Establishing an Operational SBAS Down Under

From Test-bed to Operational System
The Australasian region took a major step towards gaining its first-ever satellite-based augmentation system (SBAS) in early 2017. That is when the governments of Australia and New Zealand agreed to fund a two-year test-bed to evaluate the benefits of SBAS technology across a number of industry sectors in the region. The highly successful test-bed ran from 2017 to 2019 and built the case for the governments of both countries to fund an operational SBAS. SBAS is inherently an aviation technology, originally designed to help aircraft with vertical guidance during landing approaches. It was first developed in the USA (WAAS), followed... (read more)
2020-01-21 01:11:16

The Democratization of Lidar Data

The geospatial technology of Lidar is still relatively unknown to many members of the general public, but it looks as if this is about to change, according to Wim van Wegen in his latest column. The automotive industry is making rapid advancements in the use of Lidar to support autonomous driving, for instance, so the term ‘Lidar’ may soon become as familiar as the likes of ‘radar’ or ‘sonar’. Lidar data offers endless possibilities, especially now there is a growing trend to make it publicly accessible. The Current Dutch Elevation (Actueel Hoogtebestand Nederland/AHN) is a good example of this. Helicopters... (read more)
2020-01-20 08:58:37

3D is the New Normal in Switzerland

Switzerland is unique in that it is still the only country to have switched entirely to 3D for its national object-oriented topographic database. As users increasingly discover the advantages in terms of new workflows and services, nobody regrets leaving the 2D era behind. According to Swisstopo, the extra dimension creates no extra costs – only extra benefits. It took the Swiss Federal Office of Topography (Swisstopo) ten years to build an object-oriented topographic database in 3D, with the last objects having been completed in 2019. “Nothing is excluded now; everything you can think of is available in 3D. Even the... (read more)
2020-01-13 11:57:50

How Geospatial Data Supports a Digital Railway Project

Linking Nations, People and Places
The scope of the Rail Baltica Global Project comprises 870km of tracks, 25km of major structures and more than 400 bridge structures (bridge, overpasses, viaducts, pedestrian crossings and animal crossings), as well as three freight terminals and seven international passenger stations. Besides that there are rolling stock maintenance facilities, an energy subsystem and signaling. This article zooms in on the pivotal role geospatial technology plays in the BIM strategy that underpins the digital version of Rail Baltica. When it comes to modelling this highly ambitious project in a digital environment, in order to manage Rail Baltica as a single asset,... (read more)
2020-01-07 01:40:22

Bosch Unveils Lidar Sensor for Autonomous Driving

Bosch has become the first company to develop a production-ready long-range Lidar sensor for automotive use. The Lidar system has been demonstrated at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) taking place in Las Vegas, USA, this week. It complements the company’s existing radar and camera systems to provide the extra level of safety needed to make autonomous driving a reality.  According to Bosch, the laser-based distance measurement technology known as Lidar is indispensable for driving functions at SAE Levels 3 to 5. The new Bosch sensor covers both long and close ranges, making it suitable for use both on motorways and... (read more)
2020-01-09 10:34:03

Downtown Dublin as a Lidar Point Cloud

A Highly Accurate, Diverse and Dense Annotated Laser Scanning Dataset of a City Centre
The advance of Lidar data acquisition technologies is substantially increasing the amount of spatial data obtained and it is becoming cost-prohibitive to process it manually. Artificial intelligence (AI) has now started to offer cost-effective solutions to analyse and utilize those big datasets. AI can be employed for scene understanding, accurately detecting objects and classifying 3D assets. These are the significant fundamentals of several applications including autonomous navigation, intelligent robotics, urban planning, emergency management and even forest monitoring. The most popular types of 3D spatial information for such applications are Lidar and imagery data. This article describes the dense annotated ground-truth... (read more)
2019-11-27 10:05:38

Smoke and Fires Engulf Southeastern Australia

Forecasters predicted extreme fire conditions in southeastern Australia for the weekend of 4-5 January 2020, and they were correct in their assessment. This natural-colour image was acquired on 4 January by the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) on NASA’s Aqua satellite. Smoke has a tan colour, while clouds are bright white. It is likely that some of the white patches above the smoke are pyrocumulonimbus clouds – clouds created by the convection and heat rising from a fire. NASA Earth Observatory image by Joshua Stevens, using MODIS data from NASA EOSDIS/LANCE and GIBS/Worldview. (Text by Michael Carlowicz) (read more)
2020-01-07 10:53:59

The World's First Digital Twin of a Polar Research Ship

Powered by NavVis technology, reality capture specialist DiConneX has created a fully interactive digital twin of the 'Polarstern', an iconic German polar research ship. In September 2019, the 'Polarstern' icebreaker – the flagship vessel of the Alfred Wegener Institute – launched the most extensive research expedition ever to the Arctic: the multidisciplinary MOSAiC project. (This story contains a video) The MOSAiC project expedition aims to better understand the influence of the Arctic on the global climate. For the duration of the project, scientists from 17 nations will live together for over a year on the Polarstern. The ship will stand frozen... (read more)
2019-12-20 09:16:32

Measuring Real-time 3D Position in GPS-denied Environments

Racelogic has launched a brand-new indoor positioning system, called VIPS, which is an advanced system for measuring real-time 3D position to an accuracy of ±2cm in areas where GPS is not available. This makes it an ideal tool for construction applications both indoors and in urban areas. The system has been designed for any application that requires accurate measurement and recording of 3D positioning. It enables GPS-based technologies to operate in GPS-denied environments. The British developer of accurate GPS data loggers, testing equipment and positioning systems presented this innovative technology at the London Build Show in November 2019. It included live demonstrations... (read more)
2019-12-20 10:32:23

China Unveils Newest Satellite’s High-resolution 3D Imagery

China has recently shared the first high-resolution 3D images captured by the Gaofen-7 imaging satellite, which was launched in November. The satellite – the latest in a series of 14 planned satellites intended to overhaul China’s orbital imaging capabilities – is claimed to be so precise that it can ‘see’ individual people from 500 kilometres up. Companies like Planet are launching hundreds of satellites to provide terrestrial businesses with up-to-date imagery, so it not surprising that China, among other countries, would want to have its own. The Gaofen project has already significantly reduced the country’s reliance on foreign sources for this... (read more)
2019-12-18 11:32:30
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