Panagiotis Agrafiotis

Panagiotis Agrafiotis holds a doctorate in Engineering from the National Technical University of Athens as well as an MSc in Geoinformatics and an MEng diploma in Surveying Engineering. His current research focuses on image-based bathymetry mapping for shallow and deep waters using photogrammetry and machine learning techniques. His expertise includes 3D computer vision, remote sensing and machine learning. During the past 8 years, he has worked on more than 16 research projects as a member of the Lab of Photogrammetry of NTUA, the Photogrammetric Vision Lab of CUT and the Institute of Communication and Computer Systems of NTUA. He also... (read more)
2020-10-13 10:50:47

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

Dimitrios Bolkas

Dr Dimitrios Bolkas is an assistant professor of Surveying Engineering at the Pennsylvania State University, Wilkes-Barre Campus. He holds a PhD in Geological Sciences and Engineering from Queen’s University, Kingston, Canada. He has a diverse geomatics experience that includes unmanned aerial systems and terrestrial, mobile and airborne laser scanning. Recent research endeavours focus on creating virtual environments from point cloud data and using virtual reality to enhance engineering education. Dr Bolkas is a director in the executive board of the Surveying and Geomatics Educator’s Society (SaGES).  (read more)
2020-10-12 11:32:15

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

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

Extraterrestrial Hydrography

While there is still lots of ocean mapping work to do on Earth, oceans situated elsewhere in our solar system hold plenty of mysteries too, writes Wim van Wegen in this column. The oceans on our planet remain largely an unexplored world, far from divulging many of their secrets. Seabed 2030, which is a joint project between the Nippon Foundation of Japan and the General Bathymetric Chart of the Oceans (GEBCO), aims to collect all available bathymetric data in order to produce the definitive map of the world’s ocean floor by 2030. As of today (and despite many years of... (read more)
2020-10-08 08:47:41

The Future of Lidar is Critical to the Future of Our World

What will be the future of Lidar? To quote Abraham Lincoln: “The most reliable way to predict the future is to create it”. So what is currently being created in the geospatial market? This article focuses on Lidar in relation to a number of relevant themes: Lidar technology, open data and artificial intelligence/machine learning (AI/ML). Lidar technology is developing rapidly, as illustrated by the number of start-up companies to serve the autonomous market which feature traditional mechanical scanning devices, tiny-chip solid-state Lidar units and the emerging FMCW Lidar. The fact that Apple has announced an iPad with Lidar indicates this technology’s... (read more)
2020-10-02 01:09:36

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

Eos Subsite Integration for Underground Centimetre-accurate Utility Mapping

Eos Positioning Systems (Eos), the Canadian manufacturer of the high-accuracy Arrow Series GNSS receivers, has announced the compatibility of its Eos Locate for ArcGIS underground-mapping solution with three Subsite Electronics products. “We are extremely excited to expand this popular underground-mapping solution to Subsite Electronics customers,” Eos CTO Jean-Yves Lauture said. “Utilities have been asking us to add compatibility, and we are pleased to announce that this integration is now available today, for no extra cost, to our existing customers.” Utility locator models First introduced in 2019, Eos Locate is a real-time, survey-grade solution for mapping underground utilities with ArcGIS field apps.... (read more)
2020-10-01 10:48:53

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
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