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Intergeo 2011 A Report on the ISPRS York 2011 Conference

Surveying Buildings Simultaneous Data Capture


Magazi ne f or Sur veyi ng, Mappi ng & GI S Pr of essi onal s
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Some remarks on this years
Intergeo trade fair
Having returned from this years Intergeo trade show, a number of things caught my
eye. First of all, the number of acquisitions in the industry which resulted in large
booths on the exhibition oor of big companies with smaller, local parties that are
owned by the big guys. But that does not mean there are no small, interesting com-
panies that do stuff that is promising for the future. On the contrary, my interest
always goes out to the OSGeo Park, where a number of small booths are combined
with open source projects. Every year I see new initiatives happening that are shared
with the audience. That these initiatives are no longer something that is happening
on the margins of the industry, is proven by the interest shown in them by the big
guys, or a major event such as FOSS4G.
Mobile mapping is a technology that seems to have reached its peak and is now
being replaced by a new trend, namely UAVs. In this issue there are some contribu-
tions on this topic that have gained a lot of attention in both the academic world
and the industry itself. While still an interesting and relevant topic, I noticed less
attention to mobile mapping systems on the exhibition oor than at last years
Intergeo.
The presence by Google at the exhibition was to be expected, since their Google
Earth Builder cloud platform is meant for organizations who want to upload their
data into the cloud. It will be interesting to follow where exactly this will take Google
in the geospatial market, since their services and infrastructure are meant as an
add-on to an already existing GIS infrastructure. But nonetheless, its a move that
could prove to be interesting, although Google is known for trying out many things
and not always succeeding in the long run.
Coming back to my rst point about acquisitions, I noticed a trend where the whole
cycle of data capture up to the nal end product is now being handled by a num-
ber of companies operating under the same umbrella or mother company (excep-
tions aside, such as Esri). Hardware and software are being integrated and differ-
ent avors are available for different applications, in the case of Z/I Imaging and
Leica Geosystems.
All in all, this years Intergeo once again was a good indication of how the industry
is doing. For those of you who werent there to witness it, theres a review of the
event in this issue, as well as a series of specialized contributions that show that the
industry as a whole is moving forward at a fast pace.
Enjoy your reading,
Eric van Rees
evanrees@geoinformatics.com
GeoInformatics is the leading publication for Geospatial
Professionals worldwide. Published in both hardcopy and
digital, GeoInformatics provides coverage, analysis and
commentary with respect to the international surveying,
mapping and GIS industry. GeoInformatics is published
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Copy Editor
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Remco Takken
rtakken@geoinformatics.com
Joc Triglav
jtriglav@geoinformatics.com
Contributing Writers:
Hamish Grierson, Matt Sheehan, Henri Eisenbeiss,
Gordon Petrie, Luigi Colombo, Barabara Marana,
Monika Sester, Ruud Groothuis, Florian Fischer,
Financial Director
Yvonne Groenhof
nance@cmedia.nl
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rgroothuis@geoinformatics.com
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Latest News? Visit www.geoinformatics.com October/November 2011
C o n t e n t
Ar t i c l e s
Simultaneous Data Capture 6
The New Location Revolution 10
Surveying Buildings 26
Geosensor Networks 36
Glonass-M sent into Orbit 40
Cycloramas Globespotter 42
Supporting Ecuadors National GIS Initiative 46
At the Crossroads of Geovisualization 48
E v e n t s
UAVs on Duty 12
Cultural Heritage Data Acquisition & Processing 18
Intergeo 2011 30
Racurs Conference 2011 52
I n t e r v i e w
Esri and Cloud GIS Strategies 14
C a l e n d a r / Ad v e r t i s e r s I n d e x 54
At the cover:
CycloMedia brings accurate street level imaging to your desktop. At the
Intergeo 2011 the availability of the GlobeSpotter application and data
coverage throughout Europe were announced. An in depth interview details
the existing possibilities and future applications. (See page 42)
26
42
48
The GeoWeb brings up more
and more new ways of map-
ping the world that put the tra-
ditional distance-based gods
eye view of the map on the
edge. This article give a short
overview about the changing
landscape of mapping from
the authors point of view.
36
On the InterGeo 2011
CycloMedia demonstrated
their panoramic imagery
which take away those
barriers and brings the 3rd
dimension to your desktop.
Two examples from research at
the Institute of Cartography
and Geoinformatics at Leibniz
Universitt Hannover,
Germany, are given in order to
illustrate the potential and ap-
plication areas of geosensor
networks in an exemplary fas-
hion.
This article presents the current
status of techniques and tech-
nologies for the construction of
a textured model, through the
support of experiences regar-
ding an ancient historical buil-
ding in the Lombardy region
of Northern Italy.
30
In line with last year, there is not
only a 3-day exhibition, but also an
academic conference, this year
supplemented with a Navigation
Conference and the first ever
Intergeo BarCamp an open
space conference devoted to Open
Street Map.
14
Esri IT Strategies Architect
explains where the company
stands at the moment in
adopting this new technology
trend and announces a new
partnership and a private
cloud platform.
18
The development of the new
close-range digital imaging,
photogrammetric and laser
scanning technologies is
having a huge impact on the
measurement, recording,
depiction and analysis of
cultural heritage sites and ob-
jects world-wide as revealed
at the recent ISPRS conference
held in York, England.
40
The booster Soyuz-2.1b, car-
rying a Global Navigation
Satellite System (Glonass) satel-
lite, was successfully launched
from the Plesetsk spaceport and
put into orbit. Space Troop
teams monitored the launch th-
rough the ground automated
control system.
Blom have a long history of owning and operating a range of digital cameras and sensors across
Europe. Traditionally, these instruments would be used independently, even if multiple data formats
were required. However, the demand for higher quality resources, and the need for improved capture
efficiency, has seen the long established techniques of aerial surveying put under the microscope. One
method to emerge is to use aircraft with dual sensor capabilities. In early, 2011 Blom UK adapted one
of their aeroplanes to enable simultaneous data capture with their Vexcel large format digital camera
and Optech ALTM LiDAR system.
The Second Hole
Cutting a hole into the fuselage of an aircraft is not as simple as
one may initially think, especially if the plane already contains a
large survey hatch. Before the hole can be cut several things need
to be considered. Will the control cables that run under the cabin
oor need to be rerouted? What is the strength and air worthiness
of the plane and how many alterations will be required? What are
the logistics of tting the equipment and operators into the cabin
and will everything t? Lastly, timescale and costs need to be con-
sidered. How long will the plane be out of service and how much
will it cost, both in down time and in parts and labour?
The original concept was to add a second full size survey hatch.
Following many discussions it was deemed that, with the engineer-
ing taking up to six weeks, this would be too expensive. More impor-
tantly, it became apparent that a full size hole was not actually
required. The ALTM head is a much smaller unit than the digital cam-
era so it does not require such a large hole. It could, in fact, utilise
the existing Nav-Sight hole.
Before the advent of GPS, nav-sights were used by operators of large
format lm cameras to ensure the camera was taking pictures at the
required rate and over the correct location. The nav-sight sat in front
of the operators seat and required a small hole in the aircraft oor
6
October/November 2011
Ar t i c l e
ALTM and Large Format Digital Photography
Si mul taneous Data
Figure 1 - Both sensors are located on the right of the aircraft and the operator sits between them.
By Hamish Grierson
to enable the ground directly below to be viewed. With the intro-
duction of digital photography nav-sights were no longer required
so the holes were closed up. By removing the internal and external
plates the resulting hole was ideally suited to accommodate the ALTM
sensor. Luckily, this was the most cost effective and quickest adapta-
tion for the plane, as minimal work was required to create the sec-
ond hole.
System Installations
With two holes now established, the next problem to be resolved
was how to get all the equipment in, powered up and leaving
enough room for the operator. Both systems can be operated by one
operator so there was no need to accommodate another person.
With both hatches situated on the right hand side of the plane there
remained plenty of room on the left hand side for both control racks.
And with the operator sitting between the two sensors it enables
them to operate the systems efciently (see Figure 1).
Each sensor contains it own IMU, but the plane only has one GPS
antenna. Rather than add an additional antenna to the top of the
plane, a GPS Antenna Splitter (Diplexer) was tted to feed GPS data
to both systems.
Flight Planning and Data Capture
When ight planning for dual capture several factors need to be
considered to ensure suitable data is collected. The primary factors
being the required point density from the LiDAR and the Ground
Sample Distance (GSD) of the imagery and their operational capa-
bilities need to be assessed to ensure usable data is collected from
both sensors. The specication and operational capabilities of our
Optech ALTM 3033 means that the dual capture is ight planned to
optimise data from it.
Blom wanted to capture both 4cm GSD imagery and 1m post spac-
ing LiDAR and, to achieve this, planned to y at 700m above
ground. At this height the imagery has a 60/40% overlap and the
LiDAR has a 20% overlap.
Several other factors need to be considered during ight planning.
Due to the additional weight the endurance of the plane reduced,
meaning shorter sorties have to be planned. Additional cross strips
need to be included to help with the calibration and matching of the
LiDAR data.
Although the planning is optimised for the LiDAR, the capture has to
be optimised for the quality of the imagery. This meant that sun
angles and cloud cover need to be assessed before any data is
acquired.
Data Processing
Once the data has been acquired, the processing ow lines follow
the standard processing procedures. The LiDAR is extracted to cre-
ate the point cloud; matching to ensure that overlapping ight lines
align with one another; classication to create a ground class. The
imagery is colour balanced; using the IMU/GPS data and base sta-
tion data an aerial triangulation is done; the images are mosaiced
into tiles; nal QA and correction undertaken.
One benet of dual capture is that a DTM can be created from the
LiDAR data and supplied for the imagery production to be used as
a surface model during rectication of the aerial photography.
7
Latest News? Visit www.geoinformatics.com October/November 2011
Ar t i c l e

Capture
Figure 2 - Clifton Suspension Bridge, Bristol captured as part of our MetroHEIGHT product range.
And the end result is
Once we have completed all data capture and processing the LiDAR
and aerial imagery is added into our data archive as part of the
product line called BlomMETRO. This creates a high specication
suite of aerial survey data products, with the core of the database
being the 4cm GSD aerial photography and 1 point/m LiDAR, cre-
ating a unique and up-to-date dataset of urban areas (see Figure 2).
However, it doesnt have to end there. What if, on top of the core
product, we could provide derivative or value-added products? Well
thats exactly what we have done. From the aerial survey data ve
categories of sub products will be available.
False colour and near infra red imagery is categorised as
MetroSOURCE. This provides vital information for what can general-
ly be categorized as environmental studies and this data is often
used in coastal and environmental monitoring, crop and tree canopy
management and deforestation studies. Exploiting our extensive
experience in photogrammetry we use the stereo pairs captured with
our Vexcel UltraCam to create 3D city models, and lastly, we have
produced MetroINSIGHT. This is a value-added product designed to
complement the core data with miscellaneous information such as
ood risk modeling, or our solar potential analysis as used by Bristol
City Council.
As the economies of scale dictate, BlomMETRO is focused on the
larger urban areas across the UK. However, in keeping with Bloms
ethos of supplying exactly what the customer requires, areas that
are not currently in the program can be captured on a project by
project basis. Many targets have already been captured and more
are in the pipeline and a regular refresh program to keep the data
as up-to-date as possible.
Conclusion
The complexities of simultaneous data capture, especially whilst cap-
tured in a high speed, high altitude environment, provide many chal-
lenges, and its largely due to the resources and experience that
Blom has that make this not only possible, but a more effective and
efcient method for both us and the end user. Reducing the time we
spend ying not only reduces our costs, which we are then able to
pass on to the end user, but also offers CO2 savings, always an
important consideration in the present climate. Secondary to these
savings, dual capture also ensures that we can offer multiple data
sets created from data of the same age. For example, this can prove
important when used as analysis for insurance claims or inspection
of transport routes. Lastly, collating this data into a package, such
as BlomMETRO, ensures that Blom is always able to offer a compre-
hensive data set of any urban area, no matter what the clients pho-
tographic and LiDAR needs are.
Hamish Grierson, Blom UK.
Internet: www.blomasa.com
Ar t i c l e
8
October/November 2011








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business. Visit www.SPARPointGroup.com/Europe
information and to register.
: G N I R U AT E F
Keynote by Ed Lantz,
President & CTO,
ortex Immersion Media V
17 Sessions
40+ Presenters





















