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GTomTom and Enterprise GIS G DigitalGlobe

GPoint Cloud Software G Intergeo

Magaz i ne f or Sur veyi ng, Mappi ng & GI S Pr of es s i onal s
Oct./Nov. 2010
Volume 13
Geospatial Events becoming
For me, this year's Intergeo event proved to be very inspiring. The same goes for the other
events I had the chance to visit in the last two months, but Intergeo is such a large event
it's a league of its own. Exhibitors and conference speakers seemed carefully optimistic
about the future in terms of sales and projects. The statement made during this event that
geospatial IT is becoming more and more integrated in 'standard' IT is worth investigating
in the coming months in this magazine. Parties interested in sharing their thoughts on this
matter are invited to contribute articles or columns.
Another event coverage I'd like to highlight is FOSS4G2010. Whoever thinks that open source
is neglected by the mainstream GIS industry is wrong. With a series of keynotes from the
industry and a visitors amount of 869, I think it's safe to say that open source is no longer
a geeky thing, but something that has the attention of a wide audience and software ven-
dors as well.
This issue counts a number of articles on point cloud software and LiDAR. This is because
this issue is distributed at the International LiDAR Mapping Forum in The Hague. It's the first
time this event is coming to Europe, after ten editions in the US. Speaking of LiDAR, the
Trimble Indoor Navigation System presented at Intergeo makes use of LiDAR as well,
combining a range of different data capture techniques for quick indoor mapping projects.
I'm interested to hear how this systems will do in the future and what will be the reaction
of other manufacturers. I'm quite sure that at the upcoming Tracking and Positioning
(in Amsterdam, November) more details on Trimble's market strategy will be shared, inter-
estingly at at telecommunications conference. Does this mean that we will be seeing more
'cross-over' events in the future where geospatial is just one ingredient rather than the main
course? We will see and keep you up-to-date.
Enjoy your reading!
Eric van Rees
October/November 2010
GeoInformatics is the leading publication for Geospatial
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and digital, GeoInformatics provides coverage, analysis
and commentary with respect to the international
surveying, mapping and GIS industry.
GeoInformatics is published 8 times a year.
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Contributing Writers:
Nick Cohn, Peter Davie, Peter de With, Lykele
Hazelhoff, Ivo Creusen, Harm Bruinsma, Amber
Chambers, Dr. Tom Lobonc, Ian Gilbert, Philippe
Simard, Franois Lemieux, Hans-Jrg Stark, Remco
Takken, Adrijana Car, Josef Strobl, Joe Croser, Jeroen
Financial Director
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Location Content
TomToms involvement in the Enterprise GIS segment goes back more than
30 years. Through acquisition of two mapping companies GDT and Tele
Atlas, TomToms content production unit has a strong foundation in the
enterprise space. Today, TomTom continues to be a proud partner in this
segment and is able to offer innovative new services, in addition to tradi-
tional map content.
C o n t e n t
October/November 2010
And Innovation for Enterprise GIS
Location Content 6
Efficient Road Maintenance
Automatic Detection and Positioning of Traffic Signs 10
With LAS Format
Reigning in 3D Point Clouds 14
Insight is in the Details
8-Band Multispectral Imagery 18
Making Photogrammetry Efficient
SimActives Correlator3D Software 24
Of Volunteered Geographic Information
Quality Assessment 28
Leica Viva TS15
Robotic Imaging Total Station 51
Democratizing Point Cloud Models
The Pointools Way 52
From Imagery to Map
Xth Anniversary Racurs Conference 32
2010 BAE Systems GXP Regional User Conference
Transition as a Key Issue 36
The Wind of Change
Intergraph User Conference 2010 38
A Report from Cologne
Intergeo 2010 42
Advancing the GI Dialogue
GI_Forum Salzburg 2010 48
Fitting a Global Trend
The FOSS4G 2010 Conference 54
Page 6
Reigning In 3D Point Clouds
With the LAS Format
The advent of LiDAR sensors has been valuable for the geospatial indus-
try, but as the community attempts to fully leverage the technology it
has faced some unique challenges regarding the best way to organize
and store the data so it can be used most efficiently. In 2002, the LASer
(LAS) format arrived on the geospatial scene as the first real solution
featuring interoperability, compact and efficient data storage, and flexi-
bility. Under the auspices of ASPRS it has grown into the de facto stan-
dard for storing this kind of data and staying on top by matching the
technological strides of the industry it serves.
Page 14
Latest News? Visit www.geoinformatics.com
October/November 2010
On the Cover:
A DigitalGlobe 50cm resolution true color image of Hamburg, Germany.
This high-resolution satellite image features the Congress Center
Hamburg (CCH) and the surrounding area, including the University of
Hamburg and the 47 hectare Planten un Blomen park. DigitalGlobe
routinely collects imagery of critical global infrastructure, such as the
city center and the nearby port and airport facilities, as part of its
strategic collection strategy. See article on page 18.
Xth Anniversary Racurs Conference
Italy was the stage for this years Racurs Conference. Gaeta, an ancient vil-
lage near Naples was the location where participants could enjoy the inter-
national scientific and technical conference organized by Racurs. This years
conference was visited by 100 specialists in the field of photogrammetry
and remote sensing, from 19 different countries, making this a truly inter-
national event. A program of three days of presentations and workshops
was complemented with social events, such as a excursion to Naples and
Pompeii, as well as a sports event and gala dinner.
Intergraph User Conference 2010
Exciting news out of Intergraph 2010: the announcement of the acquisition
by Hexagon, mother company of Leica Geosystems and ERDAS, among
Page 38
Calendar 58
Advertisers Index 58
Page 32
Page 18
Location Content
And Innovation for Enterprise GIS
TomToms GIS Roots
TomToms involvement in the Enterprise GIS segment goes back more
than 30 years. Through acquisition of two mapping companies GDT
and Tele Atlas, TomToms content production unit has a strong foun-
dation in the enterprise space. Today, TomTom continues to be a
proud partner in this segment and is able to offer innovative new
services, in addition to traditional map content. The company is com-
mitted to providing enterprise-level GIS data that supports a broad
range of mission-critical business applications.
In the GIS sector, the companys geospatial content enables cus-
tomers to respond rapidly to changing market conditions, make more
informed decisions to better serve their consumers, use resources
more efficiently, and achieve significant cost savings. Additionally,
TomTom is uniquely positioned to help municipalities, planners and
business intelligence companies better understand road and infras-
tructure usage, and make the smartest business decisions.
For fleets, our goal is to help fleets drive more responsibly and effi-
ciently and deliver goods and services faster, while reducing costs and
emissions. We enable fleet owners to achieve significant savings on
transport costs through GPS-based systems that manage the routing
and monitoring of drivers and vehicles. The technologies we use to
capture, compile, and update the most complete centerline data avail-
able make it easier for utilities to support their transmission and distri-
bution infrastructure, and to manage their service call routing capabili-
ties. On the insurance front, our data facilitates risk management with
unprecedented accuracy.
Today, only TomTom has exclusive access to dynamic and analytical
content, such as detailed historical speed information, real-time traffic
and crowd-sourced data from vehicles. This data is designed for quick
and easy integration with existing business systems and contains all
the geographic information customers need to deliver the goods and
services their end users rely on.
Ar t i cl e
October/November 2010
TomTom is more than just a navigation system vendor. For more than 30 years, the company is active in the Enterprise
GIS segment. Not only map data is collected, but also different types of geographical content, serving a wide range
of products and applications besides navigation systems for the consumer market. Also in this article, the company
shares its plans and possible new applications for the future, the age of (near) real-time traffic data.
By Nick Cohn and Peter Davie
Figure 1: This images shows the volume
of GPS measurements collected by
TomTom in Europe.
Innovation Through Community
The TomTom Groups innovation track record includes some of the first in-
car navigation systems, introduction of proprietary Mobile Mapping vans
and advanced display products. Most recently, our innovations have yield-
ed a range of solutions based on new technologies enabled by communi-
ty input. These community input technologies support both active feed-
back and crowd-sourced, anonymously-contributed community input.
Together, this input creates a powerful combination.
TomTom developed Map Share to enable its tens of millions of portable
navigation device (PND) customers to provide updates on the ever-chang-
ing real world. These changes are made directly to their own devices map,
and also are delivered to TomTom to review and validate. Additionally, as
key stakeholders in the map and with in-depth real-world knowledge,
TomTom industry partners around the world can provide direct feedback
through the Trusted Partner program. By validating and adding contribu-
tions from these communities as an additional source, TomTom is able to
increase the total number of road network changes identified. This com-
munity input is backed by stringent review and validation processes and
further enables TomTom to create fresher, higher quality maps and deliver
a better experience for end users of its maps.
TomToms innovations also allow it to leverage anonymously contributed
GPS (Figure 1) measurements to further validate and update its maps, and
to create traffic products that enhance advanced driver assistance sys-
tems (ADAS). Through historic speed profiles and best-in-class real-time
traffic, features such as traffic controls like stop signs and traffic lights,
which were previously only available on a very limited set of roads, can
now be captured in a scalable way. Already, sophisticated eco-routing solu-
tions are being built to leverage this content. Also, the concept of model-
ing driver behavior through this content against previously-captured rules
of the road has many interesting applications across enterprise segments.
Mapping Out the Future
Today, TomTom has more map coverage than any other map provider with
a footprint in more than 200 countries and territories. TomTom delivers
more than 32 million kilometers of navigable coverage, making turn-by-
turn navigation possible in over 100 countries. These maps contain 15%
more countries, 20% more roads and cover 25% more people than com-
peting maps. This map data is offered in a standard global format, allow-
ing our global partners to compile quickly and efficiently.
The future of the enterprise GIS industry will be increasingly service-
focused. Content that was historically delivered on a quarterly basis will
be delivered monthly, then weekly and, ultimately, close to real-time.
Additional contextual and live service information will be integrated into
the content including multi-modal, event, fuel, speed and parking infor-
mation, as well as continued expansion and evolution of real-time traffic.
TomTom has traditionally focused on Consumer and Automotive segments,
but many of the success factors for these segments apply equally to
Enterprise, such as the freshest and most accurate data, innovation and
services. The range of enterprise segments such as Utilities, Transportation,
Emergency Response and Insurance all have one thing in common: the
need for accurate, up-to-date data.
TomTom produces several products designed specifically for the enterprise
segment, with ease-of -use being a key requirement. In addition to stan-
dard map data, TomTom creates detailed administrative and postal code
products in North America and other key markets. Offerings also include
precise address points and geo-coding services, which range from stan-
dalone SDKs and optimized datasets to web-based solutions. Around the
world, TomTom location content is bundled into Esris StreetMap Premium
range of products for example, as well as in other key industry solutions.
Real-Time Maps
The company has always used a time-trusted, stringent process to cap-
ture and verify changes from a comprehensive network of global sources,
ranging from government documents and public safety officials to con-
struction companies, professional truck drivers, its own survey vehicles,
proprietary mobile mapping van technology, as well as satellite and aerial
imagery. As community-based input and real-time data add to this pro-
cess, the best experience for digital map users is enriched with much
fresher maps and more dynamic content. The ultimate goal is to reflect
Latest News? Visit www.geoinformatics.com
Ar t i cl e
October/November 2010
Figure 2: Custom Travel Times data displayed on a TomTom map.
reality in real-time. For TomToms industry partners, the company demon-
strates a commitment to innovation with each database release and will
make more changes faster as they receive even more input from map
There is another side to this process beyond ingesting the changes into
the companys database, which entails delivering this content effectively
to industry partners and their end users. Currently, edits are made to the
database and published in next quarterly products. Using OpenLR,
TomToms open source location referencing standard, work is in progress
to deliver incremental updates between releases
Traffic Solutions
Over the years, TomTom has been working on developing the very best
traffic navigation system to help people get through traffic faster. TomTom
HD Traffic provides the most up-to-date real-time traffic information, with
coverage of highways and arterials. HD Traffic solutions can be incorporat-
ed into navigation solutions or routing tools to help drivers get rerouted
around jams automatically and potentially save time and money, mini-
mize environmental impact, and enjoy a significantly improved navigation
HD Traffic contains up-to-the-minute information from multiple data
sources, including anonymous GPS measurements from connected
portable navigation devices, connected fleet GPS devices and mobile
phone signals, road sensors and journalistic data. Using proprietary and
tested methods, TomTom dynamically merges this information and makes
it available in real time to industry customers across a range of markets.
Historical traffic information is collected by millions of TomTom navigation
device users who opt to share their usage statistics. As a result, TomTom
now has a database, containing more than 2 trillion measurements. Every
day, several billion measurements about the roads used on the vehicles
journeys are added to the database and this figure increases exponential-
ly. TomTom is the only company in the world leveraging this kind of infor-
mation primarily from passenger vehicles. The devices provide an anony-
mous log file of speed measurements on the roads over which the devices
have travelled, and provide a clear picture of travel conditions. All of this
information was initially collected to provide TomToms customers with a
superior navigation experience, based on services such as HD Traffic and
IQ Routes.
Today, TomTom provides these data sources to the government and enter-
prise market in new forms. With these traffic data sources being made
available to the enterprise market, new methods for traffic management
and market analysis are possible. The first product is Custom Travel Times,
which allows a government organization or commercial enterprise to obtain
highly detailed travel time and speed measurements from any given route
on the road network (Figure 2).
These measurements can be obtained for any calendar and time period
needed to meet customer needs. Until now, developing this data required
significant time, financial and labor investments. Often these methods
only covered main roads and did not include specific timeframes. This
data opens up opportunities for applications, such as:
Monitoring road network performance to determine how reliable travel
times on specific roads in a region are.
Before and after studies of road network changes, such as new or
improved roads.
Bottleneck analysis, revealing where and when delays regularly occur
on the road network (Figure 3).
Accessibility details, for what travel times are to or from specific
With this content, government institutions and road construction and
mobility managers can leverage the precise information to gain better con-
trol of their road networks and keep drivers fully informed along the way
on a day-to-day basis. The data can be used to plan new infrastructure,
create alerts on regular congestion for the public and analyze site loca-
tions for new construction.
In addition to Custom Travel Times, TomTom will develop more products
based upon historical traffic data, which will become available in the course
of 2011.
LBS Platform and Live Services
With service capabilities continuing to expand across the industry,
delivery through open access via the web is now also possible. Today,
TomTom ensures fast and easy-to-use delivery for maps and advanced
content through several API categories:
enables display of map and traffic information as map tiles
delivers the optimal ways to travel using TomToms
best-in-class routing algorithm
puts addresses on the map with geocoding and reverse
geocoding based on TomToms global content in more than 50
delivers real time traffic, with additional APIs for speed
cameras, gas prices, and parking availability to follow.
Also through this LBS platform, TomTom is able to offer the worlds fresh-
est map, delivering real-world change at an unprecedented rate, while
eliminating the need for partners to compile the data into a unique pro-
prietary format. An SDK is enables developers to get to work quickly build-
ing the applications to serve their markets.
Whats Next
The volume of data we are receiving is growing quite rapidly and our abil-
ity to build product based on this data is able to keep pace with this
influx of information marking another testament to TomToms ability to
deliver products based on community input. The companys map pro ducts
will be further enriched with powerful location content in future releases
and to the level of detail will continue to be enhanced.
Nick Cohn nick.cohn@tomtom.com,
Peter Davie peter.davie@tomtom.com
Ar t i cl e
October/November 2010
Figure 3: Example of bottleneck analysis with time travel intervals.
