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UAVs: from Toys to Tools LiDAR Data Analysis Software

Council of European Geodetic Surveyors CityEngine


Magazi ne f or Sur veyi ng, Mappi ng & GI S Pr of essi onal s
January/February
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0
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Volume 15
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Prod_GEO112_Prod GEO66 20-01-2012 10:55 Pagina 1
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Prod_GEO112_Prod GEO66 20-01-2012 10:55 Pagina 2
2012 in a nutshell
With just one week into the new year, the rst major event of 2012 was announced
in the press, namely a strategic alliance between Autodesk and Pitney Bowes. At
the time of writing, no details have been made public but it seems this news ts
very well with current market trends in the geospatial world where companies
seek ways to integrate their products, services and workows, all designed
to make things easier for the user. (See also the interview in our last issue
concerning ERDAS and Intergraph). More on the Autodesk/Pitney Bowes alliance
in our next issue.
At the beginning of the new year, lots of bloggers made announcements on what
to expect in 2012 concerning the geospatial market. In this issue, you can nd
a contribution focusing on the location based systems market and whats to be
expected there. This market is highly dynamic and therefore interesting, not in the
least since product innovations inuence the way tomorrows tools will be used.
Another interesting acquisition is that of Procedural by Esri. Cinematographic 3D
images seem a world away from mapping software, but this isnt true. Again,
innovations in the entertainment industry have their effects on geospatial software
and Im very interested to see where this is heading. Also, Procedurals software
CityEngine ts in with the GeoDesign concept that Esri is advocating, which until
now has been an easy target for petty criticism.
Last but not least, we are happy to announce a collaboration between the Council
of European Geodetic Surveyors (CLGE) and GeoInformatics magazine. In short,
this partnership will consist of newsletters and reviews of events of the council plus
more surveying news in general. To start things off you can read an interview with
President Jean-Yves Pirlot in this issue.
At GeoInformatics, we continue to strive to publish a balanced view of the
geospatial market and produce high-quality content and the latest industry news.
We encourage you to send in interesting material to share with our read-
ership. Whats relevant, whats innovative, what should we know as
geo-professionals? This means regular columns, product reviews and
case studies, as well as coverage of events all over the world. I hope
this new issue will give you an update and some insight on the
various market sectors that together make up todays geospatial
industry.
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
8 times a year.
Editor-in-chief
Eric van Rees
evanrees@geoinformatics.com
Copy Editor
Frank Arts
fartes@geoinformatics.com
Editors
Florian Fischer
fscher@geoinformatics.com
Huibert-Jan Lekkerkerk
hlekkerkerk@geoinformatics.com
Remco Takken
rtakken@geoinformatics.com
Joc Triglav
jtriglav@geoinformatics.com
Contributing Writers:
Armin Gruen, Reinhard Abke, Monica Pratt,
Huibert-Jan Lekkerkerk, Remco Takken, Benjamin D.
Kamphaus, Artem Nikitsky, Natalya Filimonova,
Anna Antonyuk, Cori Keeton Pope, Flvio Lobos
Martins, Johanna Born, Ilkka Valli
Columnists
Lon van der Poel
Matt Sheehan
Finance
nance@cmedia.nl
Marketing & Sales
Ruud Groothuis
rgroothuis@geoinformatics.com
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Webstite
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Sander van der Kolk
svanderkolk@geoinformatics.com
ISSN 13870858
Copyright 2012. GeoInformatics: no material may
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magazine.
3
January/February 2012







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Prod_GEO112_Prod GEO66 20-01-2012 11:42 Pagina 3
C o n t e n t
Ar t i c l e s
Unmanned Aerial Vehicles 14
LiDAR Data Analysis Software 18
Hiparc Geotecnologia's Digital Mapping System 24
Latvian Rural Support Service 28
Mapping Englands Highways 30
Interference & Einstein 34
Spatial Data Quality to the Cloud 40
Space Imagery Data and Technology 46
E v e n t s
GeoDesign Summit 2012 38
Recap of the FMEdays 2011 44
Geospatial World Forum 2012 50
I n t e r v i e w
Council of European Geodetic Surveyors Newsletter 6
CityEngine 2011 10
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:
Costa Concordia, Giglio, Italy-January 17, 2012: A luxury cruise ship ran
aground in the Tuscan waters off of Giglio, Italy on Friday, January 13, 2012.
Several people have died as a result, many are still missing. (credit:
DigitalGlobe) www.digitalglobe.com
Prod_GEO112_Prod GEO66 20-01-2012 10:55 Pagina 4
34
6
14
Unmanned Aerial Vehicles
(UAVs) have recently attained
great attention. This article
explains why this is so and
decribes the wide range of
users and applications.
24
This is the first contribution
from the CLGE for Geo -
Informatics. As an introduction
to the readers of Geo -
Informatics, CLGE President
Jean-Yves Pirlot explains in
detail what the organization is
all about, such as its members
and main activities.
After buying a new photo-
grammetric digital aerial came-
ra, Hiparc can now collect and
process pictures more
efficiently and uses integrated
processing tools to develop
survey maps eight times faster
than with a film camera.
Some of you may have heard
about the experiment at CERN
that seems to prove that things
can actually go faster than
light, something that Einstein
said was impossible. So what
does a physical experiment
have to do with a GNSS up-
date you may ask.
18
Since LiDAR data has become
more available and LiDAR data
analysis software more advanced,
organizations are applying this
three-dimensional information to
solve a variety of complex
problems.
46
Russian government institutions
and business companies have
been increasingly applying
space imagery data and tech-
nology in their activities. This
article reviews only several
projects, implemented by
ScanEx RDC specialists in
2011 in Russia using space
imagery data.
44
It was not without reason that
con terra and Safe Software,
organisers of the FMEdays
2011, chose to hold this event
under the somewhat sporty
sounding motto of: START
MEET STUDY.
10
Gert van Maren (Esris
Technical Product Manager
3D) and Pascal Mueller
(Director of the new Esri R&D
Center Zurich, formerly
Procedural) sat down and
talked about the acquisition
of the company.
Prod_GEO112_Prod GEO66 20-01-2012 10:55 Pagina 5
An interview with the CLGE President Jean-Yves Pirlot
Council of European Geodetic S
This is the first contribution from the CLGE for GeoInformatics. As an introduction to the readers of
GeoInformatics, CLGE President Jean-Yves Pirlot explains in detail what the organization is all about,
such as its members and main activities.
GeoInformatics: Whats the aim
of the Council of European
Geodetic Surveyors?
Jean-Yves Pirlot: In a one-liner, CLGE is the
leading surveyors association in Europe!
GI: moreover?
Pirlot: CLGE is the Council of European
Geodetic Surveyors. The acronym stems
from the French name Comit de Liaison des
Gomtres Europens. In a broad sense, it
represents the interests of the European
Surveyor on the whole continent. This means
that our Council promotes the profession in
the European Union as well as in the sur-
rounding Council of Europe countries.
Surveying includes Cadastral Surveying
which provides security to land and prop-
erty title and thus underlies the economic
foundation of developed societies.
Moreover, Geospatial Information is now
ubiquitous in our lives and the surveyor
plays a fundamental role in this eld. Both
activities are strongly related because a
well-managed cadaster is an ideal funda-
ment for national Geo Data Infrastructures.
Our tasks in property delimitation and
GeoInformation management are strongly
related because the cadaster is an ideal
fundament for Geo Data Infrastructures.
The individual surveyors are the nal and
most important beneciaries of CLGEs activ-
ities. However, the Council also pursues
more general aims, such as the sustainable
development of European society and the
public and individual interests of European
Citizens.
It is important to note that we are represent-
ing the profession as a whole. This means
that we have delegates from the private, the
public and the academic sectors. For the
time being, we are introducing a represen-
tation of the youngsters as well.
GI: When and why was CLGE
founded?
Pirlot: About 50 years ago, it became
clear that the European countries, united
within the worldwide organization FIG,
January/February 2012
I n t e r v i e w
6
The CLGE Executive Board, from left to right: Pierre Bibollet (FR, Vice President), Leive Bjarte Mjs (NO, Vice President), Dieter Seitz
(DE, Treasurer), Rudolf Kolbe (AT, Vice President), Jean-Yves Pirlot (BE, President), Michelle Camilleri (MT, Secretary General).
Not on the picture Danko Markovinovic (HR, Vice President for GI).
By the editors
Prod_GEO112_Prod GEO66 20-01-2012 10:56 Pagina 6
needed a representational body to interact
with the then young European institutions.
Ofcial history reports a rst meeting in
1972, during the FIG congress held in
Wiesbaden, Germany. However, older
members of our association have mentioned
prior meetings, as early as 1962. We hope
that this issue will be solved before our next
European Conference, in Hanover on
October 11th, 2012, since our 50th
anniversary will of course deserve special
attention.
GI: Which countries are member
of CLGE?
Pirlot: CLGE is still growing. As shown on
the map (gure 1), we are represented in
35 countries. Amongst them we have the 27
EU member states as well as 8 Council of
Europe countries. In each country we ask
our member organizations to create a
National Liaison Group. This group is rep-
resented by two delegates in our General
Assembly, sharing one single vote. This
approach promotes national cooperation.
GI: How is it possible to become
a member of CLGE and how are
you recruiting new members?
Pirlot: Actually, the National Liaison Groups
(NLG) are not yet completely built in all our
member countries. This process is still ongo-
ing. It means that candidate associations can
always contact existing members of a given
NLG and start negotiations to join it. CLGE
normally does not interfere in these discus-
sions unless asked to do so by both parties.
Not so long ago, the French Association for
Topography started talks with our historic
member OGE (Ordre des Gomtres-Experts
franais). I am condent that they will join
the French NLG soon. Others could follow.
By requiring the constitution of National
Liaison Groups, we foster the local cooper-
ation amongst surveying associations. And
it works!
We are not really recruiting actively. All the
Council of Europe members are welcome. It
sufces that the candidate associations rep-
resent the majority of the profession within
their country and engage themselves to fol-
low the principles of CLGE. Once accepted
they have to build a National Liaison Group,
together with the sister organizations in their
country.
I n t e r v i e w
7
Latest News? Visit www.geoinformatics.com January/February 2012

Surveyors Newsletter
CLGE is represented in 35 countries.
Amongst them are the 27 EU member
states as well as 8 Council
of Europe countries.
European Surveyor, regardless where you are on March 5th, 2012, please celebrate your
profession! March 5th, 2012, 500 years Mercator, the First Day of the European Surveyor
and GeoInformation.
Prod_GEO112_Prod GEO66 20-01-2012 10:56 Pagina 7
GI: What are your main
activities?
As we have limited means, we can only
invest in important activities. However, in
this article it is not possible to list them all.
We will seize the opportunity given by our
cooperation with your magazine to describe
our activities in more detail in the coming
15 issues. However, we can of course syn-
thesize our engagement by announcing our
main goals.
In a few words CLGE wants to:
take part in the legislative process gov-
erning the exercise of the Surveying
Profession at the European and national
levels;
build a professional image of the
European Surveyor, recognized by
national governments as well as the EU;
motivate young surveyors to become
active within their national associations
and hence CLGE (and urge young peo-
ple to join our profession, of course);
make sure that the CLGE members are
satised with our performance.
Therefore, we absolutely need to raise our
prole and to appear on the radar of the
European politicians and the broader public.
CLGE has to raise its prole if we want the
profession to appear on the radar of the
politicians and the broader public!
