Non-Member Professionals

$50 Students (Limited to 5 students)



Geologists use topographic data on a daily basis for various tasks such as geomorphology interpretation, slope stability analysis, geologic and hazard mapping, environmental delineation, and design layout.  This short course will delve into the collection methodology of this three dimensional topographic data and present examples of geologic analyses of it. The hands-on portion of the class will include data collection via UAV photogrammetry, and various forms of lidar collection including terrestrial, mobile, and airborne techniques.  Classroom discussions will be held that provide insight into how the data is processed and analyzed for engineering geology applications. This course ties into Tuesday’s “Landslides and Engineering Geology in the Columbia River Gorge” field course by presenting the lidar analysis used to identify and map some of the spectacular landslides presented in that course.  Overall, attendees will leave this short course with a holistic view of how 3D data is collected, its strengths and limitations in practical use, and a sample of the variety of ways it can be used to solve scientific and engineering problems.



Morning Session

  • 8:00-8:15 Introductions

  • 8:15-10:00 Data Acquisition

  • 8:15-8:45 – Elevate UAS (overview of drone data collection)

  • 8:45-9:15 – OSU and ODOT (overview of terrestrial and mobile lidar collection)

  • 9:15-9:45 – Aero-Graphics (overview of large scale airborne lidar collection)

  • 10:00-10:15 Break

  • 10:15-12:00 Data Collection Demonstrations in Tom McCall Park with four groups rotated among the following:

  • OSU terrestrial scanner A

  • OSU terrestrial scanner B

  • Elevate UAV flight demonstration

  • ODOT mobile terrestrial scanner



12:00-12:30 (provided for all attendees)


Afternoon Session

  • 12:30-15:00 – Data Products and Use

  • 12:30-13:00 – Discussion of QAQC delivered products (Various Contributors)

  • 13:00-13:30 – Potential end use products (i.e. DEM, Shaded Relief Maps, Topo Maps, Detailed Cross Sections, etc.) (Various Contributors)

  • 13:30-14:00 – Terrestrial Lidar coastal cliff erosion – existing data example (OSU)

  • 14:00-14:30 – Utah wild fire – existing data example (Aero-Graphics)

  • 14:45-15:00 – Break

  • 15:00-16:30 – Data Use

  • 15:00-15:45 – Landslide Inventory and Susceptibility (WGS)

  • 15:45-16:30 – Application of LS inventory mapping (PSU)

Cessna T310R-9-X3.jpg



Michael Olsen, College of Engineering Dean’s Professor, Oregon State University:







Michael Olsen, College of Engineering Dean’s Professor, Oregon State University:

MICHAEL J. OLSEN, Ph.D. is the College of Engineering Dean’s Professor in the School of Civil and Construction Engineering at Oregon State University.  He obtained BS and MS degrees in Civil Engineering from the University of Utah and a PhD in Structural Engineering from the University of California, San Diego.  At OSU he teaches courses in geomatics topics such as 3D laser scanning and imaging, digital terrain modeling, and geographic information systems. He is also the Editor in Chief for the ASCE Journal of Surveying Engineering as well as the President of the Surveying and Geomatics Educators Society (SaGES).  His current areas of research include geomatics technologies, algorithm development, 3D visualization, rapid reconnaissance, and geospatial hazard mapping , monitoring, and analysis,  Dr. Olsen has extensive experience collecting and analyzing high quality geospatial data from terrestrial laser scanning and UAS platforms for monitoring, mapping, and post-disaster reconnaissance of damages for a variety of hazards including earthquakes, tsunamis, landslides, rockfalls, and coastal erosion.  He has participated in reconnaissance teams by either collecting or analyzing data for the following events: 2009 American Samoa, 2010 Maule Chile, 2011 Tohoku Japan, 2010&2011 Canterbury Earthquake Sequence, 2015 Nepal, 2016 Kaikoura New Zealand, 2018 Anchorage Alaska earthquake, and 2019 Hooskenaden landslide in Oregon. He serves as the Technical Director for the NSF Natural Hazards Research Infrastructure (NHERI) RAPID facility, which provides investigators with equipment, software, and support services needed to collect, process, and analyze perishable data from natural hazards events. He is also the Director of the Cascadia Lifelines Program (CLiP), which conducts research that allows Oregon’s lifeline providers to implement value- and cost-informed decisions to mitigate damage to Pacific Northwest infrastructure as the result of Cascadia subduction zone earthquakes. He is also a co-developer of the Oregon Hazards Explorer for Lifelines Program (O-Help,, which is a powerful webGIS platform designed for the engineering community and hosts a wide range of hazard maps for Cascadia Subduction Zone Earthquakes including ground acceleration, liquefaction, landslides, and more.