Handheld with GPS & GLONASS
from meter to cm RTK
One 4 all
.topco www w. n.eu
Automatic Detection and Positioning of Traffic Signs
Efficient Road Maintenance
Good management and regular maintenance of traffic signs is essential to preserve safety, facilitate planning, and mini-
mize maintenance costs. In practice, manual inventories are performed infrequently due to the relatively high costs
involved. The annual collection of Cycloramas from the Netherlands has enabled the possibility of automatically detecting
and localizing traffic signs. The detected traffic signs can be used as an extra information layer with the captured
panoramic photographs. Integration with GIS and other ICT packages is also possible.
By Peter de With, Lykele Hazelhoff, Ivo Creusen and Harm Bruinsma
Motivation and Purpose for
Maintenance of traffic signs is an important
aspect of road maintenance. Signs become dirty
or damaged and this can lead to dangerous
situations. The road maintainer is responsible
for the prevention of these situations and is
increasingly being called upon to act on this
responsibility. An up-to-date list of traffic signs
and their locations is an important asset for
maintenance and management. Manually
generating an outdoor inventory of traffic signs
is time consuming and costly. By using the geo-
metrically correct panoramic photographs
(Cycloramas) that are collected annually in the
Netherlands, costs can be saved. This database
is useful for automatic traffic sign inventories,
which further increases the efficiency of the
inventory making process, thereby reducing
costs and decreasing the turnaround time of
the inventory. Because of the automation pro-
cess, a yearly update can be acquired more effi-
ciently than by using traditional methods.
Automatic Traffic Sign Detection and
The first step in an automatic detection sys-
tem is localizing the traffic signs. This can be
performed based on georeferenced images,
like Cycloramas, that are used by many Dutch
municipalities. The variety in placement of the
traffic signs and the variable recording condi-
tions make a robust detection algorithm
essential. This algorithm localized the signs
in the individual Cycloramas. The algorithms
should be fast because of the large scale of
the image database, which could otherwise
lead to a prohibitively large computation time.
Another important step of the algorithm is the
sign classification, meaning automatically
assigning a sign-type to the localized signs.
This process uses the specific properties of
the signs, such as the colour of the border
and the shape of the sign (round, triangular,
square, etc). An example of the variety of traf-
fic signs can be seen in Figure 1. Figure 2
shows an example of the automatic detection
of several signs in a Cyclorama.
Localization of the Sign Positions
Cycloramas are captured at every public road,
where new panoramic images are captured
every 5 meters. As a result, every sign is
visible from multiple Cycloramas. Therefore,
detected traffic signs with identical sign codes
that correspond to the same physical traffic
Ar t i cl e
October/November 2010
Figure 1: Selection of the RVV1990 traffic sign set including sign codes. The variety in color and shape is
portrayed. These properties are exploited explicitly for detection and classification of traffic signs.
Figure 2: Example of detections of different signs in a Cyclorama including estimates of the sign size,
sign code and detection reliability.
sign are combined and automatically
positioned. This results in a three-dimension-
al position with an average accuracy of a few
decimeters. Based on the retrieved positions,
signs located on the same physical pole
are combined to recognize pole configura-
the scores per sign type. This requires a com-
parison with correct, manually labeled data,
which forms the ground truth. Through evalu-
ation of a large number of signs and sign
positions, a reliable performance measure-
ment of the detection and classification sys-
tem is established. This requires the investi-
Large-scale Validation and Verification
An automated system for detection and clas-
sification is only useful for large-scale appli-
cation if the systems weak and strong points
are known. These properties are found by
evaluation and calibration of the algorithm in
a large number of cases, thereby determining
Latest News? Visit www.geoinformatics.com
Ar t i cl e
October/November 2010
Figure 3: Example of a complex traffic sign composition. The two yield signs are located close to each other, which can lead to false detections.
Figure 4: Software program used for the evaluation of the results of the automatic detection and classification programs and for the verification of three-dimensional
sign positions using adjacent Cycloramas.
gation of thousands of situations, since there
is a large variety of sign types and sign place-
ment. In this way, a certified output quality
can be generated, including a statement on
the achieved inventory accuracy.
During application of the automatic detection
and classification system, the quality should
be examined by evaluating random samples.
This implies that regular quality checks form
an integral part of the complete inventory pro-
cess, leading to a semi-automatic procedure.
During these checks, incorrect sign properties,
such as sign codes and positions, can be
adjusted and signs that are not detected, e.g.
due to vegetation coverage or unfavorable
sign placement, can be added. In addition,
sub signs can be inserted. Furthermore, com-
plex traffic sign compositions are evaluated.
These situations include signs with identical
sign codes located close to each other or inac-
curately positioned signs. These situations are
identified automatically and all corresponding
signs are checked and corrected where
necessary. An example of such a situation can
be seen in Figure 3.
To allow the validation and verification of
large numbers of Cycloramas in an efficient
way, a software program is developed to visu-
alize and adjust the detections, classifications,
scores and positions of the detected traffic
signs. Figure 4 visualizes the 3D position com-
parison of a sign by incorporating adjacent
Use of the Sign List for Maintenance
and Traffic Safety
The output of the described semi-automatic
traffic sign inventory process is a database of
identified signs, together with the roads
where they are located, their 3D coordinates
and a description of the purpose of the sign.
Figure 5 shows an example of the Excel rep-
resentation of the database. This list gives a
quick overview of the signs positioned along
a certain road and their locations, so that
maintenance can be properly planned. Of
course, the list can be converted to other for-
mats and imported into a GIS application.
Additionally, the list of signs can be used for
a quick assessment of road safety, for exam-
ple by projecting the sign icons onto an
aerial image. This is illustrated in Figure 6. In
this way, the position and presence of signs
can be directly evaluated. Because of the effi-
cient work process and the yearly updates of
the Cycloramas, another possibility is to
repeat the inventory annually. The results of
the previous year can be used to quickly and
efficiently find changes without repeating the
entire survey from scratch. Because of this,
more consistent management of traffic signs
becomes possible, at a lower cost than carry-
ing out a traditional manual inventory.
About the authors: Peter de With, Lykele Hazelhoff,
Ivo Creusen and Harm Bruinsma are all members
of the R&D department of CycloMedia. In addition,
De With is professor in image processing at the
department of Electrical Engineering of the
University of Technology, Eindhoven.
Ar t i cl e
October/November 2010
Figure 5: Cut-out of the electronic sign list in Excel format. The columns contain among others the road
numbers, road name, road type, community name, sign position, sign code and sign description.
Figure 6: By displaying the identified signs on an aerial image and map, complex traffic situations such as crossings can quickly be evaluated, giving an insight into
the local traffic situation. The flash viewer of CycloMedia, GlobeSpotter, supports this new functionality, including the projection of the located signs in the
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Reigning In 3D Point Clouds
With the LAS Format
A Little about LiDAR
The advent of LiDAR sensors has been valu-
able for the geospatial industry, but there
have been some challenges as the communi-
ty attempts to fully leverage the technology.
As you may already know, LiDAR is similar to
radar in that both direct an active signal
towards the surface of interest and receive a
return signal reflected from the surface and
objects on it. The time delay of this reflection
is used to calculate range from the sensor to
the surface. With radar, this results in forma-
tion of an image with intensities propor-
tional to the reflectivity of the surface at radar
wavelengths, which are in the microwave or
radio range. In contrast, LiDAR processing is
used along with sensor position information
to determine the elevation of the surface at
each reflection point, or the distance from an
established reference plane in the case of ter-
restrial LIDAR.
As a general rule, you can only detect things
that are at least as large as the wavelength
being directed at them; therefore, LiDAR, with
its shorter wavelengths in the ultraviolet to
near-infrared range, is capable of detecting
smaller objects than radar with its relatively
longer wavelengths. Additionally, more objects
are reflective (and many more strongly reflec-
tive) in the LiDAR wavelengths than the radar
wavelengths. And since infrareds shorter
wavelength means a higher frequency, LiDAR
is able to send out more pulses in a given
period of time than radar, allowing data to be
collected on more locations within the
scanned area. LiDAR also can register multi-
ple returns from the same signal pulse when
that pulse is reflected from multiple different
heights. For example, a single pulse may
reflect partially from a leaf at the top of the
tree, a branch partway down, and the ground
Ar t i cl e
The advent of LiDAR
sensors has been valuable for
the geospatial industry, but as the com-
munity attempts to fully leverage the technology it
has faced some unique challenges regarding the best
way to organize and store the data so it can be used most
efficiently. In 2002, the LASer (LAS) format arrived on the geospatial scene
as the first real solution featuring interoperability, compact and efficient data storage,
and flexibility. Under the auspices of ASPRS it has grown into the de facto standard for storing this
kind of data and staying on top by matching the technological strides of the industry it serves.
By Amber Chambers & Dr. Tom Lobonc
Points from a 3D LiDAR point cloud, color-coded to show relative elevation.
October/November 2010
under the tree. LiDAR data vendors then use
the raw return data along with sensor posi-
tion and orientation information from the GPS
and IMU to calculate the x, y and z coordi-
nates of multiple points in the scanned area,
resulting in a dense 3-dimensional point
cloud. For each point in the cloud, the inten-
sity of the return is also persisted. These
intensity values can be used to visualize the
point cloud so that it appears similar to a
panchromatic image. Details about the sen-
sor itself and the flight information are often
useful and documented to accompany the
point data. In scientific endeavors, more infor-
mation is usually a good thing, and this has
been the case with LiDAR; it just presents the
issue of effectively organizing and storing the
data so it can be used most efficiently.
Storing LiDAR Data Efficiently
Originally, data vendors and software compa-
nies often used different proprietary formats to
store the data, and the format supplied by a
vendor might not be compatible with all of the
software packages used by potential cus-
tomers. The formats required by the software
could also vary between applications, making
it difficult for organizations using different soft-
ware to collaborate. An alternative to the pro-
prietary formats is to store the data in an ASCII
text file with the information written as a series
of comma-separated values. ASCII files are a
little more interoperable than the proprietary
these points to be marked as suspected noise
so they can be withheld when products are
being generated, but they do not have to be
deleted from the file. Finally, LiDAR point
clouds can be fused with optical imagery (typ-
ically when collected simultaneously with the
LiDAR) so that the image pixel RGB values are
also encoded into the LAS file. This allows for
an instant photorealistic 3D visualization.
In 2002, EnerQuest contributed the LAS for-
mat to the public domain and industry stake-
holders such as EnerQuest, Z/I Imaging,
Optech and Leica GeoSystems began the pro-
cess of standardization. The American Society
for Photogrammetry and Remote Sensing
(ASPRS) published the ASPRS LiDAR Data
Exchange Format Standard, version 1.0 in May
Keeping Up With the Industry
Initially, the LAS format was intended to be
user-extensible, but user-defined extensions
can hamper the goal of interoperability. For
example, with LAS 1.0 points could be classi-
fied using a number that represented a class,
but there were no standards for commonly-
used classes and the ground might be class
1 on one file and class 2 on another. Three
more versions of the standard have been
developed to address both technological
updates and the various needs of the user
community so that it can be adhered to uni-
versally and further the original goal.
formats, but still arent perfect in this area
unless there is some type of agreement as to
how the information will be presented within
the file. Another issue for ASCII that cant be
avoided is that due to the detail of most LiDAR
data, these files can become very large, and
consequently, slow to open, even when stor-
ing only a relatively small amount of informa-
The LASer (LAS) format was first developed by
EnerQuest as its own proprietary method of
storing LiDAR data. LAS is a binary format that
stores LiDAR metadata and all the information
about a 3D point cloud in a relatively compact
form. It was also designed so that all of the
original data can be retained. The LAS format
allows each point in the cloud to be assigned
a class, such as ground, low vegetation, high
vegetation, or building. This enables the cre-
ation of multiple value-added products from
the same dataset without altering it. For exam-
ple, software utilizing an LAS file could sup-
press points classified as vegetation or build-
ings to focus solely on the ground points for
the creation of a bare earth digital elevation
model (DEM or DTM). Or, the same file with all
the same data could be used to create 3-
dimensional digital surface models (DSM) of
the above-ground structures along with visible
ground. Also, due to the sensitivity of LiDAR,
it will detect objects such as birds and atmo-
spheric aerosols and dust. The format permits
Latest News? Visit www.geoinformatics.com
Ar t i cl e
Left: Points in a 3D cloud generated from stereo imagery; Top right: Profile from the 3D Point Cloud;
Bottom right: 3D model generated from the point cloud.
October/November 2010
There have been several noteworthy advances
during this sequence of updates. In 2005,
Version 1.1 introduced the complete standard-
ization of classification by assigning a specific
number to commonly used classes such as
ground, low vegetation, medium vegetation
and buildings. Version 1.2 (2008) brought the
ability to store RGB color values for a point,
which can be fused in processing with eleva-
tion values to increase classification accuracy,
as well as providing the photorealistic 3D
models mentioned earlier. The most recent
update, version 1.3 (July 2009) added support
for storing full waveforms of the entire
backscattered laser pulse rather than just the
elevation return values. Full waveforms can
provide more detail and information about the
structure of scanned objects through analysis
of the waveform shape.
Starting in version 1.1, the LAS format specifi-
cation has allowed users to specify the soft-
ware that generated the file, or that a partic-
ular point is synthetic instead of originating
from LiDAR sensor data. These metadata
attributes are particularly useful for instances
where the data doesnt come from a LiDAR
sensor, which is more frequently the case now.
Obtaining LiDAR data can be expensive, since
LiDAR coverage from a given flight line is
much less than that of a large format aerial
camera, requiring more flying time and greater
post-processing time. Due to the cost of
LiDAR data and the increasing number of sen-
sors already delivering vast amounts of high-
resolution stereo imagery every day, there has
been increasing demand for new software
applications that use algorithms to create
dense 3D point clouds from stereo imagery.
These generated point clouds can be saved
in LAS format the same as LiDAR data, can
be readily encoded with RGB values, and can
be used to produce most of the same value-
added products, such as digital elevation
models that can be used in orthophoto pro-
duction, 3D surface models, and information
products such as viewshed and mobility anal-
ysis. These algorithms are very sophisticated,
using such techniques as pixel-wise match-
ing, in which every pixel in the source imagery
is utilized to obtain points in the cloud, seg-
mentation to constrain processing and assist
in object identification, adaptable algorithm
parameters, and automated blunder detec-
tion. Additionally the most sophisticated algo-
rithms offer the ability to use imagery and the
generated elevation information to assign
object classifications for each point which are
then encoded in the output LAS file. Software
using these advanced techniques has been
proven capable of accuracy as good as, and
in some cases, slightly better than actual
LiDAR data.
LiDAR has rapidly grown from a niche tech-
nology to one that is in common use in both
commercial and military surface generation
and for information extraction. The technolo-
gy is advancing at a rapid pace and new
applications and improved information extrac-
tion algorithms are appearing regularly.
Keeping pace with the technological develop-
ments, LAS has now become the de facto
standard for storing point cloud data acquired
from LiDAR and other sources due to the fact
that it was the first real solution featuring
interoperability, compact and efficient data
storage, and flexibility, and it continues to
have an active group with broad community
support working to keep the format current.
Amber Chambers amber.chambers@ERDAS.com is
Technical Marketing Specialist at ERDAS and has a
background in software engineering and business
Dr. Tom Lobonc tom.lobonc@ERDAS.com is Director
of Defense Products at ERDAS and has a
background in geospatial production systems
and workflows.
Ar t i cl e
Left: A point cloud shown with RGB values for each point;
Right: an RGB TIN generated from the point cloud.
October/November 2010
A Breakthrough in
Handheld Accuracy

