Web Exclusive: Conference Recap: INTERGEO 2009
INTERGEO, the annual conference and exhibition of products organized by the German Association of Surveying – German Society for Geodesy, Geoinformation and Land Management (DVW), was held September 22-24 in Karlsruhe, Germany. With the current economic downturn, many attendees and exhibitors expected a much smaller turnout compared to last year’s event in Bremen. However, event organizers were confident that the conference would be a success. “We had three key indicators that told us to expect at least as [many visitors as previous years]: pre-registrants, guest admission passes requested by exhibitors, and online advance ticket sales,” said Olaf Frier, CEO of Hinte Marketing and Media GmbH, the company that organizes the logistics of the event for DVW.
These predictors were accurate. When the final totals were verified by FKM, the Society for the Voluntary Control of Fair and Exhibition Statistics, the number was in excess of 16,000 visitors (not including staff, volunteers and exhibitors)-about 1,000 more than was estimated would attend. This number actually exceeded the attendance last year. “We are so proud that our event offers enough opportunities for individuals and businesses that despite the global crisis, when most similar events are suffering decreases in attendance of 10 to 30 percent, we are not only able to maintain our vigor, but to increase it slightly,” Frier said. The exhibition covered the same area as last year-almost 6.2 acres of gross space in two exhibit halls. The enthusiasm of exhibitors for the event was also undiminished; 475 companies and organizations from all over the world highlighted their products and services.
An International EventINTERGEO is promoted as the world’s largest congress and exhibition “fair” for geodesy, geoinformation and land management, and this claim is difficult to dispute. Although the event was originally organized by Germans for Germans, it soon became known as the place to be in the European market for vendors and professional seeking to increase their business skills, know-how and gross revenues.
As the major geomatics vendors of the world expanded their exhibit space at INTERGEO, it became very easy for other international vendors to also exhibit there. This year’s vendors hailed from more than 30 nations with such diverse countries as India, South Korea, the United Kingdom, China, Russia, Taiwan, the Netherlands and the United States represented. Exhibits showcased products and services ranging from cartography, GIS and geodata management to surveying and geodetic instruments of all types, photogrammetry, LiDAR and office organization.
Obvious at this year’s INTERGEO was the significant presence of mobile mapping vehicles from both solution and service vendors. These vans are usually equipped with forward- and backward-looking cameras and, in some cases, sideways-looking cameras; at least three laser scanners that cover the roadway and the “shoulder” areas; RTK GNSS; and inertial measurement units (IMUs). Each vendor has variations that add more features or vary the terrain views or type of data captured as they move. Many surveying functions are incorporated to accomplish various mapping capabilities with faster turnaround times, lower costs, and often more detail and higher accuracy than conventional procedures can provide. Many industry experts expect next year’s INTERGEO to have 15 or more of these vans on display.
The incremental growth in exhibits has led to a steady rise in international visitors. Attendees at this year’s conference came from every continent, although about half of them were from European countries. While the papers and presentations at the main congress continue to be mostly in German, presentations at the exhibit hall can be heard in many languages with English (the international language of business) being dominant after German.
The Changing Face of SurveyingWhen asked about the continued vigor of this event, Dr. Hartmut Rosengarten, chairman of the Exhibitor Advisor Board, suggested that perhaps it is because “we do not just have data capture systems here; we also have vendors that address the needs of the geospatial data professional beyond this stage: data management, analysis, information extraction and data presentation and publishing.” At a pre-show press conference, Rosengarten and other event officials emphasized that INTERGEO’s success may be due to the fact that it continues to represent the changing face of what used to be called surveying.
“This was an eye-opening experience-to walk into an exhibit hall and see a truly international exposition of this magnitude,” said Dr. Dave Gibson, founding surveying program director at the University of Florida. He reflected that the event clearly shows how the expertise required of professionals in this field of geomatics is changing; measurement is no longer our exclusive domain as sensors become more accurate and easier to operate. “Merging our activities with those many consider different occupations, such as GIS and geodata management, becomes obvious from the broadening experience that INTERGEO offers,” Gibson said.
INTERGEO 2010 will be held Oct. 5-7 in Cologne, Germany. More information should be available soon at www.intergeo.de/en/englisch/index.php.
INTERGEO 2009 Product Showcase
Spectra Precision introduced additions to its Spectra Precision FOCUS line of optical survey solutions.
