TOP GEO Serbia: Mapping Belgrade with the RIEGL VQ-1560 II

Fig. 1: LiDAR data of the National Assembly of the Republic of Serbia,
acquired by TOP GEO using their RIEGL VQ-1560 II

TOP GEO d.o.o. Beograd is a fast-growing company from Belgrade, Serbia, providing geospatial data acquisition and processing services since 2013. In 2017, the relationship between TOP GEO, BLACK LIGHT , the RIEGL authorized distributor in Serbia, and RIEGL was established for a large Serbian powerline project. Since then, the relationship between TOP GEO, BLACK LIGHT and RIEGL remains strong and impactful.

Utilizing RIEGL’s cutting-edge LiDAR technology, TOP GEO has been able to successfully complete various projects from corridor mapping to wide area mapping, and high-density mapping of urban areas. High-speed aircrafts and powerful equipment, combined with post processing services at the highest quality, allow TOP GEO to offer their services anywhere in the world – especially in Serbia, the neighboring countries and Germany. Together with LiDAR scanning, TOP GEO provides aerial imagery services at the same time. This allows them to be more efficient in post processing, and the ability to offer clients various types of final products at a competitive price. This is possible as the RIEGL VP-1 Pod, with a RIEGL VUX-1LR Laser Scanner fully integrated, can be operated on various types of vehicles. TOP GEO also provides mobile mapping services in addition to aerial surveys.

In combination of TOP GEO’s expanding and more demanding market, along with their unwithering dedication to strive for the best and discover new ways to improve their business, they are always looking for new, powerful solutions. In this case, they wanted a solution for high-density urban city mapping, as well as mapping of exceptionally wide areas – and they discovered the Dual LiDAR Waveform Processing Airborne Scanning System, the RIEGL VQ-1560 II. Based on their previous experience with RIEGL, the decision to order this high-performance dual waveform airborne LiDAR system was an easy one.

BLACK LIGHT – as the RIEGL authorized distributor in Serbia – has worked closely with TOP GEO, providing in real time the necessary support and the added value consultancy, for meeting the project requirements and expected deadlines.

In Autumn 2020, the TOP GEO team participated in a training in Horn to become familiar with the handling of the new system. The RIEGL VQ-1560 II was delivered to Belgrade mid of October 2020, where it was eagerly awaited.

Fig. 2: RIEGL VQ-1560 II Dual LiDAR Waveform Processing Airborne Scanning System installed on a SOMAG GSM-4000 gyro-stabilized platform

TOP GEO‘s RIEGL VQ-1560 II scanner surpassed expectations during the Belgrade project. It was TOP GEO’s mission to collect high accuracy, high density and informative data for creation of vectorized topographic maps to create up-to-date spatial and urban plans. This project required data acquisition and processing of a city area in total of 565 km2. In a single flight, TOP GEO needed to obtain an ALS point cloud of a minimum 80 pts/m2 and 5cm resolution imagery. One of the main reasons the VQ-1560 II was right for the job is its ability to catch details in dense urban areas thanks to its unique forward/backward scan angle, and the tilted angle of scan lines. In addition, the VQ-1560 II’s high laser power gave TOP GEO the ability to fly high.

Peter Rieger, RIEGL Airborne Laser Scanning Business Division Manager, provides some details on the RIEGL VQ-1560 II: “This Dual LiDAR Waveform Processing System provides further increased performance and highest productivity based on a laser pulse repetition rate of up to 4 MHz resulting in more than 2.66 million measurements per second on the ground. Typical operating flight altitudes vary from less than 1,500 ft up to 12,100 ft (@ target reflectance of >20%). Laser pulse repetition rates can be tuned in steps of less than 12 kHz. In combination with different laser power modes, subtle optimization of acquisition parameters is possible in order to meet specific project requirements. These features make the instrument the most flexible choice for acquisition of scan data with an exceptionally wide range of achievable point densities and utmost data collection efficiency at the same time. The unique forward/backward scan angle of the VQ-1560 II with its large field of view of 58 degrees enables capturing data from multiple angles more effective and more accurate at high point densities. The system is equipped with a seamlessly integrated high performance IMU/GNSS unit and offers bays for the integration of two cameras.”

Fig. 3: The RIEGL VQ-1560 II installed in the cabin of TOP GEO’s Piper Navajo PA-31-325

Based on the outstanding performance and possibilities of the VQ-1560 II, TOP GEO managed to avoid gaps in data due to shadows from high buildings which in return, allowed them to start with processing immediately after flying without the need for additional mobile mapping or terrestrial measurements. Aside from topographic maps, TOP GEO delivered digital terrain models from ALS data, ALS point clouds, and digital orthophoto with 5cm resolution.

Nebojša Mazalica, General Manager of TOP GEO commented, “We are absolutely amazed with the quality of the data. We got differences between the point cloud and control measurements all below 5cm. This is a proof that with quality equipment and quality project planning, you can fulfill even the most demanding requirements.”

Claudiu TOMA, Managing Sales Director of BLACK LIGHT commented, “I am confident that RIEGL’s airborne and mobile mapping solutions provided, combined with TOP GEO’s smart workflows, will open new business opportunities for them and at the same time will actively help to position TOP GEO as a premium geospatial service provider.”

Fig. 4: LiDAR data of the New Belgrade, reflectance scaled

Fig. 5: LiDAR data of the Cathedral of Saint Sava, reflectance scaled

With RIEGL’s powerful and reliable instruments, fulfillment of the most demanding projects becomes possible, and this is corroborated in TOP GEO’s successful Belgrade project. There is not a challenging terrain that TOP GEO cannot handle as they combine their knowledge and experience with the use of powerful instruments that make the completion of the even the most challenging projects, easy.

About TOP GEO d.o.o. Beograd:

Top Geo is the leader in the implementation of new technologies in geospatial data acquisition and processing.

Since 2013, the TOP GEO offers its clients a full array of geodetic survey services combined with the precision and innovation.


Black Light is the authorized RIEGL distributor in Romania, Serbia, Bosnia & Herzegovina, and Montenegro.

With almost 30 years of activity and experience, Black Light offers solutions that integrate sensors, software, knowledge, and an efficient workflow into an intelligent information ecosystem that provides clear data in real time.

Black Light is focused on information technology that captures, measures, and visualizes data used in various fields of activity such as: Geodesy, Engineering, GIS, Cartography, Construction, Architecture, Scanning and 3D Modeling, Lidar & Photogrammetry and many more.

About RIEGL:

RIEGL is an international leading provider of cutting-edge technology in airborne, mobile, terrestrial, industrial and unmanned laser scanning solutions for applications in surveying.

RIEGL has been producing LiDAR systems commercially for over 40 years and focuses on pulsed time-of-flight laser radar technology in multiple wavelengths.

RIEGL’s core Smart-Waveform technologies provide pure digital LiDAR signal processing, unique methodologies for resolving range ambiguities, multiple targets per laser shots, optimum distribution of measurements, calibrated amplitudes and reflectance estimates, as well as the seamless integration and calibration of systems.

RIEGL’s Ultimate LiDARTM 3D scanners offer a wide array of performance characteristics and serve as a platform for continuing Innovation in 3D for the LiDAR industry.

From the first inquiry, to purchase and integration of the system, as well as training and support, RIEGL maintains an outstanding history of reliability and support to their customers.

Worldwide sales, training, support and services are delivered from RIEGL’s headquarters in Austria; main offices in the USA, Japan, China, Australia, Canada and the UK; and a worldwide network of representatives.

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