And here we have to highlight one single
action thats planned for March 5th, 2012;
yes, the rst Day of the European Surveyor.
Our General Assembly has asked us to
organize this event on the very day on
which our famous predecessor Mercator
was born, 500 years ago, in whats now
called Belgium.
Together with some National Mapping and
Cadastral Agencies our CLGE delegates
and their organizations will arrange special
events all over Europe, to honour this day.
Moreover, CLGE will organize a specic cel-
ebration in Brussels, inviting delegations
from every European country. If you are
Surveyor and interested in joining the event,
do not hesitate to contact us on
GeoInformatics@clge.eu (please follow the
news on www.clge.eu for an updated pro-
gramme). A few places are available for
GeoInformatics readers.
In the upcoming issues of this magazine, we
will present several other initiatives in more
detail. We will, for instance, explain our
involvement in the modernization
of the European Directive on the
Mutual Recog nition of Pro -
fessional Quali cations, adver-
tise our next European Con -
ference to be held during INTERGEO 2012
in Hanover, together with our European
Students Meeting and the rst CLGE
Students Contest. We will also give more
details on the Dynamic Professional Know -
ledge Base we are planning to build.
GI: What is the difference
between CLGE and other
international associations,
for instance FIG?
Jyp: We see CLGE as a part of FIG. There
is no competition at all. On the contrary,
we are working hand in hand in a very
complementary way. Whilst FIG concen-
trates on the work of high level profession-
al and technical commissions, CLGE is
more active in the field of European pro-
fessional politics. This is an absolute must,
since the EU is really shaping the way in
which we will perform our duties tomor-
row.
As a matter of fact, a lot of our delegates
are active in CLGE and FIG as well. As we
still have increasing participation rates at
our General Assemblies and Conferences,
we understand that CLGE proposes a sig-
nificant added value for our member asso-
ciations.
FIG and CLGE are working hand in hand in
a very complementary way. The relevance
of CLGE as a regional partner within the FIG
could and should grow in the coming years.
During our Tallinn General Assembly in
September 2011, we started some discus-
sions about the relevance of CLGE within
FIG. I feel that our involvement as a region-
al partner could and should grow in the
coming years.
On the European level there is another much
smaller organization called EGoS (European
Group of Surveyors). We are preparing a
memorandum of understanding to make sure
that we work in the same direction. For the
time being this already happens but in an
informal way.
Last but not least I would like to mention an
important sister organisation Euro Geo -
graphics. This international non-prot asso-
ciation unites the National Mapping and
Cadastral Agencies of the European
Continent. Needless to say it employs a lot
of surveyors and thus is our natural ally in
many circumstances. We have co-written
two major studies about professional
requirements and the impact of the
Euro pean regulations, available on
www.clge.eu. Both our associations are
based in the House of the European
Surveyor and GeoInformation, in Brussels.
This helps!
The 3rd International and
Professional Training Course for
Young Surveyors
Under the Auspices of CLGE, the 3rd
International and Professional Training
Course for Young Surveyors (< 35 years)
was held in Athens between 3rd and 14th
of October, 2011. The training course was
a well-prepared event, organized and spon-
sored by the Consiglio Nazionale
Geometri e Geometri Laureati (the
National Association of Italian Surveyors)
and Geoweb (the company which pro-
vides all information about the Cadaster to
Italian surveyors), in collaboration with
HARSE (the Hellenic Association of Rural
and Surveying Engineers). All participants,
young surveyors, lecturers and local orga-
nizers expressed their thanks and apprecia-
tion to Fausto Savolid, President of CNG e
GL and Piero Panunzi, President of Geoweb
for this unique initiative. They also expressed
a wish to see this become a regularly orga-
nized event.
In one of the next issues of GeoInformatics
we will come back to the initiative and con-
centrate on its future.
Read the full opening speech of the CLGE president on
www.clge.eu (google Pirlot Athens
on the site search engine).
I n t e r v i e w
8
January/February 2012
In May 2011, Ph.D. Danko Markovinovi was appointed CLGE Vice
President for Geodesy and GeoInformation. In the next issue of
GeoInformatics he will take questions about CLGEs policy in this
specific field.

















Prod_GEO112_Prod GEO66 20-01-2012 10:56 Pagina 8
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Prod_GEO112_Prod GEO66 20-01-2012 10:56 Pagina 9
3D Content Creation, Modeling and GeoDesign
CityEngine 2011
Earlier this year, Esri announced the acquisition of Procedural, a Swiss company active in 3D content
creation. During the latest European User Conference, Esri released CityEngine 2011, one of Procedurals
software products. Gert van Maren (Esris Technical Product Manager 3D) and Pascal Mueller (Director
of the new Esri R&D Center Zurich, formerly Procedural) sat down and talked about the acquisition of
the company, a new software release and what this all has to do with GeoDesign.
Acquisition of Procedural
The announcement of Esris acquisition of
Procedural, earlier this year during the Esri
User Conference in San Diego, was surpris-
ing for a number of reasons. First of all,
Procedural is a company that creates 3D con-
tent for the entertainment and games industry.
What does a software company such as Esri
have to do with these industries? Also, what
are the companys plans on integrating its soft-
ware product, CityEngine, within the ArcGIS
platform and what is Esris philosophy behind
all this? From a user standpoint, what does
this all mean in terms of supported le formats
and databases that have to be maintained?
But rst of all, how did the two companies
come together? Pascal Mueller (formerly
Procedural, now Esri) explains: Procedural
worked together with Esri in 2010 on a pro-
ject in the Netherlands. This was a very fruit-
ful collaboration and we realized that we used
technology that matched very well together.
Also, the culture of both companies is very
similar. For Procedural, this acquisition was
a great opportunity because with Esri, the
company can now disseminate its technology
to lots of users. From Esris point of view, the
idea behind GeoDesign is exactly on par
which Procedurals approach to all its
urban design clients. So thats how
the whole thing started, says Mueller.
CityEngine: content creator
and GeoDesign tool
With the acquisition of Procedural
comes a software product called
CityEngine. This software enables the
quick creation of 3D cities out of 2D
data and allows the efcient design
and modeling of virtual urban environ-
ments in 3D. The latest version, for the
rst time under the Esri logo, was
10
I n t e r v i e w
By Eric van Rees
January/February 2012
Prod_GEO112_Prod GEO66 20-01-2012 10:56 Pagina 10
I n t e r v i e w
released during the latest Esri European User
Conference in October of this year.
Gert van Maren explains the two main appli-
cation areas of the product, the rst one a con-
tent creator, using existing GIS data with
attributes and rules: For those GIS users with
authoritative GIS data, this means they can
leave it in their geodatabase and maintain it
there. But if they want 3D content, then they
can just drag and drop their data into
CityEngine and apply 3D content rules, if their
data adheres to a certain template (more on
templates below). In this way data can be
maintained much more easily. Van Maren:
What we really want to try to avoid is that
our users start to have both a 3D database
and a 2D database, and then while having
to maintain two databases something changes
and then its not consistent anymore.
Secondly, CityEngine is meant as a 3D design
tool. Once you have your 3D content it
becomes very easy to manipulate that 3D con-
tent in CityEngine by changing rules and inter-
active modeling. Esri wants to take that a step
further in the future, and then combine this
with already existing analysis options. Van
Maren explains: This means that I do a cer-
tain design, run analysis in ArcGIS Server, get
feedback in a dashboard, see the impact of
my design, modify my design and run analy-
sis again so I can do a GeoDesign. In fact,
this is where Esri is going: allowing the user
to do Geodesign in ArcGIS by using
CityEngine technology.
Van Maren: The whole 3D thing is a very
powerful combination which we have now.
Were strong in analysis and data manage-
ment. Procedural is strong in design and con-
11
Latest News? Visit www.geoinformatics.com January/February 2012
Gert van Maren Pascal Mueller
January/February 2012
Prod_GEO112_Prod GEO66 20-01-2012 10:56 Pagina 11
tent creation, so thats a perfect t for a
GeoDesign tool.
At the moment, CityEngine is used mostly for
master plans for big cities. In the Netherlands,
for example, there is a client who uses
CityEngine just for doing master planning.
Mueller states that city growth is a really
important challenge we are facing worldwide.
It requires more planning tools on a city level,
because there are no tools out there dedicat-
ed to urban planning: You have lots of sur-
veying tools and lots of GIS tools, but theyre
all over the place. In urban planning depart-
ments they kind of hack something together
and in master planning studios what they do
is they sometimes print out stuff, or they even
build the whole model physically, and then
decide it needs to be changed and rebuilt all
over again.
Latest CityEngine release
For the rst time, the latest CityEngine release
is now available as a standalone Esri prod-
uct. In this new version, users can have geolo-
cated content, among other new features.
Mueller: We are one of the rst non-ArcGIS
tools to support the File GeoDatabase (GDB)
which is a very good format and we can just
import data very easily in CityEngine. In the
new release, weve introduced KML
import/export, which is for ArcGlobe and
Google Earth.
There are a number of improvements in the
user interface, like sliders and drop-down
menus, which users can dene themselves.
The streets have also been improved very
much so. For example, now users can create
roundabouts very easily, and there are things
such as automatic residential parceling.
Van Maren explains that Esri is planning three
tracks with regard to CityEngine. First, it will
remain a standalone product, and a high-end
professional tool mainly for the entertainment
industry: we actually dont want to lose that,
but want to be more involved in that industry.
The same goes for architects, they love
CityEngine and we are going to improve
CityEngine with more GIS functionality.
Expanding on Esris plans for the entertain-
ment industry, Van Maren explains: you have
to think of content for movies and games. A
racing game in a real-life city could for exam-
ple start with GIS data, and from there its built
up in terms of content. The same applies for
movies: for the Cars 2 movie, GIS street data
of London was used to build up the model.
In reverse, ArcGIS could be sold into the
movie and entertainment industry as well:
movie studios have assets that are spatially
located and by using a GIS the management
of these assets can be optimised, states Van
Maren.
Then the second track, previously mentioned,
is a new concept called ArcGIS for Urban
Design: the ability to do urban planning and
design in ArcGIS using CityEngine technolo-
gy.
The third track is that Esri will be integrating
Procedural technology into core ArcGIS. Van
Maren: but that wont be in there until ArcGIS
11, and probably mostly invisible to the user.
However, we could look for example at 3D
Procedural-driven 3D symbology.
In terms of 3D le formats, Van Maren says
that the new ArcGIS 11 will have new le for-
mats or improved le formats: we know that
ArcScene and ArcGlobe are dated 3D ren-
dering environments. My colleagues in
Redlands are therefore building a new
pipeline that will have the ability to read the
existing data formats that we have, but were
also looking with Procedural at maybe creat-
ing new 3D le formats that are way more
optimized. Multipatches have their limitations
which we need to solve.
Templates
Coming back at the reasons for the collabora-
tion between the two companies, Mueller adds
that its a big strategic advantage for
Procedural that everything Esri is doing regard-
ing 3D is template driven: this is because we
have a generic solution in 3D, to create tem-
plate-driven geometry. But not everyone
understands what is meant by the term tem-
plate. Van Maren agrees that it is an abused
and over-used word and explains the term:
youve got map templates, which is basically
how a map should look. This is because Esri
has dened a certain look and feel for a num-
ber of maps. If you want to achieve that same
look and feel, simply make sure your data
adheres to the database schema dened in the
template, and you are done.
