Hey Hi Walter,
Yes, these long range scanners are used worldwide,(I work for a company that sells them).
You are quite correct when you say that the air pressure and temperature affect the accuracy of the scan.
The operator normally has to enter the barometric pressure and current air temperature before each scan.
The 3D models that are created from the "Point cloud" generally average the data, so single point accuracy isn't really important.(compared to a tradition survey instrument such as a Total Station.)
The Riegl scanners are very clever, they actually have 4 echos, very handy for removing vegetation from Terrain.(in the scan )
They can also be vehicle mounted for scanning at up to 60 kph.http://www.riegl.com/fileadmin/user_upl ... sition.pdf
Its a very exciting time in laser scanning !
There is a forum dedicated mainly to Mid/ long range scanning, it is independent, not sponsored by any manufacturer.http://www.laserscanning.org.uk/forum/
The David Laser Scanner -
I have been watching this forum for quite a while and decided to build my own scanner.
I am really impressed at how simple it is !
The Software is extremely user friendly, but still seems very customizable at a more advanced level. (I haven't got there yet
The "Grab Texture" function is amazing ! ,even the "high end "Riegl scanners require camera calibration for this task.
The "Shape Fusion" is also very simple. Again, the scanners I use at work require very complicated "Targeting" (Reflective targets) and/or "cloud to cloud registration" to join scans together.
Probably most importantly, the resolution that can be achieved with the David Scanner is extraordinary !
The scanners we sell are usually around 4-6mm accuracy, no good for scanning coins etc .
The Dardanelles in the WW1, yes, it was actually where the ANZAC tradition (Australian and New Zealand Army Corp) was formed, It is "probably Australia's most important national occasion" (Wikipedia)
There is a national holiday every year in Australia to commemorate this event. (huge loss of life, on both sides, Turkish and "British" (including Aust. and NZ) Very similar to our past involvement in France, Egypt, Africa, Vietnam, (hopefully our current involvement in Afghanistan wont end up the same)