Powerful GPS+GLONASS handheld for high-precision mobile mapping
Whether or not youre a coffee fan, you will enjoy starting your day working with the
MobileMapper 100. MobileMapper 100 is the ultimate GNSS handheld designed for
high-precision GIS data collection and mapping. Combined with MobileMapper Field
software or third-party application, the MobileMapper 100 quickly maps and positions
assets in real-time with sub-meter down to centimeter level accuracy. Powered by
the Ashtechs BLADE technology, the receiver also maintains high accuracy in urban
canyons and under dense canopies.
MobileMapper 100 is a rugged, compact handheld with built-in GSM/GPRS and
Bluetooth communications. Compatible with RTK networks its the perfect answer for
demanding mobile GIS jobs. Very lightweight for maximum comfort, the MobileMapper
100 is a true handheld solution for the eld workforce. It provides maximum exibility
and GNSS reliability for optimal data collection, virtually anytime and everywhere.
MobileMapper 100 will develop your taste for precision GIS. Discover its full
features, performance and specs at www.ashtech.com.
2010 Ashtech LLC. All rights reserved. The Ashtech logo and MobileMapper are trademarks of Ashtech, LLC.
All other products and brand names are trademarks of their respective holders.

Handheld sub-meter, decimeter

or centimeter accuracy modes

Very lightweight and compact

Extended built-in communications

Flexible Windows Mobile


Ruggedized for professional use

For more information:
EMEA (HQ) +33 2 28 09 38 00
China +86 10 5802 5174
USA, NA +1 408 572 1103

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, y g o l o n h c e E t D A L s B h c e t h s A
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, c d e g g u s a r 0 i 0 r 1 e p p a M e l i b

r d u o g y n i t r a t y s o j n l e l u wi o , y n
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o n f o i t u l o d s l e h d n a e h u r s a t 0 i
l d a m i t p r o o y f t i l i b a i l e S r S N G
p o l e v e l d l i 0 w 0 r 1 e p p a M e l i b
s ec p d s n e a c n a m r o f r e , p s e r u t

s t s i k r o w t e K n T h R t e wi l b i t a p
m m co u m i x a r m o t f h g i e w t h g i y l
d i v o r t p . I ce r o f k r o d w l e e h r t o
m i t y n y a l l a u t r i , v n o i t c e l l a co t a
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ech, LLC.