Rodney Cope, Vice President of Business Development, Aero-Graphics, Inc.

Rodney works as VP of Business Development at Aero-Graphics and currently serves as the Senior Program Manager for Federal Programs. Prior to joining Aero-Graphics, Rodney has served in a variety of roles across the Geospatial Profession, including National Remote Sensing Program Lead at Michael Baker International; Senior Program Manager for Quantum Spatial Federal and Vice President at Eagle Mapping, Inc.  Rodney has over 20 years of experience in the Geospatial Profession and holds a Bachelor of Science degree from Sam Houston State University with a major in Geography and GIS.


Trevor Contreras, L.E.G Landslide Hazards Geologist, Washington Geologic Survey:









Trevor is a Licensed Engineering Geologist with the Landslide Hazards Program at the Washington Geological Survey, where he studies landslides and helps communities understand and mitigate landslide hazards. Currently the Landslide Hazard Program uses lidar data to inventory landslides and alluvial fans throughout Washington State. He has worked for the WGS since 2006 in various positions and in the Forest Practices Division helping foresters understand landslides and evaluate timber harvest proposals. He has used lidar data to make geologic maps and map landslides since 2009. Prior to working for the Survey, he worked for the Washington Department of Ecology, regulating well drilling and water well construction.


Cole Smith, Owner, Elevate UAS:









Shortly after earning a masters in geology from Colorado School of Mines, Cole moved back to Oregon and started Elevate in 2015. Combining his background in geology, remote sensing and GIS, Cole leveraged his unique skill set to the fledgling UAS industry. Elevate delivers project specific remote sensing services using high resolution imagery from RGB, thermal infrared and multi spectral cameras as well as high density LiDAR. This remotely sensed data is processed into high resolution geospatial data products that range from classified point clouds, DEMs, and detailed change detection analysis. Offering services like data collection, post processing, and data hosting, Elevate can bring any project site into a high resolution 3D model. Elevate primarily works with engineering firms and DOTs to help clients better understand how remotely sensed data can lead to a deeper understanding of their project sites.


Adam Booth, Assistant Professor, Portland State University:








Adam M. Booth is a quantitative geomorphologist who works on the role of landslides in landscape evolution.  He earned a bachelor’s degree in Physics from Grinnell College, followed by a PhD in Geology from the University of Oregon.  After a postdoc at Caltech, Dr. Booth then joined the faculty in the Department of Geology at Portland State University in 2013, where he works at present.  In addition, Dr. Booth was recently a Fulbright-National Science Foundation Arctic Research Scholar in Iceland in 2020. 


Dr. Booth first began using high-resolution 3D topographic data to automatically identify and map deep-seated landslides based on their distinctive topographic signatures in airborne lidar data.  His more recent work has shown that those topographic signatures also encode information about landslide age, which allows approximate dating of hundreds to thousands of prehistoric landslides in a region so that their timing with respect to paleoseismicity and paleoclimate can be analyzed.  Over shorter time scales, Dr. Booth also collects and analyzes repeat data from terrestrial or airborne lidar and photogrammetric techniques to measure high-resolution 3D landslide displacements and infer the mechanical processes governing their motion.


Chris Glantz, Deputy State Surveyor – Lead Remote Sensing Surveyor, Oregon Department of Transportation:









Chris currently works as the Deputy State Surveyor, Lead Remote Sensing Surveyor, and UAS Program Coordinator in the Geometronics Unit of the Oregon Department of Transportation. He attended California State University, Fresno, where he graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Geomatics Engineering. Chris has experience with planning, acquiring, processing, and extracting information from various 3D geospatial data in both the private and public sectors. He is licensed as a land surveyor in six western states, and is active in the Young Surveyors Network and the Professional Land Surveyors of Oregon. He enjoys mentoring, professional human development, and coaching. Outside of work, Chris loves spending time in nature and with his friends. He loves canoeing, photography, building things, exploring new places, and being an uncle.