Mobile mapping systems share similar capabilities of aerial lidar systems, but instead are mounted on a ground-based vehicle. The mobile mapping system itself will typically consist of one or more 360-degree lidar sensors, which are tightly coupled with an inertial navigation system (INS) for directly georeferencing the collected data and a central control computer. Usually industrial frame-based or 360-degree cameras are also coupled to the same system.
Unlike collecting data from the air, data collected by a mobile mapping system is confined to corridor through which the vehicle is moving. Nevertheless, being on the ground usually produces data of increased density than when compared to the airborne system. It also provides a different perspective; for example, it is easier to collect data along building facades, data that can be used to measure clearances under bridges, or information on roadside assets such as signs and street furniture.