8-Band Multispectral Imagery
Insight is in the Details
The detailed information provided by high-resolution 8-Band multispectral imagery from DigitalGlobe improves the
segmentation and classification of land and aquatic features beyond any other space-based remote sensing platform.
By Ian Gilbert
Launched in October 2009, WorldView-2 is
capable of capturing 46 cm1 panchromatic
imagery and is the first commercial satellite to
provide 8-Band multispectral imagery at 1.84 m
resolution. The high spatial resolution, coupled
with 8 bands, enables the discrimination of fine
details like vehicles, detailed building textures
and even individual trees in an orchard. And,
the high spectral resolution can provide detailed
information on such diverse areas as the quali-
Ar t i cl e
October/November 2010
Bangkok Classification
ty of road surfaces, depth of oceans and the
health of plants.
Additionally, WorldView-2 delivers a remarkable
daily collection capacity of nearly 500,000 km
of multispectral imagery and average revisit
time of 1.1 days around the globe, which great-
ly enhances the value of its 8-Band imagery. To
date, the DigitalGlobe Image Library contains
nearly 100 million km
of current 8-Band
imagery. The combination of high spatial and
spectral resolution is already revealing the
world in amazing detail, empowering problem-
solvers with new analysis-based insights and
maximizing ROI on imagery.
Enhanced Feature Extraction
Shifts in agricultural practices, increased urban-
ization and natural processes, all are contribut-
ing to the changing nature of land use and land
cover around the globe. Remote sensing is a
critical tool in understanding these changes on
a large and small scale.
DigitalGlobes 8-Band imagery is enabling a finer
level of discrimination with higher accuracies
and paving the way for improved decision-mak-
ing in both the public and private sectors.
Mapping Rice Paddies
The economies of many Asian countries are
closely tied to rice, with export quantities mea-
sured in millions of metric tons and export
prices in the neighborhood of $600 per ton.
With such financial importance placed on this
fying the health of the crop. In addition, the
rapid revisit capabilities of WorldView-2 make
it an ideal platform for short and long term
Refining Urban Land Cover Maps
Thailand, one of the agricultural powerhouses
of the region, also happens to be home to one
of the worlds greatest cities. Bangkok, with a
population of over 12 million (over 18% of the
population of Thailand), has expanded by
roughly 4 million people in the past 20 years.
This significant growth places pressure on the
urban infrastructure and inevitably leads to
urbanization of the surrounding rural areas.
Using feature extraction techniques that lever-
age all 8 bands, DigitalGlobes imagery is being
employed to create detailed classification maps
of the urban landscape. Man-made objects are
being extracted and classified by material type,
e.g. asphalt, concrete and clay in roads and
roofing materials, with accuracies in many cases
over 90%. The spectral and spatial fidelity of
the 8-Band imagery is proving to be an invalu-
able tool for creating accurate land use maps
and enabling governmental agencies to docu-
ment the changes over time.
Vegetative Analysis
Vegetative analysis has been the mainstay of
the satellite remote sensing community for
decades. While the traditional Normalized
Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI) method of
measuring plant material has been very suc-
cessful, increasingly the Red-Edge spectral band
is demonstrating a finer sensitivity to plant
health. By combining WorldView-2s new Red-
Edge and NIR2 bands and the tightly focused
Green band, analysts are revealing details in
global crop, it is critical for governments to have
a comprehensive mechanism for assessing and
monitoring the nationwide production of rice.
Enter DigitalGlobes 8-Band imagery, which is
being leveraged as a tool for identifying, classi-
fying and assessing rice paddies. Early indica-
tions are that the spectral fidelity of WorldView-
2s 8-Band imagery and in particular the Yellow
and Red-Edge bands are proving to be very
effective in identifying rice paddies and classi-
Latest News? Visit www.geoinformatics.com
Ar t i cl e
October/November 2010
Harmful Algal Blom UAE
Work can be so easy
Access detailed environment information
fast, reliable and up-to-date
Measurement Overlays History Geocoding
Information sources of GlobeSpotter:
Count on GlobeSpotter
GlobeSpotter is an interactive application which gives you
access to 360 panoramic photos (Cycloramas) and aerial
images. The software and data are directly available from
CycloMedias server. As a result the product can be easily
implemented in your daily activities.
Along with an exact map and address data GlobeSpotter
provides situational awareness for your area of interest.
Advanced features allow you to overlay the imagery with
existing geo-tagged information. Users can also create new
object inventories (location, dimensions, attributes, etc.).
GlobeSpotter can be integrated by any GIS supplier using
the freely available API.
PO Box, 4180 BB Waardenburg
Achterweg 38, 4181 AE Waardenburg
The Netherlands
CycloMedia Technology B.V.
Phone +31 (0)418 55 61 00
Fax: +31 (0)418 55 61 01
E-mail info@cyclomedia.com
Internet www.cyclomedia.com
intra-field productivity that can help to make
more effective decisions.
Analyzing Wine Grape Vineyards
The ability to map moisture levels, growth rates
and fine scale differences in productivity may
grapes, or approximately $6,800 per acre. In
situations like this, slight variability in the con-
ditions of each plot of land translates into sub-
stantial revenue.
Analysts have already demonstrated that with
the spectral and spatial fidelity of the 8- Band
imagery, agricultural fields can be accurately
segmented by such parameters as species,
moisture level, health and maturity. Now with a
greater financial incentive to produce detailed
intra-acre productivity maps, DigitalGlobes
8-Band imagery is being put to test.
Improving Wildfire Modeling
While the premium wine industry delivers luxu-
ry, the risk posed by wildfires represents a
threat to the wellbeing of millions of people
around the globe. Every year, thousands of
forest fires threaten urban populations from
Russia to Indonesia to California. Large-scale
forest maps have been derived from satellite
imagery for decades, based on lower resolution
imagery from satellites such as Landsat. These
maps, however, lack the fine scale detail nec-
essary to support the development of sophisti-
cated wildfire models.
In Australia, World- View-2 is being deployed to
collect in-track 8-Band stereo imagery in order
to develop wildfire models that combine vege-
tative analysis and topography. Through species
classification, and mapping of dry fuels and
moisture patterns, analysts are able to create
more accurate assessments of the forest condi-
tions. Plus, with in-track stereo collections, the
not be necessary for all crop types, but when
it comes to the vineyards that grow premium
wine grape, every single detail matters.
According to Wine Spectator, in certain regions
of Californias Napa Valley, premium grape grow-
ers charge as much as $23,500 per ton of
Latest News? Visit www.geoinformatics.com
Ar t i cl e
October/November 2010
Coastal Blue (400-450 nm)
Absorbed by chlorophyll in healthy plants and aids in conducting vege-
tative analysis
Substantially inuenced by atmospheric scattering and has the poten-
tial to improve atmospheric correction techniques
Least absorbed by water, and will be useful in bathymetric studies.
Blue (450-510 nm)
Readily absorbed by chlorophyll in plants
Provides good penetration of water.
Less affected by atmospheric scattering and absorption compared to
the Coastal Blue band
Green (510-580 nm)
Narrower than the green band on QuickBird
Able to focus more precisely on the peak reectance of healthy vege-
Ideal for calculating plant vigor
Very helpful in discriminating between types of plant material when
used in conjunction with the Yellow band
Yellow (585-625 nm)
Very important for feature classication
Detects the yellowness of particular vegetation, both on land and in
the water
Red (630-690 nm)
Narrower than the red band on QuickBird and shifted to longer wave-
Better focused on the absorption of red light by chlorophyll in healthy
plant materials
One of the most important bands for vegetation discrimination
Very useful in classifying bare soils, roads, and geological features
Red-Edge (705-745 nm)
Centered strategically at the onset of the high reectivity portion of
vegetation response
Very valuable in measuring plant health and aiding in the classication
of vegetation
NIR1 (770-895 nm)
Narrower than the NIR band on QuickBird to provide more separation
between it and the Red-Edge sensor
Very effective for the estimation of moisture content and plant biomass
Effectively separates water bodies from vegetation, identies types of
vegetation and also discriminates between soil types
NIR2 (860-1040 nm)
Overlaps the NIR1 band but is less affected by atmospheric inuence
Enables broader vegetation analysis and biomass studies
The 8 Bands of WorldView-2
WorldView-2 is the first commercial high-resolution satellite to provide 8 spectral sensors in the visible to near-infrared range. Each sensor is
narrowly focused on a particular range of the electromagnetic spectrum that is sensitive to a particular feature on the ground, or a property of
the atmosphere. Together they are designed to improve the segmentation and classification of land and aquatic features beyond any other
space-based remote sensing platform.
Denotes New Bands i














Fort Nelson Canada
Copyright 2010 Esri. All rights reserved. Esri, the Esri globe logo, ArcPad, ArcGIS, and www.esri.com are trademarks, registered trademarks, or service marks of Esri in the United States, the European Community, or certain other jurisdictions.
Other companies and products mentioned herein may be trademarks or registered trademarks of their respective trademark owners.
Try ArcPad Today!
Download a free evaluation of ArcPad software and see how it
improves your feld productivity. Visit www.esri.com/arcpad.

software provides an accurate, hassle-free way to collect and share

data using a variety of mobile devices.
Simplify your data collection tasks by capturing, editing, and synchronizing
field information back to the office where advanced analysis can be
performed. ArcPad integrates with GPS, range finders, and digital cameras
to help you make more-informed decisions.
Complete time-sensitive projects, including field mapping, asset inventory,
maintenance, and inspections, while sharing critical enterprise information
across your organization quickly and efficiently.
Collect and Share Field Information
Immediately Across Your Organization

Synchronize with the server.

Quickly access field data in the office.
Label features. Use GIS with GPS. Preview maps. Find street routes.
For Esri locations worldwide, visit www.esri.com/distributors.
Czech Republic
Estonia, Latvia,
and Lithuania
Belgium and
Bosnia and
Greece and Cyprus
The Netherlands
Slovak Republic
same imagery also becomes the source for
accurate data elevation models, which are then
leveraged to produce detailed models of wild-
fire behavior and risk assessments for sur-
rounding areas.
Bathymetry and Marine Habitats
Coastlines, shoals and reefs are some of the
most dynamic and constantly changing regions
of the globe. Monitoring and measuring these
changes is critical to marine navigation and an
important tool in understanding the interactions
between people and the environment.
Monitoring Marine Health Hazards
Harmful Algal Blooms (HABs) are another
coastal phenomena occurring with increased
regularity. In 2008, the National Centers for
Coastal Ocean Science (an organization within
NOAA) released a report citing that the eco-
nomic impacts of these blooms are in excess
of $82 million per year in the U.S. alone.
Impacts include damage to commercial fish-
eries, impacts to tourism, public health costs
and the costs associated with monitoring and
managing the outbreaks. Recent studies in the
UAE have demonstrated that HABs can be clear-
ly detected with DigitalGlobes 8-Band imagery,
providing a new and effective way to monitor
the extent of these blooms and track their
movement. 8-Band imagery will provide anoth-
er tool for governments to manage and hope-
fully reduce the impacts of these blooms.
Rapid Response to Change
8-Band imagery is increasingly proving its value
in the area of bathymetric mapping. Several
researchers are exploring the potential for iden-
tifying mineral deposits, while others are trying
to detect sub-surface water features. There are
several efforts underway to create automated
feature extraction and change detection algo-
rithms based on the combination of spatial and
spectral fidelity and these too are yielding pos-
itive results.
The 8-Band Research Challenge
DigitalGlobes Inaugural 8-Band Research
Challenge represents an unprecedented collab-
oration between private enterprise and the
scientific community to understand the power
of the additional spectral focus of 8-Band
imagery and support its usability in the com-
mercial market.
Overall enthusiasm for the challenge is very
high, with researchers from over 70 countries
planning to explore potential applications for
8-Band data. DigitalGlobe is leading the way
through technology and ingenuity to bring the
most advanced imagery products and solutions
to the marketplace.
Read our whitepaper, download sample
imagery and get technical specifications on
WorldView-2 and the 8-Band sensors at
Ian Gilbert, Marketing Communications Manager
Internet: www.digitalglobe.com
studies are revealing that through supervised
classification techniques, bathymetry can be
accurately calculated within 1 meter, down to
depths of 30 meters in clear coastal waters.
While these techniques do require a limited
amount of ground truth in order to achieve this
degree of accuracy, the speed and scale that
can be achieved creates some remarkable pos-
sibilities in areas such as post disaster map-
In the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, massive
amounts of debris washed off shore and settl -
ed in the Mississippi Sound. Over the course
of several months, a NOAA funded sonar sur-
vey covered approximately 114 square nautical
miles and identified over 1300 sonar contacts
that created potential hazards to ships navigat-
ing throughout the Sound.
In a situation like this, 8-Band imagery, in con-
junction with a small fraction of the sonar sur-
vey data, could create accurate bathymetric
measurements over hundreds of square miles
of coastline in days vs. months. It would also
provide accurate assessments of marine haz-
ards which could be used to rapidly update the
nautical chart for the entire region.
With the costs of deriving bathymetry from 8-
Band imagery being substantially less than
those of conducting an exhaustive sonar sur-
vey, it becomes a very effective and efficient
tool for responding to this type of challenge.
Future Research
In many ways, the full capabilities of 8-Band
imagery are still to be exploited. Some
Latest News? Visit www.geoinformatics.com
Ar t i cl e
October/November 2010
Blue Mosque, Istanbul Turkey
Dubai Burj
SimActives Correlator3D Software
Making Photogrammetry Efficient
This article presents SimActives collaboration with the Canadian Department of
National Defence to develop a new generation of photogrammetric software to meet
the growing needs of the geospatial industry. After several years of research and
development, SimActive designed Correlator3D. This software suite allows the auto-
matic generation and manual editing of DSMs, DTMs and orthomosaics from aerial
and satellite imagery.
By Philippe Simard and Franois Lemieux
Back in 2004, the Canadian Department of
National Defence (DND) had just acquired sev-
eral medium-format digital camera systems
with integrated GPS/IMU. Such systems were
relatively new in the market with scanned-
films still being a major source of aerial data.
These new camera systems were providing
them the capability to acquire vast amounts
of high-resolution aerial imagery in very short
periods of time, solving one of their main
issues i.e. fast image data acquisition. But
one important challenge still remained: pro-
cessing the raw imagery into useful informa-
tion (e.g. DSMs, DTMs and orthomosaics)
accurately and efficiently. DND did own tradi-
tional photogrammetry tools, but had very
few personnel able to operate them efficient-
ly. Moreover, they faced the problem of team
shifts every few months with current person-
nel being sent for missions worldwide (e.g.
Afghanistan) while replacement teams lacked
the proper training and experience necessary
to use photogrammetry software. These situ-
ations combined resulted in the inability to
fully exploit their camera systems.
Building on Innovation
In collaboration with Defence Research and
Development Canada (DRDC) Valcartier,
SimActive was contracted in 2004 by DND to
develop a technology that would facilitate and
accelerate their photogrammetry processes,
while providing equal or better quality of
results. The objective consisted of profiting
from SimActives patented technology, origi-
nally designed for real-time processing of
imagery, and adapting it for data production.
DND requirements for a new generation of
photogrammetry tools were straightforward
and perfectly aligned with commercial market
needs: simplicity, extremely fast processing
speeds and high accuracy.
Correlator3D Software
After more than five years of research and
development, SimActive officially released
Correlator3D software in 2009 to address the
needs of the geospatial industry. The pho-
togrammetry suite includes different proces -
sing modules to automatically generate DSMs,
DTMs and orthomosaics. It also features
manual tools for editing DEMs and mosaic
seamlines. Correlator3D builds on patented
computer vision algorithms that significantly
differ from traditional photogrammetry tech-
niques. As a result, rapid processing is
achieved with a highly simplified user inter-
face, where only inputs and outputs need to
be specified.
Originally developed for aerial cameras, the
software was recently adapted for satellite
imagery and the new version (3.0) was
released last September. Being modular and
supporting standard data formats (inputs and
outputs), the software can easily fit into any
existing workflow. Batch processing is also
supported through simple scripts enabling
users to run several projects and process mul-
tiple tasks with no human intervention nec-
Usual Workflow
Typically, Correlator3D is first used for creat-
ing a DSM from overlapping images by auto-
correlation. Horizontal resolutions for the
resulting DSMs are five times the ground sam-
ple distance (GSD) of the input imagery with
an associated vertical accuracy of one GSD.
Ar t i cl e
October/November 2010
Figure 1: Orthorectified aerial image (panchro-
matic with 8cm resolution).
Once a DSM is available, a DTM is extracted
by filtering out elevated features such as
buildings and vegetation. Depending on the
end-users requirements, small touch-ups (e.g.
adjusting the elevation of waterbodies) may
be manually performed using the softwares
DEM Editing module. Individual orthophotos
are then created, typically based on the DTM,
and have an associated horizontal accuracy
of one GSD. Finally, the orthophotos can be
automatically merged together forming a
mosaic. Multiple algorithms calculate seam-
lines and color adjustments to ensure a seam-
less result. The seamlines can be manually
adjusted using a highly intuitive visual inter-
Technological Breakthroughs
SimActives software has benefited from
numerous technological advances. A major
one is in the way DSMs are generated.
Traditional approaches first find correspond-
ing pixels from overlapping images through
image correlation and then calculate elevation
values from triangulation. This can be referred
to as a bottom-up approach meaning that
elevation values are derived from image mea-
surements. Correlator3D instead uses a top-
down approach where a solution (i.e. DSM)
is derived to explain the measurements (i.e.
images). As opposed to searching for match-
ing points in the imagery and then triangulat-
ing, elevation values on the DEM are refined
until they correspond with what is observed
in the imagery, solving the correlation prob-
Military Use
DND was the first to adopt the software for its
data production purposes. The organization is
internationally known from military spheres for
being highly competent in the field of mapping
and for bringing cutting-edge technologies into
operational environments. In collaboration with
other NATO countries, DND production teams
work on projects in different parts of the world
such as Afghanistan, Sudan and Haiti. Using
several licenses in parallel, Correlator3D is used
by DND to efficiently process thousands of
images within very short periods of time.
Associated benefits at the operational level
include better support of intelligence require-
ments, improved decision making and high
fidelity information for training / mission
Customer Base
Since the beginning of the products commer-
cialisation last year, SimActive has already sold
over 100 licenses internationally. Because of its
simplicity, Correlator3D users come from differ-
ent sectors (e.g. engineering, agriculture,
forestry, military and government) and do not
necessarily have a background in photogram-
metry. End-user applications are diversified and
include for example forest inventory, soil ero-
sion control and watershed analysis. North
American markets including Canada and the
USA have embraced SimActive technology with
customers ranging from data acquisition / pro-
duction companies to governmental users.
Within the Asian market, Correlator3D was
adopted by multiple Japanese organizations.
In addition, artificial intelligence was brought
to the software to automatically specify
parameters during processing, instead of hav-
ing users manually set them. This has allowed
a significantly simpler user interface, without
compromising user flexibility. For producing
orthomosaics, a new technology was devel-
oped to automatically create intelligent seam-
lines. The resulting seamlines systematically
weave around structures, resulting in extreme-
ly precise mosaics with seamless transitions.
The seamlines can be interactively altered
with instant visual feedback. The software
also allows real-time updating of the final
mosaic during modifications, as opposed to
regenerating the entire project only after
changes have been performed.
GPU Processing
SimActive is the first and only photogrammetry
software to successfully integrate the graphics
processing unit (GPU) in DSM generation. GPUs
offer extremely high processing power with very
high numbers of parallel processors, making
them ideal candidates for autocorrelation.
Images are thus loaded into the GPU memory
on a pair-by-pair basis, significantly reducing
memory constraints on the system. DSM patch-
es corresponding to each pair of images are
then created and stored on disk. Resulting
overlapping DSM patches are finally optimized
and merged. Combining overlapping elevation
values in such a way serves to improve the
overall accuracy of the DSM, without having to
actually process blocks of images as required
by traditional multi-ray techniques.
Latest News? Visit www.geoinformatics.com
Ar t i cl e
October/November 2010
Figure 2: DSM generated from aerial images (40cm grid spacing).
Japan has some of the worlds most rigorous
requirements due to very dense urban areas
and mountainous terrains. Consequently, pro-
cessing such regions effectively with a high
degree of accuracy requires a highly robust soft-
ware package. Likewise, European markets
have grown to appreciate the advantages
Correlator3D has come to offer with customers
from geographical sectors and research institu-
tions among others.
Current R&D Efforts
SimActives Correlator3D software has made
photogrammetry processes much more efficient
through innovative algorithms that enable faster
processing with minimal user interaction. To fur-
ther improve data production, the company has
just started a new three year R&D program with
DND to develop a technology for the automat-
ic extraction of high-level geospatial informa-
tion from imagery. The primary goals of the pro-
ject are to develop software capabilities for the
generation of 3D data in vector form (e.g. ter-
rain breaklines and buildings) and the classifi-
cation of surfaces by types (e.g. roads, water-
bodies and buildings). Simplifying such tasks
will render data production much more efficient,
decrease associated costs and ultimately, make
geospatial data even more accessible.
Dr Philippe Simard, SimActive.
Franois Lemieux, Defence Research and
Development Canada Valcartier
Ar t i cl e
October/November 2010
Figure 3: Correlator3D user interface.
Capture geo-referenced
360 degree images
and point clouds with any
car in your eet

