The Capturing Reality Forum (CRF) has launched a conference program of nearly 50 groundbreaking papers to be presented by industry leaders from across the globe.  Formed by combining the best of SPAR Europe and ELMF into a single event, CRF focuses on the technologies of laser scanning, LiDAR, 3D data capture and modeling to bring growth to the geospatial profession. CRF  takes place at the Salzburg Congress in Salzburg, Austria, from Nov. 23-25.

The conference committee has reported a staggering response to its call for papers after receiving more than 110 abstracts from industry leaders around the world.

“This program promises to be the best yet in my 15 years of being involved with the CRF and its predecessors, the ILMF/ELMF and SPAR Europe. The quality of information to be presented is world class, with many exciting new developments and systems being announced for the first time across a range of key sectors in the geospatial data capture, visualization and imaging industry. There is truly much for all professionals to learn at CRF15,” says Alastair MacDonald, conference Chairman.  

With so much support from the industry, the conference program covers a wide range of topics important to the capturing, visualization and management of detailed 3D imagery and asset data. CRF examines how 3D, laser scanning and imagery data capture can help improve the quality of available and newly captured digital information on existing assets to deliver freedom of choice to all asset stakeholders to maximize operational efficiency and reduce error and safety risks. 

Three days of technical papers include: Discussion on capturing data on a big data level, terrorism or retrospective reconstruction of structures that no longer exist, details of an innovative terrestrial and handheld data fusion approach for reality capture purposes, the potential from using 4D LiDAR data analysis as a natural extension of current technology, and the deployment of cutting-edge technology sUAVs to perform country-size airborne LiDAR collection programs and capture vertical structures such as rock faces. 

Of particular interest to natural resource data users will be papers examining the efficiency and value of multispectral LiDAR for forest mapping, accessing waveform LiDAR to support in-depth analysis of forest canopy characteristics. The topic of airborne laser bathymetry, the precise mapping of water surface levels, addresses issues in flood hazard mapping, habitat modeling and hydraulic engineering. 

A growing segment within the mapping industry is the availability of free and open source web point cloud visualization technologies. This is covered in a number of papers at national and state levels.

Other exciting new developments include Geo-Simulation systems that integrate geo information systems, virtual reality rendering, simulation technology and haptic feedback to form a geo-simulation system which is also a virtual test bed for real world applications.  In the built environment, papers will examine just how BIM will develop as a “small but important” cog in the bigger machine of smart cities and how geo-technology will enable developing world cities to deal with rapid urbanization.  Of special interest is the paper describing how using geospatial data can create photo-realistic environments using video game rendering technologies.  A key objective of this year’s conference program is to focus on what can be done with the data for the end-users, not just examine how the data was captured.  

The Capturing Reality Forum will include an exhibition of 40 stands displaying the world’s leading manufacturers, software developers and service providers of 3D imaging, laser scanning and LiDAR products.  As an extra benefit to delegates, many of the exhibiting companies will host workshops, providing an opportunity for further discussion of technology.

For full details about the conference and opportunities for exhibiting, visit