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Mapping Indoor Environments to Support Navigation Systems for First Responders

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Mapping Indoor Environments to Support Navigation Systems for First Responders_On-Demand Session
Mapping Indoor Environments to Support Navigation Systems for First Responders_On-Demand Session
First responder navigation and tracking systems will require accurate maps of indoor environments. To help create a database to support the development and deployment of indoor navigation and tracking systems, we used Paracosm’s PX-80 handheld LiDAR to collect imagery and 3D point cloud data for 11 schools, administrative buildings, and industrial buildings in Enfield and Storrs, Connecticut. We developed a manual procedure for mapping features-of-interest that used Paracosm’s Retrace and ESRI’s ArcGIS software. Retrace provides an immersive view of the image and point cloud data and we used it to identify features and tag their approximate 3D locations. We used ArcGIS to create 3D polygons that define the horizontal and vertical boundaries of each tagged feature. A script was then used to classify the point cloud based on the 3D polygons. The final products include classified and georeferenced 3D point clouds that will be useful for researchers as well as interactive 2D floor plans with embedded videos that will allow first responders to effectively make use of the data during pre-planning, training, and active incidents. The procedure that we developed allowed us to accurately map a variety of features ranging from recessed sprinkler heads and fire alarms to windows and doors. We estimate that the complete process, from collecting data to creating the final products, takes about 20-30 hours for a 175,000 square foot building and requires personnel with little technical skill and training. This project demonstrated that a handheld LiDAR data can be used to efficiently create products to support indoor navigation and tracking systems as well as provide more general support to first responder operations.


  • Jason Parent, Enfield, Connecticut
  • Paul Januszewski, Enfield, Connecticut

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Created May 19, 2020, Updated October 21, 2020