Quality Assessment
Of Volunteered Geographic Information
This article summarises the findings of the master thesis Quality assurance of
crowdsourced geocoded address-data within OpenAddresses. Concepts and
By Hans-Jrg Stark
Geocoded address data are of high value as
reference datasets for a broad range of appli-
cations such as delivery services, emergency
services, business mapping, etc. However, its
value depends heavily on its quality: it must
provide quality in terms of positional accura-
cy, correct spelling and currency. If quality of
the reference dataset is poor the resulting
geocoding results will implicitly be equally
poor. In European countries, especially
German speaking countries, high quality geo-
data is available through either public or com-
mercial organisations (Auer and Zipf 2009) but
their cost is high. This situation led to the
conception and implementation of the open
geo-data project OpenAddresses (OA) in 2007,
the aim of which is to collect geocoded
addresses as volunteered geographic informa-
tion (VGI) in a central database.
As useful as the integration of volunteers into
information collection may be, the quality of
the gathered information remains a valid con-
cern. According to Agichtein et al. (2008: 183)
The quality of user-generated content varies
drastically from excellent to abuse and spam.
The acceptance of (spatial) data in general by
the user community depends heavily on the
datas quality. Thus research in the field of
quality assurance of VGI is necessary.
The ISO/TC 211 19100 family standards pro-
vide a framework to assure and document the
quality of geo-spatial information. These stan-
dards serve as a framework in conceptualis-
ing, assessing and documenting the quality
of spatial data. They are used as reference in
the conception of quality assurance of OA.
Approach of Quality Assessment of Open -
To assess the quality of OA a reference dataset
or service must cover the complete area of
investigation. Originally, OA was focussed
solely on Swiss address data. However, since
OA has received more and more international
contributions, in addition to being openly the
reference resource should also provide inter-
national data. Therefore, Open Web Map
Services (OWMS) such as Google Maps, Bing
Maps and Yahoo! Maps are used as the refer-
ence data-set. Hence their suitability for the
task of quality assessment for OA is investi-
gated. The challenge in this context is that
the dataset to be assessed claims to have
higher accuracy than the reference dataset
which it is compared to.
Two basic steps are necessary to perform the
quality assessment of OA with OWMS: Firstly
the three introduced OWMS must themselves
be assessed individually. Secondly it must be
determined how the results of the OWMS
assessment can be used to appraise each
address collected in the OA project.
Volunteered Geographic Information
The general concept of volunteer-contributed
geographic information has been described
by many authors and is well documented. In
the area of community based VGI, in which
OA is located, the most prominent project is
certainly OpenStreetMap (OSM). But there is
also the area of commercially oriented VGI,
i.e., enterprises that take advantage of VGI
data for commercial gain.
Geocoded Address Data
In business mapping and other fields, high-
resolution geocoded address data are often
used to analyze spatial distributions, cus-
tomer densities, etc. Address gazetteers and
administrative units also take advantage of
these data. In health geography and epidemi-
ology micro-geographic analyses based on
geocoded address-data are now common.
Most importantly, this form of analysis
demands not only high spatial accuracy for
each application area but also completeness
of the reference data.
Quality Assessment in general
The term quality expresses various unquan-
tifiable characteristics, and no consensus can
be found among experts on a single defini-
tion. For some people, a high-quality product
is one without errors; for others it is one that
meets the expectations of a consumer. In the
context of spatial data, the term fitness for
use is used quite often. It means that, used
Ar t i cl e
October/November 2010
Figure 1. Map excerpt showing OWMS derived locations versus true locations
of addresses in Basel at Gellertstrasse.
in different contexts, the same product may
conform to one contexts quality requirements
but not to anothers. Due to the characteris-
tics of OA as a dynamic project the focus is
on accuracy in terms of attribute and spatial
accuracy. Attribute correctness mainly consists
of completeness of information and correct
spelling while spatial accuracy is defined as
the deviation or error distance of the true
location and - in the case of OWMS assess-
ment - the location provided by the OWMS
geocoder or - in the case of OA - the user
entered position. Figure 1 illustrates how
buildings are located along a street in the
sample of Gellertstrasse in Basel. Some build-
ings are close to the street, others are farther
away etc. Such characteristics have a direct
impact on the quality of street geocoding
results. Implicitly the error distances can vary
greatly for street-based (linear) geocoding
algorithms that are used within OWMS.
Additionally, the issue of malicious data entry
must be addressed. There is a potential with-
attribute completeness.
Error distances were investigated in more
detail to obtain the best possible estimators
of threshold values for each OWMS with
regard to the OA data quality assessment.
Following Zimmerman et al. (2007), differ-
ences in x and y error distance directions for
each address are analysed. ISO/TC 211:19138
(2006, p. 42) suggests the application of a
threshold value emax to determine the mean
value of positional uncertainties excluding
Because the range of deviations can vary
greatly (cf. Figure 1) setting a precise defini-
tion for emax is difficult. The approach to
determining emax involved analysing x- and
y- components of deviations. To exclude gross
errors, only addresses whose x- and y- parts
of the deviation are within 95% of the total
number of values were considered for analy-
sis. The analysis of the deviations distribu-
tion in x- and y-directions for each OWMS is
shown exemplarily in Figures 2 and 3 for Bing
The definition of emax is derived from the
computed values of the 95% Quantile in x-
and y-direction for each OWMS. To evaluate
reasonable estimators for threshold values for
the quality assessment of positional accuracy
in OA, the maximum distance of the 95%
quantile in x- and y-directions defines the
threshold to determine outliers (cf. Table 1).
It must be emphasised at this point that the
presented findings and figures apply primari-
ly to Switzerland. In other countries data qual-
ity of OWMS may vary and thus threshold val-
ues should be assessed accordingly (cf.
Quality Assessment of
Unlike the OWMS assessment the quality
assessment of OA is dynamic, i.e., a new
address that is entered or an existing one that
is altered shall be assessed immediately. The
basic idea is to send the user entered address
parameter values to the three OWMS and
evaluate the returned OWMS information. If
the spelling of the user entered address val-
ues match with those of the OWMS returned
values it can be assumed that the address
values were entered correctly. A binary
approach is applied for attribute accuracy.
in any VGI project that data is
intentionally falsified as an act of
vandalism. This could mean that
address values are incorrect or
that addresses are positioned
incorrectly. The presented ap -
proach proved that with the use
of OWMS, such malicious data
can be detected or at least indi-
cated in OA.
From the ISO/TC 211 19100 family
standards ISO/TC 211:19113 (2001)
(Quality principles), ISO/TC
211:19114 (2001) (Quality evalua-
tion procedures) and ISO/TC
211:19138 (2006) (data quality
measures) are applied in the
quality assessment process.
In order to serve as reference for the assess-
ment process of OA the above mentioned
three OWMS must be assessed. A complete
dataset of geocoded addresses of the Canton
of Solothurn (cadastral data consisting of
93,623 addresses) serves as the reference
data for this first quality assessment (OWMS
Open Web Map Services
All three OWMSs discussed provide applica-
tion programming interfaces (APIs) offering a
range of actions to be
taken by the client among
which is geocoding. Since
all three OWMS use both
different spatial datasets
as reference data and dif-
ferent geocoding algo-
rithms their geocoding results are not equal
for the same address. Figure 1 presents a
number of sample addresses in Basels
Gellertstrasse, showing clearly the differences
of the three OWMS geocoding
Quality Assessment of
Open Web Map Services
Attribute and Spatial Accuracy
Each of the referece addresses is
geocoded by all three OWMS,
stored in a database and investi-
gated on its attribute complete-
ness and its error distance.
Certain constraints were applied
to yield the best possible error
distance not biased by either bad
geocoding quality or bad themat-
ic accuracy. None of the three
OWMS geocoders achieved 100%
Latest News? Visit www.geoinformatics.com
Ar t i cl e
October/November 2010
Figure 2. Histogram of x- direction deviations for Bing Maps
Figure 3. Histogram of y- direction deviations for Bing Maps
Table 1. Threshold values for quality assessment of OA data for positional
In terms of positional accuracy the user
entered position is compared to the OWMS
returned positions for the specific address.
The computed error distance - user entered
position versus OWMS position - is compared
to the corresponding threshold values for
each OWMS.
Proof of concept
In order to test whether the OWMS quality
assessment was successful and serves as a ref-
erence for the quality assessment of OA data a
set of test-addresses was used. These test-
addresses were classified into three categories:
the first category contained addresses with cor-
rect locations, the second category contained
addresses with small positional errors (e.g. the
position was defined as slightly outside the
building) while the third category contained
addresses with gross positional errors. For all
addresses the address parameter values were
entered without errors.
The goal of the test was to evaluate whether
a) correct addresses were indicated as correct,
b) addresses with gross positional errors
(=malicious edits) could be detected and c)
whether this OWMS based approach is able to
detect addresses with small positional errors.
User entered address parameter values are con-
sidered correct if at least one of the three
OWMS returns a true match for these values.
This leads to the result that statements on the
correctness of attribute values of addresses are
reliable in around 77%. This is because of the
strict binary comparison algorithm that was
applied. Especially when adding characters to
house numbers (e.g. 37a) OWMS geocoders
do not return identical values and thus user
entered input is erroneously classified as poten-
tially wrong. However in only 23% an addition-
al manual check of the entered values must -
erroneously - be conducted. Since this is a Type
I error (false positives) it causes only unneces-
sary effort but does not harm the quality of the
Positional accuracy is more difficult to assess
because error distances between true location
and OWMS interpolated location vary greatly.
Two constraints are applied for the spatial qual-
ity assessment: one regarding deviations, the
other regarding OWMS geocoding level infor-
mation. The first constraint correctly classifies
none of the maliciously misreported addresses
as correct. The second constraint correctly iden-
tifies 92.7% of addresses with gross positional
errors. Small positional errors could not be
detected with this approach. There must be fur-
ther research to find alternative approaches to
handle addresses with small positional errors.
In order to post-process the entered or altered
addresses a web-based user interface is avail-
able that lists the latest addresses along with
the values of their quality assessment
(cf. Figure 4). This interface both indicates the
attribute conformance and the computed error
distance along with a colour-coded rating. A
small map offers a visual control of the user
entered position.
The presented work approves that a less accu-
rate reference dataset can help in assessing
a better dataset in terms of being an indica-
tor especially for gross errors.
Since OA is operating globally a concept of
"global quality managers" could be evaluat-
ed. This means that for certain regions or
countries qualified and identified persons act
as quality managers. In this case further inves-
tigation on the threshold values must be con-
ducted for each country or region.
Hans-Jrg Stark, University of Applied Sciences
Northwestern Switzerland, Institute of Geomatics
Engineering, Muttenz, Switzerland,
This article is an edited version of a scientific paper
presented at FOSS4G2010. For a full version of this
paper, complete with references, please refer to
Ar t i cl e
October/November 2010
Figure 4. Overview of OpenAddresses quality assessment
From Imagery to Map
Xth Anniversary Racurs Conference
Italy was the stage for this years Racurs
Conference. Gaeta, an ancient village near Naples
was the location where participants could enjoy the
international scientific and technical conference
organized by Racurs. This years conference was visit-
ed by 100 specialists in the field of photogrammetry
and remote sensing, from 19 different countries, mak-
ing this a truly international event. A three-day pro-
gram of presentations and workshops was comple-
mented with social events, such as an excursion to Naples and Pompeii, as well as a sports event and gala dinner.
By Eric van Rees
The first two days of the conference were
meant for presentations of different sorts,
grouped by themes such as regional and cor-
porate projects, digital cameras and aerial
equipment. This report features a selection of
topics discussed during the presentations.
Spatial Data Infrastructure in Italy
Renzo Carlucci (editor of GEOmedia, an Italian
publication) made an interesting comparison
between the national infrastructure of geospa-
tial data in both Italy and the US. Although this
comparison is not equal for a number of rea-
sons, it became clear that Italy lacks a central
body such as the FGDC (Federal Geographic
Data Committee) in the US. Whereas the US
does not yet have a national GSDI, Italy is
involved in the INSPIRE program, but the situa-
tion between state and regions has suffered a
lot in the past. Italys current situation can be
described as a transition from the traditional
cartographic school to the new digital spatial
infrastructure. Carlucci noticed a lack of interest
among politicians in establishing a masters
degree program in geomatics at Italian univer-
sities, with the result that the job market is suf-
fering as there are too few young employees
to fill the positions available.
10 Years of Racurs Conference
Continuing this series of contemplative pre-
sentations was an address by Victor Adrov,
Managing Director at Racurs, who focused on
the past Racurs Conferences. His recollections
held many good memories of previous loca-
tions and particular events. His speech
showed that this is a special sort of confer-
ence, since a lot of visitors are regulars or
family, as one visitor told me during a cof-
fee break. Adrov mentioned the increasing
number of specialists that participate in the
conference, as well as the still growing user
base of PHOTOMOD, now at around 5000.
October/November 2010
Group photo
Adrovs presentation followed a similar one
by Gottfried Konecny on 100 years of ISPRS,
which was in fact something of a university
course on the scientific development of pho-
togrammetry. Not only was the technology
covered but also its practitioners, and even
its political context.
Topographic Map Update Issues
Konecnys second presentation on the first
conference day focused on topographic map
update issues. He compared the costs of
orthophoto mapping and line mapping by
outlining all the various costs involved in
producing an orthophoto map: aerial photog-
raphy, optional scanning of aerial photos,
aerial triangulation, creating a digital eleva-
tion model via image correlation, digital
orthophoto production and vectorization in
both 2D and 3D. A comparison between
orthophoto mapping and line mapping
showed that orthophoto mapping is at least
three to five times cheaper than line map-
ping, and as such can serve as a map sub-
stitute. But, since analysis capacities by a GIS
are required, one tends to opt for line map-
ping. Therefore, attempts are made towards
automatic feature extraction, but, since this
is not possible to 100% accuracy, statistically
controlled partial automation is desired.
According to the speaker, at this stage it can
save 2/3 of the manual effort.
After this statement, Konecny analyzed dif-
ferent scenarios in different parts of the world
where Land Management takes place:
whether or not a base map is used and/or
updated and the technology that is used to
do this. For instance, in African countries,
satellite imagery is used to map and update
slums that are not on cadastral maps since
they are not legal and thus not on any offi-
cial maps.
3D/4D City Modeling
Armin Gruen is a new face among the Racurs
conference participants and he delivered two
presentations on the first conference day.
3D/4D City Modeling: progress and prospect-
s was the title of the first one, which opened
with a comment on the name of the confer-
ence (From imagery to map:digital photo -
gremmetric technologies), questioning the
use of the map. This has everything to do
with the topic of modeling, which nowadays
can be seen as a substitute for a map, at
least in terms of an end product.
Gruen is associated with the Institute of
Conservation and Building Research of the
ETH Zurich, where a lot of research on city
modeling takes place. Known from the CAD
world is the concept of BIM (Building
Information Models), which comprises geom-
These are used for the analysis of life cycles
of building stocks and flows, which means
the change of models over time, by updat-
ing the models.
Gruen devoted some time in his presenta-
tion to CyberCity-Modeler, a methodology
and software for semi-automated object
extraction and modeling of built-up environ-
ments using imagery from satellite, aerial
and terrestrial platforms. Nowadays these
city models are used by a wide range of
industry professionals (such as city planners,
for environmental studies) and Gruen states
that interesting markets are expected in the
entertainment and infotainment industries
(video games, movies).
Reality-based 3D city modeling involves the
following data acquisition techniques: scan-
etry, topology, semantics, the appearance of
individual buildings and also whole cities.
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October/November 2010
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Victor Adrov during the Conference opening
ning of maps, laserscanning
from airborne or terrestrial plat-
forms and photogrammetry
(satellite, aerial and terrestrial).
Com binations of all three are
also possible. Depending on a
number of criteria, a 3D city
model may be done quick and
dirty or can have a high quality
level in terms of accuracy, topo-
logical correctness or complete-
ness. Its easy to cheat, espe-
cially with textures.
Texturing Matters
Gruen is critical to the notion of
people who claim you can do
automated 3D city models with
high quality. A new initiative is
Google Building Maker for creat-
ing buildings online, but it can-
not do what professionals expect
from it. Some examples of new
initiatives show his point: from
a distance, a lot of 3D buildings
look okay, but when you zoom in, you see
that details are wrong, for instance facades
that are copied incorrectly to cover the whole
of the outside of a building.
Since 1989, photogrammetry has been used
for automatic building extraction. This process
consists of three steps: detection (recognition
of a building), reconstruction (generation of a
3D description at a desired level of detail) and
attribution (assigning of descriptive elements,
like the type and usage of a building). As for
the current state of research, Gruen stated
that there are many automatic procedures, but
they are not usable in practice. As for semi-
automatic procedures, there are not very
many of these and system manufacturers are
waiting in line for them. The main problems
concerning automated reconstruction have to
do with image interpretation, the automated
control of the level of detail and the correct
topology. Since there is currently no progress
in automated image interpretation, a way out
of this situation may be a multiple sen-
sor/data approach, by developing semi-auto-
mated methods. An example of this is semi-
automated facade texturing by using oblique
aerial images. In concluding his presentation,
Gruen hinted at his second presentation that
day, namely by mentioning helicopters and
unmanned vehicles for photogrammetric
As to be expected, a large part of the confer-
ence was devoted to PHOTOMOD, the flagship
product developed by Racurs. The latest ver-
sion 5.0 was discussed in detail having been
originally presented last year at the 2009 con-
ference. A number of new features were given
particular attention, as well as the companys
road map for future releases.
Dmitry Kochergin of Racurs spoke about PHO-
TOMOD today and tomorrow: looking back at
the release of version 5.0, he stated several
of the premises for this release at that time:
requirements for project format optimization
for tens or hundreds of thousands of images
per block, a need for more open resource sys-
tem and data formats, optimized for network
distributed processing and a need for work-
flow change, eliminating rigid sequence of
processing stages.
The first release of version 5.0 included a
number of highlights, such as no limits for
image size, full 16-bit raster support, dynam-
ic rebuilding of TIN while editing, a new user-
friendly interface of tie point manual mea-
surements and direct working with the source
The main changes from last year are auto-
matic DTM creation algorithm improvements,
new powerful DTM filters (removing build-
ings and vegetation), and an increase (2x) in
the speed of the automatic AT process. In
addition, high quality smooth contour lines,
more distributed processing (adding images,
orthomasaicking, DTM, AAT) and VisionMap
A3 sensor support have also seen improve-
ments. Smaller changes include self-calibra-
tion procedure enhancements, more start
approaches for bundle adjustments, speeding
up raster visualization and RapidEye sensor
support, among others.
In a couple of months,
version 5.1 is expected,
which will include dense
DTM creation and filter-
ing, a new autoseams
algorithm in PHOTOMOD
Mosaic, Lidar data con-
version to the DEM of
unlimited size and 3-
DAS-1 sensor support.
For the future, the com-
pany promises final inte-
gration of all systems
modules in one environ-
ment, a full 64-bit system
version, feature-based
correlator modifications,
DSM and True-Ortho
improvements, Lidar-ori-
ented module develop-
ing, full multi-sensor tri-
angulation and more.
After this look into the
future of PHOTOMOD, more
user-oriented presenta-
tions followed, such as Effective techniques
for working in PHOTOMOD by Alexandra Kiseleva
of Racurs.
The second conference day started with a
series of project presentations by PHOTOMOD
users. An example was a project on the map-
ping of biodiversity in the Aspromonte
National Park (Italy) where PHOTOMOD was used.
In Greece, photogrammetry is taught with PHO-
TOMOD in the National Technical University of
Other presentations during the second day
were held by Andrey Shumakov (GeoEye USA),
Pawel Ziemba (DigitalGlobe UK), Olga
Gershenzon (ScanEx), Milana Elerdova and
Olga Kolesnikova (both from Sovzond) and
Yury Baranov (Gazprom VNIIGAZ), among oth-
ers. Topics ranged from development of on-
line services based on space imagery data
and web technology, creating regional geo-
portals using earth remote sensing data, and
the generation of digital elevation models and
detection of surface movements via space
radar interferometry.
The third conference day consisted of three
master classes and business meetings.
Participants were shown new algorithms for
automatic DTM creation in PHOTOMOD 5.0, how
to set up data storages, adding imagery and
distributed processing, as well as whats new
in the software package PHOTOMOD radar.
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October/November 2010
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Transition as a Key Issue
2010 BAE Systems GXP Regional
User Conference
Cambridge, UK served as the stage for a three-day regional user conference by BAE Systems, a global defense, security
and aerospace company. This user conference focused mainly on the geospatial products and services of the company,
SOCET SET and SOCET GXP, the last one a new release, as well as a preview of a future release.
By Eric van Rees
Transition is a key issue said Nigel
Lambton, who is Director Marketing & Sales
Geospatial eXploitation Products (GXP) for
EMEA (Europe, Middle East, and Africa), when
opening the 2010 BAE Systems GXP Regional
User Conference. The location for this event
was Clare College, Cambridge, UK. For three
days, a program was put together where visi-
tors could distill their own program. Indeed,
there is a lot of transition for BAE Systems,
that is moving from a small company to a big
company but at the same time working hard
to keep that small company feel as Lambton
put it. Last year the company added training
centers in various places in the US, and this
year a training center is planned in Cambridge.
In terms of products, the company is in transi-
tion as well. A few times during the first day it
was mentioned that the company wants to
retire its software product SOCET SET in 2012 and
is trying to make it easy for users to change
to SOCET GXP. This statement was followed by a
number of reasons to move to SOCET GXP, for
instance the inclusion of more functionality,
compared to SOCET SET, in a number of product
Volumes of Data
Interesting was the user perspective, brought by
Ian Wood, officer commanding the national
imagery exploitation center (JARIC). His informa-
tive and pointed speech was titled A UK
Intelligence perspective. Apart from showing 3D
models and aerial photographs of a new soon
to be built imagery center where image analyst
and geospatial analysts can work side by side,
he shared his thoughts on trends and challenges
in the imagery industry. Not surprisingly, the data
volume is growing exponentially, which caused
him to ask how to move and manage all the
data collected? Not only is the volume of data
exploding, the time in which it is captured is
compressed. Also, because there are so many
different sensors on the market, not everyone
knows which one is suitable for which purpose.
The bottom line is that no single sensor covers
all scenarios. He concluded his speech by men-
tioning creative tensions in the imagery indus-
try, like finding a balance between platforms and
networks, as well as speed versus protection,
meaning opposing the security risks against the
speed in which information is brought to the
right place in the decision/action cycle.
Live Demos
The larger part of the afternoon of the opening
day was reserved for a preview of the work-
October/November 2010
shops to be held over the next few days, which
have everything to do with SOCET GXP v3.2. By