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and knowledge to rene your processes and better your
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Keynote by Ed Lantz,
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TECH FIAATECH meeting - 7 November 2011
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Mobile and LBS
The New Location Revolution
Location based data is about to move from the margins, to the core of many user applications.
Bold statements, but should we believe the hype?
L
ooking back, the GIS and location
based sectors were very much a niche.
MapQuest and later Google taking
advantage of the Web, helped broaden the
availability, appeal and usefulness of maps.
Slippy maps, free data and a plethora of
new (free) tools, spawned a new breed of
Web based location focused applications.
Route nding, trafc data, locating points of
interest, and traditional GIS could all be
done on the Web. The GeoWeb was upon
us; a revolution of availability.
But what of mobile devices? They offer
portability, instant Internet access, geo-loca-
tion and simple more intuitive interaction as
key benets. This article discusses mobile,
with a particular focus on the location based
sector.
The Mobile Market in 2011
Mobile remains a confusing market place.
A turf war is being waged between rival
hardware and software companies. A multi-
tude of new devices have been launched in
the last 6 months. Both smartphones and
tablets of varying size and spec.
Disagreements continue over software. The
recent spat between Adobe and Apple over
the Flash player, being but one notable
example. Many companies looking to
develop mobile solutions have remained
cautiously on the sidelines.
But slowly the dust is clearing. For platforms;
Android, Apple, Blackberry and Windows
dominate. Now, no longer is there the need
to build multiple versions of an application
for each platform. A single code base which
can run across mobile platforms is today a
reality, thanks to HTML 5 for the mobile Web
and installed hybrid apps built with Adobe
AIR.
Mobile Applications
There are two ways to access applications
on a mobile device. The rst is to simply re
up the mobile Web browser and load a
Web application. Existing Web sites are
designed for mouse interaction. Mobile
interaction is with the nger, thus most Web
sites need to be optimized for the mobile
Web. This usually means a rework of both
design and functionality. Restrictions by
Apple mean that cross platform Web solu-
tions are limited to HTML5/Javascript. Sites
built with Flash, Flex and Silverlight are not
accessible on the iPhone or iPad.
Installed applications are the second type
accessible on mobiles. These can be down-
loaded from the various app stores. Many
are written in so called native languages;
Objective C for Apples IOS, Java for
Android etc. Native languages are specic
for a platform, meaning multiple versions of
the same app need be developed for cross
platform operation. The recent launch of
mobile AIR by Adobe, means that so called
hybrid apps can be written which run across
all platforms.
Mobiles and the Location Sector
Portability and resulting location change are
key reasons for the popularity of mobiles.
Location becomes a key piece of this new
computing universe. The location based sec-
tor should be well positioned to provide the
tools for this new universe. Geo-location and
context are important. Geo-location, tracks
current GPS location. It has spawned a new
location based services (LBS) sector. The
likes of Foursquare, Facebook and Yelp are
allowing mobile users to discover who and
what are near them. Extend that to geospa-
tial and users can start any GIS query and
discovery from their current location.
Routing, trafc and local search provided
by MapQuest become more relevant and
useful in the eld.
Context is more subtle, but provides a deep-
er understanding of data. GIS has been tra-
ditionally used in an ofce or home. Taking
10
October/November 2011
Ar t i c l e
By Matt Sheehan
Figure 1 Mobile ArcGIS Viewer
Figure 2 - Enterprise Mobile Check-In Application Home Screen
these GIS applications into the eld and run-
ning them on a mobile device, dramatically
improves insight.
Mobile Hardware and
Application Development
The mobile market is made up of smart
phones and tablets. Historically dominated
by the iPhone and iPad, new launches by
other manufacturers have started to chal-
lenge Apples preeminence. Mobile device
screen size is an important application
development and design consideration.
Screen sizes range from the 2.6 HP Veer,
through the 3.5 iPhone, and 9.7 iPad to
the 10.1 Samsung Galaxy Tab. An appli-
cation designed for a tablet will not neces-
sarily work well on a smart phone and vice
versa. Applications built for a tablet can be
richer and more complex than those
designed for smart phones. The smart phone
is ideal for quick snapshots of information.
These differences are best illustrated with
two examples.
Mobile ArcGIS Viewer for the
Tablet
There are a number of excellent Web based
ArcGIS viewers on the market. One of the
more notable is the Esri Flex Viewer. This
provides a rich GIS user experience. But,
given its architecture, and the fact it is writ-
ten in Flex, it will not run on any Apple
device. This posed an interesting problem;
can a viewer of this type be run on a mobile
device? We took some of the modules
which make up the Esri Flex viewer and
started work on integrating them into a
mobile viewer. Using mobile Adobe Air, we
found we could modify the base module
code and run it across all platforms. Figure
1 shows the nal application interface.
Once built, we started testing the applica-
tion across devices. It soon became clear,
that even on the largest smart phone, that
this was a viewer best accessed on a tablet.
The tools were far harder to use on the smart
phone, and subtle details in the map hard
to see. The free application is now available
for Apple, Android and Blackberry.
Enterprise Mobile Check-In
Application for the Smart Phone
Mobile check-In has become very popular
in marketing and advertising. Florian Fischer
discussed this phenomenon in Issue 5 of
GeoInformatics. To date this has been a con-
sumer focused phenomena. But enterprises
are now looking at the potential use of the
check-in. Facility management companies,
surveyors, multilevel marketing, insurance
claims, pipeline companies, water utilities;
all have eld workers who would benet
from this type of mobile application. Not
only checking in to work sites, but keeping
a record of the work done; notes, pictures,
video, even voice records. Using the new
Flash tools from MapQuest, we went ahead
and built an application which provided this
functionality. Figure 2 shows the home
screen of the application.
Not only does the application include check-
in and data collection, but routing, local
search and a geocoder. Functionality of the
application is tied to either a point of inter-
est or GPS location. The application allows
a eld worker start the day by viewing an
optimized route of the days calls. On arrival
at each call, the user can use the check-
in/out screen to register job location and
provide data relating to the call, see Figure
3.
The local search and geocoder provide
additional tools for discovering who or what
is nearby and address search capabilities
respectively.
A link to a video showing the application is
provided at the end of the article. This appli-
cation was found to be ideal for a smart
phone. It provides snapshots of information
regarding routing and local data. Check-in
and data collection are simple interactions.
And portability of the smart phone, makes
it easy for eld workers to both carry and
use.
The new mobile revolution offers exciting
opportunities for the location based sector.
The combination of geo-location and con-
text provides the potential to extend existing
location focused applications. It also opens
the way for new, innovative applications.
Maybe most importantly it offers the possi-
bility of integrating with a wide range of
other applications.
Matt Sheehan is a Principal and Senior developer at
WebMapSolutions. The company builds mobile applications, specialis-
ing in location based services (LBS), GIS and mapping.
www.webmapsolutions.com
Links:
Mobile ArcGIS Viewer www.webmapsolutions.com/arcgis-ipad-
android-blackberry-playbook
Enterprise Mobile Check-In Application -
www.webmapsolutions.com/checkin-data-collection
WebMapSolutions Blog
www.webmapsolutions.com/category/mobile
WebMapSolutions on Twitter www.twitter.com/flexmappers
Ar t i c l e
11
Latest News? Visit www.geoinformatics.com October/November 2011


Figure 3 Check-In/Out and Data Collection Figure 4 Directions and Local Search
E v e n t
12
October/November 2011
Civil Applications of UAVs
UAVs on Duty
UAVs (Unmanned Aerial Vehicles) are highly developed flight systems, which can be used for a great
variety of applications, such as monitoring of natural hazards (landslides, flooding and volcanoes etc.)
and the documentation of archaeological excavations, gravel pits, and construction sites. Furthermore,
UAVs can be used for mapping of agricultural and forest areas as well as for cadastral tasks in combi-
nation with traditional surveying methods.
Worldwide interest in UAVs
The UAV-g 2011 conference was a get-together at ETH Zurich and
aireld Birrfeld of 220 scientists, users, delegates of government
authorities and manufacturers coming from over 30 different coun-
tries. At the conference the current research on UAVs with the empha-
sis on applications in Geo matics was presented and discussed under
the consideration of user requirements. The focus of the conference
was on the exchange of UAV-g research activities between the dif-
ferent disciplines (articial intelligence, robotics, photogrammetry,
geodesy, computer vision,
and aerospace engineering)
and furthermore, the needs
for future developments were
formulated.
Use of UAVs under
legal regulations
In the keynote speech Roland
Siegwart (Vice President Re -
search and Corporate Rela -
tions and chair of the auto -
no mous system lab ETH Zurich) gave a fascinating overview of
autonomous navigation, positioning and collision avoidance and
showed the trend towards the miniaturization of UAV systems.
Currently available UAV platforms can already be used as measur-
ing system for various mapping and monitoring applications.
However, the operation of UAVs is limited by legal regulations. For
example, in Switzerland autonomous ying model aircrafts with a
take-off weight of over 30 kg require a particular authorization by
the Federal Ofce of Civil Applications (FOCA). Furthermore, UAVs
with a take-off weight of fewer than 30 kg can only be operated in
restricted ight zones, line of sight and operated with a back-up pilot
who can take over the control of the system at any time.
Fascinating live demonstrations
The experts were impressed by the live show at the aireld Birrfeld.
During the demonstration various autonomously ying UAVs were
presented, such as open source systems, xed wings, a helicopter,
multicopters, a blimp and a motorized kite. The best presentations
of the live show were awarded with the Most Innovative UAV
Application and Demonstration - Award sponsored by Hexagon
Technology Center/Leica Geo systems. The R-Pod system could per-
suade the jury due to the light take-off weight (500 g) and the exi-
ble applicability. A quadrocopter (open source project MikroKopter)
realized by a team of the Swiss College of Agriculture (SHL / BFH)
was awarded with the second price, while the third price went to
Ascending Technology for the Falcon 8 system.
Future research and developments will be presented at the confer-
ence UAV-g 2013 in Rostock (Germany).
Dr. Henri Eisenbeiss, henri.eisenbeiss@geod.baug.ethz.ch,
ETH Zurich, Institute for Geodesy and Photogrammetry
More information under http://www.uav-g.ethz.ch
By Henri Eisenbeiss
UAVs presented during the UAV-g demonstration.
Exhibition during the UAV-g conference.





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New Initiatives and Perspectives
Esri and Cloud GIS Strategies
In the last months, Esri has made a big step forward in embracing the cloud. With developments
regarding ArcGIS Online and ArcGIS Server for the cloud, the company's cloud systems illustrate that
Esri is at the edge of an upswing concerning cloud technology and solutions. Victoria Kouyoumjian,
Esri IT Strategies Architect explains where the company stands at the moment in adopting this new
technology trend and announces a new partnership and a private cloud platform.
D
uring the last Esri UC in San Diego,
the company announced their plans
for the cloud. This fall, the ArcGIS
Online system will be shifted to a full GIS-in-
the-cloud environment. It will be an open
platform for mapping and geographic infor-
mation in the cloud, where everything is tied
together with intelligent web maps that are
described as a new medium where multiple
services are integrated and shared. Esri IT
Strategies Architect Victoria Kouyoumjian
conrms that things are happening fast, as
opposed to one year ago: We are full
steam ahead, that's for sure. We are just at
the edge of an upswing of getting in the
cloud and providing more cloud solutions.
Cloud Adoption by the Esri com-
munity
With new tools and services, the community
has a better understanding and capabilities
of adopting the new technology.
Kouyoumjian: ArcGIS Server for the cloud
has been out there for a year. New features
to be released on desktop will allow the
geospatial community to publish right to the
cloud. So I think the message is clear that
this is not just a single step into the cloud
technology landscape - it's something Esri
intends to put a lot of research and devel-
opment into.
Kouyoumjian's task within Esri is to work
between cloud vendors and the company's
14
October/November 2011
I n t e r v i e w
By Eric van Rees
Esri's ArcGIS Online allows you to take advantage of a cloud-hosted platform for creating and sharing your maps on-demand, including ready-to-use and customizable templates for to create
a web application with your own look and functionality.
customers to see where both can meet each
other: Primarily, my role involves a consul-
tative business approach to examining
which technologies are worth adopting, par-
ticularly as these emerging technologies
move from a blip to a trend. So I spend a
lot of time in the cloud, so to speak. We look
at various cloud providers, for instance, to
see if there's an opportunity there for Esri
and for our customers. We are fully
engaged with Microsoft and their Windows
Azure platform and we are looking at other
providers going forward. The whole idea of
the cloud is sometimes hard to get, so I
help to facilitate that, distilling loads of infor-
mation into consumable content, for
instance, through frequent presentations,
white papers and articles.
Cloud solutions within the Esri
portfolio
One might wonder where exactly does the
cloud t into Esri's existing portfolio of desk-
top, server and mobile solutions. Will it
replace or complement the existing products
and what does the cloud mean in terms of
licensing costs and models? About this,
Kouyoumjian is clear: One of the channels
of thought that Esri has is that cloud comput-
ing is not exclusively the solution. It comple-
ments the portfolios of solutions we have
and not meant as a 100% replacement.
Indeed, it is intended to be another platform
for organizations, individuals or business
units that see the benets of leveraging
cloud storage, or with disaster response
operations, or for economies of scale or cost
purposes. Organizations that already have
on-premise solutions create their data main-
ly through their eld operations or in-house
and then push that out to the cloud, storing
it there so they can access it through vari-
ous applications and services, states
Kouyoumjian.
Licensing for the Cloud
When asked how licensing works for the
cloud in relation to existing software licens-
es for desktop and server, Kouyoumjian
answers that currently, to leverage ArcGIS
for Server on Amazon EC2, you need to
have an ArcGIS for Server license. Term
licenses are also an option: Term license
are attractive to a lot of people because, in
lieu of 'pay as you go' licenses for Server,
Esri offers licenses in 1-month, 3-month and
12-month terms. Of course, with ArcGIS
Online, you dont need a license to initial-
ize a SaaS-based solution to immediately
start building a cloud-based application
through ArcGIS Exporer Online or the Web
Map Viewer.
Going forward, Esri will be expanding
ArcGIS Online to include the ability for orga-
nizations to store, manage, and host
services, personalizing their geo-cloud pres-
ence for on-premise or off-premise con -
sumption. Esri will have a subscription
based offering for hosting map services
depending on what you're doing with
ArcGIS Online: With private cloud enable-
ment through Portal for ArcGIS, and Esri
leveraging SaaS, PaaS and IaaS, in a way,
Esri is taking on the role of a comprehensive
geo cloud broker.
Looking ahead, out of all the many cloud
providers, only the select few will remain:
So you've got Microsoft, Amazon and
there's all these other ones coming out of the
I n t e r v i e w
15
Latest News? Visit www.geoinformatics.com October/November 2011


Victoria Kouyoumjian, Esri IT Strategies Architect
woodwork for cloud adopters to select from,
but you can't predict how long they will be
around for. The prediction is that the number
of cloud providers will eventually peak and
those cloud providers that are the most robust
and trusted and have a successful track-
record will survive and rise to the top.
Vblock
Recently, Esri has become more engaged
with VCE a company formed as a joint
venture by Cisco and EMC with investments
from VMware and Intel. VCE released a pre-
congured infrastructure platform called
Vblock Infrastructure Platforms, enabling
rapid deployment for cloud computing appli-
cations. Kouyoumjian states that this plat-
form offers interesting opportunities for cus-
tomers since Vblock platforms have compute
storage, networking, security management
and virtualization, so users can put their
apps and everything on it, plugging it into
their existing data center as a private cloud:
It's very attractive to a lot of organizations
that don't want to leverage the public cloud
and don't want to put their data, applica-
tions and their sensitive information in the
public cloud space. Weve tested ArcGIS on
this platform with impressive results.
Kouyoumjian is looking forward to see
whats happening with Vblock platforms:
It's a private cloud infrastructure platform
that is moving quickly into this new cloud
skyscape for a lot of organizations that want
on-premises, but also want to leverage the
technology capabilities of a cloud.
Clearly, cloud computing has moved quick-
ly into the mainstream geospatial environ-
ment, and is impacting nearly every vertical
leveraging information technology. For Esri
and GIS, the skies the limit or is it the
cloud? Watch this space.
A white paper by Victoria Kouyoumjian on GIS
in the cloud can be downloaded through:
www.esri.com/library/ebooks/gis-in-the-cloud.pdf
16
October/November 2011
I n t e r v i e w
A customized interface of private cloud enablement through Portal for ArcGIS
Vblock Infrastructure Platforms




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.