The Spectra Precision FOCUS 30 is a robotic total station providing high speed, accuracy and precision in measurement. The robotic instrument moves the power of the observer from the instrument to the range pole, improving efficiency. The speed of observation and precise positioning of the FOCUS 30 is provided by patented StepDrive motion technology, which controls the horizontal and vertical motion of the motors, eliminating the need for traditional motion locks. The FOCUS 30 includes a tracking sensor that uses LockNGo tracking technology, enabling the instrument to constantly lock onto the prism. The FOCUS 30 is available in 2”, 3” or 5” accuracies and is controlled by the Spectra Precision Survey Pro field software using an onboard Windows CE touchscreen interface. The FOCUS 30 is designed to be controlled externally by Spectra Precision data collectors. FOCUS 30 is expected to be available in the fourth quarter of 2009.
The Nivo C Series features a Windows CE touchscreen interface. Field application software functions are supported by Spectra Precision Survey Pro field software for surveying and construction measurement needs. Supporting both prism-based and reflectorless technologies, the distance measurements are fast and flexible. All Nivo C Series feature a dual-face display for efficient high-precision angle and distance measurements, cable-free Bluetooth connections to external data collectors plus support for USB memory sticks, and a high-speed data transfer port. The Nivo C Series is available in 2", 3" and 5" models. Nivo C Series is expected to be available in the fourth quarter of 2009.
The Trimble R6 GPS System includes use of the modernized GPS L2C signals (as well as L1 and L2) with an option to add Glonass for faster, more consistent initialization in a variety of environments. The Trimble R6 is an integrated receiver system with GPS antenna, receiver and internal communications in a small, rugged package. It can be configured with a cellular modem for convenient operation with Trimble VRS networks or with UHF radio for RTK base/rover applications. Compatible with a variety of Trimble controllers and field and office software, the Trimble R6 is flexible, scalable, and ready for a variety of jobs that a surveyor’s growing business may require.
Pacific Crest, a Trimble company, introduced the new ADL Vantage, an advanced, high-speed, wireless data link built to survive the rigors of GNSS/RTK surveying and precise positioning. The ADL Vantage provides high accuracy and application flexibility with more features and options than previously offered by Pacific Crest professional-grade radio links. The ADL Vantage joins the ADL Foundation, a transceiver modem board for OEMs and system integrators, introduced in July 2009. This sophisticated 0.1-4.0 Watt radio modem transceiver utilizes Pacific Crest’s next generation Advanced Data Link (ADL) technology while remaining backward compatible with existing Pacific Crest, Trimble and other GNSS/RTK positioning products. ADL Vantage’s full-function user interface streamlines field configuration and troubleshooting so users can maintain maximum productivity. The ADL Vantage is available in two 40 MHz frequency bands (390-430 and 430-470 MHz) to cover the entire commercial UHF band without sacrificing radio performance. It also allows the user to select from available channel tables in either 12.5 or 25 kHz channel bandwidth for communications. Its next generation RF design offers higher bit rates to easily handle RTK corrections for the current and expanding GNSS satellite constellations. The ADL Vantage is expected to be available in the fourth quarter of 2009. (www.PacificCrest.com)
Hemisphere GPS and Handheld Group jointly announced the Handheld-branded Kenaz DGPS receiver. The new Kenaz DGPS receiver offers superior accuracy for hand-held mapping and is specifically designed to work with the popular TDS Nomad. The Kenaz is small and compact, yet rugged, standing up in even the most demanding environments. It boasts a maintenance-free smart antenna and Compact Flash adapter that maintains the IP67 rating for the total handheld solution. Powered by Hemisphere GPS Crescent receiver technology, it offers superior positioning accuracy required for precise positioning applications. It supports SBAS differential corrections and Hemisphere GPS exclusive e-Dif extended differential option. Also, if a differential signal is lost, Hemisphere GPS COAST technology maintains accuracy for up to 40 minutes. The Kenaz is designed for low power consumption to conserve the TDS Nomad’s battery power, and an optional external antenna is available for additional accuracy. (www.hemispheregps.com)
OxTS released the Inertial+2, a dual-antenna version of the Inertial+ navigation system. The Inertial+2 provides even greater heading accuracy which is invaluable especially for airborne survey and mapping applications. Compatible with most GPS receivers on the market, the Inertial+ is very easy to integrate in to a current GPS-only solution. Adding the Inertial+ to a GPS receiver provides reliable, continuous position data, even during GPS signals blockage, as well as output measurements like roll, pitch and heading with high accuracy in real-time. Using two GPS receivers in the Inertial+2, a very accurate and stable heading measurement is possible even under low dynamic conditions such as aircraft flights. (www.oxts.com)