combining information analysis with geospatial
analysis, it is no longer necessary to use sepa-
rate products but just one single product. Also,
other disciplines were covered as well, such as
GIS, remote sensing and MASINT/AGI
(Measurement and Signature Intelli gen -
ce/Advanced Geospatial Intelligence). The
release date for SOCET GXP v3.2 is December 2010
and it is planned to ship in January 2011.
The live demos showed what you can do with
SOCET GXP v3.2, and that was quite a lot. In fact,
the demos often seemed a bit rushed, leaving
participants no time to read all the fully-typed
PowerPoint slides with long enumerations of all
the available features. What was interesting is
that during the demos the time and place for
the corresponding demos for the next day were
mentioned, so that you could have a nice sneak
preview of what was to come. Participants were
with all its flashy live demos shown earlier in
the afternoon, but its important nonetheless.
The software can be used for finding the data
you need, to see what data is available and
how to store and share that data. It creates a
data catalog that can also be shared for feder-
ated searches. Both a desktop interface and a
web-based interface are also available. A ver-
sion 2.0 of GXP Xplorer is planned for December
The second conference day was mainly about
a series of parallel workshops where users of
SOCET GXP and SOCET SET could see the different
aspects of SOCET GXP v.3.2. In the ninety-minute
workshops there was more than enough time
to discuss in detail what the new features are
and how the software works, through the use
of live demos. The person behind the laptop
was tested more than once by participants who
asked for an on-the-spot demonstration of cer-
tain features.
The workshop for image analysts showed some
interesting things too, particularly building mod-
eling and automated building extraction. As to
be expected, after seeing the tools for model-
ing buildings in 3D (meaning the exterior), par-
ticipants asked for tools to model the interior
as well, but this is not what SOCET GXP is all
about. Also interesting were height measure-
ments that can be done automatically with just
a few mouse clicks. Other demos during this
workshop were about graphic labeling, pan-
sharpening, grid and TIN editing. The list of
tools that can be used for image analysis is
long, in fact so long that only a few were shown
during the workshop.
FME Integration
As can be seen with other companies in the
geospatial industry, BAE Systems promises
support for 250-plus data formats by team-
ing with Safe Software and integrating FME
in their software. Also, exports of ones work
in SOCET GXP to Google Earth can be done quite
easily. For this, special workshops were held
on API updates and working with SOCET GXP
v3.2, the Esri geodatabase and Google Earth,
in addition to the particular workshop for the
image analyst.
As for the remainder of this conference, the
last conference day included two separate
tracks of case studies (commercial and mili-
tary). The company has a lot more in store,
as could be seen by a preview of SOCET GXP
v4.0, planned for release in August 2011.
For more information, have a look at
shown some examples of advanced image anal-
ysis, terrain analysis, and video analysis
although not everything was ready for live
demo-ing so slides had to be used instead.
About the interface, it can be said that it looked
familiar because of the use of the Microsoft-
developed ribbon that has also been adopted
by Esri. Although definitely not something for
beginners, the live demos showed a minimum
of mouse clicks or typing to get the results of
an operation. Also, not once did a system crash
or not work properly.
The Web
In line with present-day technology, the possi-
bilities of the web were also deployed with
web-based solutions. For this, a new product
had been launched in June this year, GXP
Xplorer, replacing an older module called VCT
(Visual Coverage Tool). The topic data manage-
ment may not be as flashy as image analysis,
Latest News? Visit www.geoinformatics.com
October/November 2010
Conference break
Intergraph User Conference 2010
The Wind of Change
Exciting news out of Intergraph 2010: the announcement of the acquisition by Hexagon,
mother company of Leica Geosystems and ERDAS, among others.
By Remco Takken
In this stage, the $2.13 billion transaction
still has to be approved by legal institutions
and other official parties, but it will turn out
to be one of the main events in the geo world
in 2010. Alas, with the deal not yet closed
until the fourth quarter, few future Hexagon
plans could be revealed to the 2,000
Intergraph users present at the user confer-
ence in Las Vegas.
During the many presentations, workshops
and whats new sessions, though, it became
clear that many possibilities exist to integrate
Leica Geosystems, ERDAS and Intergraph prod-
Integrating the Hexagon Portfolio
The opening keynotes at Intergraph 2010
included the announcement of Hexagons
President and CEO Ola Rolln as the new
Intergraph CEO upon closing of the acquisi-
tion. Although his typically understated pre-
sentation style shows a huge change of tone
for the decidedly American company, Rolln,
himself pointed out that Hexagons vision of
capturing, processing and showing should
sound familiar to all Intergraph users. Of
course, in his keynote, he pointed out the
possibility of integrating the photogrammet-
ric solutions of Hexagons ERDAS portfolio with-
in Intergraphs Security, Government &
Infrastructure (SG&I) division. Hexagon is not,
in Rollns words going after number one,
meaning market leader Esri. Notwithstanding
this, he easily tucked in some remarks about
ArcGIS in his opening speech. When asked,
during a separate press meeting, if there was
some kind of necessity for ERDAS to be
engaged with a favorite GIS platform, now
that Esri chose ITT/ ENVI as its preferred busi-
ness partner, Rolln emphasized the bigger
picture: We didnt do this two billion acqui-
sition just to acquire one solution. Indeed,
during this extensive press encounter, with-
out going into much detail, Rolln painted a
picture where all kinds of measurement tech-
nologies, already within Hexagon, could and
would merge together.
Big Announcements
Among the big announcements that were
made during the executive keynote speeches,
were CEO Halsey Wises and COO Reid Frenchs
withdrawals from the company. They have
been the masterminds of latter years policies
and plans within Intergraph. Effectively, they
took Intergraph from Wall Street in order to
bring the company under the umbrella of a
group of equity financing investors in 2006.
Their strategy of moving forward, in Halsey
Wises words, from the Now, Next and After
Next, became an ever-recurring theme in com-
pany overviews over the last years. Seen from
the outside, not too many big changes took
place from 2007 on, but the tightening up of
the separate Intergraph divisions, brought
more focus as an enterprise.
Even more important, in these difficult times,
tidy management kept business afloat during
the financial crisis. Whether the private equi-
ty fund itself was going through a hard time,
or whether it was just a good moment to sell,
was not disclosed.
In CEO Halsey Wises vision, in the lifecycle of
data creation through a data management-
centric strategy, theres little difference
between the two Intergraph divisions that
may appear wide apart at first glance. For
example, in plant lifecycle and public safety
incident management, the same responses
take place, Wise stated, Designing and build-
ing are on the same data creation level as
call-taking and records management. Design
data can be used throughout the lifecycle of
the plant asset just as incident data after the
initial response can used for intelligence and
proactive policing.
Growth in Asia
Most insightful was COO Reid Frenchs asser-
tion that Intergraph sees growth in Asia. With
markets already well-defined in America and
October/November 2010
Ola Rolln
Europe, both for Esri and for Intergraph,
French rightfully noted that Public safety is
a worldwide problem, as opposed to common
belief that it is an American problem. He
added, The public safety map is an original
Intergraph innovation from the Nineties. This
might be just a glimpse to where Intergraph
is headed.
Data Centred
In his key note address, Intergraph SG&I
President John Graham referred to the legacy
of silos,, which he sometimes recognized as
coming from earlier incarnations of Intergraph.
Halsey Wise brought them back together,
summarized Graham. He further asserted that
GIS is core to who we are and what we do
with a firm emphasis on incident management
and response, and analytics. He also did a
mental step back from vendorship:
Geospatial processing is not about selling
SAP, CRM or an Oracle database.
Today, Intergraph still exists of two main
cores: Process, Power & Marine (PP&M) and
SG&I. Intertwined in those divisions are CAD,
GIS and communication technologies, all in
good understanding that they are bonded
together by a data driven perspective.
While stating that he doesnt envision
Intergraph to go into multiple different mar-
kets, but instead bevery focused Graham
text, like smart phones and Blackberries.
Doherty elaborated: We should use those
form factors to deliver better tools.
GeoMedia 3D
At the heels of its GIS competitors, Intergraph
presented its 3D GIS solutions during three
daily repeat sessions on the subject. All were
fully booked.
The presenters heavily emphasized the real
GIS capabilities of the 3D solution: all fea-
ture classes present in traditional GIS data are
tightly integrated, and will still be valid, also
when extended to 3D. By constantly showing
regular GeoMedia functionality like Display
by Scale, the point was made that the learn-
ing curve of moving on to 3D would not be
too problematic for those already familiar with
GeoMedia (2D)software. Also, add-ons like
GeoMedia Grid, Transportation Manager will
normally work in 3D, As long as you dont
do something really funky, it should work out-
of-the-box, as the presenter of the demo
pointed out.
Among the new concepts is the elevation file
folder. In a series of demos, imports of 3D
buildings downloaded from the Internet
could be seen, as well as a wetlands analysis
based on full 3D navigation. Peeking through
the demo was a little plug of ERDAS Imagine-
format (IMG), which, through the Hexagon
acquisition, now belongs to the same prod-
uct portfolio as GeoMedia. Movie clips of
these 3D demos can be found on YouTube by
typing in Intergraph GeoMedia 3D.
concluded, In public infrastructure, I see
some low hanging fruit for the new
Hexagon constellation.
Trends and Directions, Fat versus
Mark Doherty, VP and CTO of Intergraph SG&I
observed that sensor integration will contin-
ue to grow within the context of public safe-
ty and security and monitoring. He took on a
more technical direction during his market
description of fat and thin clients. A thin client
is a computer (program) which depends heav-
ily on a server to fulfill its traditional compu-
tational roles. This stands in contrast to the
traditional fat client, a computer or software
designed to take on these roles by itself.
According to Doherty, the creation of services
and services infrastructures need to come
first, in order for users and customers to be
well prepared for the evolution from thick to
thin.. According to Doherty, fat clients are
still a vital part of Intergraphs solutions. By
enhancing those, Doherty predicted thin client
application services will become increasingly
He stated that Service Oriented Architectures
are still front and center in the worlds of
cloud computing and mobility, but he also
spoke of his wish to adapt some of the tech-
niques behind social media like Facebook and
Twitter within the context of public safety.
Doherty felt they mirror what we need in the
field. Other consumer trends and directions
could also work well in a professional con-
Latest News? Visit www.geoinformatics.com
October/November 2010
John Graham
COO Reid French
October/November 2010
Web Mapping
When deploying custom GIS-like applications
for the Web, typical problems and bottlenecks
may arise such as an inadequate Web server
or database server, insufficient bandwidth or
undersized client hardware.
Intergraphs Paul Deaver dove deep into best
practices for building GeoMedia Webmap
Custom Applications. While it is true that If
your application is slow, it will also run slow-
ly on fast, expensive hardware, it might on
the other hand occur that slow processors
give great performance with fast memory
disks. GeoMedia Webmap scales nicely on 64-
bit systems, though. Deaver advocated the
use of 64-bit systems. Leave 32-bit behind:
youll get full use of memory with 64-bit.
His presentation, which boasted The truth
about Windows Servers, Smart Configu -
ration Choices and Development with Style
was stacked with useful information and prac-
tical advice. In short, keep things simple,
elegant and organized, Deaver said, and never
forget to target standards, instead of target-
ing a particular vendor or a particular brows-
The new GeoMedia SDI Portal 6.1, GIS 4 EU
is a prime example of a ready-to-run Website
to view and query SDI data sources. While
essentially a Webmap Publisher configuration,
it acts as a consumer/ client of OGC WS ser-
vices or a Google/ Bing Maps overlay. While
Web mapping is slowly evolving into a com-
plete Service Oriented Architecture, it is inter-
esting to note that the SDI Portal is manage-
able via Windows Workflow Foundation and
Because it is natively running on 64-bit it can
handle large volumes of data. Intergraph pre-
sents it as a metadata-driven enterprise-
ready Web solution. SDI Portal 6.1 is released
as both Ajax and Silverlight editions.
Motion Video Integration
One of the more intriguing aspects of
Intergraph is its deep knowledge of digital
motion picture video. In a one-hour presenta-
tion, Intergraphs Elaine Woodling delved into
the Motion Video Exploitation solution. The
seamless coupling between aerial photogra-
phy, digital maps, call and response software
and moving pixels is truly unique in the geo
work field. In order to present the full depth
of this technology merge, an extensive article
on the subject will appear in a later issue of
News-laden Event
While Intergraph 2010 proved to be a news-
laden event, on the business side as well as
in the product portfolio, it is easy to see that
next years edition will be just as exciting. By
2011, longtime Intergraph partners will have
had some time to get accustomed to all kinds
of Hexagon products and innovations, be it
from geo corporations ERDAS and Leica or
some other sister company doing data cen-
tric measurements. Of course, it will also take
some time for Hexagon to fully comprehend
what it is that they have bought. One can only
assume that some surprising changes and
adjustments will be announced in years to
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A Report from Cologne
Intergeo 2010
Intergeo is advertised as the worlds largest event and communication platform for the geo-industry. This years edition, a
three-day event combining a conference and trade fair, attracted 17,500 visitors and 1,500 conference participants. More
than 500 exhibitors from 32 countries were present, making this event a good measure of the current state of the industry.
By Eric van Rees
The (geo)world comes to Cologne was this years slogan for Intergeo,
the worlds largest event for the geo-industry. Intergeo, held 5-7 October,
combines a conference and trade fair, where all the latest trends and
products in the field of geodesy, geoinformation and land management
are presented and discussed. This three-day event can be seen as a
good measure for the current state of the industry, and that of tomor-
row. The report presented here is meant to give a selective overview of
what was to be seen at the trade fair and the conference. Since there
are so many topics to cover here, one review wont do justice to the
event. In the near future, more reports will follow covering specific tech-
nical topics, such as airborne digital cameras presented at Intergeo.
Intergeo is advertised as the worlds largest event for geodesy, geo -
information and land management. In a press release from October 11,
it was mentioned that this year, the event attracted 17,500 visitors (with
25 per cent out of Germany) and 1,500 conference participants. To give
an idea of the trade fair, more than 500 exhibitors from 32 different
countries were present, all good for two halls full of exhibitors booths.
Since the number of exhibitors, participants and sold booth space
counts as an indication of how the industry as a whole is functioning,
the organization is positive for the future since things are starting to
look better. The trade fair is becoming more international as well: a
growing percentage of the exhibitors and visitors is coming from out-
side of Germany.
Looking at the geographic origin of the exhibitors, this years trade fair
had a China pavilion, with a large number of small booths of compa-
nies looking for distributors in Europe and/or clients. The previous issues
only counted a small number of Asian companies, that were operating
independently and were found all over the exhibition.
The thematic or geographic clustering is seen more during the exhibi-
tion the last few years. For instance, to operate more effectively, larger
booths from for instance Esri or Con Terra feature industry partners as
well. This years Esri booth featured partners as Cyclomedia and ITT,
with whom the company now is promoting the ITT Envi EX software.
Another example of the clustering is the OSGEO-Park, with a combined
October/November 2010
forumof a number of European open source activities.
This years conference featured a keynote speech by Esri President Jack
Dangermond, followed by FIG President Stig Enemark. Both attracted
an impressive amount of visitors, which caused the organization to think
about opportunities to integrate both conference and trade fair more
into the future.
Trade Fair
The trade fair and conference cover all the key trends that crop up along
the entire value-added chain from geo-based information surveys and
data processing to integrated applications. At the trade fair, a heavy
focus on data capturing can be noticed. In fact, mapping seems to be
something that is more and more substituted by 3D modeling, of which
there was a boom of companies the last couple of years, and that was
also reflected at Intergeo. Data capturing, whether through terrestrial
surveying instruments, digital airborne cameras, mobile mapping sys-
tems, laser scanning (LiDAR), dominate the trade fair. It is worth men-
tioning that some mobile mapping system providers admitted that the
modeling part is something that needs to be standardized, since at the
moment everyone is using their own data formats and software, which
is not something all the mobile system providers have in store (with
the exception of Cyclomedia).With the emergence of open source soft-
ware (at Intergeo reflected through the OSGeo-Park), GIS providers such
as Pitney Bowes and Bentley are more prominent present than the pre-
vious Intergeo.
The Open Source Geospatial Foundation has been created to support
and build high-quality open source geospatial software. They encour-
age the use and collaborative development of community-led projects.
A number of these projects where shown at the OSGeo-Park at Intergeo.
Readers of this magazine will already be familiar with Quantum GIS or
GRASS GIS, but this years edition featured some new projects and pro -
ducts not seen before. One of them was Rasmadan, an internet raster
server product. It enables navigation, extraction, and analysis of sensor,
image and statistical data of unlimited size from 1-D to 4-D and beyond.
All raster types are supported, such as ortho images, thematic raster
maps, LiDAR/Radar, hyperspectral imagery, image time series and self-
defined types. The product is available as open source (rasmadan com-
munity) and commercially supported (rasmadan enterprise), with the
enterprise version offering extras that are not included in the open
source version.
MapFish was another new name presented. It is an open source frame-
work for building rich web-mapping applications. MapFish is based on
the Pylons Python web framework, extending Pylons with geospatial-
specific functionality, like specific tools for creating web services that
allows querying and editing geographic objects. According to their web-
site, MapFish also provides a complete RIA-oriented JavaScript toolbox,
a JavaScript testing environment, and tools for compressing JavaScript
code. The JavaScript toolbox is composed of the ExtJS, OpenLayers ,
GeoExt JavaScript toolkits, and specific components for interacting with
MapFish web services.
OpeVRP, The Open Vehicle Route Planner is an example of routing opti-
mization software for fleet management and transportation businesses.
It can be used for minimizing operation costs, optimizing schedules,
handling resources efficiently and maximizing ones service level.
OpenVRP Engine is built on top of PostgreSQL/PostGIS and its algo-
Latest News? Visit www.geoinformatics.com
October/November 2010
Product demonstration at Sokkia booth
I believe in precision.
Leica Geosystems AG
The new Leica ScanStation C10: this high-definition
3D laser scanner for civil engineering and plant
surveying is a fine example of our uncompromising
dedication to your needs. Precision: yet another
reason to trust Leica Geosystems.
Precision is more than an asset when your
reputation is at stake, its an absolute necessity.
Zero tolerance is the best mindset when others need to rely on
your data. Thats why precision comes first at Leica Geosystems.
Our comprehensive spectrum of solutions covers all your measure-
ment needs for surveying, engineering and geospatial applications.
And they are all backed with world-class service and support
that delivers answers to your questions. When it matters most.
When you are in the field. When it has to be right.
You can count on Leica Geosystems to provide a highly precise
solution for every facet of your job.
rithms are part of pgRouting library. At this moment, the software is
under active development, the source code will be released in the near
At the presentation scheme, Marble was listed, a free virtual globe.
Users can choose among the Earth, the moon and a series of planets.
Their Wikipedia page lists that contributors have added support for on-
line mapping sources such as OpenStreetMap and the ability to inter-
pret KML files. Also, Marble provides route planning capabilities.
Thermal Mapping
Certainly a trendy topic these days is thermal mapping, a method to
analyze and visualize the heat and energy loss from buildings. Special
heat-sensitive camera equipment enables identification from the air of
buildings and pipe layouts that emit too much heat. This method is
used by authorities, scientists and commercial companies to map heat
loss. Results can be used for reduce CO2 emission, which explains why
thermal mapping it is trendy these days. At Intergeo, several booths
advertised with this method, such as COWI, a Danish consulting group
in the field of engineering, environmental science and economics.
Solar Power Systems
In addition to thermal mapping, solar potential analysis can be per-
formed with geodata. The idea is that the use of solar energy consti-
tutes a considerable CO2 savings potential, and roof surfaces are often
ideal for the installation of photovoltaic and solar heating systems since
no sealing of additional surfaces will occur here. Geodata can be used
for the calculation of solar potential, based on 3D city models or geo-
data from partner AEROWEST GmbH if no 3D model is available. The
program simuSOLAR, developed by the engineering company simuPLAN,
can be used for calculating the solar potential. This is done by evaluat-
ing the suitability of roof surfaces through size, orientation and inclina-
tion as well as calculating the yearly radiation based on representative
time series with a temporal resolution. Through horizon lines, shadow-
ing effects caused by surrounding buildings can be accounted for in
detail. For each roof surface that has been evaluated, a number of results
are provided, from which a 2D map can be generated, showing the suit-
ability for solar power systems.
Indoor Mapping Solution
Trimble showcased an indoor mobile mapping solution, the worlds first
all-in-one solution in fact. This product, called Trimble Indoor Mobile
Mapping Solution (TIMMS) offers a workflow which collects 3D LiDAR
and 360 spherical video simultaneously in real world coordinates, and
th e ability to create complex 3D models or simple 2D floor plans,
all of which can be collected at walking speeds and presented in a
web interface for rapid visualization and dissemination for a variety
of users.
Indoor modeling is critical for building life cycle maintenance, and needs
to serve a host of applications including planning renovations or green
BIM initiatives. Until now LiDAR and spatial imaging systems were used,
but these require multiple setups and hours to process data. The TIMMS
offers a faster solution to do the job, so that very large facilities can be
mapped fast, such as airports, train stations, theaters and the like.
The solution consists of the following components:
1. Inertial Measurement Unit (IMU), available in a variety of offerings
2. LiDAR;
3. GNSS Antenna, a first position fix is obtained with Trimbles BD960
4. Indoor Georeferenced Spherical Camera;
5. Ruggedized Display;
6. Electronics Bay; an integrated computer management system (CMS)
consists of a POS navigational system along with LiDAR computers
with time tagging and data logging. It stores all data and includes a
removable hard drive.
7. Battery System;
8. Robust Chassis and wheels, allowing the system to reach hard to
reach areas and stand up to harsh settings.
The product is aimed at a variety of potential users, such as architec-
tural, engineering and construction contractors (AEC), mechanical, elec-
trical and plumbing (MEP), law enforcement/public saftely/first respon-
ders, mining and owners/facility managers.
Jack Dangermond Keynote
Esri president Jack Dangermond came over to Intergeo for a special
keynote, that focused on the the many uses of GIS and how technolo-
gy is changing the use of GIS. It also included a scoop, a product
announcement of ArcGIS for INSPIRE.
Dangermond sees many different applications of GIS, ranging from land
information management to infrastructure management, where data is
shared through different departments becoming a living organism as
he put it. The question at the moment is, if this vision of data sharing
is possible on a global scale, since every human is a sensor nowadays,
being capable of sharing data through the web through consumer appli-
cations as Google Maps. Dangermond sees that many forces are con-
verging, enabling a pervasive geospatial platform, by combining the
possibilities of mobile, desktop and server type platforms.
Measurements can now be done in real time, speeding up the process
of data capturing.
Latest News? Visit www.geoinformatics.com
October/November 2010
Outside of the exhibition halls, also a number of product presentations
took place.
Esri President Jack Dangermond during the press conference.
Suzhou FOIF Co.,Ltd.
For more information please visit at:
or email to:
Since 1958
TS810 combines with the most
powerful surveying data collection
software FOIF FieldGenius, they
make your surveying work more
productive and efficient.