For 3D, this idea is taken one step further: a
template in 3D is basically data and a
database schema. For example, there is a 2D-
to-3D template. Van Maren: But other than
being a nice looking map, its also a workow:
were trying to solve a problem with a tem-
plate. I have 2D data, but I want to turn it into
3D. What you get is the data, the database
schema, plus the geoprocessing models. You
run the models and 2D data turns into 3D data.
Then, you can slide your own data underneath
and repeat the workow. So for 3D, we actu-
ally have a lot of geoprocessing models in our
templates to solve these problems. For us, its
slightly more than a map template, it is best
practices to solve certain common problems.
Internet:
www.esri.com/cityengine
I n t e r v i e w
12
January/February 2012




















1 0 16:17
Prod_GEO112_Prod GEO66 20-01-2012 10:57 Pagina 12
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Prod_GEO112_Prod GEO66 20-01-2012 10:57 Pagina 13
From Toys to Tools
Unmanned Aerial Vehicles
Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) have recently attained great attention. This article explains why this
is so and decribes the wide range of users and applications. But UAVs also have a number of disad-
vantages, which have to be solved in the future in order to establish a good transition from toys to
tools.
O
bama demands Iran
return downed US
drone. Iranian engi-
neers will soon build an aircraft
superior to the American (drone)
using reverse engineering news-
paper headline of 14 December
2011.
UAVs (Unmanned Aerial Vehicles),
or more generally called UASs
(Unmanned Aerial Systems), have
recently attained great attention.
Both amateur model aircraft pilots
and military drone users are show-
ing increased activities, as evi-
denced by various media reports.
Squeezed between both parties are
the civilian professional users, those
which apply these technologies in
order to solve their technical prob-
lems. This domain covers a very
wide range of applications:
Archaeology, architecture, Cultural
Heritage, large scale local map-
ping, 3D city modeling, change
detection in urban and suburban
areas, cadastre, characterization of
river and other landscapes, landll surveys, landslide investigations,
agriculture and forestry, natural and man-made hazards, geology, envi-
ronmental and construction monitoring, search and rescue, trafc super-
vision and trafc accident recording, re brigade crisis management,
crime ghting and coordination of police services, multimedia applica-
tions and generation of video games, etc. The diversity of applications
is already now enormous and ever increasing as time goes by. This is
one of the reasons why so many people try to get into this technology.
The other reasons are the seemingly ease of operation of such aircrafts
and the economic benets which this technology offers.
For an instructive overview of current activities in the UAV sector please
contact: UAS. Unmanned Aircraft Systems. The Global Perspective.
2011/2012, 9th edition. Blyenburgh &Co, Paris, France. 216 pages.
The publication contains contributing stakeholders, country overviews,
certication and airspace integration, feature articles and a reference
section. Although this publication does by no means show all current
activities in this sector, it indicates the widespread interest which this
technology nds. It clearly shows the large amount of systems avail-
able, their different designs and various applications.
The underlying technology is by no means new. The model helicopter
goes back to 1967, when Schlueter
offered his rst system. Five year
later even a construction set
became available. The rst profes-
sional photogrammetric use was
reported by Wester-Ebbinghaus,
1980 who used such system for the
monitoring of the construction of the
Wuppertal monorail. At those times
of course, autopilots based on
GPS/INS were not available, nei-
ther were digital cameras. Since
then many things have been further
developed and have made the sys-
tems more powerful: More diverse
platform and propulsion technolo-
gies, use of digital cameras, inte-
gration of GPS and INS for
autonomous ying, stabilizer for
precise camera axis pointing, more
exibility in both ight pattern and
picture taking, and fast processing
capabilities.
UAVs today
Today we can choose between the
many different types of aircrafts:
Balloons, airships, gliders/kites, xed wing gliders, propeller and jet
engines, rotor-kite, single rotor (helicopter), coaxial systems, quadro-
rotors, multi-copters. Gas-, jet- and electro-engines are applied and
each comes with its own advantages and disadvantages. Finally the
application conditions will dictate the kind of platform to be best used.
In general however, UAV platforms have, compared to other data acqui-
sition techniques and tools, a number of signicant advantages, as:
Flexibility in sensor design and integration, data acquisition and
ight pattern (navigation, ying height). The choice of the recording
camera can be optimized with respect to project requirements. Flying
heights can vary greatly (usually we y at heights above ground
from 50 to 400m) and thus image coverage and footprint (ground
resolution) can be varied. Production of vertical, oblique and hori-
zontal images from one platform is possible, and maybe even dur-
ing one ight. This is the more important the more truly 3D model-
ing projects require multi-arrangement imaging.
Use in high-risk situations. The lack of on-board humans allows for
more risky ight executions.
Flight close to objects. Parts of objects, which are otherwise not
reachable at all or only by great efforts, can be recorded.
14
January/February 2012
By Armin Gruen
Figure 1: Photogrammetric UAV of the Institute of Geodesy and Photogrammetry, ETH Zuerich
Figure 2: The Copter1B on a mission flight over a cornfield (application in Plant Sciences)
Ar t i c l e
Prod_GEO112_Prod GEO66 20-01-2012 10:57 Pagina 14
Fast data processing (download, on-line and real-time capabilities).
Typically (although not always) UAV projects are covering only rela-
tively small areas with small or medium format images. This allows
efcient in-the-eld data processing. Thus data validation and pro-
ject corrections can be made while still on site.
Inexpensive platform. This applies to both the costs of a system and
its operation. Due to the many different systems on the market there
are also great differences in price (and performance).
High educational value. It is my experience that students love to
work with such platforms. For the rst time in their aerial pho-
togrammetric career they can control the full process of project plan-
ning, ight execution, data processing, result representation, etc. by
themselves. This generates a strong push of motivation.
These advantages must be balanced against certain inherent problems
of the technology, as there are:
Flight permissions are required. The regulations and legal conditions
for UAV ights differ greatly from country to country and are also
dependent on various factors like location of ight, ying height, size
of platform, communication frequencies, etc. We had recently experi-
enced a case where we had to get ight permissions from ve differ-
ent parties. Under such conditions very early project planning is abso-
lutely necessary. Going out and just ying is by no means an
advisable working mode, even if it would be possible technically.
Also, the safety issue is of great concern. After all, UAV technology is
not in all cases very stable and absolutely reliable. There are certain
rules which should be followed wisely: Do not lose the platform out
of sight. Anything can happen once you lose eye contact. If autopilot
is used and the platform runs in autonomous mode (which we recom-
mend highly anyway) make sure you can switch to manual mode
quickly it may be necessary.
These platforms have no built-in intelligence. They cannot cope with
unexpected situations (obstacles).
Some systems require an experienced pilot. This is not only for oper-
ating the platform, but also for reasons of repair. You do not want
to travel to a desert in Peru and nd out there that some components
of your system do not work.
Weight restrictions for carry-on sensors apply. Your system manufac-
turer will advise you about these limitations.
Both the relative and the absolute ying heights may be limited (the
former by regulations, the latter by lack of uplift and oxygen (in case
of a model helicopter with gas engine). It is advisable to test your
system under project conditions before you travel far.
Also, the operating distance is limited. It depends on radio link,
energy support and visibility conditions.
Although, as mentioned before, the photogrammetric use of those plat-
forms is by no means new, the current boom in applications is due to
the fact that new sensors (digital cameras, GPS/INS) are used on the
platforms and the exibility and ease of raw data acquisition.
While many systems where originally built just as one-shot systems,
going up into the air for the acquisition of only a few images, without
necessarily stereo overlap, we see today many more truly photogram-
metric applications. These professional photogrammetric UAV sys-
tems can be characterized by:
Long ying time for image block data acquisition
Large image sequences (100 several thousands)
Navigation devices for automated control of trajectory and orienta-
tion (autopilot), possibly supported by image-based navigation (new)
Stabilizing platform for precise image frame location
Image-based and/or range-based sensor(s), modular/exchange-
able
Calibration of sensors and system
Accurate geo-referencing hard- and software (direct/indirect)
Ar t i c l e
Latest News? Visit www.geoinformatics.com January/February 2012
Figure 3: UAV image from 325m above ground, showing the excavation site Pernil Alto, Palpa, Peru
(Archaic Period) in its environmental context. Traces of looting of burial grounds are clearly visible.
Figure 4: UAV image from 50m above ground, showing the excavation site of Pernil Alto, Palpa, Peru in
much detail (compare to centre image patch in Figure 3)
Figure 5: Castle Landenberg, Obwalden, Switzerland, modelled from UAV images
15
Prod_GEO112_Prod GEO66 20-01-2012 10:57 Pagina 15
Automated image analysis and fast processing (batch and/or
sequential estimation)
Standard photogrammetric pre-and post-processing functions
3D modeling of objects and processes (geometry and texture)
Other suitable data processing software
While this may be regarded as a wish-list, some of those functions are
already available, others under development.
Applications
Figure 1 shows the Copter1B with the autopilot system wePilot1000 of
weControl AG, which was intensively used by my group in many pro-
jects, ranging from Archaeology/Cultural Heritage, Civil Engineering,
Geology to Plant Sciences/Agriculture. Although it was originally not
designed for photogrammetric use, it was later upgraded to pho-
togrammetric functionality. This system has so far seen more than 40
project ights. Figure 2 shows a ight over a corneld, where a Digital
Surface Model had to be produced for studies and computations in
Plant Sciences.
In another application we have recorded an archaeological site in Peril
Alto, Palpa, Peru (Archaic Period) for the German Archaeological
Institute. We show two images from different ying heights - 325m
(Figure 3) and 50m (Figure 4) above ground, which are used for dif-
ferent purposes. While the image of Figure 3 shows an overview of
the area around the excavation site (indicating also the many looting
holes in the ground), Figure 4 zooms into the excavation and can be
used for the mapping and modeling of details.
UAVs are suitable tools to record buildings, which are otherwise not
easy to access. Figure 5 shows the 3D model of Castle Landenberg,
Obwalden, Switzerland, which was modeled from UAV images. Even
more, full ensembles and sites can be recorded. Figure 6 shows the
ight of a quadrocopter over the archaeological site of Drapham
Dzong, Bhutan and Figure 7 the resulting 3D model. The site is located
at 3000m above sea level. We had to use a quadrocopter with elec-
tro-engine, since our model helicopter would not have worked at such
altitude.
Figure 8 indicates the individual steps of data acquisition and process-
ing and the associated degree of automation. Semi-automation can
be understood either (a) as a fully automated process with substantial
post-editing or (b) as an algorithm that has been designed from the
very beginning as consisting of a combination of manual procedures
and automated components, activated and controlled by a human oper-
ator. If measurement of tie points is said to be semi-automatic, it does
not preclude cooperative cases where it works even fully automatically
with success. The same applies to the measurement of control points.
Under certain circumstances this can be done semi-automatically or
even fully automatically.
By far the most manual effort goes into the 3D modeling of complex
objects. Here advancements in research are urgently required.
What will the future bring?
We will see many more and also new applications of UAV technology.
The integration of other sensors, besides panchromatic cameras, e.g.
of infrared (near and far infrared), multi-spectral cameras and laser-
scanners is already on its way. This leads to new capabilities and appli-
cations. Manufacturers are working on the robustication of systems.
Minication is also a topic of interest, although one should note that
minication of components may result in a loss of quality.
On the data processing side there is much room for useful R&D:
Integration of novel sensors (multiple cameras, LiDAR, etc.)
