Bettina Knorr
Phone: +49 (0) 6221 54-5560
Fax: +49 (0) 6221 54-4529
Postal Address
Heidelberg University
Prof. Bernhard Höfle
Institute of Geography
Im Neuenheimer Feld 368
69120 Heidelberg


Methods & Algorithms
Virtual Laser Scanning

Virtual Laser Scanning

Virtual laser scanning is a tool to create simulated point cloud data as would be acquired by a LiDAR sensor. In our open source project HELIOS++ we develop the method of VLS further to provide e.g. training data for machine learning, survey planning, ground truth creation, education, etc.

Virtual Laser Scanning for Machine Learning

We investigate the close coupling of learning algorithms with virtual laser scanning and real point cloud data to use benefits of both 1) the realism of real − but sparse − training data and 2) the multitude of options of object-sensor interactions that can be generated with VLS.


4D Objects-By-Change (4D-OBC)

Time series-based 3D change analysis of natural surfaces enables to extract surface changes forming objects-by-change in their varying spatial and temporal extents from large and dense 4D geospatial point clouds.



M3C2-EP presents how error propagation for 3D change detection can be used to accurately quantify the minimum detectable change, the so-called Level of Detection. Measurement and processing uncertainties are included and the concept can be extended to more complex error models.

Multidirectional Change

Multi-Directional Change

Methods of multi-directional change quantification provide an alternative view of movement where change processes operate in a direction that is not surface-normal, the underlying process(es) may not be known and movement(s) across the point cloud scene is not oriented along a single axis.

Research Projects and Grants
Current Projects Former Projects

Fostering a community-driven and sustainable HELIOS++ scientific software

DFG (2024-2027)

Bernhard Höfle, Dominic Kempf, Hannah Weiser


CharAct4D – Unravelling Landscape Dynamics via Automatic Characterization of Surface Activity using Geographic 4D Monitoring

Baden-Württemberg Stiftung (2023-2026)

Bernhard Höfle, Katharina Anders, Vivien Zahs


Virtual Laser Scanning for Machine Learning Algorithms in Geographic 3D Point Cloud Analysis (VirtuaLearn3D)

DFG (2022–2025)

Bernhard Höfle, Alberto Esmorís Pena, Hannah Weiser, Lukas Winiwarter


3DForEcoTech - Three-dimensional forest ecosystem monitoring and better understanding by terrestrial-based technologies

COST - European Cooperation in Science & Technology (2021–ongoing)

Martin Mokroš et al.



BMBF (2020–2022), DFG (2019–2022), DFG (2022–2025)

Bernhard Höfle et al.



Erasmus+ Programme of the European Union (2020–2023)

Bernhard Höfle, Katharina Anders


3D Micro-Mapping

Heidelberg University (2019–ongoing)

Bernhard Höfle, Katharina Anders, Lukas Winiwarter

Editor: Webmaster Team
Latest Revision: 2024-01-22
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