A Report on the ISPRS York 2011 Conference
Cultural Heritage Data Acqui
The development of the new close-range digital imaging, photogrammetric and laser scanning tech-
nologies is having a huge impact on the measurement, recording, depiction and analysis of cultural
heritage sites and objects world-wide as revealed at the recent ISPRS conference held in York, England.
A
s mentioned in the report on the ISPRS Commission V
Symposium held in Newcastle that was published in the
September 2010 issue of GEO infor matics, one of the most
active groups within this particular ISPRS technical commission is
Working Group (WG) V/2 - which is concerned with cultural her-
itage data acquisition and processing and its applications. The work-
ing group had 30 papers presented on this topic at the Newcastle
Symposium. A follow-up conference was held by the working group
in York in Northern England between 17
th
and 19
th
August 2011
and produced a further 47 papers. The conference was organised
by the chairman of WG V/2, Paul Bryan of English Heritage, who
was ably assisted by a small team drawn largely from his own organ-
isation and the University of York. The actual venue for the confer-
ence was the Kings Manor, which comprises a group of medieval
buildings that are currently occupied by the Department of
Archaeology and the Centres for Medieval Studies and Eighteenth
Century Studies of the University of York. It proved to be a very suit-
able venue for a conference concerned with cultural heritage.
The format of the conference provided a one-hour keynote address
at the start of each of the three days over which it was held. These
were followed by two technical sessions and an industry session
held on the rst day; two further technical sessions and a poster ses-
sion held on the second day; and a nal technical session on the
third (half) day. The conference also included a technical exhibition
of photogrammetric and terrestrial laser scanner hardware and soft-
ware products. The accompanying social events included a recep-
tion by the Lord Mayor at the citys Mansion House; an evening boat
cruise on the River Ouse that passes through the city; and the con-
ference dinner which was held on one of the platforms in the hall
18
October/November 2011
E v e n t
Fig. 1 A perspective overview of the faces of the four
presidents from left to right: George Washington;
Thomas Jefferson; Theodore Roosevelt; and Abraham
Lincoln at the Mount Rushmore National Memorial in the
Black Hills of South Dakota, which has been produced by
the digital laser scan survey. (Source: CDDV)
Fig. 2 The scanning team, supported by harnesses and ropes, are using a custom-made
tripod and trivet to act as the mount for a Leica ScanStation laser scanner during the
survey at Mount Rushmore. (Source: Doug Pritchard)
By Gordon Petrie
housing the royal trains at the National Railway Museum. In total,
the conference had a busy and satisfying programme of activities.
Keynote Addresses
The rst of the three keynote addresses was given by Professor
Jon Mills of Newcastle University, who is the president of ISPRS
Commission V. He rst reviewed the past and present activities of
the Commission, before going on to outline the extensive interna-
tional cooperation that is taking place in the acquisition and pro-
cessing of cultural heritage data. The second address, entitled An
Update on the Scottish Ten was given by Doug Pritchard, who
is the Head of Visualisation at the Digital Design Studio of Glasgow
School of Art and Director of the Centre for Digital Documentation
& Visualization (CDDV). The Centre is a collaborative venture
between the School of Art and Historic Scotland, which is the agen-
cy of the Scottish Government charged with safeguarding the coun-
trys historic environment. One of its major projects is the so-called
Scottish Ten which aims to deliver the comprehensive digital docu-
mentation of the ve UNESCO World Heritage Sites located in
Scotland and a further ve International Heritage Sites. Using a com-
bination of airborne and terrestrial laser scanning and imaging,
three of the Scottish sites - (i) the New Lanark industrial settlement
and village dating from the late 18
th
Century; (ii) the group of
Neolithic sites in the northern island of Orkney; and (iii) the remote
and now-deserted Atlantic island of St. Kilda have already been
surveyed. The survey of a fourth large site the old town of
Edinburgh is currently under way. On the international front, in
cooperation with the U.S. National Park Service, the CyArk organi-
sation and local specialists, the Scottish team has already carried
out the survey of the spectacular national memorial of four former
American presidents that has been carved out on the side of Mount
Rushmore in South Dakota in the U.S.A. The images that have been
acquired by the team using Leica ScanStation scanners that were
shown during this address were really outstanding [Figs. 1 and 2].
Currently the planning of the survey of the Rani Ki Vav (The Queen's
Stepwell) site in Gujerat, India dating from the 11th Century is well
under way and will take place soon. Once this has been complet-
ed, the next international site that will be surveyed (in 2012) will be
the Eastern Qing Tombs, located northeast of Beijing, where numer-
ous Chinese emperors and empresses are buried.
The third keynote address was given by Paul Backhouse, who is
the head of Imaging Graphics & Survey of English Heritage, which
is the ofcial agency that is charged with the preservation and man-
agement of the historic built environment of England. He gave an
account of the strategies and the technologies that have been adopt-
ed by his agency in acquiring measured data of a large number of
heritage sites in England and the lessons that have been learned
from these surveys. Details were given of four case studies (i)
Coombe Down, a huge underground stone mine located near the
city of Bath in south-west England; (ii) Chedhams Yard, an old black-
smiths workshop located in Warwickshire; (iii) the Dover Tunnels,
E v e n t
19
Latest News? Visit www.geoinformatics.com October/November 2011

sition & Processing
Fig. 3 Stonehenge showing its circles of large standing stones. (Source: Gareth Wiscombe on Wikipedia)