Development and testing of dynamic sensor models (LiDAR, Linear
Array cameras)
System and sensor calibration of those new and possibly hybrid sen-
sor congurations
Improvement of positioning and orientation accuracy
Integration of image-based navigation (e.g. by sequential estima-
tion)
Improvement of the level of automation in 3D modeling
Emphasis on real-time and on-line processing
The most urgent needs we see on the side of ight regulations. Here
we need clear rules, laws and regulations, such that projects can be
planned and executed in an orderly fashion.
As evidenced by the developments in recent years, the many current
activities and new applications UAVs have paved their way undoubt-
edly into the professional scenery of Geomatics. It is safe to say that
we will even see an increase of activities in the years to come, making
UAVs, both in terms of hardware and software development, a most
interesting and challenging area for research, development and prac-
tice. This marks a clear transition from toys to tools.
Prof. em. Dr. Armin Gruen, Institute of Conservation
and Building Research, ETH Zuerich.
Ar t i c l e
16
January/February 2012
Figure 6: Quadrocopter over Drapham Dzong, Bhutan
Figure 7: 3D model of Drapham Dzong, Bhutan, reconstructed primarily from quadrocopter images
Figure 8: Workflow of a photogrammetric UAV mission





Prod_GEO112_Prod GEO66 20-01-2012 10:57 Pagina 16
Data Sources and Todays Applications
LiDAR Data Analysis Software
LiDAR is an increasingly popular source of three-dimensional data that can provide meaningful context
about geographic areas. Professionals across industries use LiDAR to create realistic 3D visualizations,
extract 3D features and export products to geospatial tools to help understand the world around them.
Since LiDAR data has become more available and LiDAR data analysis software more advanced, orga-
nizations are applying this three-dimensional information to solve a variety of complex problems.
The Definition and
History of LiDAR
LiDAR, light detection and rang-
ing, is a range nding technolo-
gy similar to SONAR and
RADAR (sound and radio detec-
tion and ranging respectively).
LiDAR sensors work by emitting
light pulses at targets, such as
buildings or trees, and measur-
ing properties of the reected
pulses as they return to the sen-
sor. Each reected pulse has an
X, Y and Z measurement that locate it to a geographic position.
Collectively, these pulses make up a point cloud. Organizations collect
LiDAR point clouds by placing sensors on ground stations, ground vehi-
cles, aircraft or spacecraft depending on the intended applications for
the data. Over the past 60 years, LiDAR sensors and the technology
used to process and analyze LiDAR data have steadily evolved.
Different forms of light range nding have existed since the 1950s, how-
ever, LiDAR did not enter the realm of geospatial data collection until
the 1980s when high precision global positioning systems (GPS) became
widely available and declassied for civilian use. GPS is a key compo-
nent of LiDAR because it enables each data point to be precisely locat-
ed. In the 1980s, 1990s, and even into the early 2000s, LiDAR mostly
remained a niche market, limited to specialized surveying tasks and
more commonly used in space and atmospheric sciences than earth-ori-
ented sciences. This was the case because the technical requirements
for processing LiDAR data remained outside the capabilities of most
geospatial software and planning LiDAR missions remained outside the
expertise of most geospatial analysts.
In addition to the limitations of LiDAR processing software and the tech-
nical knowhow of analysts, the size of LiDAR data has also posed a
challenge to organizations because full three-dimensional point clouds
usually require a large amount of storage space, which only became
common during the last decade. Moreover, geospatial analysts typically
need to extract specic features from data, a task that has increased in
difculty as the number of points to classify has grown. Despite these
challenges, LiDAR data contains important information that cannot be
easily attained using two-dimensional imagery. For example, LiDAR is
better suited than two-dimensional imagery to identify features superim-
posed on each other, like a power line that runs over a building, as well
as three-dimensional shape characteristics, such as nuanced roof shapes
and tree crown spreads.
Over the last decade, advances
in computing power, the devel-
opment of specialized LiDAR
processing and analysis soft-
ware, and improvements in
LiDAR sensor design has result-
ed in LiDAR becoming a popu-
lar, powerful source of informa-
tion when mapping and making
critical decisions. Additionally,
there has been an increase in the
availability of LiDAR data, espe-
cially as states and nations have
sought periodic complete LiDAR yovers of their territories to attain data
for a variety of applications.
E3De Capabilities and Workflow
In order to effectively process and analyze the increasing volume and
size of LiDAR data sets, Exelis Visual Information Solutions recently intro-
duced E3De. E3De is a three dimensional software environment for
extracting information from LiDAR point clouds and is designed to pro-
duce three dimensional building footprint and roof shape models, tree
models (including crown size) and power line models (including power
poles and power line connectivity). The advanced processing capabili-
ties in E3De take advantage of algorithms that operate on the full three-
dimensional point cloud morphology, rather than on two-dimensional
intermediate outputs. As such, it is able to handle sophisticated three-
dimensional problems such as object superposition in an elegant man-
ner. Users of E3De can create a variety of products including classied
point clouds, digital surface models (DSMs) and digital terrain models
(DTMs), and export them to traditional GIS and image analysis software
for use in applications such as tsunami ooding simulations.
The workow in E3De has four basic steps data preparation, identi-
cation and extraction of three-dimensional features, renement of results
and exporting three-dimensional products for further analysis or inclu-
sion in a GIS for mapping applications. During data preparation, E3De
users simply import common LiDAR formats, such as LAS and ASCII, into
an E3De project directory that contains metrics about the LiDAR collect
and georeferencing information, which helps accurately locate the point
cloud relative to the Earths surface. To save time, E3De can ingest multi-
ple data les simultaneously, allowing users to quickly focus on identify-
ing features and analyzing results.
After importing data into E3De, the next step is to process the data to
extract features like building, trees or power lines based on the shape
18
Ar t i c l e
By Benjamin D. Kamphaus
Figure 1: Utility companies perform right of way analysis in E3De to map and manage the areas surrounding
electronic transmission lines. Data courtesy of Applanix.
January/February 2012
Prod_GEO112_Prod GEO66 20-01-2012 10:57 Pagina 18
characteristics of clusters of neighboring classied points in the point
cloud. Features are rst extracted using an automated process. Feature
identication can be performed on an entire point cloud scene, a user
dened subset of a scene or multiple LAS les simultaneously, to quickly
provide users with information they desire. In addition to extracting fea-
tures, E3De also produces a classied point cloud as well as gridded
outputs, such as a DSM, DTM and an additional LiDAR intensity
orthophoto. These two-dimensional gridded outputs serve as a main
input in traditional geospatial software packages. For example, ArcGIS
Spatial Analyst and ENVI image analysis software both contain an exten-
sive set of two-dimensional topographic modeling tools that require DTMs
as inputs.
Often, three-dimensional feature extraction results need minor renement
to ensure the accuracy of identied features this stage of the workow
is termed quality assurance. Once the initial processing has run in
E3De, users are able to y through results and apply computer aided
drawing (CAD) tools to adjust output results, such as building roof shape,
tree trunk placement and power pole placement along the power grid.
These tools allow the user to perform tasks such as shifting rooftop poly-
gon vertices from one location to another or changing the classication
value of any given point.
To help ensure users accurately rene features, E3De enables them to
create realistic three-dimensional visualizations of point clouds and ana-
lyze an area from different perspectives. They can also y through a
scene looking for specic data points or individual features of interest.
Additionally, this stage allows users to adjust processing parameters and
make small adjustments to point cloud classication results. All adjust-
ments made during the quality assurance process are incorporated into
future processing runs, saving time and ensuring that nal products and
visualizations are as accurate as possible.
After users have identied and rened features in a scene, they can
export them as products or layers to perform additional geospatial anal-
ysis, share them with colleagues for verication studies or include them
in a GIS for mapping applications. E3De analysis results are available
in a variety of formats standard attribute-linked vector formats, such as
shape output, as well as common image formats such as GeoTIFF and
ENVI. Users can export three-dimensional rooftop shapes into the draw-
ing exchange format (DXF) and export 3D-enabled vector formats (includ-
ing Shape and GDB) into a variety of GIS, CAD and three-dimensional
production environments. Since these three dimensional results can be
stored in a GIS framework, they can be incorporated in future geospa-
tial management tasks, such as locating buildings within one kilometer
of a power line corridor, or to support attribute based queries like nd-
ing the locations of power poles with connections higher than 20 meters
off the ground.
Just as E3De analysis results can be exported to a GIS to serve a variety
of purposes, exporting E3De results to image analysis software like ENVI,
enables users to fuse results with gridded data, such as multispectral
and hyperspectral imagery, for further analyses or to create a variety of
geospatial products. For example, emergency management profession-
als may want to fuse timely elevation information from LiDAR data with
other geospatial imagery in ENVI to enhance road extraction efforts
after an earthquake.
LiDAR Data Sources
Individuals and organizations who need LiDAR data can obtain it just
as they do two-dimensional imagery. That is, they can either pay to have
new data collected or take advantage of data already collected. Existing
LiDAR data can often be attained from local and national governments.
In the U.S., the National LiDAR Dataset initiative has unied local and
state governments with federal agencies with the goal of obtaining full
coverage LiDAR data at periodic intervals to support natural resource
management, infrastructure assessment and urban planning. Aside from
the U.S., other nations collecting LiDAR inventories include Germany
and Estonia. Because of these collects, LiDAR data suitable for different
applications is often available to organizations and individuals free of
charge or for minimal fees.
Due to mission planning constraints, however, LiDAR data that is already
collected is not always suitable for all tasks. For example, power line
mapping requires a higher point density than that typically available
from national datasets. Many vendors that perform power line mapping
recommend anywhere from 12 to as high as 20 points per meter, while
national datasets may only collect four to seven points per meter. This
lesser number of points is suitable for extracting large trees and build-
ings but may not be sufcient to extract single family residences, smaller
trees or power lines.
Even in the absence of archival data, collecting and analyzing new
LiDAR data has frequently proven to be more cost-effective than manual
eld survey techniques. A report by the U.S. Government (see reference
at the end of the article) found that traditional methods of ground survey
based tree counting took around 14 weeks to create a forest inventory,
whereas collecting and analyzing LiDAR data for this purpose took only
four weeks and reduced the costs by half. Costs for collecting LiDAR
data for small projects start around $5 thousand and run as much as
$2.7 million for projects like the U.S. Geological Surveys LiDAR for the
North East project, which covered approximately 8,000 square miles.
Ar t i c l e
19
Latest News? Visit www.geoinformatics.com


Figure 2: E3De users can refine feature extraction
results during the quality assurance (QA) process to
ensure they have accurately identified features.
Data courtesy of Applanix.
January/February 2012
Prod_GEO112_Prod GEO66 20-01-2012 10:57 Pagina 19
Costs will typically increase as
point density increases (the high-
est point densities require multiple
ights over the same area) or with
more expensive scanning equip-
ment, such as those that accommo-
date color intensity values rather
than grayscale intensity.
Industry Applications for
LiDAR Data
Today, industries from environmen-
tal conservation to defense and
intelligence use LiDAR data for its
up-to-date, accurate information
about geographic areas of inter-
est. One increasingly popular
application of LiDAR data in the
utilities industry is to perform corridor or right of way analysis, which is
the mapping and management of the areas surrounding electronic trans-
mission lines. This application is growing because steering organiza-
tions and regulation groups such as the EER (European Energy
Regulators) in the E.U., and NERC (North American Electric Reliability
Corporation) in the U.S., provide guidelines and requirements for man-
aging electronic transmission right of ways.