FOIF FieldGenius 2010
Perfect onboard software

Built-in Temperature and Pressure Sensors
Large Full Colour Graphic Display
Guide Light System
Multiple Interface Options
Dual-Speed Drives
Touch Screen
Windows CE 5.0 Operating System
300m Reflectorless Range(OTS)
Same user interfae for TS810 & GNSS A20
All the staking tools you will ever need
Rich programs: azimuth/distance, area
offsetting, intersection, poly-line, curve
Data import/export:DXF, SHP Rw5, LandXML
Import and stake directly from a DXF file
Volume calculations
Map 3D view with colored lines
Powerful road module(3D)
The integration of crowd sourcing and social media such as Twitter enables
a form of citizen driven government, where citizens can be more directly
involved in monitoring and localizing possible problems that the govern-
ment should take care of. GIS in the sky, a web based geospatial plat-
form is emerging, referring to the cloud computing developments.
Sustainability is a topic where Esri is actively engaged in nowadays, not
only the GeoDesign movement, but also in managing consequences of cli-
mate change. Fields where GIS is used are for example renewable energy,
urban planning and design, land information management, transportation
systems and planning and responding to natural disasters. Managing the
consequences of the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico was an example that
was touched upon shortly here as an example of this.
Geospatial data is growing rapidly, not only are there more data sources
available nowadays, they also collect more and more data. Dangermond
mentioned the integration of imagery within GIS, a big issue at the latest
Esri UC in San Diego, but did go into details. The online cloud based plat-
form ArcGIS.com was mentioned, as well as the importance of crowd sourc-
ing as authoritative content, a topic mentioned in this magazine in an
interview with Dangermond.
Most interesting in this keynote speech was the announcement of ArcGIS
for INSPIRE, a standards based open source product. It is meant for
European Member states that are implementing INSIRE-compliant data,
metadata, and services. It extends the capabilities of ArcGIS to meet the
core requirements for INSPIRE, such as managing and publishing INSPIRE-
compliant data, transforming existing data into INSPIRE-compliant data,
providing INSPIRE-compliant view and download services, creating and
discovering INSPIRE-compliant metadata and consuming INSPIRE-compli-
ant geospatial data and services. It includes a commercial extension to
ArcGIS Server as well as Esris open source solution for geoportals. More
information on the product is expected at the Esri EMEA User Conference
in Rome.
Press Conference
Dangermond was also present the same day at a press conference,
where short announcements about the industry were made by Prof. Dr.
Karl Friedrich-Thne (DVW e.V.), Hagen Graeff (DVW GmbH, Christoph
Kirchhof (Ausstellerbeirat, Exhibitors Advisory Committee), Dr Li Pengde
(Satellite Surveying and Mapping Application Center of SBSM, China)
and Olaf Freyer (Hinte Messe und Ausstellungs- GmbH) were present.
Kirchhoff spoke about the industry in general and its impact on the
Intergeo trade fair. In general, the future seems to look more bright,
after the last two years of economic crisis. New markets and applica-
tion fields are reflected at the trade fair. Of interest are fast technologi-
cal changes in the already esbablished market such as cloud comput-
ing, mobile solutions, 3D data processing and image processing of huge
datasets. There is also a second direction noticable where geospatial IT
is being integrated in general IT, in markets such as health care, bank-
ing and insurance. These topics are covered at Intergeo.
The location of this year was appropriate according to Kirchhof:
Nordrhein-Westfalen is a central region in Europe know as a leader in
geospatial information, examplified by the launch of a geoportal during
Intergeo 2010, available through www.geoportal.nrw.de.
Olaf Freier provided some statistics on the trade fair of this year. The
amount of exhibitors this year at the trade fair was a total of 504, with
10 per cent more exhibitor space sold than last year. With 50 per cent
more visitors than last year, it seems things are getting better indeed.
Internet: www.intergeo.de
Latest News? Visit www.geoinformatics.com
October/November 2010
Foif booth
Product demonstration at the Leica booth.
Advancing the GI Dialogue
GI_Forum Salzburg 2010
The world cultural heritage city of Salzburg was the setting for the fourth Geoinformatics Forum
(GI_Forum, www.gi-forum.org ) Symposium from July 6-9, 2010 - jointly organised by the University of Salzburg
Centre for Geoinformatics (Z_GIS) and the Institute for GIScience at the Austrian Academy of Sciences (OeAW-GIScience).
The interdisciplinary GI_Forum has become an annual event for a vibrant GI community from academia, industry,
and government to advance the dialogue on progress in GIScience and to explore new research directions.
The symposium was again co-located with the highly regarded annual German language conference on Applied
Geoinformatics (AGIT, www.agit.at). These symposia together with agitEXPO with around 70 companies
presenting were frequented by more than 1000 attendees.
By Adrijana Car and Josef Strobl
October/November 2010
The GI_Forum 2010 focused on emerging top-
ics and research outcomes related to
Geoinformatics concepts and methodologies.
Topics ranged from advanced spatial analysis,
knowledge extraction and geovisualization to
standards and spatial data infrastructures,
mobile services, and dynamic modelling and
simulation. The symposium also attracted con-
tributions pertaining to a range of specific appli-
cation domains, such as Digital Cities and Urban
Sustainability, Global Change: Monitoring and
Modelling and Learning with Geoinformation.
The Tuesday workshop on Spatial assessment
and analysis of vulnerability highlighted the
the topic at the beginning followed by presen-
ters giving a short overview of their contribu-
tions during the information market. In-depth
discussion aided by laptops, posters, handouts,
etc., took place at individual stands distributed
in the room. A session concluded with a sum-
mary of the main discussion points.
The 2010 edition of Learning with Geo -
information strongly emphasises the idea of
Spatial Citizenship and the role of GI-based
learning as its central theme. The keynote
speaker Ms. Laxmi Rama subramanian, from
Hunter College at City University New York,
talked on the issue of Fostering Digital
Citizenship through Participatory Research and
Reflective Practice. Contributions linked social
theory with GI-based learning and included a
critical perspective discussed in Geographic
Information Science since the early nineties. The
program included theoretical deliberations,
hands-on workshops as well as a session on
GI-based gaming as part of an education for
active spatial citizenship. At a panel discussion,
Francis Harvey (University of Minnesota), Karl
Donert (Liverpool Hope University) and Bernd
Belina (Goethe University) charted pathways to
implement spatial citizenship education using
UNIGIS Academic Excellence Prize
In 2008, the UNIGIS International Association (>
www.unigis.net) - the largest global network of
universities co-operating in the design and
delivery of distance learning in Geographic
Information Science - established awards for
the best Master theses, a competition that is
open to all graduates from more the 15 partner
institutions worldwide. GI_Forum 2010 invited
the winner of the 2009 UNIGIS Academic
Excellence Prize, Mr. Christof Amelunxen, to pre-
sent his thesis (An Approach to Geocoding
Based on Volunteered Spatial Data) to an inter-
national audience in Salzburg and to publicly
receive the award for his outstanding academic
The poster session was an integral part of AGIT
and GI_Forum. The best posters were
announced in a poster award ceremony based
on the votes by symposia attendees.
Adrijana Car adrijana.car@sbg.ac.at,
Petra Jenewein petra.jenewein@sbg.ac.at,
Josef Strobl.
Z_GIS Centre for Geoinformatics.
University of Salzburg, www.unisalzburg.at/zgis
importance of policy orientation and targeted
spatial concepts and theories of vulnerability,
the discussion of different modelling approach-
es and the visualization of vulnerability and
exposure to natural hazards and health issues.
In the workshop opening keynote Mr. Andreas
Siebert, Munich Reinsurance Company, elabo-
rated on Geo-Intelligence in the insurance
industry with a specific focus on risk manage-
ment of natural hazards. Even recognizing the
fact that the field of vulnerability is still young,
the participants noted that vulnerability as a
concept is at centre stage and policy-relevant
research is undertaken. However, there are
many challenges: is vulnerability a parameter
which can be attributed to spatial borders, can
we verify degrees of vulnerability in the real
world, are perceptions by different groups taken
into account? In a concluding session, a major
next step identified by the participants, was to
embark on a case study to validate concepts
and methodologies which will be followed up
with a workshop at the next GI_Forum 2011.
Geographic Sensors
A special focus of the conference was given to
Spatial Data Infrastructures and their impor-
tance in GIScience today. The AGIT/GI_Forum
symposia opening keynote speaker was Ms.
Athina Trakas, OGC Director European Services.
Her presentation focused on OGCs role in
implementing Spatial Data Infrastructure for end
user benefit. Ed Parsons, communicating the
roles of Google Earth, Google Maps and Google
Maps for Mobile captured the audience in a
keynote on Friday morning. In his talk Mr.
Parsons focused on Internet mapping applica-
tions such as Google Maps and Google Earth
representing not only highly popular interactive
tools to visualise geospatial data, but also the
gateways to geospatial publishing and discov-
ery services which form a platform for the cre-
ation of modern federated spatial data infras-
tructures (SDIs). These modern SDIs are distinct
from the traditional design prototypes of SDI
in that they reflect the actual needs of their user
community who are also the source for much
of their content. Community content may be
actively and explicitly contributed in the form
of volunteered geographic information, or
increasingly will come from the implicit and
sometimes unaware contributions of users act-
ing as geographic sensors.
Spatial Citizenship
The format of a discussion session was select-
ed for some thematic sessions at GI_Forum10
in order to facilitate the exchange of experience
and to further enhance discussion among the
presenters and audience. These sessions (i.e.
Global Monitoring) proved to be a huge suc-
cess. In one such session a keynote introduced
Latest News? Visit www.geoinformatics.com
October/November 2010
200 MicrosoL CorporaLion. All righLs reserved. MicrosoL, UlLraCam, UlLraCamXp, UlLraMap and vexcel lmaging CmbH are eiLher regisLered Lrademarks or Lrademarks o MicrosoL CorporaLion in Lhe UniLed SLaLes and/or oLher counLries.
1o excel in Lhe compeLiLive aerial surveying markeL, Ken PoLLer knows LhaL his organizaLion has Lo
y projecLs quickly, accuraLely, and cosL-eecLively. 1haL is why he chooses Lhe high-perormance
UlLraCam or digiLal-image acquisiLion aL KeysLone Aerial Surveys.

UlLraCam sensor sysLems eaLure a rapid rame raLe and exLraordinary image ooLprinL.
1he vasL amounL o pixels across each rame means ewer necessary ighL lines. AddiLional
eaLures include exchangeable, high-capaciLy sLorage devices or longer missions and cuLLing-edge
Lechnology Lo produce qualiLy, accuraLe imagery.

