Making sense of the physical world has always been at the core of mapping. Up until recently, this has always dependent on using the human eye. Using airborne lasers, it has become possible to quickly \"See\" more of the world in many more dimensions. The resulting enormous point clouds serve as data sources for applications far beyond the original mapping purposes ranging from flooding protection and forestry to threat mitigation. In order to process these large quantities of data, novel methods are required. In this contribution, the authors develop models to automatically classify ground cover and soil types. Using the logic of machine learning, they critically review the advantages of supervised and unsupervised methods.