Under these right of way regulations, utility companies are responsible
for precisely mapping their assets, such as power lines and power poles.
While utility companies have historically relied on planning data for this
purpose, surveying has demonstrated that electronic transmission assets
frequently differ in location from plan, often due to routing and ground
suitability decisions made during installation. In addition to mapping
assets, utility companies must also monitor and identify vegetation
encroachment that has the potential to damage power lines, such as in
cases where weather conditions might cause tree limbs to fall on power
lines. In the U.S., the failure to identify encroachment in a timely manner
has led to large-scale outages costing the government, organizations
and consumers billions of dollars.
Since instances of inaccurate mapping or unchecked encroachment can
result in expensive nes (over one million dollars per violation in the U.S.
under NERC), utility companies have a mandate to monitor and map
their right of ways, which requires a large investment of time and
resources. Because of this, they are turning to LiDAR data and analysis
software to quickly and accurately gather the information that is needed
to comply with regulations. Utility companies rst collect aerial LiDAR
data, typically by ying a plane over an area, then employ advanced
processing and analysis tools, such as E3De, to extract information.
E3De is particularly well suited to the needs of utility companies, because
it contains workows specically designed to extract power lines and
for right of way analysis.
When users apply LiDAR data to urban planning and local government
applications, the detailed structure data that they can extract using
advanced analysis software like E3De is useful for monitoring urban
change in order to adjust or enforce land use policies and assess prop-
erty taxes. While the dominant practice for determining structure-related
taxes is the use of eld assessors who routinely re-evaluate properties
and estimate value, several local governments have begun using LiDAR
data to increase the frequency and accuracy of their assessments.
For tasks like tax assessment, governments need to identify and measure
structures size. Analy zing three-
dimensional roof-shape character-
istics from LiDAR data tends to be
more accurate for this purpose
than analyzing building footprints
manually or using two-dimension-
al imagery. This is because ana-
lyzing three-dimensional roof-
shape characteristics make area
and volume estimates more accu-
rate. Three-dimensional roof-shape
characteristics are also well suited
for identifying changes made to
structures, such as expansions or
roof alterations, which may lead
to a decrease or increase of prop-
erty value. Professionals that create
land use models also nd roof
shapes to be valuable input when identifying land use changes based
on structure alterations. Land use monitoring of this sort can more easily
recognize undocumented land use alterations and ensure tax and land
use code compliance.
The defense and intelligence community uses LiDAR data and software
analysis tools to develop a variety of geospatial products, create situa-
tional awareness and make critical decisions. Defense and intelligence
personnel extract DSMs and DTMs from LiDAR data using software like
E3De for ground routing tasks, constructing view sheds and identifying
obstruction for ground travel. They also analyze LiDAR data for structure
counts and characteristics, such as determining how structures are being
used and estimating populations in undocumented areas.
For defense and intelligence air operations, LiDAR data is one the best
sources of information about vertical obstructions (VOs), such as build-
ings, trees and power lines because of the accurate elevation data it
contains. Vertical obstructions must be accounted for when performing
low altitude ight and landing operations, because failure to do so can
jeopardize ight assets and overall mission success. Analysts extract ver-
tical obstructions from LiDAR data using the feature extraction capabili-
ties in E3De and share this information with mission planners. In addi-
tion, they take terrain outputs from E3De to determine helicopter landing
zones (HLZs) that take into consideration an areas size, slope, proximi-
ty to targets and vertical obstructions.
The Future of LiDAR
LiDAR data provides critical geospatial information about areas of inter-
est and the number of applications it is used for continues to grow. The
elevation and positional accuracy of products derived from LiDAR data
has led to its dependence for specic applications like mapping vegeta-
tion encroachment in power line corridors and determining vertical
obstructions. Because of the volume and size of LiDAR data, it is best
exploited using advanced processing and analysis technology like E3De.
E3De is designed to take advantage of the full shape characteristics of
objects in point clouds and its processes are especially well suited to the
high point density LiDAR data commonly collected today.
Benjamin D. Kamphaus is Technical Solutions Engineer at Exelis Visual Information Solutions,
Ben.Kamphaus@exelisvis.com. Learn more about E3De software at www.exelisvis.com/E3De or watch a
short video at www.idl-envi.com/E3De-lidar.
References:
LiDAR for the North East: Project Brief, M. Shillenn and B. Hickey, Photo Science, February 25, 2011,
www.mapps.org/events/2011FPC/DeMulder_USGS_Brief2_031511.pdf.
Ar t i c l e
20
Figure 3: Government officials exploit LiDAR data for urban planning and disaster response applications. In this
image, E3De software is used to extract buildings. Data courtesy of Rochester Institute of Technology.
January/February 2012


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O
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M
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Matt Sheehan reviews the mobile market of this year and that of next year:
immature is a better way to put it. However, for 2012 he expects a larger
adoption of LBS by the whole workforce: we live in exciting times.
M
obile in 2011 has been very much a case
of hurry up and wait. Immature is maybe
a better way to put it. Mobile location
based software innovation has been somewhat lim-
ited, with too many copycat ideas; I want to build
a site like Foursquare. Games continue to domi-
nate. On the hardware side, there have been many
new releases. Tablets were the most hyped item in
2011. Things here have been hit and miss. The
IPad2 and Galaxy stand out as hits. Smartphones
have evolved. Releases like the Samsung Infuse with
large 4.5 high resolution screens, have vastly
improved the user experience.
To summarize our overall thoughts: Location based
services (LBS), with a consumer focus continue to
dominate the mobile location app space. As in the
early days of the Internet, business adoption has
been slow. Mobile remains a confusing market-
place; hardware and software/platform wars con-
tinue. Increasingly cross platform mobile app solu-
tions are popular. Single platform, iPad or iPhone
only, apps are declining. Mobile devices remain
physically fragile. Rugged cases and more rugged
actual devices will reduce concerns.
Businesses are looking at portions of enterprise apps
being mobilized. Much of this is focused on 2012,
and a maturing mobile market. B2C enablers will
ourish as mobile web continues to gain importance
as a channel. B2B will remain challenging.
Mobile GIS, LBS & Map Development Tools in 2011
Adobe have been one of the key development tool
providers to get behind the mobile revolution. They
have increased their focus on mobile AIR, for
installed mobile applications, and HTML5 for mobile
web apps. Many of the major mapping, spatial and
location focused companies have turned their atten-
tion to mobile. Esri have launched a number of
mobile products to support their ArcGIS agship.
They now provide the best custom mobile GIS tools
currently in the market. MapQuest have made some
very interesting recent announcements, with a new
mobile web release (mapquest.com), their MQVibe
product (mqvibe.com) and release of their mobile
Flash API. They provide a comprehensive array of
mobile solutions. In the open source world
Openlayers is turning its attention to mobile. A num-
ber of the newer location based service companies,
such as Foursquare and SimpleGeo, have opened
their APIs. This made it possible, for example, to
pass to them current location, and get back a list of
venues nearby.
Mobile Software Trends in 2011
The year started with the dominance of the Apple
iOS mobile platform. This maintained the demand
for Objective-C developers; the native language of
iOS. But there has been a steady increase in popu-
larity of devices running the Android platform over
the year. The Blackberry Playbook has a growing
and loyal user base, even given the parent compa-
nys troubles. Apple have continued to throw their
weight around, maintaining their stance on prevent-
ing third party plug-ins to be included in any iOS
browser. Effectively stymieing Adobes Flash Player
and Microsoft's Silverlight. The emergence of cross
platform solutions (hybrid installed and mobile web)
now means a single application can be built which
runs across multiple devices. For installed cross plat-
form apps, Adobe AIR has become popular. For the
mobile Web HTML5/Javascript seems the emerging
favored choice. Debates about the advantages of
native installed versus hybrid installed apps contin-
ue. The emergence of technologies like PhoneGap
has enabled mobile HTML5 web apps to be con-
verted to installed apps.
Mobile Application Enquiries in 2011
Looking back at mobile application enquiries we
received over 2011, we noticed an increasing num-
ber of larger company approaches as the year pro-
gressed. The business sectors were very diverse; for-
est management, surveyors, engineering, outdoor
recreation, facility management, agriculture, politi-
cal campaigns, pipeline and transportation. Mobile
interest included geo-data visualization, data query
and search, data editing/new feature additions,
and data collection. Ofine functionality was also a
key area of discussion.
Looking Ahead to 2012
There remain a limited number of good mobile GIS
and location focused apps in the various app stores.
This will change in 2012. If the 2011 trends contin-
ue, there should be considerably more interest, and
money spent by larger businesses. Mobile adoption
will gather pace. Mobile application developers,
particularly those with a location (LBS/GIS) focus,
should see increased workloads. Users will begin
to reap the benets of mobile apps. Those working
in the eld will be the rst affected. But mobile will
eventually impact all workers. Location based ser-
vices will impact our daily lives. Mobile GIS will
help improve decision making, save money, time,
bring greater insight, and accuracy. We live in excit-
ing times.
Matt Sheehan is Principal and Senior
Developer at WebmapSolutions.
The company build location focused
mobile applications for GIS, mapping and
location based services (LBS).
Matt can be reached at
matt@webmapsolutions.com.
The Mobile Market in 2011 Reviewed
C o l u mn
22
January/February 2012
Prod_GEO112_Prod GEO66 20-01-2012 10:57 Pagina 22

Prod_GEO112_Prod GEO66 20-01-2012 10:57 Pagina 23
To reduce operating costs and shorten project cycles, Hiparc Geotecnologia wanted to transition from
dependence on film-based aerial cameras and image scanners to a comprehensive digital mapping
system. After buying a new photogrammetric digital aerial camera, Hiparc can now collect and
process pictures more efficiently and uses integrated processing tools to develop survey maps eight
times faster than with a film camera.
Business Needs
When the leaders of Brazil-based Hiparc Geotecnologia formed the
company in 2004, they initially focused on two core services: process-
ing remote sensing and satellite image data and developing special-
ized geographic information systems.
Three years later, executives opted to expand the companys offerings
to include land surveying and geospatial mapping through the use of
aerial photography. This decision proved to be a major catalyst for the
companys growth. In fact, within one year, aerial mapping accounted
for half of the companys total revenue.
Hiparc began by using a single lm-based cartographic camera
equipped with For ward Motion Compensation and an integrated
Inertial Measurement Unit deviceto capture aerial images.
However, executives noted several challenges with using analog cam-
era technology. Beyond the cost of the lm and the time needed to
develop the images, Hiparc had no way of determining the quality of
the photos until after they were scanned and processed.
With such a large portion of its business invested in aerial imaging,
Hiparc searched for ways to shorten production cycles. We needed a
cost-efcient way to deliver high-resolution photographs in multiple for-
mats, says Flvio Lobos Martins, the Executive Director of Hiparc. The
photographs would also have to compete in terms of quality with the
more expensive satellite imagery available on the market. As Hiparc
evaluated its options for new camera and mapping technology, execu-
tives emphasized the need for compatibility between the solution and
the companys existing equipment, including its ight management
system.
Solution
Hiparc ultimately shifted from analog to digital aerial photography and
chose to adopt the UltraCam technology from Microsoft. The UltraCam
product suite comprises a full line of digital aerial mapping systems, all of
which incorporate an image processing software application called
UltraMap. Based on our research, we found that UltraCam was the best
t for our company, says Lobos Martins. It is an end-to-end photogram-
metric solution that is completely compatible with our existing aircraft plat-
form adapter and ight management system, and we get the support of
the global Microsoft partner community.