And every UlLraCam sysLem includes Lhe powerul UlLraMap phoLogrammeLric workow soLware
LhaL now eaLures highly auLomaLed, projecL-based color balancing. UltrcCcmXp
Ken Potter,
Keystone Aericl Surveys
Visit ilIyUItraCam.com to see
why Keystone AeriaI Surveys
and many other Ieading aeriaI
surveyors y the UItraCam!
Leica Viva TS15
Robotic Imaging Total Station
The Leica Viva TS15 adds a high-resolution camera to further enhance
total station productivity. Traditional robotic operation is significantly
improved with imaging features through Image Assisted Surveying and
Image Assisted Surveying and Documentation
Thanks to live streaming of the total station view on the robotic controller,
remote points can be easily measured with the new tap, turn & measure
functionality without returning to the total station. With the new Image
Capture functionality users can take high-resolution images of the survey-
ing scene or even capture any screen shown on the display at the push
of a button. The exact photo documentation of site conditions helps to
further optimize productivity and to minimize paper field-notes avoiding
costly re-visits.
Sketch Tool
Any new or captured image can be enhanced through sketching with any
color, line style and width to uniquely transfer valuable information. Users
will benefit from never again loosing their field-notes or struggling with
drawing on wet paper.
Linking of Images
After capturing and sketching, the annotated images can be linked to any
object of interest (point, line, area) or simply stored with a time stamp.
Users can now exactly assign their images and archive them together with
measurement data.
Grid scanning
The Leica TS15 includes new grid scanning functionality. It is easily possi-
ble to graphically define an area to be scanned on the total station view
shown on the display. The total station will then rapidly scan the object
to measure a true grid with survey accuracy.
Leica SmartWorx Viva Onboard Software
The Leica Viva TS15 incorporates Leica SmartWorx Viva onboard software
to fully harmonize Leica Viva CS10 and CS15 controllers and the Viva TS15
total station on one easy-to-use productive software platform. Leica
SmartWorx Viva provides a wide range of applications.
Leica Viva TS15 models and functionalities
The Leica Viva TS15 models offer angle measurements of 1, 2, 3, and
5 with quadruple axis compensation. In prism mode a distance of 3500m
is achieved with an accuracy of 1mm+1.5ppm on a single prism in stan-
dard measuring mode. On all surfaces users can measure up to 1000 m
and more with an accuracy of 2mm + 2ppm.
Users can add full GNSS functionality to the Leica Viva TS15 total station
to further improve productivity. The TS15 can be used as a Leica
SmartStation for TPS setup without the need of control points, traverses,
and resections, or as a Leica SmartPole to save time with setup On-the-
fly and measure parallel with TPS and GNSS for double productivity.
Any new or captured image can be enhanced through sketching with any
color, line style and width to uniquely transfer valuable information.
Leica Viva TS15 provides advanced imaging functionality combined with
dynamic tracking capabilities for one-person surveying. Thanks to live stream-
ing of the total station view on the robotic controller, remote points can be
easily measured with the new tap, turn & measure functionality without
returning to the total station.
Leica Geosystems launched its new robotic Imaging Total Station providing advanced imaging functionality combined with
dynamic tracking capabilities for one-person surveying. Furthermore, Leica Viva TS15 features the easy-to-use Leica
SmartWorx Viva onboard software.
The Pointools Way
Democratizing Point Cloud Models
Pointools specializes in point cloud software. The companys mission is to democratize point cloud models for broad reuse
by architects, engineers, and other practitioners throughout their design and construction workflows. This article explains
how to extend the value of point cloud models beyond the survey department.
By Joe Croser
Very large point cloud models have for a long
time died a slow death inside survey depart-
ments partly because the survey team wasnt
quick to share them and partly because they
were largely unusable within mainstream CAD
applications. So to take full advantage of the
measurements captured by 3D laser scanners,
architects and engineers that managed to get
their hands on the point cloud models were
forced to procure expensive and specialist soft-
ware to transform the points into regular geo -
metry for reuse. It should therefore come as no
surprise that this time consuming and costly
workflow limited the rate of adoption for 3D
laser scanning. Thankfully, thats all changing.
Pointools Vortex Engine and Bentley
With point cloud software from Pointools, high-
value point cloud models are now consumable
inside mainstream CAD and design applica-
tions; lowering the time and cost barriers that
previously restricted use. With Pointools soft-
ware on the desktop (by way of platform inte-
gration or various plug-ins) users can work with
point cloud models inside their existing soft-
ware environments and reuse the same point
cloud model across all Pointools enabled offer-
ings. In response to increased user demands a
number of software vendors and large corpora-
tions now license the Pointools Vortex platform
to deliver point cloud model capabilities inside
their own software applications. To date, the
most well-known software vendor to license
the Pointools Vortex engine is Bentley Systems;
the people behind MicroStation and the DGN
file format which was used to map the entire
world. Bentley is also renowned for being the
only software vendor dedicated to providing
architects, engineers, constructors, and owner-
operators with comprehensive software solu-
tions for sustaining infrastructure. This means
that the Pointools Vortex engine is also being
embedded into more GIS and mapping prod-
ucts from Bentley including Bentley MAP and
its being embedded inside solutions for process
plant, transportation, campuses, mining and
metals, and site design to name just a few.
Critically, this broad adoption of the same point
cloud model platform for all applications will
enable everyone to reuse the same point cloud
model (POD) file inside any enabled Bentley
application. Thats a massive win on a number
of levels:
1 Point cloud models
are generally huge. Duplicating the same 3D
scan data via translation into multiple point
cloud model file formats makes no sense. It
wastes time and consumes more disk space
and bandwidth than necessary. With a sin-
gle platform approach, only one POD file
need be created, thus eliminating waste.
Ar t i cl e
October/November 2010
Teccon - Point clouds in a CAD environment
Latest News? Visit www.geoinformatics.com
October/November 2010
2 Different workflows demand different
capabilities from software tools. Forcing practitioners to use the same
software to satisfy different needs adversely affects productivity. With
Bentleys approach users get to pick the right tool for the job in hand
while maintaining POD compatibility across apps.
3 Some software applications utilise unique point
cloud model file formats. Making a file format proprietary limits the
value and portability of the information storied inside. With Pointools
platform and plug-in approach users can openly work with the largest
POD files in the broadest range of software applications.
Pointools and Land Surveying
If CAD software cant process enormous point cloud models with the same
fluidity it processes geometric models, there is nothing to gain by inte-
grating the two. Thats why until now users have been forced to pro-
cure additional software to transform the resource-hungry point cloud
models into regular shapes, surfaces, and solids. Bruno Van Bastelaere,
Co-owner of Teccon, an independent adviser in the field of land survey, is
very positive about the speed at which Pointools is able to render these
huge point clouds is. Teccon is using Pointools software to create a high-
tech digital 3D map for the Flanders region of Belgium.
The Grootschalig Referentie Bestand (GRB) is a project by the Agency for
Geographic Information Flanders (AGIV) to create large scale mapping for
the region. Unlike traditional paper based mapping the project aims to
create an inventory of ground features including waterways, railways,
roads and administrative plots, etc. recording the position, extent and
characteristics of every feature. Using a combination of mobile laser map-
ping, total station measurements, Global Navigation Satellite Systems
(GNSS), stereo photography, and existing data, Teccon has processed bil-
lions of individual measurements to create an attributed base map which
now covers more than 1,200 square kilometres. Using the mobile laser
scanning or LiDAR (Light Detection and Ranging) system Teccon travelled
over 6,000 kilometres along Flemish roads capturing billions of laser
scanned measurements or points.
Now with the point cloud model stored inside Pointools POD file format
it is reusable across multiple applications. In addition to Rhino 3D and
the numerous Bentley software offerings the same POD model can be
reused inside many AutoCAD applications when the Pointools Plug-in for
AutoCAD is present including (but not limited to) AutoCAD MAP 3D and
AutoCAD Civil 3D.
The Teccon project is a good example for aggregating scans from multi-
ple mobile, and terrestrial sources, but for some the data capture isnt
limited to the ground. Pointools software was also used on another 3D
city modelling project to help create an interactive scale model of the
train station in Delft, NL. Using aerial scan data from AHN (Actueel
Hoogtebestand Nederland) the team used Pointools software to process
and optimize the point cloud model (POD) ready for 3D print production
from inside Rhino 3D.
Joe Croser, VP Products, Pointools.
Internet: www.pointools.com
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Fitting a Global Trend
The FOSS4G 2010 Conference
The FOSS4G 2010 conference revolves around the freely available geospatial software solutions and the developer and
user communities that provide high quality and innovative products. Yes, you read that correctly, they create quality
software that is freely available including its sourcecode. You are free to use and adapt it without paying any license fees.
Now hows that possible?
By Jeroen Ticheler
The FOSS4G conference fits a global trend
on how we interact with computers and soft-
ware. A trend where services and knowledge
are what you pay for, not software licenses in
their own right. A trend also in which freely
available data is increasingly important for
innovation, knowledge creation and sustain-
able economic development. Governments
attach greater value to these aspects while at
the same time the economic crisis forces
everyone to take a good look at the cost of
their IT infrastructure.
The conference took place for the fifth time
under the name FOSS4G and has become a
mature event, this year with 869 participants
from 61 countries. The Open Geospatial
Foundation (OSGeo) is the host of the confer-
ence. OSGeo is a foundation whose purpose
is to ensure the sustainable development of
high quality geographic information systems
(GIS) and to support and encourage its use.
Currently OSGeo has twenty leading geospa-
tial software projects, plus a data and an edu-
cation project under its wings. The 15,000
subscribers to OSGeo mailing lists and the
300 plus developers who actively contributed
to the software development last year, show
that we are dealing with a trend that is here
to stay within geoinformatics.
The pre-conference activities offered the
opportunity to participate in various three-
hour paid workshops. Many attendees took
that opportunity to heart. The rooms were
filled to the brim with an enthusiastic audi-
October/November 2010
GeoNetwork opensource v2.6 - A geospatial metadata catalog
ence that was happy to get hands-on experi-
ence in the use of turnkey GIS solutions.
Thirteen workshops with a total of 550 seats
gave users and developers the opportunity to
share knowledge and exchange views on
future trends and user needs. After a quick
installation of the software participants could
work on exercises on how to use the soft-
ware, how to configure server systems or
implement an interactive map in a web page.
(All workshop materials are available on the
OSGeo website.)
The Position of Open Source
Software in the World
The conference was opened by Miguel
Montesinos (CTO and partner ProDevelop)
who questioned how we should position
FOSS4G software? FOSS4G software against
... in fact, against what? Open Source versus
Proprietary (closed source) is too narrow a
perspective according to Miguel. It is also a
perspective that is not very useful to end
users. End users want solutions that work ,
solutions that can be integrated and there-
fore work together. Miguel defined the differ-
ence as Open against Private (or closed) soft-
ware. The first involves users in all aspects of
the development of the software while the
second deprives users of an important part
of that process, namely the possibility to see
how the software has been implemented and
to be able to modify it.
such as those that improved speed or added
multilingual support have been donated back
to the projects and are now available by
default. These adjustments are often funded
by national government programs and due to
the open source strategy of these government
programs the improved software is now avail-
able free of charge to any organization that
supports the INSPIRE guidelines.
The development of Metadata services for
INSPIRE is the furthest evolved at the
moment, but also the development of View
and Download services using FOSS4G is fully
consistent with the current implementation of
INSPIRE requirements.
Dutch Contributions
In the Netherlands Geonovum is the lead
agency when it comes to the implementation
of the INSPIRE guidelines. Other parties such
as the Kadaster and Rijkswaterstaat actively
contribute to that process. FOSS4G software
is extensively used for this purpose and soft-
ware changes have been made to facilitate
the INSPIRE implementation.
Bart van de Eijnden (OSGIS & OpenGeoGroep)
discussed the changes to OpenLayers (an
open source web map client similar to Google
Maps) to make sure that the OGC-WMS ver-
sion 1.3 is supported out of the box. That ver-
sion is required for the INSPIRE View services.
In addition, he presented an SOS (Sensor
Schuyler Erle, author of Mapping Hacks and
FOSS4G developer for the first hour, made a
passionate case for freely available data. He
illustrated this need with his experience in
mapping Port au Prince in Haiti after the
earthquake. All geospatial software, however
good, is useless without data. Today the tools
are available that made it possible to map
Port au Prince within two weeks after the
earthquake. The result was a very detailed
map in OpenStreetMap. This was done by
over seven hundred volunteers worldwide
from the comfort and safety of their own
homes using freely available post-earthquake
satellite imagery and the Internet. The most
up-to-date geospatial information was now
available to emergency staff on the ground.
This has changed emergency response forev-
After the opening it was up to the participants
to choose from 120 presentations, 13 tutorial
labs, 56 scientific papers and 100 posters. The
development of the European Spatial Data
Infrastructure, INSPIRE, clearly has a strong
influence on the development of FOSS4G soft-
ware and the projects implemented on top of
these software solutions. Many presentations
showed how applications such as MapServer,
OpenLayers or GeoNetwork are been used for
operational services that comply with the
INSPIRE guidelines. Changes to the software
Latest News? Visit www.geoinformatics.com
October/November 2010
GeoNetwork opensource v2.6 - A geospatial metadata catalog
Observation Service) client build with Open -
Just van den Broecke (Just Objects &
OpenGeoGroep) discussed the implementa-
tion of an INSPIRE Download service for the
Dutch Kadaster (Land Registry). An on-the-fly
transformation based on a WFS Deegree
Application schema makes data from a
PostGIS database available in the form of a
WFS (Web Feature Service) Download service.
This method is generic in nature and can
therefore be useful for many future Download
services that have to connect to existing
database systems and data structures.
I myself discussed new functionality that is
available in the latest GeoNetwork open-
source version 2.6. GeoNetwork is a metada-
ta catalog server and forms the basis of the
Dutch National Georegistry (NGR) and a num-
ber of other national and international geo-
portals as well as many smaller scale
instances. In one workshop tutorial partici-
pants were given the opportunity to set up a
metadata catalog, automatically and manual-
ly create metadata and to create a network
of metadata catalogs. The tutorial session
offered an insight into advanced configuation
Finally GeoCat launched the GeoCat Bridge
extension for ArcGIS Desktop that allows data
and metadata to be published on the Internet
at the touch of a button. Bridge works with a
server infrastructure consisting of a combina-
tion of GeoServer (a web map server) and
GeoNetwork. Bridge produces metadata
according to national profiles including the
Dutch profile. Data is styled using a standard
or GeoServer optimized SLD (Styled Layer
Descriptor) document as WMS, WFS and/or a
WCS and made available on GeoServer.
Map Server Contest
An annual phenomenon is the Map Server
Contest, also named the WMS Performance
Shootout. Different map servers are tested
under identical conditions on speed and qual-
ity of their WMS implementations. The con-
test originally took place between MapServer
and GeoServer, but this year was different. No
less than eight projects participated, with
both open source and proprietary solutions.
The participating projects were Cadcorp
GeognoSIS, Constellation-SDI, ERDAS APOL-
LO, GeoServer, Mapnik, MapServer, QGIS
MapServer and Oracle MapViewer.
Conspicuously absent was ESRI with the
ArcGIS Server, hopefully next year they will
find sufficient internal capacity to fully partici-
pate. ERDAS decided to not publish their
results because of server configuration restric-
tions that impacted the results. MapServer
was the overall winner with GeoServer as a
good second allround server. Results are
available on the OSGeo website.
Sol Katz Award to Helena Mitasova
OSGeo annually awards the Sol Katz Award
to a prominent member of the OSGeo com-
munity. This year Helena Mitasova was the
deserved winner. She has been promoting the
use of open source software and open data
in science and education for many years.
Helena has contributed a lot to the visibility
of GRASS. GRASS is one of the first open
source geographic information systems that,
from this year on, not only runs on Linux /
UNIX systems but also on the Windows plat-
FOSS4G 2010 has shown that the develop-
ment of freely available geospatial software
is anything but static. The conference offers
an unprecedented opportunity for developers
and users to connect to each other and
exchange ideas. In a relaxed atmosphere, it
is an exciting experience to meet and speak
with the people who are wholeheartedly com-
mitted to developing innovative systems with
the intent to share knowledge and experience.
Jeroen Ticheler, Founder of GeoNetwork
opensource, Owner of GeoCat BV and member of
the OpenGeoGroep
* OSGeo - http://osgeo.org with information on all
OSGeo software described in this article
* OpenStreeMap - http://openstreetmap.org
* OpenGeoGroep - http://opengeogroep.nl
* GeoCat - http://geocat.net
October/November 2010
CycloMedia specialises in the large-scale and systematic visualisation
of environments based on 360 panoramic photographs
(Cycloramas). Due to, by CycloMedia developed recording- and
process technology, large areas are photographed and entered in
an online database. Of each recording location, orientation and time
are registered, which makes versatile applications possible, such as
3D measurements and modelling.
Every spot
Every year
PO Box, 4180 BB Waardenburg
Achterweg 38, 4181 AE Waardenburg
The Netherlands
CycloMedia Technology B.V.
Your partner in up-to-date
environment visualisation
Phone +31 (0)418 55 61 00
Fax: +31 (0)418 55 61 01
E-mail info@cyclomedia.com
Internet www.cyclomedia.com
Calendar 2010/2011
Advertiser Page
Ashtech www.ashtech.com 17
CycloMedia www.cyclomedia.com 20, 57
DigitalGlobe www.digitalglobe.com 60
ERDAS www.erdas.com 35
Esri www.esri.com 22
Foif www.foif.com.cn 46
Geodis www.geodis.cz 40
ILMF www.lidarmap.org 26
Leica Geosystems www.leica-geosystems.com 44
Pacific Crest www.pacificcrest.com 33
Riegl www.riegl.com 53
Sokkia www.sokkia.eu 41
Spectra Precision www.spectraprecision.com 59
Stonex www.stonexeurope.com 2
SuperMap www.supermap.com 31
Topcon www.topcon.eu 9, 27
Trimble www.trimble.com 13
Vexcel www.vexcel.com 50
Advertisers Index
03-04 November 5th International Workshop on 3D Geo-
Berlin, Germany
Internet: www.igg.tu-berlin.de/3dgeoinfo
03-05 November TransModeler Training
Caliper Headquarters, Boston, MA, U.S.A.
Internet: www.MappingSoftware.com
07-10 November Carlsons 3rd Annual User Conference
Louisville, U.S.A.
Internet: www.carlsonsw.com/CarlsonConference3Home.html
08-10 November Trimble Dimensions 2010
The Mirage, Las Vegas, U.S.A.
Internet: www.trimbledimensions.com
11-12 november Joint UrbanFlood & SG4E Workshop
Monitoring and Flood Safety
Amsterdam, The Netherlands
E-mail: Jacqueline.bredius@gmail.com
Internet: www.urbanflood.eu, www.semsorgrid4env.eu
15 November TransCAD Training
Madrid, Spain
Internet: www.MappingSoftware.com
15-17 November Joint FIG Comm3 and Comm 7 Workshop
Information and Land Management
Sofia, Bulgaria
Tel: +359 (2) 855 8752
E-mail: fig-meeting@kig-bg.org
Internet: www.conference.kig-bg.org
15-18 November ASPRS 2010 Fall Conference
Orlando, FL,Doubletree Hotel,U.S.A.
Internet: www.asprs.org/orlando2010
16-17 November Rocket City Geospatial Conference 2010
Davidson Center for Space Exploration, Huntsville, AL, U.S.A.
Internet: www.rocketcitygeospatial.com
17-18 November Tracking and Positioning Europe
Amsterdam, Marriott Hotel, The Netherlands
Tel: +44 (0)20 375 7196
E-mail: osman@thewherebusiness.com
Internet: www.thewherebusiness.com/tracking
19-20 November SMARTdoc Heritage Recording and informa-
tion Management in the Digital Age
Philadelphia, PA, U.S.A.
E-mail: info@smartdocheritage.org
Internet: www.smartdocheritage.org
23-25 November Map Africa 2010
Cape Town, Cape Town International Convention Center,
South Africa
Tel: +91 9313292284
Fax: +91 1204612555/666
E-mail: vaishali.dixit@gisdevelopment.net
Internet: http://mapafrica.gisdevelopment.net
24-26 November Tri-Organisation-Conference Geo-
Information and Information Management for Farms,
Agribusiness and Administration
Cologne, Germany
Internet: www.geofarmatics2010.org
29 November-03 December 5th International Congress
Internet: www.geotunis.org
30 November-01 December European LiDAR Mapping Forum
The Hague, The Netherlands
Tel: +44 (0)1453 836363
E-mail: info@lidarmap.net
Internet: www.lidarmap.org
02 December StreetMapper 2010 International User
The Hague, The Netherlands
Tel: +44 (870) 442 9400
E-mail: info@3dlasermapping.com
Internet: www.3dlasermapping.com
07-08 December SPAR Europe
Amsterdam RAI Convention Centre, The Netherlands
Internet: www.spar-eu.com/10/public/enter.aspx
2011 January
05-07 January GeoDesign Summit
Redlands, CA, U.S.A.
Internet: www.geodesignsummit.com
18-21 January Geospatial World Forum 2011
Hyderabad, India
Tel: +91 9313292284
Fax: +91 120 4612555/666
E-mail: vaishali.dixit@gisdevelopment.net
Internet: www.geospatialworldforum.org
19-21 January Esri Federal User Conference
Washington, DC, U.S.A.
Internet: www.esri.com/events/feduc/index.html
24-27 January DGI Europe 2011
London, QE II Centre London, U.K.
E-mail: conference@wbr.co.uk
Internet: www.wbresearch.com/dgieurope/home.aspx
01-03 February Imagina
Internet: www.imagina.mc/2011/content/Home/homeUK.php
07-09 February 11th International LiDAR Mapping Forum
Astor Crowne Plaza, New Orleans, LA, U.S.A.
Internet: www.lidarmap.org
07-18 February Water Scarcity Winter School "Analysing,
mapping and evaluating spatio-temporal water scarcity
Salzburg, Austria
E-mail: waterscarcity2011@edu-zgis.net
Internet: www.edu-zgis.net/ss/waterscarcity2011
13-19 February 16. Internationale Geodtische Woche
Obergurgl, Tirol, Austria
Info: Dr. Thomas Weinold
Tel.: +43 (0)512 507 6755 or 6757
Fax: +43 (0)512 507 2910
E-mail: geodaetischewoche@uibk.ac.at
Internet: http://geodaesie.uibk.ac.at/obergurg.html
03-04 March W2GIS 2011 Web & Wireless Geographical
Information Systems
Kyoto, Japan
E-mail: jcarswell@dit.ie
Internet: www.w2gis.org
07-10 March Esri Developer Summit
Palm Springs, CA, U.S.A.
Internet: www.esri.com/events/devsummit/index.html
10-11 March GeoViz Hamburg 2011: Linking Geovisualization
with Spatial Analysis and Modeling
Hamburg, HafenCity University Hamburg, Germany
E-mail: geoviz@geomatik-hamburg.de
Internet: www.geomatik-hamburg.de/geoviz
15-18 March GEOFORM+ 2011 - Geodesy, Cartography,
Moscow, EcoCenter Sokolniki, Russia
Tel: +7 (495) 925-34-97
Fax: +7 (495) 925-34-97
E-mail: dnJ@mvk.ru
Internet: www.geoexpo.ru
21-24 March SPAR US 2011 Conference
Houston, TX, U.S.A
Tel: +1 (207) 842 5671
E-mail: tgreaves@divcom.com
Internet: www.sparllc.com
23-25 March 1st Conference on Spatial Statistics 2011
Mapping Global Change
University of Twente, Enschede, The Netherlands
Internet: www.spatialstatisticsconference.com
28-31 March CalGIS 2011 - 17th Annual California GIS
Fresno, CA, U.S.A.
Internet: www.calgis.org
05-07 April Ocean Business 2011 - The ocean technology
training and procurement forum
Southampton, U.K.
Internet: www.oceanbusiness.com
06-07 April Offshore Survey 2011 - Technical Conference
Southampton, U.K.
Internet: www.offshoresurvey.co.uk
11-13 April JURSE 2011 - Joint Urban Remote Sensing Event
Munich, Germany
E-mail: jurse2011@bv.tum.de
Internet: www.jurse2011.tum.de
Please feel free to e-mail your calendar notices to: calendar@geoinformatics.com
October/November 2010
2010 Spectra Precision. All rights reserved. All other trademarks are property of their respective owners.
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In many ways, the full capabilities of 8-band
imagery are still to be exploited: from mineral
identification, to automated change detection,
to wildfire modeling, and much more.
The DigitalGlobe 8-Band Research Challenge,
currently underway, has gathered over 500
researchers to study the impact of using this
data for a broad range of applications. Watch
for the results of this research to be posted on
our website www.digitalglobe.com/8band.
See More, Know More and Do More
With DigitalGlobes 8-band imagery
For the first time ever, remote sensing and GIS
professionals have access to high-resolution
imagery with 8 spectral bands, including
coastal blue, yellow, red-edge and NIR2. The
precise spectral fidelity combined with the very
high spatial resolution of this imagery enables
detailed analyses never before possible-
advances such as:
More detailed vegetative analyses
Creation of accurate shallow-water
bathymetry maps
lmproved land use/land cover classifications
Download our free whitepapers and learn more: www.digitalglobe.com/8band
What can you do with 8-band imagery?
Clockwise from upper left: Vegetative analysis of wine grape vineyards highlighting crop health; feature extraction map of Bangkok Thailand, focused on man-made
feature classes; false color composite imagery (Red-Edge, NIR1, NIR2) in Hawaii, depicting wave refraction through reef channels; 1 meter bathymetry contours of
Aitutaki Lagoon extracted from 8-Band imagery.