City Scale Digital Twins for Flood Resilience

Extreme weather events and rising populations are straining existing (and often inadequate) drainage infrastructure in cities around the world, leading to flooding that damages property and infrastructure, impacts human safety, and weakens economies.Digital twins can help cities plan for disasters and will enable them to better respond on weather events. In 2015, the United Nations reported that over the previous decade, floods accounted for 43 percent of all documented natural disasters around the world, affecting 2.3 billion people and causing US$662 billion in damages. And this number is getting worse. The Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) reports that the number... (read more)
2020-02-17 09:47:36

Industry Report: The Geospatial Industry is Alive and Kicking

How Digitalization and the Immense Need for 3D Data Drive the Business Forward
The advancement of new technology in the geospatial industry is opening up new horizons for surveyors. The profession has rapidly become high-tech, which has brought many benefits and also an ever-greater need to invest in advanced data acquisition, processing, analysis and visualization solutions. According to the findings from the annual GIM International survey among geospatial professionals, the demand for such solutions is set to reach new heights in 2020 and beyond. It is a case of ‘full steam ahead’ for the surveying and mapping business – which is great news in particular for hardware and software companies. The mood among... (read more)
2020-02-14 11:04:00

Revealing Chernobyl Radiation Hotspots with Lidar Technology

It’s been over three decades since reactor Number 4 at the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant in the Ukraine melted down, leading to the world’s worst civilian nuclear disaster in history. Now, a team of multidisciplinary researchers have used Routescene’s UAV Lidar technology to map radioactive hotspots in greater detail than ever before. Professor Tom Scott, from the School of Physics at the University of Bristol, UK, led a group of researchers from the UK's National Centre for Nuclear Robotics (NCNR) to conduct surveys on multiple sites of interest within the Exclusion Zone which surrounds the damaged reactor. The surveyed sites... (read more)
2020-02-13 09:56:16

What Are the Main Reasons for Choosing UAV-based Lidar Mapping?

Lidar mapping based on unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs or ‘drones’) can generally be thought of as a close-range version of manned airborne laser scanning. In brief, lower mobilization costs and much higher spatial resolution are allowing new Lidar mapping use cases in several disciplines, such as forestry, bathymetry, archaeology, infrastructure mapping, hazard management and so on. In general, modern UAV-based Lidar solutions fall into one of the following categories: Survey-grade sensors featuring narrow laser beams with a beam divergence of <1 mrad, high pulse repetition rates in the MHz range and sophisticated full waveform-based signal processing. These high-end sensors weigh around... (read more)
2020-02-11 02:00:17

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

The Smartphone as a Professional Mapping Tool

To what extent will the smartphone become a professional mapping tool? Modern smartphones already contain many of the important functions to be used as mapping tools. However, whether they are suitable for use as such professionally depends not only on the built-in sensors, but also on the available computing power, RAM and data storage capacity. For data acquisition, a smartphone usually has two to three cameras, a GNSS sensor, an acceleration sensor and a gyroscope for positioning the system in 3D space. In addition, a smartphone has a magnetometer which displays the orientation or north direction by a compass, and... (read more)
2020-02-05 03:54:54

Will Artificial Intelligence Die Another Silent Death?

Artificial intelligence (AI) was first presented as a potential solution for object recognition some 50 years ago, but died a silent death along its winding road, writes Mathias Lemmens in his latest column. Now, big geodata is driving the need for automated mapping and reviving the interest in AI. But will the optimistic promises of deep learning come true this time? Never before in history have humans generated such gigantic volumes of geodata as we do today. The production of images and point clouds using a wide variety of geodata acquisition technologies is just one side of the coin; on... (read more)
2020-02-05 02:40:41

Simultaneous Capturing of Lidar and Imagery

How Major Cities May Benefit from a Hybrid Sensor System
People continue to migrate from rural areas to major cities, driving sustained urban growth and increasing the demand for accurate, detailed and up-to-date 3D city models. The creation of such models is still a cumbersome endeavour but new advancements, such as the combination of three sensor types – nadir camera, oblique cameras and a Lidar unit – in one and the same geodata acquisition system, may bring relief. Aerial surveys conducted in major cities in the UK and Ireland demonstrate the potential of this solution. Cities will continue to grow as long as the world’s population keeps flocking to urban... (read more)
2020-02-05 01:33:28

SimActive Launches New Drone Training Programme for Mapping

SimActive, the Canada-based developer of the Correlator3D photogrammetry software suite, announces a new training programme for drone mapping. The programme’s goal is to provide educational material and resources on how to effectively process drone imagery, to both neophytes and experts. The new offering includes educational documents, tutorial videos and monthly webinars as well as tailored training sessions, which can be provided both online or on-site. All aspects of data processing are covered, such as the generation of DSMs, DTMs, point clouds, orthomosaics and 3D models. “It is often difficult for drone mapping companies to differentiate themselves from competition and increase... (read more)
2020-02-05 09:11:20

3D Target Launches New Version of Lidar Point Cloud Software

3D Target has announced the release of its SmartProcessing Lidar 1.2 software solution. SmartProcessing Lidar, fully developed by 3D Target, enables the production of high-quality georeferenced point clouds from the dataset surveyed with the popular Scanfly Lidar payload. Version 1.2.0.0 features various brand new tools and several improvements. Among other minor bug fixes, the version introduces a Lidar boresight calibration tool, quality reports generation, faster colourization of the point-clouds and Pix4D 4.5 export. “With the new features included in the SPL 1.2, our customers can calibrate their systems by themselves!”, said Paolo Girardi, 3D Target’s CEO. “To the RGB camera... (read more)
2020-02-05 02:10:36
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