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the maze of underground tunnels lying beneath Dover Castle on the
cliff coast of south-east England facing France that have been con-
structed for defence purposes over a period of several centuries;
and (iv) the World Heritage prehistoric (Neolithic) site of Stonehenge
with its famous circles of standing and fallen stones (dating from
around 2500 BC) and its surrounding ring bank and ditch earth-
work [Fig. 3]. Again the documentation resulting from these various
surveys in the form of images, maps, plans, 3D perspectives and
video y-throughs was often eye-catching in the extreme.
Technical Sessions
The rst of the technical sessions (TS-1) was entitled Sensor
Development & Mapping Solutions and featured several very inter-
esting presentations. Among these was that given by Konrad
Wenzel of the University of Stuttgart. He and his colleagues from
the Universitys Institute of Photogrammetry have devised a low-cost
photogrammetric imaging system comprising ve small-format cam-
eras equipped with very short focal length lenses and a near-IR ran-
dom pattern projector. All of these are mounted together on a
portable metal frame that can be used to undertake very close-range
imaging surveys [Fig. 4 (a)]. The highly automated processing of
the resulting data is then carried out using an image matching algo-
rithm that has recently been developed for use with very dense data
sets. The imaging system has been used to survey the huge triangu-
lar stone tympana (each 25 m in width and 6 m in height) which
are mounted at the top of the faades of the Royal Palace located in
the Dam Square in Amsterdam [Fig. 4 (b)]. The scaffolding and
screens that have been erected to carry out the restoration of the
whole building [Fig. 4(c)] only allowed imaging distances of less
than one metre. With an object (post) sampling distance of 1 mm,
the point cloud that results from the images acquired at circa 2,000
different camera positions is simply enormous, as is the subsequent
task of processing this data mountain (or cloud). Another interesting
presentation in this session included a comparison of range-based
(laser scanner) techniques with image-based (photogrammetric) tech-
niques for the surveys and documentation of rock art shelters in Spain
that was given by Professor Lerma of Valencia Polytechnic. Yet
another eye-catching presentation was that given by Dr. Caterina
Balletti of the CIRCE Photogrammetric Laboratory of the IUAV
University of Venice. This involved the survey of the historic build-
ings lining Venices Grand Canal, which was carried out using a
boat-mounted Riegl VMX-250 mobile mapping system [Fig. 5] and
processed using Riegls RiPROCESS software.
The second Technical Session (TS-2), entitled Imaging Solutions from
Aerial to Underwater, proved to be no less interesting. Dr. Geert
Verhoeven from the University of Ghent gave an entertaining
account of the aerial photogrammetric survey of an ancient Roman
quarry located at Pitaranha in the central part of Portugal, close to
the Spanish/Portuguese border. This was implemented using a Nikon
D80 small-format (10 Megapixel) digital camera which was mount-
ed on a low-ying Helikite aerostat attached to a tether [Fig. 6]. The
Helikite is a combination of a balloon and kite that is manufactured
by Allsopp Helikites Ltd. in the U.K. The subsequent data processing
of the 1,000 often quite tilted images that covered the Pitaranha site
was carried out using the Structure from Motion (SfM) software that
is popular in machine vision and robotics to handle multiple-view
images. [N.B. The SfM software appears to implement a set of fairly
conventional multi-image photogrammetric solutions, even though it
uses a wholly different terminology to that in common use in pho-
togrammetry.]
Also of much interest in this second (TS-2) session were the presenta-
tions on the aerial surveys of heritage sites from low-ying UAVs.
The rst of these was given by Greg Colley of sUAVe Aerial
Photographers, who used a Canon 5D camera mounted on a UAV
that was operated from a very low altitude to survey the Roman
Amphitheatre in Chester in north-west England. The second presen-
tation was given by Dr. Sara Bursanti of the University of Trieste.
She utilized a quadcopter UAV equipped with a Canon IXUS com-
pact digital camera to carry out a survey of the city walls of the
Roman city of Aquileia in north Italy - which is yet another site that
has been included in UNESCOs World Heritage List. These two
presentations were supplemented by a poster by Andrew Blogg
of the KOREC company in the U.K., who brought along (in a suit-
case) and showed an actual example of the very lightweight Swinglet
CAM ying-wing mini-drone with its 80 cm wingspan that is pro-
duced by the SenseFly company in Switzerland [Fig. 7]. It features
Fig. 4 (a) This photogrammetric imaging system
comprises four small-format digital cameras equipped
with short focal length lenses and filters that only trans-
mit near-IR radiation. The fifth camera transmits light in
the visible part of the spectrum and is equipped with an
even shorter focal length lens. The five cameras are
mounted rigidly on and are protected by an aluminium
frame. At the top of the frame is the projector from a
Microsoft Kinect device that projects a random pattern
in the near-IR part of the spectrum to provide additional
texture to the images. This helps with the later auto-
mated image matching process. (Source: Institute of
Photogrammetry, University of Stuttgart)
(b) This triangular clay relief was made in around 1655
to act as a model for the tympanum mounted at the top
of the faade at the rear of the Amsterdam town hall,
now today's Royal Palace on Dam Square. (Source:
Rijksmuseum)
(c) The front faade of the Royal Palace with the scaf-
folding and screens which have been erected during its
restoration. The Palace is located in the Dam Square in
Amsterdam. (Source: Institute of Photogrammetry,
University of Stuttgart)
21
Latest News? Visit www.geoinformatics.com October/November 2011
E v e n t
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a miniaturized GPS/IMU unit that allows the pre-programmed
autonomous ight of a 12 Megapixel camera over a site. Apparently
this ying wing drone has already been used to survey the remains
of ancient walls in Switzerland. Finally what was for me a fascinat-
ing lecture within this session was that given by Dr. Dimitrios
Skarlatos of Cyprus University of Technology. He has investigated
and evaluated the quite staggering amount of free (or nearly-free)
open-source software or software components that are available on
the Web and can be used for the photogrammetric processing of
the images acquired using low-cost digital cameras. Much of this
information was simply unknown to me (and to other photogram-
metrists in the audience) and it needs to be publicized more widely
within the cultural heritage community as well.
The third Technical Session (TS-3) was entitled Remote Sensing
Technologies & Single/Multi Image Approaches. The presentations
included a description of the DART project at the University of Leeds
that is investigating the underlying physical, chemical and biologi-
cal properties and factors in the soil and vegetation that affect the
contrast in the images that have been recorded by aerial cameras
and, in turn, affect their interpretation for archaeological purposes.
This was supplemented by a contribution from Poland that investi-
gated the site formation of medieval landscapes in Pomerania.
Another presentation from Nottingham Trent University described a
new hyperspectral imaging system for the inspection and analysis of
wall paintings and other large surfaces, while Ian Anderson of
SiteScene described his work of monitoring and recording heritage
plasterwork within the ruined Cowdray Castle in West Sussex. Finally
Lindsay Macdonald, who is the Professor of Digital Media at the
London College of Communication, gave an interesting account of
his comparison of alternative photogrametric and photometric meth-
ods of constructing a digital model of an Egyptian funerary urn, com-
paring the results with the dense point cloud that has been generat-
ed by a high-resolution Arius 3D colour laser triangulation scanner.
This work was done in collaboration with University College London
and the University of Parma.
The fourth Technical Session (TS-4) was concerned with Data
Processing & 3D Modelling Solutions. Contributions included the
development of automated texture mapping; the 3D modelling of
building interiors; and the development of the CityGrid software
suite for 3D city modelling by the Austrian UVM (Urban Visualisation
& Management) company. Next came a description of low-cost 3D
modelling as applied to the London City Wall project. Finally there
was an account given by Professor George Fraser of the Space
Research Centre of the University of Leicester of the use of Siemens
Teamcenter data management and archiving software in the context
of the laser scanning of two tomb-monuments of the Howard Dukes
of Norfolk. Another interesting contribution within this area of 3D
modelling came from the Virtalis company and the British Geological
Survey (BGS). This described their joint development of the
GeoVisionary software for the 3D visualization and interpretation of
very large spatial data sets though this contribution was, in fact,
presented in both the industry and poster sessions instead of TS-4.
The LFM software suite from Z+F which provides a complete solu-
tion from the initial registration of laser scan data to the nal as-built
3D modelling was also presented both in the industry session and
in the exhibition.
The fth Technical Session (TS-5) had the title Development of
Standards & Best Practice Applications. It began with a most inter-
esting and thoughtful presentation by Dr. Stuart Jeffrey of the
Archaeological Data Service (ADS) at the University of York. This
expressed his views about the long-term archiving and maintenance
of the enormous volume of heritage data that is being generated by
photogrammetry and laser scanning, especially given the process-
ing and re-processing that is likely to occur in the foreseeable future.
He then went on to discuss the revision of the Guides to Good
Practice for the archiving of archaeological and heritage data that
the ADS has produced in partnership with the University of Arkansas
and Arizona State University. This work has been carried out in sup-
port of the U.S.-based Digital Antiquity organisation that is con-
cerned with the preservation of and access to irreplaceable archae-
ological records and data. It also oversees the use, development,
and maintenance of the Digital Archaeological Record (tDAR), which
is a unique digital repository for archaeological data. The other con-
tributions to this session included two separate accounts (i) of the
recent very detailed high-precision 3D survey of Stonehenge under-
taken on behalf of English Heritage by the Greenhatch Group, Atkins
Mapping and Archaeo-Environment Ltd. using Z+F Imager 5010
E v e n t
23
Latest News? Visit www.geoinformatics.com October/November 2011
Fig. 5 This RIEGL VMX-250 Mobile Laser Scanning (MLS) measurement system comprises two
RIEGL VQ-250 scanners and accompanying inertial and GNSS navigation hardware. The system has
been mounted on a specially built frame on the boat that has been used to carry out the scanning of
the historic buildings along the Canal Grande, Venice. (Source: RIEGL)
Fig. 6 Inflating the Allsopp helikite prior to it being used as the platform for the lightweight digital
camera that has been used to carry out the low-altitude imaging survey of the Roman stone quarry at
Pitaranha, Portugal. (Source: G. Verhoeven)
and Leica C10 laser scanners and digital photogrammetric proce-
dures; and (ii) a similar survey by ArcHeritage using a Leica C10
scanner that has produced a 3D model of the 17
th
Century Staveley
Hall and its grounds in the Peak District of England [Fig. 8].
Poster Session
Twenty or so of the presentations given at the conference took the
form of posters. Often at conferences, poster sessions are poorly
attended and supported, but not at this meeting. The session was
lively and very well attended and most of the authors had an inter-
ested group asking questions and seeking more information about
the topic concerned. No fewer than ve of the poster presentations
came from different Italian universities concerned with the survey of
various different buildings, monuments and landscapes. As noted in
my report on the previous Newcastle symposium, this is not wholly
unexpected given the extent of the cultural heritage from Roman
times onwards that is so prominent in that country. Two other posters
were contributed by Por tu guese participants, where again there is a
similar interest in the countrys national heritage. There were also
two or three presentations that were concerned with satellite remote
sensing which, in my opinion, did not seem too appropriate, given
that ISPRS Commission V is concerned with close-range imaging and
measuring techniques and their applications. Either ISPRS
Commission VII, which deals with the thematic processing, modelling
and analysis of remotely sensed data, or Commission VIII, which
covers remote sensing applications, would seem to be a more much
appropriate platform for the presentation of these contributions.
Industry Session &
Exhibition
As one would expect, these two
parts of the programme mainly
featured the manufacturers and
suppliers of terrestrial laser scan-
ners and the accompanying soft-
ware. They also supplemented
their presentations by displaying
and demonstrating their instru-
ments and systems both in the
technical exhibition and in the
grounds of Kings Manor. Most of
the laser scanners that were
exhibited were of the short-range
type based on the phase measur-
ing technique that are best suited
to heritage and building applica-
tions. They included the Leica
HDS6200, the Z+F Imager 5010,
the Faro Focus
3D
and the
Surphaser from Basis Software.
On the photogrammetric side, the
well known suite of Vr photogram-
metric and lidar processing prod-
ucts that have been developed by
Cardinal Systems in the U.S.A.
were demonstrated by its U.K.
agent. What was more unusual was the presence in the exhibition
of a single example of a rotating panoramic line scanner in the form
of the SpheroCam HDR from Germany [Fig. 9]. This instrument pro-
duces digital panoramic images in a single pass without any need
for stitching. I have long been mystied as to the almost complete
lack of knowledge and application of this type of precision imaging
device (which is also produced by several other German and Swiss
manufacturers and by Panoscan in the U.S.A.) on the part of the cul-
tural heritage community in the U.K. The instruments seem very well
suited to the imaging of the interiors and exteriors of the large build-
ings that form a major part of the cultural and architectural heritage
in so many countries and especially in the U.K.
Conclusion
This was a very worthwhile meeting to attend - well organised and
with a friendly but serious atmosphere and a useful outcome. With
only a few exceptions, the presentations were of a really good stan-
dard and were very focussed on the specic topics that have been
set out in the Working Groups terms of reference. Thus there was a
great deal of new information for the participants to assimilate, both
on the hardware and software systems side and on the very wide
range of applications to cultural heritage documentation that were
discussed. Undoubtedly the cultural heritage area has already bene-
tted greatly from its successful adoption of modern close-range dig-
ital photogrammetric and laser scanning technologies. Furthermore,
on the evidence of this meeting, there is much more to come!
Gordon Petrie is Emeritus Professor of Topographic Science
in the School of Geographical & Earth Sciences of the University
of Glasgow, Scotland, U.K.
E-mail - Gordon.Petrie@glasgow.ac.uk;
Web Site - http://web2.ges.gla.ac.uk/~gpetrie
October/November 2011
Fig. 8 A perspective view of the exterior faade of Staveley
Hall that has been produced from digital 3D laser scan data.
(Source: ArcHeritage)
Fig. 7 The lightweight SenseFly Swinglet CAM flying wing mini-drone is shown together with its carry-
ing case and laptop control computer. It is an electrically-powered UAV capable of autonomous flight over
an operational range up to 20km and can operate in winds up to 25km/h. (Source: KOREC Group)
Fig. 9 This diagram shows the horizontal
rotational motion of the SpheroCam HDR digital
panoramic line scanner around its vertical axis.
When used together with the near 180 vertical
field of its fisheye lens, the instrument can gener-
ate spherical (360 x 180) digital images in a
single rotational pass. The instrument is produced
by the Spheron-VR company, which is based near
Kaiserslautern in the state of Rhineland-Palatinate
in Germany. (Source: Spheron-VR)
E v e n t
24
Point Clouds and Multi-image Panoramas
Surveying Buildings
The development of building knowledge systems is nowadays a meaningful step when planning
architectural maintenance and managing emergencies during a buildings life cycle. A 3D photo-tex-
tured model, which can describe both spatial connections and material properties, is a measurable
virtual object that is achieved via terrestrial survey techniques, such as laser scanning and imaging.
This article presents the current status of techniques and technologies for the construction of a textured
model, through the support of experiences regarding an ancient historical building in the Lombardy
region of Northern Italy.
Knowledge technologies
Survey and representation techniques can provide, without contact,
spatial numeric plots and drawings with an assigned precision, to
produce a geo-database of architectural information.
The survey process can be enhanced using image measurement (close
range photogrammetry) or scanning laser sensors, which record a
sequence of spatial points describing the selected object. Usually, the
combination of both methodologies will overcome accessibility and
visibility problems, which often affect the employment of optical instru-
ments during a terrestrial survey.
Photogrammetry is based on the use of an imaging camera (lm or
digital), in which the acquisition of many overlapping images pro-
duces spatial and orthographic representations, thanks to the appli-
cation of projective geometry algorithms. Photo gram metric solutions,
despite offering interesting and complete application elds, do not
permit simultaneous processing with acquisition. This said, it is now
in competition with the emerging laser scanning technology, which
provides real-time, fast, and increased automatic metric output.
A sophisticated digital sensor, placed over a standard support, is
used to emit a thin laser beam towards the object to be measured.
The beam, while rotating in the horizontal and vertical planes,
describes pre-selected areas, directly recording a cloud of spatial
points (coordinates x, y, z). The reected energy and, under certain
circumstances, the photographic information, produces an object
point model of given density with materials and natural colours.
As with photogrammetric methodology, the laser device is located at dif-
ferent spatial positions providing overlapping cloud sequences in order to
guarantee software connection in a global model.
It is interesting to note that this motorized sensor can record up to
1,000,000 object points per second, with an accuracy of a few millime-
tres, and within a range of more than one hundred metres.
26
October/November 2011
Ar t i c l e
By Luigi Colombo and Barbara Marana
Fig. 1- The Monte Oliveto Sanctuary, suggestively placed inside a small valley
Fig. 2 The church interiors, with Z+F scanner at work and mobile targets
The produced sketchy model can be observed and processed using vari-
ous software packages available with many well-known and established
CAD systems.
It is easy to think that each cloud could contain redundant information (for
instance too many points) for zones with simple and regular geometry. On
the other hand, there could be too little information (voids) caused by the
position of the measurement device not allowing for by complex object
morphologies and object roughness. Therefore, editing is necessary to
simplify and rene the collected data. In addition, the phases regarding
adjacent cloud connection and texture mapping require manual work and
the use of different dedicated packages.
The Monte Oliveto survey: a new experience
The 16th century Monte Oliveto Sanctuary is located at Adrara St.
Martino, on the rst Val di Pieve reliefs, at the eastern border of the
Bergamo province (Fig.1).The church interior shows one nave divid-
ed in three spans by masonry pilasters (Fig. 2).The building (its inside
and part of the outside, due to restoration) was recently surveyed by
the Geo-Technology Lab from the University of Bergamo. This pro-
gram of analysis, documentation and cataloguing, was done in col-
laboration with the Historic Research Group of Adrara St. Martino,
which has been studying the valley monuments for many years.
It was planned to employ, as usual in the Lab applications, both scan-
ning and imaging techniques in order to obtain a 3D spatial model
of the building. The assigned parameters were 10 mm expected accu-
racy, that is a level of detail corresponding to the traditional 1:50
scale, scanning density at the highest level (for a linear sampling of
about 3 mm or 4 mm of the walls), and object detail detection if
greater than 10 mm, with a 60% level of condence.
The technology used was a panoramic laser device (eld of view
equal to 360x320) from Zoller+Frlich (500,000 points per sec-
ond rating and cloud scanning time under seven minutes) plus an
external Nikon reex camera with panoramic lens (180) and high-
resolution sensor.
In this application, an external camera was preferred for photo-
graphic texturing, instead of the motorized photo camera, superim-
posable to the scanner, adopted in a previous Lab experience
[Geoinformatics 4, 2011]. The new choice allowed photographic
textures to be generated more independently from the scanning con-
ditions and times, a solution that presents less constraint for
device/object distance.
Both the aforementioned selections however provide approximate solu-
tions. Only a laser with an integrated photo camera, but of a selectable
high resolution, allows for the production of a truly coloured point cloud.
As yet, this option is not provided by Z+F.
The photo camera was installed over a mechanical support with a round
head, to be connected to the laser tripod. In this way, 360 images are
recordable from the same scanning positions (without parallax errors) for
the nal model photo-texturing. For each of the panoramic scans, manu-
ally, six horizontal shots and one zenithal shot were carried out (Fig. 3).
These seven images were then processed inside photographic stitch-
ing software so as to generate a global spherical multi-image panora-
ma to be mapped over the point cloud or point-derived triangular
mesh. This way, it is possible to manage a reduced number of
Ar t i c l e
27
Latest News? Visit www.geoinformatics.com October/November 2011
Fig. 3 The sanctuary faade,
with the panoramic photo
camera on its spherical support
Fig. 4 Single images (top) and the corresponding multi-image panorama (bottom)
28
October/November 2011
Ar t i c l e
images, bypassing the heavy step dedicated to each photo projec-
tion and the need for several homologous tie points.
Altogether, fteen scans (each of 800 Mb) were produced, seven
over the exteriors and eight for the interiors, with the aid of thirteen
plane targets (mounted over a mobile support to optimize the survey
inter-visibility) located inside a selected area and suitable for the
cloud connection.
The external survey was undertaken in the morning under a clouded
sky, this way avoiding the unwanted effects of image shadowing.
The interiors were measured under articial lighting due to the low
level of natural illumination provided by the windows.
The church model and photo-texturing
With the aid of targets, the sanctuary point model was generated by
connecting each cloud to the central one, selected as reference. From
the same scanning positions, proper overlapping images were acquired
via manual shooting using the Nikon camera.
The following photo-texturing process was automatically carried out
thanks to the PTGui stitching package, in order to perform spherical
multi-image panoramas, which were then imported inside 3D
Reconstructor software, switching on spherical projectors for model ren-
dering.
A series of photographic images is shown describing the building faade
and the corresponding spherical panorama pro-
duced with PTGui (Fig. 4).
Finally, the following gures (Figs. 5, 6) show some
striking perspective views of the reconstructed 3D
church model (points and meshes), with the photo-
texture superimposition.
Entity edge detection, for the building vector draw-
ing generation, was done by automatic extraction
of the angular discontinuity lines from the point
model; this 2D product is performed by applying
geometric tests regarding the local attitude of the
surface-perpendicular in every point of the model.
The process provides sketchy elevations of a build-
ing. Figure 7 shows an example of the church
main elevation, achieved both through the angu-
lar surface discontinuity analysis (sketchy drawing
being completed in CAD) and by tracing a pre-
produced colour orthophoto.
Final remarks
Laser scanning techniques provide an interest-
ing 3D point or surface model, which can be
integrated with colour images and is fully mea-
surable.
The extraction of 2D plots from this model is still a complex step:
starting from the scanned data and using cutting planes, it is possi-
ble to produce horizontal and vertical cross-proles to be used
