Visual Intelligence took the big prize at the 8th annualMAPPSGeospatial Products and Services Excellence Awards ceremony in Alexandria, Va. The geospatialcompany won the Grand Award with their patented new method for coupling sensors into a single housing.

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Visual Intelligence’s iOne SRK allows for reconfiguration of the sensors to meet the unique geospatial demands of their clients. The ceremony took place Sept. 25 at the 2014 Geospatial and Engineering International Marketing Conference.

“Versatility, ease of use and budget were key reasons Visual Intelligence won this year’s Grand Award,” said Robert Burtch PS, CP, Professor Emeritus at Ferris State University in Big Rapids, Mich., and chairman of the judges’ panel. “They created both software and sensors that can be reconfigured by the data collector. For example, cameras can be seamlessly combined into a single sensor to create a large format sensor for about half the price. The system is economical, simple, flexible, and provides the necessary accuracy for clients new and old.”

Visual Intelligence Sensor Technology

Visual Intelligence won multiple awards in recognition of its iOne SRK (Sensor Reconfiguration Toolkit) technology, which allows aerial image providers to reconfigure their sensor system to meet mission requirements. It allows the user to change a sensor from one configuration to another – for example transform a sensor from medium area collection to large or very large area or oblique – while in the field. The technology behind iOne SRK also has applications outside the geospatial industry and can be used to enhance the functionality of cameras used in smartphones, automobile design, security and public safety.

“Visual Intelligence is extremely proud to be recognized by the MAPPS community and by the esteemed judging committee for these two awards,” said Visual Intelligence CEO and President Dr. Armando Guevara. “I love our industry because I truly believe the work we are doing has the potential to change the world, and it is gratifying to receive this affirmation that Visual Intelligence’s innovations are paving the way for the future of geospatial.

“These MAPPS awards invigorate us to stay laser-focused on our vision of helping small companies with film cameras to join the digital revolution as well as assisting large geospatial firms in replacing expensive and aging/obsolete cameras with more economical and high performance sensor systems. iOne imaging systems are helping customers profitably grow their business, rapidly create new products, and minimize risk with technology that is obsolescence-resistant. We are providing the next generation of geospatial imaging solutions, and empowering our customers to collect more, and do more, for less.”

Guevara added, “In the very near future, miniaturized imaging systems will do futuristic things that used to be possible only in science fiction movies. Smartphone cameras will take advantage of more sophisticated technology, such as infrared, night vision and thermal imagery. Next-generation cars will utilize these systems to incorporate sensors and additional cameras that produce more intelligent images with broader field of view. And that’s just the tip of the iceberg. The future for this technology is very exciting.”

Impact on Community

MAPPS also awarded 2014 Winners for Excellence in six technical categories:

  • Quantum Spatial (Lexington, Ky.) won the Airborne and Satellite Data Acquisition award for the work they did to provide crucial data on the full extent of the Oso Landslide in Washington state.
  • Wilson & Company (Albuquerque, N.M.) won in the Photogrammetry/Elevation Data Generation category for their work on the “Cochiti Dam and Reservoir Sedimentation Study”.
  • Woolpert (Dayton, Ohio) took home the Remote Sensing award for their work with the State of Ohio to assess the viability of utilizing solar power to provide electric power.
  • For their work on the first-floor elevations for flood impact studies, Michael Baker (Moon Township, Pa.) won for Surveying and Field Data Collection for the Pearl River, Miss., project.
  • The Atlantic Group (Huntsville, Ala.) took the Small Projects award for their LiDAR data processing project “Helping Weakley County, Tennessee’s Tactical GIS Team Maximize Their LiDAR ROI”.
  • Visual Intelligence’s (Houston, Texas) iOne SRK also took the Technology Innovation award.

“This year’s awards recognize our member firms as leaders in cutting-edge, innovative solutions that fit a plethora of needs and budgets,” said MAPPS Executive Director John Palatiello. “Congratulations to all the firms who entered. The products and services demonstrate the enormous impact that private-sector geospatial firms has on the community and throughout the world.”

Working on a Constrained Budget

Atlantic was honored for the second year in a row for their LiDAR project.

During fall 2013, Tennessee’s Weakley County 911 Emergency Management contracted with Atlantic to perform classification and extraction of building footprints from the new USDA-NRCS LiDAR point data. 

 The primary challenge associated with this critical project was to create 3D data for roughly 25,000 buildings over a 5,500-square-mile area within a short amount of time and on a severely constrained budget. Toward meeting this challenge, Atlantic created a customized algorithmic LiDAR classification and extraction scheme that served to greatly reduce the manual effort typically associated with similar efforts. 

“This project showcases how private enterprise can deliver cost-effective solutions to complex geospatial challenges,” said Brian Mayfield, Atlantic President and Chief Operating Officer, who accepted the award on behalf of Atlantic on Sept. 25.

“The building footprints from this innovative process have the detail, sharpness and appearance of photogrammetrically-derived features,” said Kimberley Denney, Atlantic Associate Vice President. “Working together with the Weakley County 911 Director and GIS Specialist, we provided critical intelligence for both the County’s 911 and Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms (ATF) operations.  The entire Atlantic team can be proud of their contributions on this important project that has been recognized by this prestigious award.”

“We are extremely thankful for all the effort put forth by the Atlantic team to complete this project under such unique circumstances,” said Jamison Peevyhouse, Director of Weakley County 911. “We cannot begin to explain how much we appreciate the response and turn-around time from Atlantic. It showed Atlantic’s commitment to understanding our immediate needs as a client, as well as their dedication to not just being a contractor to Weakley County 911, but a trustworthy partner to whom we can depend on for many years to come.”

Palatiello said: “The awards highlight Atlantic’s continuing ability to work with clients to provide effective solutions that are within budget, and have long-lasting societal benefits.”

A panel of independent judges evaluated projects submitted by MAPPS members for the awards program. Joining Burtch on the panel were Doug Domenech, former Secretary of Natural Resources for the Commonwealth of Virginia; Leonard C. Gilroy, a Certified Planner and Director of Government Reform at Reason Foundation; Bruce MacLeod, former editor of POB magazine and website; and Neil Sandler, Publisher of xyHt.