The International LiDAR Mapping Forum (ILMF), held in Denver in February, is never at a loss for big announcements about groundbreaking technology, and this year was no exception. Four companies — 3DEO Inc., Harris Corporation, Princeton Lightwave and Sigma Space Corporation — presented their research on different variations of Geiger-mode LiDAR systems. Harris Corporation announced the upcoming availability of high-quality commercial geospatial data from the IntelliEarth Geospatial Solutions Geiger-mode LiDAR sensor.
In many industries, 3D modeling is playing an increasingly important role in efficiency, reduced costs, safety and quality in design and construction activities. Early adopters have refined their processes and are now recognizing the long term value of realistic, accurate models before, during and after the construction phase, which includes ongoing facilities management and maintenance. By extending the applications to include more derivative products, the initial cost of scanning and modeling is distributed more widely and the return on investment increases.
The members of MAPPS, the national association of private sector geospatial firms, will have the opportunity to learn about, discuss and debate the threats and opportunities presented by emerging and disruptive technology at the MAPPS Winter Conference to be held Jan. 25–29, 2015, in Rio Grande, Puerto Rico.
The Chair of the MAPPS Program Committee, Mike Tully, President and CEO of Aerial Services, Inc., describes the agenda as “covering changes in the market from a business and a technical standpoint that are emerging as opportunities or maybe as threats by infringing on traditional practices. We communicate a great mix of information using new technology briefings, updates on UAVs and other FAA policies, ‘best practice’ presentations, and the status of upcoming government opportunities.”
The second article in this two-part series shares George Southard’s insights about what to do after you have researched the various unmanned aerial systems (UAS) available today and bought a UAS that fits your needs. Southard, principal of GSKS Associates, closely follows all technical and regulatory developments related to UAS and gathers practical operating information directly from UAS users.
“I wish I had known then what I know now” might be a familiar sentiment after a newly purchased piece of equipment or software does not live up to everyone’s expectations. Even if you do your homework before making an important purchase, there will always be surprises that can derail the intended plan. So before jumping on the unmanned aerial system (UAS) bandwagon, there are several significant factors to take into consideration that will improve the probability of success.
In March 2014, a mobile app named RiALITY was released by RIEGL Laser Measurement Systems for viewing and navigating LiDAR point clouds on an iPad with the added functionality of augmented reality for projecting point clouds into the real world. Over the past six months, there has been enthusiastic feedback from users and an expectation for future development.
Teaming arrangements between county, state and federal partners have become commonplace as a funding mechanism for orthoimagery and LiDAR projects throughout the U.S. Municipalities, councils of governments (COG) and private companies are also taking part by contributing money for buy-ups to get higher resolution and better accuracy over specific areas of interest.
The MAPPS 2014 Summer Conference in Coeur d’Alene, Idaho, included a number of sessions focused on the timely topic of unmanned aerial systems (UAS). The information shared included everything from potential applications of UAS data, evaluation criteria for UAS data, different types of UAS sensors and platforms, and the process to go through to legally fly a UAS in the United States today.
Over the past eleven years, KAPPA Mapping, Inc. has observed the development of a new business model in the mapping profession involving a transition from mom-and-pop regional production shops to large companies offering end-to-end acquisition and processing services with offices across the country.