together with orthophoto backdrops to complete building cross sec-
tions. However, 2D elevations have to be realized with the heavy
support of manual editing and the photo-texturing step causes the
greatest difculties and errors.
Nevertheless, the 3D model and its derived 2D plots represent an
effective tool for the metric analysis of a building (geometry, shape,
symmetries, alignments, parallelisms), for thematic inspections
(colours, materials, preservation and/or decay condition) and glob-
ally for the generation of a knowledge database of an historical
monument.
Luigi Colombo, luigi.colombo@unibg.it, is professor of Geomatics and
Barbara Marana is assistant professor at the University of
Bergamo - Faculty of Engineering - DPT - Dalmine (Italy)
Acknowledgements:
Thanks are due to some graduated students of Geo-Technology Lab
at the University of Bergamo and to 3DTarget for Z+F technology support.
Fig. 5 Wireframe model with local photo-textures
Fig. 6 Perspective view of the textured model
Fig. 7 Sketchy elevation for the main faade (to the left); the same drawing performed by orthophoto
tracing (to the right)
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More than just an Exhibition
I n t e r g e o 2 0 1 1
Intergeo is more than just a huge geospatial exhibition. In line with last year, there is not only a 3-day
exhibition, but also an academic conference, this year supplemented with a Navigation Conference
and the first ever Intergeo BarCamp an open space conference devoted to Open Street Map.
Introduction
Intergeo is Europes major exhibition for the
geoinformation industry. This years event was
held in Nuremburg, Bavaria during 27-29
September. The 17th edition of the event,
which normally combines a trade fair with a
conference, was for the rst time combined
with a Navigation Conference, held during
27 and 28 September, jointly organized by
the German Federal Ministry of Transport,
Building and Urban Development and the
Federal Association for Information Tech no -
logy, Telecommunications and New Media
(BITKOM).
No less than 527 exhibitors were to be expect-
ed from over 30 countries, the visitors amount
was over 16,000 and 1,500 conference par-
ticipants from around 80 countries from all con-
tinents. The event claims to cover all the trends
along the value-added chain, from data acqui-
sition to sophisticated applications, on a gross
exhibition area of 28,000 meters.
The overarching motto for this years confer-
ence, the 59th German Cartographers Day
and the Geodetec Week was Knowledge and
action for planet Earth. For the rst time, this
years event also sees the integration of the
Navigation Conference, held on Wed nesday.
One new feature aimed at the open data com-
munity is a BarCamp devoted to the potential
of OpenStreetMap. The BarCamp was part of
the Intergeo Academy launched in 2010 with
great success and started on the Monday
before the fair. Participants were to determine
the program of presentations themselves at the
outset.
The BarCamp is a type of open-space confer-
ence and centers on the idea that coffee breaks
are the most important part of a conference,
providing an opportunity to share knowledge
and oat new ideas. Beforehand, 250 partici-
pants were expected.
Press Conference
The German Intergeo event hosted a press con-
ference with several major people from the
industry on Wednesday 28th of September. An
interesting point made by Prof. Dr. Karl Fr.
Thne was that politics was also present at
Intergeo, which means not only the focus on
business and technology. The importance of this
remark was proven by the Galileo project,
scheduled for 2014/2015 which will yield a
lot of work for not only satellite building com-
panies but also for the industry as a whole.
Also, it was stressed that its important to be
independent as a country as a whole for hav-
ing such as system for itself.
Rainier Bomba State Secretary in the BMVBS,
The German Federal Ministry of Transport,
Building and Urban Development, spoke about
the use of navigation systems in transportation,
as well as building future housing more energy
efcient, all through the use of geospatial soft-
ware and hardware.
Matt Delano (Trimble) spoke about the survey-
ing industry and the company he represented:
he described that the future for geomatics pro-
fessionals is not only about location since the
technique tells you all about the location. This
vision was shared by Ed Parsons, also present
at the same press conference, who held a
30
October/November 2011
E v e n t
By Eric van Rees
mobile device in his hand as to show where
the future is headed for mobile data capture.
Of course, surveyors claim rightly that mobile
consumers devices cannot deliver the accuracy
they can with professional devices, but the trend
is clear. The geomatics industry as a whole is
changing quickly.
Delano described surveyors as the custodians
of spatial information, but the technology has
put an end to the monopoly position of survey-
ors as data collectors. This is no news for any-
one in the industry. What was interesting
though, was that both Delano and Parsons
shared the same ideas about acquisitions in the
geospatial industry: both agreed that acquisi-
tion and innovation are closely linked and there-
fore acquisitions are a good thing. Delano
argued that integration of technology leads to
a better use of the technology as a whole.
Googles focus on data gets a new perspective
by their Enterprise suite that makes use of the
cloud infrastructure thats already there.
Parsons claimed to be able to innovate for more
quickly because of this cloud infrastructure.
A question for all participants about how to
deal with a lack of nance was discussed in
detail. For governments, the current nancial
crisis meant less budgets for geospatial activi-
ties and for the industry itself harsh competition.
Although the answers from the participants
were far from original (necessity if the mother
of invention, a crisis calls for creativity and
the like), Rainier Bomba stressed that Germany
itself was well-prepared in terms of budgeting
for the future, as an example the Galileo-
project.
Key Themes
Key themes for this years event were sensors,
geodata infrastructures and 3D mapping. I
noticed a lot of UAVs whereas mobile map-
ping seemed to be less present than the last
two years. The sudden interest in UAVs has
to do with pricing: a system can be purchased
relatively cheap. Mavinci was a new compa-
ny present at the exhibition oor that offers
UAV services. Although cheap, its not easy
to use UAV since permission is needed for car-
rying out surveys. Everyone with a UAV will
tell you how difcult and time-consuming it is
before all required permission has been
obtained for carrying out a survey.
Open source keeps an interesting topic on the
exhibition as well. As well as the last few
years, there was an open source park
(OSGeo Park), with presentations and booths
of open source initiatives and booths. It was
announced that for the rst time there were
more than ten exhibitors, making the OSGeo
Park an integral part of Intergeo. A new com-
pany I havent seen before was CSGIS, a
German-Spanish collaborative project that
offers GIS services through open source, from
web design to cartography, geodata man-
agement and Web GIS. Other interesting
open source initiatives present were
OpenSeaMap, a project that makes use of
Open Street Map data, but for sea routes.
The OSGeo-Park organized a day of presen-
tations, with German presenters of different
open source initiatives. This makes clear that
the open source community in Germany is big
and has a large following.
Familiar faces such from
Quantum GIS and rasmadan
were present, but also a lot of
new companies such as
Omniscale, MapMedia, Inte -
va tion, in mediares, Where -
Group and terrestris, as well as
presentations with technical
details on how to manage data
in open source, or Web GIS
clients for Smartphones, the
aforementioned Open Street
Map, MapServer 6, Earth -
Server and Mapguide, among
others.
Google was for the rst time
present at the exhibition oor
with a booth to promote
Google Earth Builder, the com-
panys cloud-based mapping
platform and Google Earth
Enterprise.
E v e n t
31
Latest News? Visit www.geoinformatics.com October/November 2011
Product releases at Intergeo
As always, there were a number of product
releases at the trade fair. The following is a
selection of these releases.
Trimble
Trimble introduced a new version of its terres-
trial mobile mapping ofce software
TrimbleTrident Analyst 4.7. The software is
designed to effectively manage and interpret
high-resolution digital images and large point
clouds, and automatically extract features from
Trimbles MX Mobile Mapping and Survey
systems. These capabilities allow land mobile
data to be transformed into geospatial intelli-
gence.
The latest version incorporates new quality
control tools for efcient review of positional
and orientation accuracy, and quick valida-
tion of boresight parameters and registration
results using passive objects in the mapping
environment. In addition, new 3D point cloud
classication capabilities increase productivi-
ty and enhance usability throughout corridor
mapping and survey workows.
Trident Analyst is designed for robust object
positioning, measurement, and data layer cre-
ationideal for the analysis of geo-referenced
imagery and laser scanner data. New func-
tions can accelerate projects and increase pro-
ductivity, including key automated processes
such as surface modeling, roadway sign and
pole detection, lane marking detection, edge
and breakline detection, road geometry and
clearance measurements.
Trimble introduced additions to its portfolio of
Connected Site survey solutions for the eld
and ofce. The new and enhanced tools allow
surveyors to collect, share and deliver data
faster to improve accuracy, efciency and pro-
ductivity.
Additions to the survey portfolio include:
Trimble S6 Robotic Total Station with
Trimble VISION Technology
Trimble M3 Total Station with Trimble
Access Field Software
Trimble GeoExplorer GeoXR Network
Rover
Trimble Business Center Software version
2.60
Trimble Access Field Software Developers
Kit (SDK)
Leica Geosystems
Leica Geosystems announced version 4.0 of
the easy-to-use Leica SmartWorx Viva onboard
software being available in November 2011.
This new version is packed with exciting new
features to make data collection and stakeout
even simpler and even more productive. Also
announced were the CGR10 and CGR15
radio modems for its Leica Viva CS 10 & CS
15 Controllers. Both modems are an ideal
extension to the Leica Viva NetRover and Leica
Viva GS12 rover. They can also be used with
the Leica Viva GS10, GS15, and the new
GS25 receiver.
Leica Geosystems announces Leica GR25
GNSS Reference Server, with integrated inter-
nal and external device management, multi-
user management, high end security, modular
and scalable design, the GR25 GNSS
Reference Server will grow with users needs
and keep their GNSS applications and net-
works fully up to date. The newest member of
Leica Geosystems trusted GNSS Spider fami-
ly is designed for numerous permanent and
semi-permanent GNSS network installations
and monitoring applications. Including RTK
and static networks, single base station, eld
campaigns, structural monitoring, atmospheric
and seismic studies and offshore positioning.
Also announced was Leica Exchange. With
Leica Exchange, secure two-way wireless infor-
mation transfer between the eld and ofce is
seamless and instant. As soon as eld work is
complete, measurements can be sent to the
ofce; or upon design changes, updates can
be sent instantaneously to eld personnel.
Lastly, the Leica Viva GS25 is the ultimate high-
end GNSS Surveying Receiver and further
expands Leica Geosystems GNSS surveying
portfolio of its successful Leica Viva family.
Topcon/Sokkia
Topcon released the IS-3 Imaging Station.
Following in the footsteps of its QS A robotic
cousin, the IS-3 now features the patented
prism auto-tracking scanning interface technol-
ogy, XTRAC 8 to increase productivity when
used in two-man auto-tracking or single opera-
tor robotic modes. When used in conjunction
with Topcons unique RC-4 remote control sys-
tem, the IS-3 will track prisms up to 1000 m
away. Alternatively, use the innovative long-
range Wi-Fi WT-100 wireless device, to con-
trol the instrument via live video feed from up
to 300 m away.
Also announced was the MR-1 modular GNSS
receiver. The new MR-1 receiver is a
ruggedised GNSS platform that delivers
Topcons G3 and VISORTM technologies in a
compact and easy to integrate package. It
incorporates 72 universal tracking channels
and is capable of tracking all signals from
GPS, GLONASS and SBAS satellite systems
that are currently operational and available for
public use.
Topcon further announced Tesla - large screen
data collector .The Tesla is a controller running
Windows Mobile 6.5.3 operating system. The
new unit operates with Topcons full suite of
software, including Magnet, Pocket 3D and
Layout. All three Topcon Tesla units Standard,
Geo and Geo G3 come with Wi-Fi and
Bluetooth wireless technology. The Geo and
the Geo 3G add a 3.2 MP camera and GPS
capability; the Geo 3G also has a 3G GSM
modem (AT&T network approved).
Topcon also announced Magnet, cloud-based
software for real-time collaboration. This new
software solution makes it possible for real-time
collaboration between project manager, eld
crews, ofce personnel, engineers, or consul-
tants.For the rst time, a software solution is
available that combines every facet of manag-
ing a companys projects, data, and assets
The Magnet family includes four basic product
modules: Field, Tools, Ofce, and Enterprise.
The Field, Tools, and Ofce products can be
purchased outright, or can simply be activated
on a subscription basis by picking from one of
the Magnet Solution packages. The heart of
Magnet is a cloud-based web environment that
connects every user within a company to each
other, within the productivity application you
use, or by simply logging in using your web
browser.
32
October/November 2011
E v e n t
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34
October/November 2011
Blom
Blom brought a new product to INTERGEO
2011; BlomSTREET - Powered by Cyclo me dia.
At the trade fair, the company demonstrated
how geographically accurate street level spher-
ical images, complete with metric capabilities,
are an essential tool for street asset inventory,
situational awareness for emergency services
and responders, and road and waterworks
amongst others.
BlomSTREET comes together via an exclusive
franchise agreement between Cyclomedia and
Blom in the territories of Norway, Sweden,
Finland and Denmark. Both companies are cur-
rently investigating similar agreements for other
territories in Southern Europe.
Blom already has a number of customers cur-
rently using BlomSTREET as during this summer
Blom completed a pilot projects across the
Nordic countries. Additional territories in
Southern Europe are planned to be incorpo-
rated into this partnership.
52North
52North presented state of the art Sensor
Web technology supporting seamless integra-
tion of live sensor data into Spatial Data
Infrastructures via OGC Sensor Observation
Services. A suite of open source tools is avail-
able for easy and efcient visualization and
analysis of time series information. Applica -
tions in water management, environmental
monitoring and meteorology impressively
vouch for the benet of this innovative technol-
ogy and point the way for other elds of appli-
cation.
52Norths new WPS Appstore provides
many advantages for users and providers of
processes (e.g. hydrological models, EO algo-
rithms or geostatistical functions).
RIEGL
RIEGL Laser Measurement Systems, manufac-
turer of laser scanners for terrestrial, mobile,
airborne and industrial applications, an -
nounced the following releases at Inter geo:
VZ-4000 Terrestrial Laser Scanner. This High
Speed, High Resolution 3D VZ-Line Laser
Scanner offers a wide eld of view and a long
range of up to 4000 m. Hence, the most
recent RIEGL development is perfectly suitable
for operation in mining and topography. The
scanner is characterized by high accuracy (15
mm), a laser pulse repetition rate of up to 200
kHz, echo digitization and online waveform
processing for multiple target capability and
an optional waveform data output.
VMX-250 Mobile Laser Scanning System, now
in an aerodynamic new design, and its sister
type VMX-450 with a laser pulse repetition
rate of up to 1.1 MHz.
Fully integrated Mobile Laser Scanning System
in a new design, which ensures excellent aero-
dynamics and protection of cabling. Two
RIEGL VQ-450 "Full Circle" Laser Scanners,
providing a scanning rate of up to 400
lines/sec and a laser pulse repetition rate of
up to 1.1 MHz, are combined with an
IMU/GNSS unit and assure very fast acquisi-
tion of survey-grade 3D data.
Just like its sister type VMX-250, it operates at
eye-safe laser class 1 and is capable of multi-
ple targets, guaranteeing a high penetration
rate of obstructions. In combination with an
optional modular camera system, scan data
and precisely time-stamped calibrated images
can be acquired simultaneously for seamless
storage and processing in the same project
structure.
The VQ-580 Airborne Laser Scanner, espe-
cially designed for measuring on snow and
ice, delivers data in the areas of snoweld-
and glacier surveying. It distinguishes itself by
means of a laser pulse repetition rate of up to
380 kHz and a range of up to 2350 m. The
combination of echo digitization and waveform processing
allows for multiple target capability. A eld of view of 60 and
a scanning rate of up to 150 lines/sec and hence an evenly
distributed high resolution point grid.
The VQ-820-G Bathymetric Airborne Laser Scanner, especially
designed and excellently suited for combined land and hydro-
grahpic airborne surveying. The high-accuracy ranging is based
on echo digitization and online waveform processing with mul-
tiple target capability. Laser range measurements for high reso-
lution surveying of underwater topography, the bottom of shal-
low waters and riverbeds, are carried out with a narrow, visible
green laser beam at 532 nm, emitted from a powerful laser
source. Depending on water turbidity this particular laser wave-
length allows measuring into water.
Internet: www.intergeo.de
www.mavinci.eu
www.csgis.de
35
Latest News? Visit www.geoinformatics.com October/November 2011
In 2012, Intergeo will be held
in Hannover, Germany.
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Chances and Challenges
Geosensor Networks
Geosensor networks for the observation and monitoring of environmental phenomena are a recent
trend in GIScience. With the increasing availability of sensors also their integration and cooperation in
terms of sensor networks will evolve, argues Monika Sester. Two examples from research at the
Institute of Cartography and Geoinformatics at Leibniz Universitt Hannover, Germany, are given in
order to illustrate the potential and application areas of geosensor networks in an exemplary fashion.
1 Overview
Sensors are well known in Geodetic Science;
also, integrating sensor to sensor networks is
not new. This has been done to observe
geodetic networks for exact point densica-
tion ever since. Traditional geodetic networks
consist of a xed set of dedicated sensors with
a given conguration and measurement
regime. The processing of the data is usually
done in a centralized fashion. Geosensor net-
works for the observation and monitoring of
environmental phenomena are a recent trend
in GIScience. What is new is the fact that dif-
ferent sensors act independently, have the
capability to communicate and thus the net-
work is able to operate beyond the individual
sensors capabilities. In this way, the network
as such is more than the sum of the individual
sensors. Besides their own position, geosen-
sors capture information about the environ-
ment, such as temperature or humidity. In the
context of engineering geodesy, sensor net-
works are used for monitoring purposes, e.g.
to observe and monitor georisks like hang
slides. For the future, a miniaturization of the
sensors is envisaged, which eventually leads
to so-called smart dust, i.e. sensors virtually
integrated in the environment. This indicates
that the number of sensors is typically very
high.
For scalability of the sensor network potential-
ly consisting of a huge amount of sensors,
which are distributed in the environment, dif-
ferent characteristics are essential: wireless
communication, ad hoc determination of net-
work topology, i.e. the neighborhood relation-
ships between sensors, as well as local analy-
sis. Thus, there is no central service in the
sense of a global data and processing server,
which receives and analyzes all the data.
Instead, data is processed or at least pre-pro-
cessed locally on the sensor, typically includ-
ing information of neighboring sensors. Often,
local information only
matters locally and
thus there is no need
for creating a lot of
data trafc in the net-
work. In this way, a
tight coupling of pro-
cessing and sensing
will be achieved. In
summary, geosensor
networks are charac-
terized both by dis-
tributed data capture
and distributed data
processing.
Decentralized algo-
rithms for geosensor
networks have been
investigated by sever-
al researchers and for different applications.
Laube, Duckham & Wolle (2008) describe an
algorithm to detect a moving point pattern,
namely a so-called ock pattern. A ock is
described as a group of objects that moves in
a certain distance over a certain time. In a
similar spirit, Laube & Duckham (2009) pre-
sent a method for the detection of clusters in
a decentralized way. Depending on the com-
munication range, clusters of a certain size
(radius) can be detected.
There are many applications for Geosensor
networks, see, e.g. Stefanidis & Nittel (2005):
- Environmental monitoring
- Disaster management, early warning sys-
tems (Bill et al., 2008), e.g. earthquakes,
hill slides,
- Surveillance, risk management (build-
ings, technical devices, )
- Military
- Trafc management and monitoring
(car2car-communication)
- Topographic Mapping
- Glacier movements
- Human body
36
October/November 2011
Ar t i c l e
By Monika Sester
Figure 1: principle of cooperative
adaptation of W-R-relationships
Figure 2: Quality of rainfall measurement.
Geosensor networks in the sense described
above are still in their infancy; todays net-
works mainly consist of a small number of sen-
sors, often linked by wire; the processing often
is done on a central server. However, one can
observe an increasing availability of position-
ing sensors, equipped with additional sensing
capabilities, e.g. smartphones. These sensors
are already used for massive data collection
for the determination of the trafc situation by
companies like TomTom or Google. Another
example is the exploitation of photos in the
web to create 3D-models of landmark objects
(Agarwal et al, 2011). This indicates the huge
potential, as even low quality sensors, or sen-
sors originally dedicated for other tasks, can
yield quality and instant information when inte-
grated in an ad-hoc fashion. With the increas-
ing availability of sensors also their integra-
tion and cooperation in terms of sensor
networks will evolve.
2 Distributed Processing
In the following, two examples from research
at the Institute of Cartography and Geo infor -
matics at Leibniz Universitt Hannover,
Germany, are given in order to illustrate the
potential and application areas of geosensor
networks in an exemplary fashion.
2.1 Using cars as moving rain
sensors
One example for the distributed data acquisi-
tion is currently being investigated in the con-
text of a project funded by the German
Research Foundation, entitled RainCars.
Starting point is the fact that exact measure-
ments of rainfall is needed for hydrological
planning and water resources management,
especially for highly dynamic and nonlinear
processes like oods, erosion or wash out of
pollutants. Surprisingly, such data is not readi-
ly available: there are recording rain gauges,
but even in Germany, their spacing is rather
poor (one station per 1800 km2). Rain radar
is available at a high temporal resolution and
at a spatial resolution of typically 1km*1km.
However, radar only measures reectivity,
which has to be transformed to rainfall mea-
surements in a calibration process. Thus the
idea of RainCars is to exploit the massive
availability of cars and use them as rainfall
measurement devices: if it rains, the wiper is
put on; depending on the degree of rainfall,
the frequency of the wipers is increased.
In this way the cars form a dynamic sensor
network. In order to transform the raw mea-
surements (Wiper (W) frequencies) into rain-
fall (R) values, a functional relationship (WR-
relationship) has to be determined. This
relationship will be depending on the car type,
the inclination of the windshield, but also on
other factors like the driver, the location (under
tree, in free space), just to name a few. Thus,
the idea is to determine the WR-relationship
in an iterative and integrated fashion in a sen-
sor network, consisting of the cars and sta-
tionary recording rain gauges: As soon as a
car comes into the vicinity of a station or
another car, it is able to incrementally adapt
and correct its current WR-relationship (see
Figure 1). The Figure visualizes qualitatively,
how the quality of the WR-relationship is
increasing, when a car exchanges informa-
tion with a station, or another car.
In a preliminary simulation study it could been
shown that the accuracies achievable using
an assumed equipment rate of 4% of all the
cars the rainfall estimates determined with the
cars moving car network outperform the val-
ues determined using traditional methods
(Haberlandt & Sester 2010). Figure 2 shows
the standard deviation of the rainfall measured
in a catchment area using the sensor network.
It is clearly visible that in the vicinity of the sta-
tions the quality of the rainfall measurements
