Because of the pixel based grey level allocation the range map is an
intermediate stage between a pure 2D and a 3D image. It makes relative height
differences visible because pixels which are situated in a higher position
take on a different grey level than pixels in a lower position.
Due to the very exact height resolution in the range map across the area of height measurement, 256 grey levels are not sufficient for range maps. Therefore the data format 16 bit Integer is usually selected.
As the range map is a pixel based image it can be processed with 2D machine vision tools. However to get metrically correct height values without perspective distortion the range map needs to be calibrated with suitable methods and transformed into a 3D cloud of points.
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