In March 2010, the company contracted with GeoToolBox Ibrica (GTBi),
a reseller based in Madrid, Spain, to purchase the UltraCamL camera
system. Hiparc subsequently worked with GTBi to upgrade to the 92-
megapixel UltraCamLp mapping camera system, which offers a larger
image footprint. During the same year, Hiparc responded to a request by
the metropolitan authority of Belo Horizonte, located in southeastern
Brazil, to survey and map an area spanning 23,500 square kilometers
(14,600 square miles). Leaders from Belo Horizonte wanted to replace
maps created in 1989 from black-and-white photos at a scale of
1:40,000 with maps generated from color images at a scale of
1:10,000.
In two campaignsin July 2010 and August 2011Hiparc used the
UltraCamL and UltraCamLp aboard its twin-engine Piper aircraft to col-
24
January/February 2012
Ar t i c l e
By Flvio Lobos Martins
Shortening Production Cycles
Hiparc Geotecnologia's Digital
Figure 1: 5 centimeter UCLp image of Capuaba TVV container terminal, Vila Velha - ES Figure 2: 5 centimeter UCLp image of bridge toll, Vitoria - ES
Prod_GEO112_Prod GEO66 20-01-2012 10:57 Pagina 24
lect 27,000 images from an altitude of 5,000 meters (16,400 feet) above
sea level. In two separate eight-day periods of ve-hour daily ights, the
team surveyed a mix of urban and suburban landscapes, along with chal-
lenging mountainous terrain and dense forest cover. Hiparc used the built-
in stereoscopy capabilities in the solution to acquire and store images in
color and infrared formats simultaneously. We were able to overlay
image types to create a rich three-dimensional model of the terrain, says
Lobos Martins.
The project required a forward overlap of 80 percent and geometric res-
olution of 35 centimeters, which meant collecting large amounts of image
data. Hiparc used the cameras large footprint, its remarkable precision
at high ight speeds, and the ability to automate processing tasks using
UltraMap to meet these specications while minimizing mission time.
Benefits
By moving to a digital photogrammetric solution that delivers superior
image quality at a fraction of the cost of lm-based technology, Hiparc
has experienced the following benets:
Reduced image processing time from eight weeks to ve days. Through
its use of the UltraCamLp digital aerial mapping system, Hiparc can pro-
vide project deliverables to clients eight times faster than it could when it
relied on analog technology. We can now produce a complete mosaic
map and digital elevation model of 1,000 square kilometers at a scale
of 1:10,000 in one business week, says Lobos Martins. That same
map previously took up to eight weeks to process. This boost in efcien-
cy means that Hiparc can handle more projects, and it can speed up its
billing cycle to increase cash on hand, which is crucial to its growth
strategy.
Simplied upgrade path. Hiparc enjoyed a straightforward, hassle-free
upgrade path in moving to the UltraCamLp model. The company did not
experience any difculties in connecting the camera with existing equip-
ment, including its ight management system and gyro-stabilized mount.
From the minute we installed the UltraCamLp, it worked perfectly with
all of our other systems, says Lobos Martins. The performance and ease
of operation have been remarkable. Because we were able to use the
same ight management system, there was no learning curve, which
helped us to keep our costs low.
Saved approximately $126,000 in lm and development costs. Hiparc
noted massive savings in image processing. Lobos Martins calculates that
Hiparc would have needed to spend approximately BRL$40 ($22) per
image in costs if it had used a lm camera for this project. After adjust-
ing for the format differences between the two camera technologies, he
estimates a net cost savings of BRL$220,000 ($126,000). Weve been
able to use UltraCamLp to signicantly reduce operating costs, which
means we can compete much more effectively, even against companies
several times our size, says Lobos Martins.
Flvio Lobos Martins,
Executive Director, Hiparc Geotecnologia
25
Latest News? Visit www.geoinformatics.com January/February 2012

Mapping System
Figure 5: 25 centimeter UCLp CIR image of dam sedimentation of iron mining, Itabira - MG Figure 4: 5 centimeter UCLp image of Ilha do Boi residential island, Vitoria - ES
Figure 3: 15 centimeter UCL PAN/CIR/RGB
image of Torres city and beach with
phytoplankton highlighted by color
infrared, Torres - RS
Ar t i c l e
Prod_GEO112_Prod GEO66 20-01-2012 10:57 Pagina 25
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29/10/2011 17:46 Page 1
Prod_GEO112_Prod GEO66 20-01-2012 12:24 Pagina 27
Latvian Rural Support Service
Latvian Rural Support Service
Latvian Rural Support Service field inspectors gather precise agricultural data for EU Single
Area Payment Scheme subsidies. With specific technology field teams can work in difficult GNSS
environments. Built-in camera makes it easy to capture images in the field and maintain their
correlation to data in the GIS.
H
eadquartered in the capital city of Riga, the Latvian Rural
Support Service (RSS) is responsible for implementing European
Union (EU) policy in the sectors of agriculture, forestry, sheries,
and rural development across the Eastern European country that is
home to more than 2.2 million people.
One of the organizations primary tasks is to oversee the EUs Single
Area Payment Scheme, a subsidy program designed to provide direct
payments to farmers who cultivate crops and maintain farmland in an
environmentally friendly way.
For the Latvian Rural Support Service, this means carefully and continu-
ally monitoring land parcels throughout the country, including identify-
ing land borders and keeping track of precisely how much area is
farmed on a parcel of land.
To do so, inspectors rely on GNSS technology to make on-the-spot
checks (OTS) for claimant farms.
Technology
We have been using Trimble GeoExplorer handhelds since 2003, and it
simplied our data collection and management work, said Edgar Bordns
from Rural Support Service. This summer, we upgraded again, purchas-
ing 35 of the new Trimble GeoExplorer 6000 series GeoXT handhelds,
with a larger screen size, longer battery life, and built-in camera.
The Trimble GeoXT 6000 series is a rugged GNSS handheld receiver
with Trimble Floodlight technology for satellite shadow reduction that
dramatically improves position availability and accuracy in difcult
GNSS environments, which is particularly important for Latvian RSS
inspectors.
Forests are one of Latvias natural characteristics, said Bordns.
Agricultural area measurements are very often made in difcult GNSS
conditions near and surrounded by trees, woods, bushes and other sit-
uations under canopy, and its important that we get accurate data
even in these conditions.
Data collection and postprocessing
With the GeoXT handhelds, eld inspectors can collect data quickly
and easily in the eld and achieve submeter accuracy with postpro-
cessing.
Farmers are getting nancial support for agricultural activity, so its
important for both the farmer and the EU to have very accurate mea-
surements of the land that is being farmed, said Bordns. At the same
time, its important to us to have technology that is easy to learn and
use and is reliable and durable in the eld.
Each eld inspector has a Trimble GeoXT 6000 series handheld, load-
ed with Esri Shapeles, reference parcel data from the Land Parcel
Identication System (LPIS), and land property boundary data (cadas-
tre). Once they reach the farm in question, the eld inspectors record
the GNSS position, area, perimeter, shape, and size of the different
agricultural crops. As they move through the forms loaded on the hand-
held, they record attributes such as parcel number, crop type, and
remarks as necessary.
Using the Trimble GeoXT 6000 series handhelds built-in camera, the
eld inspectors can also add photos of ineligible features like roads,
trees, ponds, ditches, bushes, and other land features that are exclud-
ed from the agricultural footprint of the parcel. Once the eld measure-
ments and data collection are complete, the eld crew proceeds to the
next location on the list of that days assignments.
Back in the ofce, postprocessing is done using Trimble GPS Pathnder
Ofce software, Trimbles software package of GNSS postprocessing
tools designed to develop GIS information that is consistent, reliable
and accurate from GNSS data collected in the eld.
28
January/February 2012
Ar t i c l e
Latvian Rural Support
Service in action
By Cori Keeton Pope
Prod_GEO112_Prod GEO66 20-01-2012 10:57 Pagina 28
Using the differential correction system available from LAPTOSthe
GNSS reference station service provider in Latvia the inspectors
are able to achieve submeter positioning accuracy. Once the data
is postprocessed, it is checked for data quality and then transferred
to the orgnizations Agricultural Area Register GIS (AARGIS), and at
the same time, the updated Shapeles are uploaded to the GIS.
The entire system is streamlined and easy to use, which saves us time
both in the ofce and in the eld, said Bordns. With the GeoXT
handheld, we can gather data faster, with greater accuracy than ever
before, and we have the peace of mind knowing were working with
reliable equipment that provides precise measurements.
One of the other benets Bordns and the rest of the RSS team are see-
ing from the Trimble GeoXT 6000 series handheld include the new sun-
light optimized display that makes it easier to use the handheld in out-
door conditions, even in bright sunlight.
Internet:
www.trimble.com/mgis
A r t i c l e
29
Latest News? Visit www.geoinformatics.com January/February 2012


Prod_GEO112_Prod GEO66 20-01-2012 11:06 Pagina 29
Improving the Road Network
Mapping Englands Highways
Through the development of a unique national geotechnical and drainage asset management system
based on Autodesk Infrastructure Map Server, the Highways Agency has created an effective tool to
evaluate risk that could result in a staggering 2 million annual saving on road management
operations.
T
he Highways Agencys remit of operating,
maintaining and improving the strategic
road network in England, is a complex
responsibility which requires an extraordinary
amount of organisational skill. When the
Agency was established, it was to enable the
development of the road network, says David
Patterson, senior geotechnical engineer at the
Highways Agency.
Today, that network is substantially complete,
so were more in the business of strategically
maintaining and managing that network and
making sure its effective. The Highways
Agency has moved from being primarily a road
builder to operating and maintaining a road
network roads still have to be built but the pro-
portions of work and budgets have changed.
Complex Requirements
It is the organisations ability to analyse, pre-
dict and evaluate future risks to the road net-
work that lies at the heart of the innovative
geotechnical and drainage data management
system it has developed. The Highways
Agency relies on a proprietary internet-based
geographical information system to inform key
strategic and operational decisions relating to
the road network known as the Highways
Agency Geotechnical Data Management
System (HA GDMS) and the associated
Highways Agency Drainage Data Mana -
gement System (HA DDMS).
Based on the GIS data mapping software
application, Autodesk Infrastructure Map
Server (AIMS), GDMS and DDMS were devel-
oped by Mott MacDonald in partnership with
software specialist Keynetix. The project was
30
January/February 2012
Ar t i c l e
By the editors
The GDMS has now become one of the largest geo-referenced geotechnical and drainage asset management tools in the world, with 220,000 observations on over 45,000 geotechnical assets and more than a million
drainage assets.
Prod_GEO112_Prod GEO66 20-01-2012 14:15 Pagina 30
instigated over a decade ago by David
Patterson of the Highways Agency to meet the
changing needs of the Agency, with subse-
quent specication and development being
driven by the engineers at Mott MacDonald
and developers at Keynetix.
Rigorous analysis
The GDMS came about as a result of our
experience as managing agents for the
Highways Agency and knowledge of the
evolving availability of web-based mapping
software in the late 1990s, says Chris Power,
engineering geologist at Mott Macdonald.
The organisation recognised that they were
holding a lot of information about their
geotechnical asset which was not being capi-
talised, at a time when online databases and
mapping systems technology were starting to
become available.