is very high and that this quality is propagat-
ed along the most frequently used roads
(Schulze et al., 2010).
2.2 Distributed delineation of
boundaries of spatial phenomena
Distributed processing can also be used for
the scenario that moving sensors have the task
to delineate the boundary of a spatial phe-
nomenon, such as an oil spill or the moving
area of hill slide. To this end, a distributed
algorithm has been proposed, which is able
to iteratively approximate the boundary of the
phenomenon (Sester, 2009). The algorithm
uses the concept of Kohonen Feature Maps
(Kohonen, 1982): sensors communicate in
their local environment and try to nd the
boundary of the phenomenon by individually
checking pairs of adjacent sensors. A bound-
ary is identied, if both sensors measure dif-
ferent values, i.e. one sensor measures the
existence of the phenomenon, the other sen-
sor does not. In this case, the boundary is
somewhere between the two sensors. To bet-
ter delineate the boundary, the sensors move
towards each other; in order to better sample
the boundary, at the same time, these two sen-
sors also drag the sensors in their local neigh-
borhood into that direction, thus leading to the
fact that more sensors aggregate on both sides
Ar t i c l e
37
Latest News? Visit www.geoinformatics.com October/November 2011
Figure 3: Principle of iterative adaptation of sensors (circles) to
phenomenon (polygon)
Figure 4a b and c : Detection of the boundary of a phenomenon: areal phenomenon and initial sensor distribution (a), movement of neurons (b) and
approximate boundary points in yellow (c).
[a] [b] [c]
of the boundary. This principle is shown in the
following Figure 3: sensors A and B detect the
boundary in between them; they move
towards each other, dragging their neighbors
with them.
Figure 4 shows an application where a set of
sensors has to detect a concave phenomenon.
The sensors are spread out in a random fash-
ion. On the left is the initial situation of the
spatial phenomenon in light blue, whose
boundary has to be approximated; the point
sensors are randomly distributed in the begin-
ning and they are measuring the phenomenon
(blue) or not (red). If they are exactly on the
boundary, they are shown in yellow. The g-
ure in the middle shows the movements of the
sensors during the iterative adjustment, and
the situation on the right shows the situation
after the adaptation. It clearly indicates that
the boundary is nicely approximated by many
sensors. Some sensors are still in the middle
of the phenomenon this is due to the fact
that they were not in the communication range
of neighboring sensors and thus were not
dragged towards the boundary.
2.3 New Maps
In the context of sensor networks and the mas-
sive availability of environmental data, a new,
dynamic understanding of digital maps for
recording these data is needed. The automatic
processing of these masses of distributed sen-
sor data demands for adequate representation
forms. A future aim is a system, which
depending on the given task assembles, ana-
lyzes and interprets the given data and thus
derives higher level constructs from it (Brenner,
2006). In this way, a self adapting map is cre-
ated, which knows its quality and its applica-
tion ranges.
This also includes the fact that the maps of the
future might not only be readable by humans,
but also contain elements that make them read-
ily usable by machines. Thus the map features
have to be close to the interpretation capabili-
ties of the machine. Only then an immediate
and exact identication of the correspondence
of map features and features recognized in the
environment is possible for the machine. This
principle is being applied in robotics, where
often so called occupancy grids are used to
determine areas, where an autonomous sys-
tem is able to move around. Brenner (2009)
extends this concept by introducing higher level
features than just pixels. These features, verti-
cal poles, are distinct features in a road envi-
ronment and can easily be extracted with auto-
matic processes from Lidar data (see Figure 5).
These features can be used for exact position-
ing of a vehicle in the environment. Figure 6
shows a map with the achievable accuracies
using the poles as ground-control features: the
distribution and density of the poles directly
inuences the quality (Hofmann et al., 2011).
Along highways, there are typically no poles,
thus, no position can be determined using this
method. However, in city areas, accuracies in
the low dm-range can be achieved. Thus, such
a system can ideally complement GPS, which
has problems in dense city areas and performs
well in highway areas with free sky view.
3 Consequences for future map-
ping and maps
The ever increasing number of sensors leads
to a situation where we have a lot of mea-
surements, even related to the same spatial sit-
uation. The data will be heterogeneous, of dif-
ferent quality, temporal and spatial resolution,
different scale, inhomogeneous spatial cover-
age and of different type, ranging from low-
level information to high-level data, such as
raw Lidar points to GIS-data. There are sever-
al benets of such a situation, e.g. data can
be incrementally rened and enriched using
sensors with complementary capabilities.
Also, repetitive measurements can lead to an
increase in accuracy of the data and an imme-
diate quality check. Having many sensors
available leads to redundancy and thus to
fault tolerance, as the system does not depend
on one sensor alone. Also, scalability can be
achieved. The information is directly avail-
able, as soon as it is acquired, and can be
used in an instant fashion. Using the concept
of a dynamic map, which is able to adapt its
contents to the applications, leads to a high
degree of data reuse.
There are new challenges which pose new
demands on mapping, which can only be met
with new sensors and sensor integration:
already now, but even more so in the near
future, we will have new users, but also new
applications which demand for high resolu-
tion environmental data, in geometric, tempo-
ral and thematic dimension, and in different
abstraction hierarchies.
More and more, we see different users of the
maps: whereas previously, map usage was
mainly targeted at humans, nowadays also
automatic or assisted systems are relying on
accurate and adequate maps. New applica-
tions both on the low end side in terms of
Apps for Smartphones, but also on the high
end side in assisted system, are coming to the
market. For a navigation system to operate
satisfactory the geometric accuracy has to be
in the dm-range in order to allow for precise
driving directions, also the timeliness has to
be very high. An autonomous robot has to
have sensors to capture the current local situ-
ation and map it to the knowledge encoded
in the map. To this end, the dynamics of the
environment has to be integrated in the map,
on order to allow the system to interpret and
explain the sensed features has available.
Geosensor networks have the potential to
serve these needs. Besides the developments
in sensor technology, also new methods for
data processing have to be developed, as
well as new data structures to adequately
manage the data. Besides storing the mere
information, also information about its quality
has to be captured and processed. Also, meth-
ods and processes to handle and respect pri-
vacy have to be developed.
Monika Sester, Institute of Cartography and Geoinformatics, Leibniz
Universitt Hannover, Germany.
Ar t i c l e
38
October/November 2011
Figure 5: Automatically extracted poles
(vertical structures) from a Lidar Point
cloud (Brenner, 2009).
Figure 6: Achievable accuracies using vertical poles as positioning
references.
Glonass-M sent into Orbit
The booster Soyuz-2.1b, carrying a Global Navigation Satellite System (Glonass) satellite, was success-
fully launched from the Plesetsk spaceport and put into orbit. Space Troop teams monitored the launch
through the ground automated control system.
T
he launch of the booster and the orbiting of the satellite passed
as scheduled, a spokesman for the Russian Space Troops,
Aleksey Zolotukhin, told. The satellite weighs 1,415 kilograms
and is expected to serve for seven years.
More Glonass launches are scheduled for this year. A Proton-M rocket
with a Briz-M booster will launch a Glonass-M trio from Baikonur on
November 4, while a Soyuz-2-1B rocket with a Fregat booster will
bring another Glonass-M into orbit from Plesetsk on November 22.
The Glonass satellite constellation consists of 24 space vehicles, even-
ly distributed in three orbital planes. Satellites operate in circular orbits
at altitudes of 19,100 kilometers. This conguration permits uninter-
rupted global coverage of the Earths surface and terrestrial space by
the navigation eld.
Data from NIS Glonass
The Global navigation satellite system Glonass is intended for deter-
mining location, speed and exact time by military and civilian users.
The system will provide continuous year-round global navigation sup-
port globally regardless of weather conditions. The system is avail-
able to a vast number of users on the Earths surface and at eleva-
tions of up to 2,000 kilometers.
The rst Glonass test ight took place in October 1982, and by 1993
the Glonass system was brought into operational testing. In 1995 the full
orbit group of 24 satellites was formed. However, a reduction in funding
in 1990 for Russias space industry led to a deterioration of the Glonass
project.
In 2002, the Russian government approved a number of policy
documents, including the Glo bal Navigation System federal pro-
gram, which brought new life and funding to the navigation system.
Glonass vs. GPS
According to Russias Federal Space Agency, the main difference
between Glonass and GPS is the signal and its structure. The GPS
system uses code-division channeling. Glo nass uses frequency-divi-
sion channeling. Also, Glonass satel lites motion is described as
using fundamentally different mathematical models.
While Glonass consists of 24 satellites, GPS can be fully functional
with 24 satellites but is currently using 31 of them.
According to Voice of Russia, many countries consider GLONASS as
an alternative to the GPS. Belarus, India, Kazakhstan and Canada
have signed agreements on using GLONASS. The EU has prepared a
draft treaty to this effect. Latin American and Arab countries have
been showing interest too. Experts say, however, that GPS and
GLONASS are not rivals but supplement one another. Russias GLONASS
is expected to hit 1-metre accuracy in three years.
By Ruud Groothuis
40
October/November 2011
Ar t i c l e
Company introduction
CycloMedia is a Netherlands-based compa-
ny. Its core business is the large-scale sys-
tematic capture of 360-degree panoramic
photographs (Cycloramas). Every year,
CycloMedia creates panoramic photos
every ve meters along all the public roads
in the Netherlands (150,000 km). All the
pictures are stored in a Cloud environment.
CycloMedia recently signed contracts with
partners in Poland, Sweden, Norway,
Finland, Denmark, Germany, Italy and
Spain to enlarge the coverage. These part-
ners will capture data with licensed equip-
ment from CycloMedia and provide access
to clients via the GlobeSpotter application.
GlobeSpotter
Until recently, performing measurements was
a cumbersome process that required a cer-
tain level of expertise. Now, GlobeSpotter
software allows anyone to do this job. The
combination of street-level views with aerial
imagery makes life easier for a much broad-
er group of non-expert users.
Bart van Velden, Product Manager at
CycloMedia, explains the role of
GlobeSpotter: Cycloramas are a unique
type of data which is not supported by stan-
dard GIS software that is capable of han-
dling raster and vector les. GlobeSpotter
enables this feature for these users.
However, many large national organiza-
tions such as banks and insurance compa-
nies do not have a company-wide GIS plat-
form. The application of spatial information
combined with normal data is growing at
42
Ar t i c l e
By the editors
Measurement in Cycloramas
Cycloramas Globespotter
)The technical innovation of panoramic imagery has reached a revolutionary stage. In recent years we
saw major developments in Lidar-based systems providing additional panoramic imagery. However,
the combination of street-level imagery with Lidar data requires huge storage facilities and significant
engineering capability. At Intergeo 2011 CycloMedia demonstrated its panoramic imagery, which
eliminates those barriers and brings the 3rd dimension to your desktop.
October/November 2011
Ar t i c l e
43
October/November 2011
a high speed. In these cases GlobeSpotter
provides a total solution. Within that solu-
tion, the map forms an intuitive and handy
tool to search for and to view a location.
GlobeSpotter provided as
Software as a Service (SaaS)
GlobeSpotter ts perfectly with the trends for
SaaS (Software as a Service), Cloud
Computing and RIAs (Rich Internet
Applications). All the data and
the application itself are provid-
ed online. Because some (local
authority) customers require
or prefer to use a local infrastructure,
GlobeSpotter is also supported on local
intranets.
To provide a user-ready solution on
www.GlobeSpotter.eu, country-tailored con-
gurations of GlobeSpotter are available.
They include a base map, address search and
local spatial reference systems and height sys-
tems by default, with a multilingual user inter-
face. The online application enables users
throughout Europe to locate, search and view
Cycloramas , perform exact measurements of
object location and dimensions and overlay
vector data.
Additionally the GlobeSpotter API (App -
lication Programming Interface) offers the
means to integrate the mobile mapping data
and functionality into existing applications.
The API, freely available to any software
developer, has already been integrated into
major GIS, CAD and Asset Management soft-
ware solutions (e.g. Esri, Bentley, Autodesk,
Intergraph, Oranjewoud, Grontmij).
Measurements
The origin of the company is in photogramme-
try and the patented technology allows the
company to capture its data at an absolute
average position precision of 10 cm. Pictures
are also geometrically correct, so they can be
used for measurement, inventories, asset man-
agement etc.
Measuring in photographs is performed in a
way similar to the method used in stereo aeri-
al photographs. Bart van Velden, Product
Manager at CycloMedia: Our measuring
functionality is based on the principle of for-
ward intersection. You always require two pho-
tographs for this. According to CycloMedia,
half an hour of training is all that is needed to
be able to measure in photographic material
using the correct shortcut keys.
Commercial Director Martin te Dorsthorst: The
advantage is that you measure what you see:
no interpretation is necessary. A high level of
CycloMedia has a wealth of historical material that can be unlocked using GlobeSpotter. Here is an idyllic view in Rotterdam, close to the Maashaven, taken in 1995.
Latest News? Visit www.geoinformatics.com
Ar t i c l e
44
October/November 2011
expertise is also not required: we make it pos-
sible for a Parks Manager to become a sur-
veyor as well. Using the measurement function-
ality users are able to update maps and
inventories, although CycloMedia also offers
this as a service.
Adding information yourself
The properties of Cycloramas which enable
measurements can also be used to visualize
data as overlays on the imagery. Globe -
Spotter supports several OGC (Open Geo -
spatial Consortium) standards as endorsed
by the European INSPIRE directive.
This functionality has several applications.
Van Velden explains how this works in prac-
tice: The map and the addresses are pri-
marily intended for searching, navigating
and orientating. The street map, recording
locations of the Cycloramas and the
addresses, can be displayed on the aerial
photograph. This data is also projected in
the Cycloramas. Insight and understanding
of the information is created by combining
and presenting it in this specic way.
Van Velden: When excavation work is to
be undertaken damage can, for example,
be prevented by showing underground
pipes and cables in Cycloramas. The envi-
ronment, soil use and type of paving can
also be taken into account when sending
people out with equipment. An insurance
company that projects the contract adminis-
tration into the images can perform a risk or
accumulation analysis. Authorities in the
Netherlands now use this feature to obtain
insight in the BAG (Key Register for
Addresses and Buildings) or BGT (Key
Register Large-Scale Topography) and thus
evaluate the quality. Every sector shall thus
be able to develop its own applications.
Future
CycloMedia and its partners are currently
providing imagery of areas based on cus-
tomer contracts, while additional areas are
being captured to improve coverage for
prospects. With GlobeSpotter only recently
put into place for end users, CycloMedia is
already looking forward to new possibili-
ties. A preview (now also available via
www.cyclomedia.com/depth) in the Cyclo -
Media booth at the Intergeo trade fair
showed the latest: a 3D mouse cursor in the
imagery following real-world contours and
enabling single-click measurements.
CycloMedia explained it was the result of
the automated fusion of dense Lidar data
with the panoramic images. The results and
the accuracy looked very promising. We
can probably expect more on this next year.
Internet: www.globespotter.eu
www.cyclomedia.com/depth
Like cartography in Aerials now street furniture and road markings can be controlled or created in panoramic imagery.
GNSS Recei ver
The entirely new Sokkia GNSS system provides
unsurpassed versatility and usability for
RTK,network RTK and static survey, enhancing
efciency in all types of eld work.
www.sokkia.eu
Scalable - Affordable - Triple Wireless Technologies
ULTIMATE
VERSATILITY
GNSS Technology applied
Supporting Ecuadors National
SIGTIERRAS is a land management initiative in Ecuador where land titling program and promotes
sustainable territorial planning and growth initiatives is developed. A multi-year pilot project included
collecting accurate orthophoto and land attribute data across 200,000 parcels of land. The resulting
land management system now includes aerial photographs, orthophotos, thematic maps, and land
use value at the municipal level.
I
n 2009, the Ecuador Ministry of Agri -
culture, Livestock, Aquaculture and Fisheries
began a ground-breaking land manage-
ment initiative called SIGTIERRAS. Also known
as the National Information System and
Management of Rural Lands, SIGTIERRAS is a
land-titling program aimed at mapping land
parcels and collecting property ownership
information for the entire nation.
The executive director of SIGTIERRAS, Johnny
Hidalgo Mantilla, believes an integrated and
transparent national GIS-based information
system is fundamental to supporting develop-
ment and business growth in the country.
Primary objectives of this multi-year initiative
include:
Analysis and design of an information sys-
tem for property tax administration;
Implementation and system maintenance
of land information for each municipality
at the territorial level;
The successful training of representatives
of each municipality as well as their ability
to systematically collect and update land,
location, and attribute records;
Creation and implementation of a repeat-
able approach for updating farm and land
information;
Final digital mapping (scale 1:5,000) of
each municipality, including the use of a
unique farm code for each parcel of land;
The accurate valuation of land and prop-
erty tax data for each municipality; and
Generation of nal cadastral codes and
the publishing of results in the SIGTIERRAS sys-
tem.
For farmers and land owners, obtaining an
accurate deed to land is a critical step in secur-
ing loans. Government-sponsored assistance
programs and international organizations also
require ofcial land ownership records to
receive funding.
An integrated approach to data collection is
absolutely necessary to produce consistent
parcel boundary denitions and descriptions,
said Hidalgo. This project is a substantial
undertaking because it requires a synchro-
nized effort from property owners, technical
crews, ofcials within neighboring municipali-
ties, as well as SIGTIERRAS representatives.
With the program objectives clearly outlined,
SIGTIERRAS implemented a pilot program focus-
ing rst on eight Ecuadorian counties.
In addition to the comprehensive program
designed to capture orthophotos across the
test area, ofcials selected the Trimble line of
mapping-grade GNSS units designed for
mobile GIS data collection including Trimble
GeoExplorer series GeoXT handhelds for
ground-level accuracy. Subsequently, Trimble
GPS Pathnder Pro XR receivers and Juno ST
and SB series handhelds were also employed
for this project. For differential postprocessing,
SIGTIERRAS relied on Trimble GPS Pathnder
Ofce software.
Project Methodologies
For the initial phase of this effort, SIGTIERRAS
relied on an existing set of aerial photogram-
metric images produced by the countrys
Military Geographic Institute (IGM). These
images are at a scale of 1:3,000 or greater,
depending on each municipality and the den-
sity and size of the parcels. Hidalgo and other
ofcials agree that for the countrys rural land
parcels, the most appropriate scale for the
cadastral survey orthophotos is 1:5,000. The
team decided to use this scale because its suf-
cient to plot maps containing rural parcels
that vary from one-half hectare (ha), up to hun-
dreds of hectares.
To collect the necessary property data, crew
members travel to each farm and walk prop-
erty boundaries with assistance from the
landowner and neighbors. In teams of two
they collect submeter GNSS points at the par-
cel corners. For the initial pilot project, crew
members also entered a basic property
description, including crops planted and infor-
46
October/November 2011
Ar t i c l e
By Rebecca Muhlenkort
Rapid training of 15 field workers from various agriculture and land planning departments ensures future expansion and long term
success of the initiative
mation about the lands natural vegetation into
the GNSS receiver.
After completing the survey of each identied
piece of property, eld workers then assign a
previously dened rural cadastral code. Back
at the ofce, these descriptions are linked to
the location data for each parcel. During the
initial phases of the project, SIGTIERRAS eld
crews were able to collect pertinent parcel
data quickly, spending about an hour at each
property. The teams averaged the successful
survey of approximately seven parcels of land
per day, even facing challenging environmen-
tal conditions.
In the eld our crew members frequently face
dense vegetation and heavy cloud cover,
said Hidalgo. We were pleased that spec
requirements in our pilot project were met
20 cm accuracyeven with Ecuadors diverse
landscape.
Once parcel coordinates and land data are
collected, a unique cadaster code is assigned
to each section of land. At that point ofcials
perform a series of checks and balances to
determine the accuracy of the parcel delin-
eation as well as to investigate the legal land
tenure. Once certied by the appropriate
municipality ofcials, and any subsequent
land disputes are resolved, the landowner
receives a certicate conrming ownership.
Trimble Solution
SIGTIERRAS eld crews use GeoXT handhelds
with EVEREST multipath rejection technology to
record high-quality and accurate GNSS. Back
in the ofce, teams use GPS Pathnder Ofce
software for powerful differential correction of
data. Differential correction techniques are
used to enhance the quality of location data
gathered using global positioning system GPS
receivers. Postprocessing tools used include
Trimble DeltaPhase technology. In the postpro-
cessing environment, crews can achieve 50
cm accuracy for GNSS code measurements.
The SIGTIERRAS team is also depending on 17
Trimble NetR9 receivers to capture aerial pho-
tos of the area. The large-scale SIGTIERRAS ini-
tiative will eventually be used to support the
countrys more sophisticated survey, taxation,
and valuation efforts.
Currently SIGTIERRAS has successfully completed
the pilot project, collecting accurate parcel
data and georeferenced land information for
eight intercontinental counties. Nearly seven
percent, or 200,000 parcels of land out of
Ecuadors estimated three million parcels,
have been captured and stored into the nation-
al GIS system.
Hidalgo and other SIGTIERRAS ofcials are
extremely pleased with the high level of accu-
racy of the properties and the speed at which
eld crews can acquire submeter data about
each parcel.
Future Plans
Over the next several years, the GIS database
will continue to be established as the reposito-
ry for Ecuadors national cadastral informa-
tion. As additional land data is collected and
published, the database will act as a clear-
inghouse for georeferenced registration
records based on physical and legal status of
properties.
In terms of updating parcel land records in the
property database in the future, each of
Ecuadors 220 municipalities will be responsi-
ble. Municipalities will work closely with the
Public Property Registry, or public appraiser,
to maintain survey data. For example, if a par-
cel of land has to updated, split, is sold, or
merged, crews will visit the property, perform
eld verication, pulling up maps and exist-
ing records on Trimble GeoXT handhelds, col-
lect updated measurements and then share the
land data with the Property Registry.
With support from Trimble and other partners,
Hidalgo is condent his team is taking impor-
tant steps to establish a national land admin-
istration system that will ensure private prop-
erty ownership and provide critical
informa tion for planning and land develop-
ment throughout the country.
Rebecca Muhlenkort, Trimble Mapping & GIS:
www.trimble.com/mappingGIS
Ar t i c l e
47
Latest News? Visit www.geoinformatics.com October/November 2011

