Bluesky and University of Leicester Partner in Lidar for Detailed Tree Analysis

Bluesky International is co-funding research into the use of Lidar, machine learning and artificial intelligence to create citywide maps of trees enriched with new levels of information in an advanced postgraduate degree study in partnership with the UK’s University of Leicester. A specialist in aerial mapping, Bluesky use aircraft mounted lasers (Lidar) to capture millions of highly accurate measurements called point clouds that detail the earth’s surface and features. Bluesky has already pioneered nationwide maps detailing the location, height and canopy cover of trees and this R&D project is expected to result in an automated workflow for the extraction of tree... (read more)
2020-10-15 11:17:46

Bathymetry from UAV Imagery and Machine Learning

Improving Results with Refraction Corrections
Accurate bathymetric mapping of shallow areas is essential for a plethora of offshore activities. Through Structure from Motion (SfM) and Multiview Stereo (MVS) techniques, images can provide a low-cost alternative compared to Lidar and sonar systems while also offering important visual information. This article presents a new framework for mapping the seabed in clear and calm shallow waters for small- and large-scale surveys using aerial imagery and machine learning to correct the geometric effects of refraction on the 3D point clouds and the imagery. SfM is a photogrammetric technique for estimating 3D structures from 2D image sequences. It involves acquiring... (read more)
2020-10-13 10:42:39

Realistic Virtual Reality Environments from Point Clouds

Immersive and Interactive Surveying Labs
The advent of cost-effective head-mounted displays marked a new era in immersive virtual reality and sparked widespread applications in engineering, science and education. An integral component of any virtual reality application is the virtual environment. While some applications may have a completely imaginary virtual environment, others require the realistic recreation of a site or building. Relevant examples can be found in gaming, heritage site preservation and building information modelling. This article discusses how point cloud technologies were used to create a realistic virtual environment for use as immersive and interactive surveying labs.   Creating a virtual environment that is based... (read more)
2020-10-12 11:17:58

Planning Information for the Public Falls Short of Reality

3D Data Visualization for Urban Design and Planning
Working with Pittsburgh’s City Planning Department, a Carnegie Mellon University research team completed an in-depth study of the current use of 3D software for planning tasks and public communication.[1] We started with several assumptions: the public has difficulty understanding most site and building plans and other types of visual material but does understand artist renderings; most architectural and planning firms use 3D visual programmes such as Geospatial and Building Information Modelling (BIM) software; and city planning departments that communicate with the public know how to communicate their visual documents in ways that citizens understand them. We were wrong. Citizens expect... (read more)
2020-10-12 10:01:33

At the Forefront of the Digital Transition

GIM International talks to Thomas Harring, president of Hexagon Geosystems and CEO of Leica Geosystems
Thomas Harring started in his position as president of Hexagon Geosystems and CEO of Leica Geosystems in early 2020. The year took a sudden and very unexpected turn when the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic threw a spanner in the works. However, Harring emphasizes that the geospatial industry should use the momentum of the ‘new normal’ to further accelerate the sector’s ongoing transformation towards more customer-centric and autonomous digital solutions. How would you summarize the current state of the geospatial industry? Despite the undeniably terrible consequences of the current pandemic, the geospatial industry has not lost any of its importance... (read more)
2020-10-08 03:04:01

Emerging Web and Game Engine Tech for 3D Cities

Considerations When Choosing Application Development Platforms
The increasing number of solutions for developing 3D city model applications poses a challenge for developers. This article outlines key considerations that help them to create applications efficiently while utilizing the potential benefits of the 3D data. 3D city modelling has become an established activity in major cities. As a part of this development, city models are increasingly developed to support numerous applications that involve large user groups, such as collaborative urban planning, pedestrian navigation, event planning and the discovery of services and businesses in cities. The 3D city models themselves, produced by cities, public organizations and private companies, are... (read more)
2020-10-02 09:27:44

The Story Behind Esri’s Acquisition of nFrames

Q&A with Richard Cooke, Director of Imagery, Esri
Richard Cooke, director of imagery at Esri, explains all about the company's acquisition of nFrames, the innovative Germany-based developer of software for 3D reconstruction from images. Esri recently made headlines in the geospatial industry when it announced the acquisition of nFrames, the innovative Germany-based developer of software for 3D reconstruction from images. To learn more about Esri’s recent takeover, we spoke to Richard Cooke, director of imagery at the world-leading company in GIS software. What were Esri’s main considerations when acquiring nFrames, a relatively small photogrammetric company that is highly specialized in 3D modelling of imagery?  We are delighted to... (read more)
2020-10-01 10:07:48

South Korean Smart Cities Combine 3D Digital Models with GIS and BIM

Around the world, local governments are rolling out Smart City/Digital Twin projects to support economic stimulation and tourism programmes and to improve the quality of life overall. Up-to-date 3D building models and comprehensive Geographic Information Systems (GIS) data, along with Building Information Modelling (BIM) data, are combined to create a digital twin of the inside and outside of buildings and the surrounding topography. In effect, the real world is converted into an exact digital replica to facilitate analysis, planning and management of all smart city assets. The primary goal behind 3D virtual cities is to reduce and manage problems typically... (read more)
2020-09-28 11:00:44

The New Era of Mobile Scanning

GIM International Interviews Felix Reinshagen, CEO of NavVis
Indoor mobile mapping is well past the tipping point and is about to go mainstream. Felix Reinshagen is co-founder and CEO of NavVis, a company that was set up with the objective of bridging the gap between outdoor and indoor digital maps. In this interview, he shares his views on the future, including his confidence that there will be plenty more developments in automatically generated assets from reality capture, and how 3D scanning and the geospatial industry are set to impact the world in many respects. Do you see laser scanning becoming a commodity in the near future, or will... (read more)
2020-09-28 08:57:16

5G Wireless Network Design Relies on 3D Aerial Data

The development of fifth-generation wireless technology (5G) is spreading rapidly around the world. The initial improvement of up to 10x in speed and 400x in latency, as well as a much larger capacity for simultaneous users, will create endless opportunities for autonomous vehicles, virtual reality, smart cities and the Internet of Things (IoT). In the future, by using additional spectrum, speed improvements could reach 100x and enable applications that we have not even imagined yet. To maximize performance of new 5G networks, telecommunication operators require high-resolution 3D data to develop signal propagation plans and select ideal locations for small antenna... (read more)
2020-09-28 10:42:42
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