Following a scoping study, we looked at all
the available technologies for putting together
an internetserved GIS system that would meet
the Agencys needs. Far and away the best
available was Autodesk Infrastructure Map
Server previously known as Autodesk
MapGuide. Many of the technologies avail-
able at that time were clunky and dated
whereas AIMS was easy to operate, especial-
ly for existing CAD users. You didnt even
need to teach people to use it.
Innovative collaboration
Following completion of a scoping study, the
next stage was to nd a third partner to help
with implementation, as Mott MacDonalds
Chris Power explains: We looked for an
organisation that would have the right skills and
experience to implement it Mott MacDonald
has the engineering knowledge but software
development is not our core business, certainly
not in geotechnics. Keynetix really stood out as
having the relevant expertise and immediately
we could see we were a fairly obvious partner-
ship.
Using the prevailing Autodesk MapGuide 6.5
the partnership developed a live operating
system for a small section of a Highways
Agency network pilot study in 2000. Following
evaluation, a national system was developed
and implemented in 2002 and is still operat-
ing in the present day, having been augment-
ed annually and upgraded to Autodesk
Infrastructure Map Server in 2010.
The innovative collaboration between the
Agency, engineering design team and software
engineers together with ongoing developments
in the underlying Autodesk mapping applica-
tion have led to a system that is being utilised
by both the Highways Agency and its sup-
ply/partner communities - comprising up to
1000 individual users from 300 ofces across
the UK.
The GDMS has now become one of the largest
geo-referenced geotechnical and drainage
asset management tools in the world, with
220,000 observations on over 45,000
geotechnical assets and more than a million
drainage assets. The system provides access to
nearly 200 mapping layers, 114,000 pho-
tographs and sketches, 20,000 geo-referenced
les and 15,000 downloadable reports.
Improved decision-making
The Highways Agencys system plays a fun-
damental role in improving the decision-mak-
ing and interpretation of those undertaking the
day-to-day management of the network by
making key data available to all members of
the Agencys geotechnical and drainage sup-
ply chain.
Ar t i c l e
31
Latest News? Visit www.geoinformatics.com January/February 2012


An example of a flooding. The Highways Agencys system plays a fundamental role in improving the decision-making and interpretation of those undertaking the day-to-day management of the network by making key data
available to all members of the Agencys geotechnical and drainage supply chain.
Prod_GEO112_Prod GEO66 20-01-2012 10:57 Pagina 31
It is highly valued by geotechnical and
drainage engineers along with a wider user
community of researchers and third parties,
including emergency planning ofcers, struc-
tural and pavement engineers, route man-
agers, lighting engineers, project sponsors
and environmental scientists and the emergen-
cy services. All of these groups require highly
detailed, reliable data which they can use as
a base for their operational analyses and
future planning.
Other signicant third parties include scan-
ning contractors, as they tackle the huge and
ongoing task of digitising the paper archives,
and ood managers - who need to comply
with new regulations relating to the national
ood register. The system is also providing
essential data to satisfy the growing legisla-
tive demands emanating from the Freedom of
Information Act, which demand that the rele-
vant data behind road planning and safety
are publicly available.
Risk assessment
The core function of the GDMS for the
Highways Agency relates to risk assessment;
by providing a single central data store that
holds, collates and interprets the Agencys data,
the GDMS essentially informs national budgets
based on a rational assessment of asset condi-
tions and risks posed to the network.
A key driver for the Highways Agency is ef-
cient budget allocation, explains Carl Grice,
Software Development Manager at Keynetix.
The GDMS supports a proactive, risk-based
approach to managing the network based on
the data held within the systems. For example,
previously, there was a systematic approach
to surveying each asset on the network, where
as now its proven more cost effective to iden-
tify the high risk areas and so lessen the fre-
quency of surveying low-risk assets. Its much
more risk based and supports a growing need
to spend money wisely, he says.
Cost savings
A comprehensive platform of data entry,
search, visualisation and quality assurance
tools is built into the GDMS and DDMS, vari-
ous methods of data exchange are supported
including AGS (the electronic data exchange
format for geotechnical and geoenvironmen-
tal data). Together, these functions dramatical-
ly reduce the time taken for users to gather
information for tasks undertaken throughout a
project lifecycle, from preliminary studies
through to construction and maintenance. Use
of these systems facilitates the Highways
Agency to achieve estimated cost savings of
over 2 million per annum.
David Patterson says, one of the Agencys
far reaching objectives is to have long-term,
predictable and reliable budgeting. By cen-
trally collating both the historic and current
data, the Highways Agency is far better
placed to predict the future expenditure need-
ed to maintain the network.
Data quality
Carl Grice continues, in the early days, the
focus was on initial data capture and popula-
tion into the system. The Agency needed to
record the location and condition of geotech-
nical and drainage assets, across the entire
network. As the system has progressed, it has
supported evolving business objectives and
today, it is very much about data quality. For
example, decisions need to be made based
on the accurate condition data held for the
inventory at the current time, ultimately aiding
the Highways Agency with reporting on the
overall state of the network.
The tools were currently developing focus
strongly around data quality assurance;
assessing the condition of an asset in measur-
able terms so more informed decisions can be
made regarding the network. For instance, if
there are early indicators of an unstable
embankment thats at risk of failure and has
the potential to cause road closure, it is vital
that this asset is proactively monitored and
appropriate preventative action taken, based
on accurate and reliable information
So what are the main areas in which the new
release of Autodesk Infrastructure Map Server
can help achieve these objectives? The key
changes from the previous versions of the soft-
ware to AIMS are much greater control of the
legend layering thats made a big differ-
ence, says Mott MacDonalds Chris Power.
Were now able to carry out searches which
give us an output onto the map. At the moment,
we can run lots of text based searches so users
can download data and export it into Excel.
With AIMS, however, we can run spatial anal-
ysis type searches which allow us to present
data back to the map. There is also a much
more modern look and feel to the way it ren-
ders the mapping data which is essential as
user expectations are much higher theyre
used to a Google map type view now.
A Living Asset
The Geotechnical and Drainage Data
Management Systems have now become a
major national project. HA GDMS and DDMS
have become the means by which managing
agents and concessionaires manage the
geotechnical and drainage assets of the
Highways Agency as well as bid for the ten-
ders; the systems are also used as a virtual
data room for information given to tenderers
to understand the risks in the areas theyre bid-
ding for.
GDMS has become recognized as a key
asset management system within the Agency,
reects the Highways Agencys David
Patterson. By assessing how our assets have
performed over time, we can predict how they
might perform in the future and we have come
to rely on the data held in GDMS and DDMS
to inform our key strategic and operational
decisions relating to the future of the road net-
works of England.
Highways Agency: www.highways.gov.uk
Autodesk Infrastructure:
http://usa.autodesk.com/adsk/servlet/pc/index?
id=16594483&siteID=123112
Ar t i c l e
32
January/February 2012
The Geotechnical and Drainage Data Management Systems have now become a major national project.










































































































































































































































































































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Prod_GEO112_Prod GEO66 20-01-2012 10:58 Pagina 33
GNSS Update
Interference & Einstein
Some of you may have heard about the experiment at CERN that seems to prove that things can
actually go faster than light, something that Einstein said was impossible. So what does a physical
experiment have to do with a GNSS update you may ask.
I
n order to get the results, scien-
tists red some neutrinos from
Geneva (Switzer land), where
CERN is based, towards Gran
Sasso in Italy some 730 kilometers
further away. The neutrinos traveled
through the earth along a straight
path. The exact distance and travel
time was determined using,
amongst others, GPS equipment.
Septentrio PolaRx2eTR precision
timing receivers were used for the
timing portion of the experiment
and Leica receivers were used for
determining positions.
Ever since the experiment was con-
ducted (and repeated), there has
been a heated debate in the scientic community. Quite understand-
ably, the results are controversial and could well have been the prod-
uct of errors in the experiment (the actual result was that the neutrinos
made the trip about 60 ns faster than should be possible). Let us look
at some details of the timing and positioning.
The timing accuracy from an average GPS receiver is around 100 ns.
In the test setup, local atomic clocks were synchronized using the
Septentrio receivers (which were synchronized by the clocks from GPS
satellites in common view). Septentrio claim their receivers performed a
lot better (accuracy < 5 ns), so this should not be the problem. Also,
the scientists looked carefully into the spin effects of the earth and satel-
lites, earth tides etc., so the timing seems to be quite well covered.
This brings up the next possible
error that of the actual travel path
itself. A total of 60 ns would pro-
duce a difference in travel path of
around 18 meters, quite a lot for
positioning standards but not a lot
over 730 kilometers. A published
paper states that the distance was
determined to 20 centimeters of
accuracy. The positions of both the
transmitter and detector were deter-
mined using a combination of GPS
surveys (outdoors) as well as con-
ventional techniques (indoors). Both
positions were computed on the
ETRF2000 geodetic framework. As
this effectively excludes datum con-
version/geoid errors other than
from WGS84 to ETRS2000 (decimeter level), this cannot be the (com-
plete) source of error.
The positioning techniques seem solid except for a single point. For
CERN, established benchmarks were taken, for Gran Sasso they were
established using the permanent European Network. From the paper it
seems that no complete network was built with both Gran Sasso and
CERN included. This could lead to positional differences and seems
illogical. As only relative distances were required, why not do an adjust-
ment with both endpoints included and distribute any local errors? On
the other hand, this should not lead to errors of 18 meters when during
both the determination at CERN and Gran Sasso the geodetic networks
were performing as required.
34
January/February 2012
Ar t i c l e
By Huibert-Jan Lekkerkerk
Setup of the neutrino experiment at CERN (source: CERN, published paper)
Solar flare and effect of earth magnetosphere (source: www.esa.eu) Sunspot cycle (source: www.nasa.gov)
Prod_GEO112_Prod GEO66 20-01-2012 10:58 Pagina 34
So maybe Einstein is still wrong? Who knows, until experiments are
done in other locations there can still be a position error in these results.
My advice to the scientists: prove me wrong and do an adjustment with
both CERN and Gran Sasso included. Until then, let us trust Einstein...
Lightsquared interference
Regular readers are by now aware of the battle in the US between
Lightsquared, a provider of broadband (4G) solutions and the GPS
industry. The main issue is still the interference of the GPS (and other
GNSS!) signal band at around 1500 MHz.
For those of you outside the US thinking this to be a 'far away, not in
my personal backyard' story, you may need to revise (and read on) as
Lightsquared has plans to go global.
The effect will mainly hit precision receivers. Tests have shown that,
with the proposed conguration, precision GPS receivers have effec-
tively a 'denial of service' from between 1000 and 1800 meters away
from the transmission tower. With 40,000 of these masts planned in
the US this could be a serious issue. Furthermore, according to a study
by the European Space Agency (ESA), interference effects can last up
to a 1000 km away, depending on the type of receiver.