GIS Initiative
To collect the necessary property data, crew members travel to each farm and walk property boundaries with assistance
from the landowner and neighbors.
How the GeoWeb changes the way of mapping the World
At the Crossroads of Geo
The GeoWeb brings up more and more new ways of mapping the world that put the traditional
distance-based gods eye view of the map on the edge. Thereby the need for a changed perspective
on mapping from an object resulting of a process to being a composition of practiced mapping func-
tionalities becomes ever more obvious in order to explain how they do work in the world. This article
give a short overview about the changing landscape of mapping from the authors point of view.
Geovisualisation
Since the 1990s analysis and output of geo-
graphic information has been commonly
embraced by the eld of Geovisualization.
Former cartographic research has mainly
focused on the efcient communication and pre-
sentation of geographic information. For this
purpose specic principles of design have been
developed over the centuries. An example is
graphic variables, like geometry and symbols:
based on epistemological and linguistic
approaches, they attempt to model the refer-
encing between object and symbol in carto-
graphic presentation for fast and accurate per-
ception by the user. Thereby the presentation
of geographic information on maps has been
at the centre, holding data and visual presenta-
tion. While GIS separated the database from
the map, the internet made distributed databas-
es the groundwork for mapping. Maps that
became interactive, integrate multiple media for-
mats and allow for new ways of visual explo-
ration, analysis, representation and knowledge
construction by the user.
The rise of the GeoWeb
The technical opportunity to integrate dynamic, interactive elements
(e.g. hyperlinks) in digital maps marked an important peak of innova-
tion in the history of cartography and geovisualization. It allowed the
user to thoroughly explore geographical data in multiple dimensions.
Recently the establishment of the GeoWeb indicated another turning
point, strongly inuencing the practice of mapping with so-called map
mash-ups as major elements. Sharing information, communication and
collaboration in online communities allows for a different spatial rea-
soning and construction of geographic knowledge along social ties,
collaborative classication and discussion. Instead of decision-making
for public concern, new forms of activism (e.g. smart mobs) and citi-
zen-science are enabled, and focused on everyday forms of spatial
reasoning. Instead of urban planning, the GeoWeb is directed towards
purchasing real estate, eating out, meeting friends, tourist destinations
and bike trips. Consequently, the focus on a feed of information between
public and government makes way for a communication between users
as consumers and business (B2C) or amongst users themselves as con-
sumer to consumer (C2C). GeoWeb applications allow for new ways
of decision making, like social navigation, where people make deci-
sions about their actions based on what other people have done.
Concurrently, new rationales for geovisualization
by advertising- and marketing-driven business
models are introduced by GeoWeb applications.
Hence selection, graphical pronunciation and
other variables of cartographic representation are
re-modeled to inuence perception by the user
according to marketing intentions, instead of polit-
ical intentions one might argue as maps cannot
be unbiased. Furthermore, maps are increasingly
used for immediate location-based interaction,
e.g. in Foursquare a user can directly benet from
a map-based transaction (Check in and receive
a discount).
From Maps to Interfaces
While these transformations concern the very
nature of geovisualization for knowledge con-
struction about space and its embedment in quo-
tidian contexts, the GeoWeb facilitates an inte-
gration of geovisualization with everyday spaces:
They are interfaces that can drive interactions with
any spatial resource. The GeoWeb drives a pro-
gressive separation between the map as an inter-
active interface and the database as a distributed web-based informa-
tion resource that becomes part of an Internet of Things at an
ever-increasing pace. The utilization of these interfaces is expanded by
the global media of communication linked to physical space by geo-
code, and the comprehensive geo-tagging of all aspects of life by map
mash-ups. They become tools to organize, navigate, search and select
any type of resource on the internet, from photographs to discussion
forums. In brief: It is the shift Lior Ron termed from Google and Maps
to Google on Maps. At the same time the scope of map interfaces
within the GeoWeb has expanded far beyond its focus up till now on
a unidirectional and task-oriented communication between producer
and recipient. Maps become an interface for networked communica-
tion about spaces, places and objects, through which users can access,
alter and deploy information.
New elds of application for geovisualization emerge and existing
elds are transformed (e.g. crisis management and urban manage-
ment). In terms of Geovisualization, the GeoWeb is a kind of public
environment rather than an expert environment, in which lay-users or
non-experts (termed accidental geographers), are the driving factor
behind the design of knowledge construction about space. Thereby
enormously heterogeneous data and new maps of space emerge,
extending the maps still popular birds-eye view that concentrates on
the perspective conceived from a cartographer from above.
48
October/November 2011
Ar t i c l e
By Florian Fischer
Figure 1: The location-based view concentrates on the users
location using distance based representations of space
New Mappings
Within the GeoWeb environment several new mapping practices have
emerged, presenting different views of a world that increasingly uses
mobile devices and their capabilities. They extend from the birds-eye
view to a location-based view, a social-network view to a street view.
The paper map and its digital equivalents follow a strict approach to
represent space. This underlying principle allows for the construction of
social spaces that are primarily restricted to physical distance. In the
GeoWeb environment map signatures allow for a much broader nego-
tiation of meanings as maps become windows to an unlimited amount
of location-based information and interaction. Several mobile location-
based services use a similar distance-based approach but abandon
49
Latest News? Visit www.geoinformatics.com October/November 2011

