Landsat: the Cornerstone of Global Land Imaging

Advancing the Understanding of Planet Earth
The Landsat satellites provide an uninterrupted space-based data record of the Earth’s land surface to help advance scientific research towards understanding our changing planet. In this article, the authors look at how the use of data from Landsat satellites has evolved over time to become a cornerstone of global land imaging with broad societal benefits. They conclude that the Landsat archive is poised to shift into a more real-time monitoring capability to help further our understanding of a changing Earth. Since 1972, the Landsat satellites have provided an uninterrupted space-based data record of the Earth’s land surface to help advance... (read more)
2019-02-20 11:32:34

InSAR Used to Create Ground Stability Maps

Zooming on a Groundbreaking Revolution
Satellite radar interferometry (InSAR) is a technique that can measure millimetre-scale movement of the ground from space. It does this by comparing the return echoes, and thus the signal-path length, from two or more radar images taken over the same place, over time. Modern InSAR is now used by a range of industries concerned with ground or structural stability, from building development and control, to oil and gas production, to mining, to road and rail management. This article explains some key aspects of InSAR technology, including its innovative use to produce ground stability maps. Phase Shifters InSAR is based upon... (read more)
2019-03-07 05:09:42

Recent Developments in Airborne Lidar

Multispectral Laser Scanning, Single-photon Lidar, Hybrid Sensors and UAVs
The arrival of airborne Lidar, also referred to as airborne laser scanning (ALS), has revolutionized area-wide 3D data acquisition of topography, bathymetry, vegetation, buildings and infrastructure. This article presents an overview of the progress made since then in both sensor and aircraft technology. On top of that, it highlights how the ongoing miniaturization has recently enabled the application of Lidar on unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV), resulting in ultra-high-resolution 3D point clouds with centimetre precision. From Single to Multiple Pulses in the Air Current trends include a steady increase of the measurement rate, achievements in full waveform processing, the spread of... (read more)
2019-04-19 01:19:15

Laser Scanning Technology Challenged

Shortcomings in Spatial Documentation of Heritage Sites
In this month’s Insider’s View Prof. Heinz Rüther puts some critical points on the shortcomings of laser-scanning technology in the spatial documentation of heritage sites. We invited manufacturers of laser-scanning sensors and software to comment on his challenging observations. Nearly 70% of the companies responded (ten in total) and seven felt qualified to reply: Optech, Riegl, Leica Geosystems, 3rd Tech, Visual Learning Systems, TopoSys and I-SiTE 3D Laser Imaging. We thank all respondents for their time and effort. Critical observations made by Prof. Heinz Rüther include the following. (1) The processing time of laser-scan data can be up to ten... (read more)
2007-02-23 12:00:00

The Relevance of Aerial Mapping in 2019 and Beyond

Modern Mapping Systems and Techniques
Reality 3D models, Lidar points clouds, superhigh-resolution aerial imagery and artificial intelligence from aerial imagery… these are just a few of the products derived from aerial mapping that the GIS sector takes for granted in 2019. Despite the plethora of high-resolution Earth observation satellites and the exponentially increasing impact of unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs or 'drones') on the aerial mapping sector, most large and medium-scale ‘topographic’ or GIS map data is still derived from manned aircraft, whether fixed-wing or rotary. But the multitude of systems and processes can make selecting the correct aerial mapping technology a complicated and confusing process.... (read more)
2019-04-12 11:38:08

Secure Land Tenure Key

GIM International Interviews Dr Anna Tibaijuka, UN Under-Secretary-General and Executive Director, UN-Habitat
On 29th June 2007 UN under-secretary-general and executive director of UN-Habitat Dr Anna Tibaijuka and ITC Rector Prof. Martien Molenaar signed a co-operation agreement to cluster their knowledge on urban development in developing countries: capacity development, training and research. Professor Molenaar feels the Netherlands must raise its profile as expert in urban development and management, as it is already doing with water and agricultural expertise. We asked Dr Tibaijuka how the new agreement would help meet UN-Habitat aims in combating poverty and achieving sustainable urban development. What were the main reasons behind UN-Habitat signing a co-operation agreement with the International... (read more)
2007-10-16 11:33:46

A Visit to...Hewlett Packard Barcelona

Hewlett Packard (HP) celebrates the twentieth anniversary of its Barcelona site this year. The company has a portfolio spanning printing, personal computing, software, services and IT infrastructure, and Barcelona is the nerve centre of its predominant large-format printing activities. On 3rdand 4thApril 2008 the international professional press was invited to look ‘Behind the Scenes’.<P>   "Our workforce in Barcelona consists of more than two thousand people, including employees working in our engineering and support facilities," Francois Martin introduces us to the facility. Since 2006 he has been marketing director for Graphic Arts. As might be expected, nearly 75% of the... (read more)
2008-05-17 12:00:00

Towards Smaller and Smarter Solutions

Reflections on Intergeo 2019
Intergeo is a leading annual industry showcase where geospatial professionals gain an excellent impression of the latest innovations. On the brink of a new decade, Intergeo 2019 gave us a glimpse of the future. In general, we can conclude that solutions are getting smaller and smarter, and there are some new kids on the block. But with all the buzz around machine learning and artificial intelligence, how can we cut through the hype to get the most out of the rapidly advancing technology? One thing was crystal clear at this year’s Intergeo: the unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV or ‘drone’) has... (read more)
2019-11-05 01:06:25

Sensor Fusion for Precision Agriculture

Low-cost Lidar Camera System without GNSS
Precision agriculture has considerably benefited from the use of unmanned aerial vehicles, often combined with active ranging sensors like Lidar to gather information from underneath the crops, but existing systems are relatively expensive for the farming sector. In this project, researchers in Canada have used an integrated sensor orientation method for the local referencing of Lidar measurements. Their approach is based on loosely coupled, image-aided inertial navigation in which the pose of the camera replaces the GNSS measurements. The result is a low-cost solution that is useful for capturing topographic data of inaccessible areas as well as in GNSS-denied environments.... (read more)
2019-06-20 01:50:38

UAVs: Where to Focus on Next?

New Technologies Require New Knowledge and Regulations
In June 2018, RSPSoc's 'Photogrammetric Record' publication devoted 11 pages to determining which term they would use for drones. They ultimately decided on ‘unmanned aircraft system’ or ‘UAS’. However, the mere fact that this required 11 pages goes some way towards highlighting the complexity and cross-discipline potential that drones bring, not only to the remote sensing industry but also for multiple other uses, writes Peter Kinghan. Over the past decade we have seen a number of drone uses come through the tried-and-tested period, resulting in unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) becoming a proven technology for a range of industries and professions,... (read more)
2020-02-10 08:38:39
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