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

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

UAS for Mapping

A Product Survey on Systems and Features
In recent years, unmanned aerial systems (UAS) have attracted tremendous attention from surveyors and other geodata collectors all around the world. Nowadays, UAS equipped with GNSS, IMU and RGB, NIR or TIR cameras and possibly Lidar have evolved into high-potential surveying devices which have now definitely passed the stage of ‘toys for boys’. This article focuses on UAS for mapping and 3D modelling and provides a detailed survey in tabular format on the features of the prevailing systems, both fixed wings and multicopters, available on the market today An unmanned aerial system (UAS) is an aircraft which flies without a... (read more)
2017-07-26 03:17:00

'Location' Forms Ubiquitous Part of Big Data Analytics

IBM Shows a Mainstream Direction for Spatial IT
Now that some of the core infrastructure challenges have been solved, the application layer of big data is rapidly building up. Therefore, the major GIS players have recently been focusing their attention on their added 'intelligence' value. The geomatics and GIS sector will benefit greatly from the innovation brought by big data companies like IBM, so how does IBM see its future in this regard? The combination of Big Data with artificial intelligence, hybrid cloud, security, Internet of Things, etc., has already brought IBM USD33 billion in revenue, and next year it will probably be USD40 billion. 'Spatial intelligence' in the context of Big Data... (read more)
2017-08-10 10:45:13

An Awakening in India

GIM International Interviews Bharat Lohani
Since this issue of GIM International is dedicated to Lidar point clouds, it should come as no surprise that it contains an interview with a leading expert on this exciting aspect of the geomatics spectrum. Dr Bharat Lohani, who is leading the Lidar teaching and research group at the renowned Indian institute of IIT Kanpur and is a member of this magazine’s editorial board, was a logical candidate. In this interview he talks about India's role in the industry, his company Geokno, developments within Lidar technology and the geomatics programme at IIT Kanpur. You have a background in academia. What... (read more)
2014-07-25 09:46:54

Integrating GIS and Earth Viewers

GIM International Interviews Johannes Kebeck, Technology Specialist, Microsoft Virtual Earth Business Unit
Microsoft's MapPoint Business Unit was formed in 1995. The Virtual Earth platform was launched in 2005 as an integrated set of services combining imagery with mapping, location and search functionality. In May 2006 the company acquired photogrammetric firm Vexcel. This month's interviewee, Johannes Kebeck, talks about Microsoft's aims and ambitions in the field of geomatics. “There will still be a need for traditional GIS […] we will likely see tight integration between the traditional GIS and so-called Earth Viewers. How big is the geospatial division of Microsoft in terms of number of employees and share in turnover? What sort of... (read more)
2007-09-19 12:00:00

Point Clouds and Smart Cities

The Need for 3D Geodata and Geomatics Specialists
The ‘smart city’ concept entirely relies on a permanent stream of massive amounts of data acquired by a great variety of sensors distributed throughout the city. Smart use of all this data requires integration with 3D city maps for which point clouds, acquired by laser scanning or photogrammetry, are the main sources. The author of this article identifies the abilities of point clouds to support the smart city concept. The benefits of point clouds for monitoring urban processes were recognised quite early on. Back in the early 1990s, airborne Lidar could accurately provide the height component which is so important... (read more)
2018-10-25 08:48:08

Bridging the Gap between Aerial Imaging and Terrestrial Data Capture

The Challenges of Drone Use in Facade Mapping
There have been rapid advancements in unmanned aerial systems over recent years, yet there is widespread consensus that we have still only seen a fraction of how unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs or ‘drones’) could ultimately improve efficiency for geospatial professionals and their customers. To get a glimpse of the future, 'GIM International' spoke to Mark Nicolai, co-founder of industry start-up Aeroscan. Here, he shares his vision of how drones could form the missing link between aerial imaging and terrestrial data capture. According to independent research by the likes of PwC and Goldman Sachs, the construction industry tops the list in... (read more)
2019-03-20 10:24:53

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

The Fierce Rise of Airborne Lidar

A View on Status, Developments and Trends
Today, automatic matching of overlapping aerial imagery and airborne Lidar are the main geodata technologies for capturing dense point clouds of the Earth’s surface. The sampled points are used for the generation of bare ground representations which are often augmented with buildings and trees. Airborne Lidar is flourishing as a prevalent geodata acquisition technology and continues to show a fierce rise in terms of advancements and applications. Read on for an article that discusses the main technological advances of today’s operational systems and surveys the state of the art, developments and trends. Having trained as a geodesist and photogrammetrist, I... (read more)
2017-01-11 09:04:36
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