visualization
Figure 2: The geo-social network view
partly replaces distance by social
connectedness
Ar t i c l e
the birds-eye view of a map in favor of a view from the users loca-
tion. It is a different mode of representation of space, as it narrows
down the view to the immediate surroundings.
In contrast to the birds-eye view of maps, the geo-social network view
takes a different approach to augmenting space. Though still represent-
ing objects by geometries and coordinates, the geo-social network view
replaces physical distance as a paradigm with the social connected-
ness of places and people. Hereby the map is reworked from a dis-
tance-based representation of physical space to the representation of
space by means of weak and strong social ties within a social network
platform, e.g. Qype.com.
In recent years, Google and Microsoft have supplemented the birds-
eye view with the street-level view, a new way of projecting the earths
surface and allowing users to roam it. Referring to that perspective, this
mode of representing space might be termed street-view. Street views
simulate a walkabout in cities, based on panoramic photographs of
various urban canyons. The panoramic photographs are stitched togeth-
er by geo-referencing their position, resulting in a continuous walkable
map for the user. In so doing it applies a location-based view as well,
however, a view not referring to the actual position of the user, but to
his viewing position on the map. Additional layers can be superim-
posed using coordinates to match the panoramic views. These means
of representing space still rest on geographic coordinates. Technically
though, meaning is not attached to points, lines or areas, but rather to
the spliced panoramic photographs.
Augmented Reality (AR) applications, such as Wikitude.com, Layar.com
or Wayndermobile.com, extend the street-view mode of representing
space towards a real-time and mobile paradigm, with additional infor-
mation and graphics being superimposed on the mobiles camera
screen. Todays popular smartphones all have integrated cameras, GPS
modules, large screens and enough computing power to do Augmented
Reality. Furthermore, fast mobile broadband Internet allows these smart-
phones to connect to major geo-referenced information databases such
as Bing Maps, Google, Qype or all the geo-tagged articles of
Wikipedia. In contrast to direction signs and memorial plaques that tell
everyone the same story, AR is considered to have the potential to
replace those analogue locative media and customize information stick-
ing to physical space and even overlaying historical, future or ctional
layers (e.g. www.augmentedrealitycinema.com).
Modern Mappings: From Paper to Software from
Object to Practice
All these new modes of representing space provide a different way for
users to make sense of the geographic world. Concurrently the rise of
the GeoWeb, the shift from maps towards interfaces, and the new map-
pings show that we need to reconsider the nature of the map in some
ways. In GIScience, mapping space is normally considered a method
only. Roughly speaking, it follows a rather process-oriented approach.
While production and consumption melt into prosumption, driven by
lay-persons rather than professionals (who are still involved in the back-
end) maps might rather be viewed as practices that emerge from their
producers, and users who appropriate those maps, having certain inten-
tions and uses in mind. Moreover the map as an holistic and stable
framework of spatial representation, includ-
ing certain elements of communication
seems to dissolve, being recombined with
new elements, new views and methods of
linking information to space next to a pure-
ly distance-based mode. An appropriate
view on maps in the age of the GeoWeb
might be a view on their functionalities and
components (e.g. user-proles, rankings,
proximity search as in Figure 2) and how
they codify the world thus. This perspective
reects a broader shift from media studies
to software studies, asking how functionali-
ties, components and codes work in the
world instead of asking how the map
relates to the world.
Ron, Lior: Google Maps = Google on maps. Lecture at the Where
2.0 Conference, 14 May: http://blip.tv/file/969411
Florian Fischer, GIS Editor and Research Assistant at the Austrian
Academy of Sciences, Institute for GIScience in Salzburg, Austria.
He has a blog with small essays on the Geographic Information
Society, Locative Media, Geobrowsers and the like:
www.ThePointOfInterest.net
Ar t i c l e
50
October/November 2011
Figure 3: Based on panoramic photographs street views simulate a walkabout in cities
Figure 4: AR extends the street-view mode into the real-time and mobile paradigm
Digital Photogrammetric Technologies
Racurs Conference 2011
Tossa de Mar, Spain, was the location for the 11th Racurs conference. As always, this four-day confer-
ence hosted two days of presentations about digital photogrammetric technologies, PHOTOMOD
software workshops and an excursion. The conference was attended by over 100 managers and spe-
cialists from industrial enterprises and academic institutions from 21 countries which are using remote
sensing data and photogrammetric processing in their day-to-day operations.
Introduction
The 11th International Scientic and
Technical Conference From Imagery
to Map: Digital Photo grammetric
Technologies was held in Spain in
the town of Tossa de Mar, which is
located approximately 90 km north-
east of Barcelona. The conference
provided ample opportunities for dis-
cussion, learning and sharing experi-
ences in the eld of digital pho-
togrammetric technology and remote
sensing. The conference was attend-
ed by over 100 managers and spe-
cialists from industrial enterprises and
academic institutions from 21 coun-
tries which are using remote sensing
data and photogrammetric process-
ing in their day-to-day operations.
The Conference organizer was
Racurs Co., (Moscow, Russia) sup-
ported by the International Society of
Photogrammetry and Remote Sensing
(ISPRS), Russian GIS-Association, and
the Society of Friendship, Cultural and
Scientic Relations with Spain. This
year NP AGP Meridian+ (Russia)
came onboard as the Platinum spon-
sor to the Conference. Gold sponsors
to support the Conference were:
VisionMap (Israel), Consulting Center
Zeminform of the State University of
Land Management (Russia), GeoEye
(USA), Sovzond (Russia), Innoter GIA
(Russia). Video Broadcast Sponsor
was ScanEx (Russia).
The conference offered a two-day
program of presentations, followed
by a day of masterclasses with DPS
PHOTOMOD. As always, this was fol-
lowed by a social program which
included a sports event, gala dinner
and lastly, an excursion to Barcelona
by bus.
A selection of the
Conference presentations
The rst conference day tackled four
different themes: General photogram-
metric and cartographic problems,
Digital cameras and aerial equipment,
Photogrammetric processing of digital
aerial imagery, and UAV aerial pho-
tography and processing.
The second conference day consisted
of presentations on the following top-
ics: Modern space remote sensing
data, Photo gram metric processing of
space remote sensing data, Geo -
portals and SAR Surveys.
The conference was opened by Victor
Adrov, managing director of Racurs.
He introduced his Racurs team and
laid out the schedule of the conference,
as well as the themes to be discussed
during the presentations. A number of
presentations were to be delivered by
Racurs staff, mostly about the compa-
nys PHOTOMOD software, but also UAV
image processing capabilities and a
corporate administrative geoportal.
PHOTOMOD 5.2
Alexandra S. Kiseleva, Manager of
Technical Support Department, Ra -
curs, Russia spoke about the new
capabilities of PHOTOMOD 5.2, re -
leased last September. New opportu-
nities offered in this version included
special aerial triangulation tools for
Unmanned Aerial Vehicle data pro-
cessing, direct work with JPEG images
without conversion, orthorectication
on-the-y, 3D models with textures
in 3D-Mod module and support for
GLONASS data. Also, just released
in September, was PHOTOMOD Lite,
which dramatically increases the
allowed data volume.
52
October/November 2011
E v e n t
By Eric van Rees
Victor Adrov, managing director of Racurs
Armin Gruen asking a question of the presenter
Conference audience
Institut Cartograc de Catalunya
David Sanchez i Carbonell, International
Sales Manager of the Institut Cartograc de
Catalunya, held a presentation on the Institut
Cartograc de Catalunya, the Catalan
Mapping Agency. The presentation focused
mainly on the cartographic products that the
institute produces, such as topographic base
maps and derived maps, and how they are
produced. City models and vegetation maps
are examples of derived maps. The institute
generates large area orthophotos and true
orthos from 10 cm resolutions, the last one tak-
ing seven years to complete. The institute is
not only active in Spain, but also undertakes
a number of successful international projects,
such as one in Argentina, a project for the
army with satellite imagery. In Venezuela,
orthophotography was performed from radar
images at the south of the Orinoco River. In
France, the institute performed precision farm-
ing projects, using the CASI (hyperspectral)
sensor. Different data are used for different
scale levels of the produced maps, but in 90%
of all cases, orthophotos are used.
Remote Sensing Serving
Regional Development
Gottfried Konecny, Leibniz University
Hannover, Germany, spoke about Remote
Sensing Serving Regional Development. His
presentation provided an overview of the
history of remote sensing as a discipline
from its origins in quantum physics up to the
present day. Not only were the current satel-
lite applications and capabilities mentioned
by Konecny (up to half a meter range), such
as the integrated use of remote sensing in
programs like the Corine land cove, but he
also pleaded for creation of SDI (this is a
must) and the establishment of an institu-
tional framework for remote sensing data,
as working in the cloud is now becoming a
reality.
Leica Geosystems Z/I Imaging
Mikhail I. Petukhov, Development Director,
Intergraph Z/I Imaging Moscow Ofce,
Russia, spoke about the new organizational
structure of Z/I Imaging within Hexagon. His
presentation was entitled Leica GeoSystems
Z/I Imaging combined portfolio of air-
borne sensors for a wide range of applica-
tions. This talk featured product presenta-
tions of airborne sensors from both Leica
and Intergraph, who used to be competitors
but are now both part of the Hexagon
brand. In terms of organization, everything
will have to be harmonized in the future, as
Petukhov stated during his presentation. It is
apparent that the new organizational struc-
ture offers a lot of different products and ser-
vices for various applications, and different
options are available per application, with
combinations of different brands (Erdas,
Intergraph and/or Leica).
Advances in UAV
Photogrammetry
Armin Gruen, Prof. Institute of Conservation
and Building Research, Switzerland, spoke
just as he did last year about UAVs
(Unmanned Aerial Vehicles), a topic that is
of great interest these days. Interestingly
enough, there were no less than six presen-
tations on this topic during the rst confer-
ence day. His presentation was entitled
Advances in UAV Photogrammetry and
gave an update on the ongoing and future
R&D work on UAVs, having just visited a
conference on UAVs (also covered in this
magazine). UAVs have a number of advan-
tages, such as when deployed in high-risk
situations. Also, the production of vertical,
oblique and horizontal images have a high
educational value as well, allowing students
to perform a project in its totality, that is con-
trolling a complete workow from data cap-
ture to end product. They are also very inex-
pensive, which makes UAVs popular these
days. Unfortunately, there are also a num-
ber of disadvantages in the use of UAVs,
such as the requirement for ight permission,
which can take a long time to obtain.
Weight restrictions, limited operating dis-
tance and the inability to cope with unex-
pected obstacles are also seen as shortcom-
ings. Gruen mentioned a number of projects
with UAVs, mainly for archeological pur-
poses but also other applications as well. In
terms of data processing methods, there is
much room for improvement, but without
doubt UAVs have a number of advantages
that make them attractive to use. He con-
cluded his presentation with a discussion on
how people deal with 3D, as opposed to
how computers perform image analysis.
Gruen stated that image understanding is
based on experiences and emotions, some-
thing which computers cannot duplicate.
Understanding how the brain understands
imagery will be the next step in the develop-
ments of image analysis in photogrammetry.
Internet: www.racurs.ru.
Many thanks to Andrey Pirogov for
providing imagery of the Conference.
E v e n t
53
Latest News? Visit www.geoinformatics.com October/November 2011
Sports event
October
20 October myWorld UK & Ireland Roadshow
Wembley Stadium, London, U.K.
E-mail: myworldroadshow@leica-geosystems.com
Internet: www.myworldroadshow.co.uk
20-21 October 8th International Workshop of the
EARSeL Special Interest Group (SIG) on Forest
Fires
Stresa, Italy
Internet: http://forest.jrc.ec.europa.eu/earsel
26-28 October 2011 Esri European User
Conference EFEMA
Feria de Madrid, Spain
Internet: www.esri.com
November
01 November Global to Local: Space Innovations
in Mapping
The National Space Centre, Leicester, U.K.
E-mail: dg125@le.ac.uk
Internet: http://spacedata.eventbrite.com
01-02 November Introduction to Open Source
E-mail: ceg.cpd@ncl.ac.uk
Internet: www.ncl.ac.uk/cegs.cpd/cpd/introgisos.php
01-03 November Aquaterra, International Water
Week Conference
RAI Convention Centre, Amsterdam, The Netherlands
Internet: www.aquaterraconference.com
01-04 November GIS-Pro 2011: URISA's 49th
Annual Conference for GIS Professionals
Indianapolis, IN, U.S.A.
E-mail: wnelson@urisa.org
Internet: www.urisa.org
02-03 November 3th Annual Blue Marble User
Conference
Denver, CO, U.S.A.
E-mail: bmuc@bluemarblegeographics.com
Internet: www.bluemarblegeo.com/products/user_confer-
ence.php
07-09 November GNSS and Network RTK
E-mail: ceg.cpd@ncl.ac.uk
Internet: www.ncl.ac.uk/cegs.cpd/cpd/gnss.php
08-09 November Be Inspired: Thought Leadership
in Infrastructure event
Amsterdam, The Netherlands
E-mail: beinspired@bentley.com
Internet: www.bentley.com/BeInspired
08-09 November SPAR Europe/Plant-Tech 2011
World Forum, The Hague, The Netherlands
Internet: www.SPARPointGroup.com/Europe
08-11 November Intelligent Cities Expo
Hamburg, Germany
E-mail: info@intelligentcitiesexpo.com
Internet: www.intelligentcitiesexpo.com
14-17 November ASPRS 2011 Fall Pecora
Conference
Hilton Hotel, Herndon, WV, U.S.A.
Internet: www.asprs.org
14-18 November UGI 2011 Regional Geographic
Conference
Escuela Militar, Santiago, Chile
Internet: www.ugi2011.cl
15-17 November spatial@gov Conference
National Convention Centre, Canberra, Australia
Internet: www.cebit.com.au/2011/conferences/spatial-at-
gov
15-17 November IGNSS 2011
University of New South Wales, Sydney, Australia
Internet: www.ignss.org/Conferences
15-18 November 15th ASITA National Conference
Reggia di Colorno, Italy
Internet: www.asita.it
16 November GISDay 'Discovering the World
Through GIS'
Internet: www.gisday.com
16-18 November 2nd International Workshop on
3D Cadastres (organized by FIG, EuroSDR and
TU Delft)
Delft, The Netherlands
Internet: http://3dcadastres2011.nl
21-23 November 8th International Symposium on
Location-Based Services
Vienna, Austria
E-mail: info@lbs2011.org
21-25 November Surveying & Spatial Sciences
Conference 2011
Wellington Convention Centre, Wellington, New Zealand
E-mail: convenor@sssc2011.org
Internet: http://sssc2011.org
22-23 November Geoimagery Malaysia 2011
The Legend Hotel, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
E-mail: maz@geoimagerymalaysia.com
Internet: www.geoimagerymalaysia.com
27-30 November Saudi Planning and Geodesign
Forum
Riyadh, Saudi Arabia
Internet: www.saudiplanningandgeodesign.com
28 November01 December 5th International
Conference "Earth from Space - the Most
Effective Solutions"
Moscow, Russia
E-mail: conference@scanex.ru
Internet: www.conference.scanex.ru/index.php/en.html
29-30 November European LIDAR Mapping Forum
(ELMF 2011)
Salzburg, Austria
E-mail: info@lidarmap.net
Internet: www.lidarmap.org
29 November-02 December The 5th International
Conference "Earth from Space - the Most
Effective Solutions"
Moscow Region Vatutinki recreation center, Russia
E-mail: conference@scanex.ru
Internet: www.conference.scanex.ru/index.php/en.html
30 November- 01 December GIN Congres / Geo-Info
Xchange 2011
Utrecht, The Netherlands
E-mail: info@geo-info.nl
Internet: geoinfo.kingsquare.nl
30 November-02 December 7th International gvSIG
Conference
Centro de eventos, Feria Valencia, Spain
E-mail: conference-contact@gvsig.com
Internet: http://jornadas.gvsig.org/presentacion/
objetivo-en/view?set_language=en
December
05-09 December AGU Fall Meeting 2011
San Francisco, CA, U.S.A.
Internet: www.agu.org
05-09 December FMEdays 2011
Factory Hotel, Muenster, Germany
E-mail: info@fmedays.de
Internet: www.fmedays.de/index_en.shtm
2012
09-10 January Introduction to GIS
E-mail: ceg.cpd@ncl.ac.uk
Internet: www.ncl.ac.uk/cegs.cpd/cpd/gis.php
11-12 January Intermediate GIS
E-mail: ceg.cpd@ncl.ac.uk
Internet: www.ncl.ac.uk/cegs.cpd/cpd/gis.php
13 January Spatial Analysis
E-mail: ceg.cpd@ncl.ac.uk
Internet: www.ncl.ac.uk/cegs.cpd/cpd/gis.php
17-19 January Least Squares Adjustment for
Offshore Survey
E-mail: ceg.cpd@ncl.ac.uk
Internet: www.ncl.ac.uk/cegs.cpd/cpd/lsadjust.php
23-25 January Symposium GIS OSTRAVA 2012
VSB-TU, Ostrava, Czech Republic
Internet: http://gis.vsb.cz/gis2012/authors.php
Please feel free to e-mail your calendar notices to:calendar@geoinformatics.com
Blom www.blomasa.com 13
CycloMedia www.cyclomedia.com 51
ERDAS www.erdas.com 29
Esri www.esri.com 9
FOIF www.foif.com.cn 41
Leica Geosystems www.leica-geosystems.com 56
Microsoft UltraCam www.iFlyUltraCam.com 20
NovAtel www.novatel.com 17
Optech Inc. www.optech.ca 22
Orbit Geospatial Technologies www.orbitgis.com 25
Pacic Crest www.paciccrest.com/adl 55
RACURS www.racurs.ru 49
RIEGL www.riegl.com 35
Sokkia www.sokkia.net 45
SPAR Europe www.sparpointgroup.com 8
Spectra Precision www.spectraprecision.com 33
SuperMap www.supermap.com 39
Topcon Europe BV www.topcon.eu 2
Advertisers Index
C a l e n d a r 2011 / Ad v e r t i s e r s I n d e x
54
October/November 2011

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