On top of the above, normal mobile telecommunications for safety ser-
vice are also reported to be disrupted in areas close (200 - 350 meters)
to a Lightsquared tower. Finally, aviation - which is international by
nature - would be badly affected as the adoption of Lightsquared
would rule out the use of
GPS/WAAS for aircraft use.
The FAA has estimated it will
take about 10 years and at
least US$ 72 billion to devel-
op, certify, and install modi-
ed equipment.
Lightsquared has proposed
two options to reduce interfer-
ence. One is not to operate
for the next several (undeter-
mined, possibly until 2014)
years in the frequency band
directly adjacent to the GPS
bands but in a slightly lower
band. The other is to reduce
the power output by 50%. The
opposition, combined in the
'Save Our GPS Coalition' is
however not too happy with
this solution as it does not
move the signal far enough
away from the GPS bands in the long run to prevent interference. This
coalition actually asked American surveyors to respond en masse to
the plans at the Esri and ACSM Surveying summit in July 2011.
In reaction to the Lightsquared problems, Javad Ashjaee, president and
CEO of Javad GNSS appealed directly to president Obama to discon-
tinue the encryption of the P-code signal stating that this could be a
potential work-around as it would make the signal processing more ef-
cient. Javad furthermore proposed that Lightsquared and GPS can coex-
ist in the sense that Lightsquared communication can be used to trans-
fer RTK correction data. To support this view, Javad has partnered with
Lightsquared and is implementing new lters in their Triumph LS (LS =
Lightsquared) solutions to avoid most of the interference. The rst
receivers with enhanced lters (ceramic and surface acoustic wave l-
ters) are now on the market, with further enhancements expected by
mid-2012.
A major question in the US is why the Lightsquared proposals are still
backed by the US Federal Communication Commission (FCC) even
when other government organizations such as the Departments of
Defense, the Interior and Transportation, NASA and the Federal
Aviation Administration (FAA) are against it. The situation is made even
more political with the involvement of members of the Obama adminis-
tration with Lightsquared. To make matters worse, it is rumored that a
general has been pressured by the White House to change his testimo-
ny so that it appears more
favorable to Lightsquared.
Finally, comments on the
Lightsquared proposal have
also come from the European
Commission with regard to the
interference on the use Galileo
(in the US).
At the moment the FCC is per-
forming additional tests with
Lightsquareds lower band-
width which so far seems to
give less interference. To be
continued.
Solar interference
As if man-made interference is
not enough, nature will be
throwing in its own interference
in the coming years as 2012-
2014 heralds the next maxi-
mum in the 11-year solar cycle.
Ar t i c l e
35
Latest News? Visit www.geoinformatics.com January/February 2012
New filter as implemented by Javad
(source: www.javad.com)
Launch pattern of Galileo satellite
(source: www.gpsworld.com)
Prod_GEO112_Prod GEO66 20-01-2012 10:58 Pagina 35
So far the sun has been kind to us, but the last couple of months has shown
an increase in solar activity. The predicted height of this cycle is still less
than that of 2001-2002 (which was quite bad).
All GNSS systems will be affected by a solar outburst, though it is expect-
ed that the 'high ying' systems such as Galileo will suffer slightly more
due to their being (slightly) nearer to the sun and further away from the
protective atmosphere of the earth. The effects that can be experienced
vary from degraded range performance on differential systems to greater
inaccuracies and in the worst case total disruption of signal reception.
GNSS developments
Since the last update quite a few (11!) new satellites have been
launched (and one activated). The list below shows the various addi-
tions to GNSS systems over the last half of 2011.
June 24: QZSS satellite Michibiki set usable giving Japan its space-
based augmentation system.
July 16: GPS IIF-2 (SVN 63) launched using a Delta rocket from
Cape Canaveral. Second L5 capable satellite.
July 25: 4th IGSO (ninth total) Beidou/Compass satellite launched
out of a total of ve IGSO satellites required.
October 3: Launch of 24th Glonass satellite. System is now upgrad-
ed to 5 meter accuracy.
October 21: First two Galileo In Orbit Validation satellites (called
Thijs and Natalia) launched using a Soyuz Fregat rocket from
Kourou, French Guyana.
November 4: Launch of three Glonass-M satellites from Baikonur.
November 28: Launch of Glonass-M satellite from Plesetsk
Cosmodrome. Glonass is now at full operational capability again
(24 operational satellites).
December 2: Launch of tenth Compass satellite. Beidou is now oper-
ational over China at 25 meters accuracy (between 84E
160E and 55S - 55N).
Further news on the various GNSS systems is listed below per system.
GPS
In June, the GPS constellation expansion that started in January 2010
was completed. Mentioned in earlier updates, the new constellation
gives a more robust coverage, especially in 'challenging conditions'
such as urban canyons.
Galileo
In June 2011, the nal two Galileo contracts were signed valued at
335 million euros. The contracts covered the completion of the Ground
Segment and the Ground Mission Segment. These contracts make
initial operational capability with 18 satellites in 2014/2015 more
realistic, although most satellites still need to be built (and launched).
The next two In Orbit Validation satellites are expected to be launched
by mid-2012.
Beidou
There were (strong) rumors that the Interface Control Document for
Beidou would nally be available in October, but so far it is again a
no show. The document is required for building receivers and applica-
tions. Now that Beidou is operational over China, there are plans to
launch an additional six satellites in 2012 to cover other parts of Asia.
Publications on choosing and using GNSS
The International Marine Contractors Association (IMCA) has published
two important GNSS documents. The rst is the 'Guidance on the
Selection of Satellite Positioning Systems for Offshore Appli cations'
(IMCA S 018). Though primarily aimed at the offshore market the book-
let is also useful for other high precision/availability applications as it
describes the various GNSS, augmentation techniques, service
providers etc.
Also published are the 'Guidelines for GNSS Positioning in the Oil and
Gas Industry' (IMCA S 015) and replaces the 1994 UKOOA
Guidelines. The document was written together with the International
Association of Oil & Gas Producers (OGP), known for amongst other
things, the EPSG/OGP geodetic reference register. Though the title
states Oil and Gas industry, the document is applicable to all users of
GNSS as it describes installation, operational and geodetic issues on
GNSS positioning. The main part of the document is (as in the 1994
edition) devoted to measures for assessing the quality of GNSS posi-
tion xes using the Delft method of statistical testing.
Both documents can be downloaded/bought from the IMCA
website: www.imca-int.com.
Huibert-Jan Lekkerkerk hlekkerkerk@geoinformatics.com
is a freelance writer and trainer in the fields of
positioning and hydrography.
36
January/February 2012
Launch of GPS II-F satellite (source: www.launchphotography.com) Impression of Galileo satellite separation from launch vehicle (source: www.esa.eu)
Ar t i c l e
Prod_GEO112_Prod GEO66 20-01-2012 10:58 Pagina 36
R
k
a
d
a
s
t
e
r
Prod_GEO112_Prod GEO66 20-01-2012 10:58 Pagina 37
Designing Alternative Futures
GeoDesign Summit 2012
GeoDesign is an old concept that has been reinvigorated by digitized information, collaboration made
possible by the web, and new tools that allow for rapidly iterative designs. By combining geographic
analysis with the design process, the impacts of designs can be vetted using data describing physical
and social factors.
G
eoDesign: Creating Our Future, the
theme of the 2012 GeoDesign
Summit, aptly characterized the event
held January 56 at the Esri headquarters in
Redlands, California. During two long days,
160 attendees discussed GeoDesign not only
concepts, technology requirements, implemen-
tation, and curriculum development, but also
how it can be applied to address truly global
challenges.
In addition to Carl Steinitz, Thomas Fisher,
and other leaders in this emerging eld, par-
ticipants included landscape architects, archi-
tects, researchers, urban planners, environ-
mental planners, civil engineers, developers,
and academics. An ongoing goal has been
the creation of a community, drawn from
many disciplines.
The events focus has evolved from dening
GeoDesign as a eld of study and practice to
applying GeoDesign concepts and methods
to projects in many disciplines. This year the
discussion included the methods, tools, and
workows that can enable more widespread
use of GeoDesign.
The Other Half of the Story
During the plenary session, Esri president
Jack Dangermond noted GeoDesign is
going to be regarded as an evolutionary
step for humans. Its going to be the ah,
nally we connected the dots moment when
we realize the consequences of our human
actions.
Geospatial technologies have made great
contributions to understanding problems,
issues, and challenges. The web is enabling
far greater collaboration. But these trends
are only half of the story. Knowledge needs
to be linked with the design process and
tools and methods that can help create sus-
tainable designs that are implemented.
GeoDesign in Practice
Following Dangermonds opening remarks
and demonstrations of GIS tools developed to
January/February 2012
E v e n t
By Monica Pratt
In his keynote address, Braden Allenby
spoke on designing for an anthropogic
planet. (Source: Eric Laycock, Esri)
Prod_GEO112_Prod GEO66 20-01-2012 10:58 Pagina 38
enhance design processes, Douglas Olson,
president of 02 Planning + Design, described
GeoDesign methods that were applied to
urban watershed management in Alberta,
Canada. Next, nine 8-minute long Lightning
Sessions provided snapshots of GeoDesign
applications in conservation, land-use plan-
ning, and city modeling and remodeling.
Following lunch, a dozen paper presentations,
addressing GeoDesign in relation to academ-
ic programs, applications, software develop-
ment, and future directions for GeoDesign,
were given at four locations across the Esri
campus.
Attendees reassembled in the main auditori-
um for Which Way of Designing?: the
Redlands Workshop. Steinitz, a leader in
GeoDesign, spoke to attendees about this
practical experiment in applying GeoDesign
principles to a landscape plan and transit-ori-
ented development for the City of Redlands
that he led.
Before describing the workshop, Steintz
remarked on the current state of GeoDesign.
Over decades of work projects that could be
classied as GeoDesign, he has come to
believe that, owing to the uniqueness among
all projects, a certain amount of guesswork
is inherent in this process. Somehow or other
matching from thousands of methods to rela-
tively efciently attack any one problem is not
a science, its not an art, its somewhere in
between. He posited that either lots of expe-
rience or extensive experimentation were nec-
essary to improve this situation.
During his presentation at the rst GeoDesign
Summit, Steintz had suggested universities
work together on practical experients. When
no one responded to this suggestion,
Dangermond asked Why dont we try it in
Redlands?
The result was the Redlands workshop,
cosponsored by the University of Redlands,
the City of Redlands, and Esri. The four and-
half-day event attempted to answer Steinitzs
question which project at which scale for
which method assuming that singular is not
the answer, that selection has to be made.
Steinitz characterized the workshop as an
interesting rst experiment that proved noth-
ing but was an important step toward
GeoDesign. However, he observed, the fun-
damental question remains, How the hell do
we design?
Why GeoDesign Is Needed
Braden Allenbys keynote address moved the
discussion from how do we design to why
GeoDesign is critcal. He began by noting
that global has been a scale often omitted
from GeoDesign discussions. We are avoid-
ing responsibility for a design that we have
been implementing for at least two hundred
years, he asserted.
Allenby, an environmental scientist, environ-
mental attorney, professor of civil and environ-
mental engineering, and professor of law at
Arizona State University, emphasized the
importance of how challenges, such as declin-
ing biodiversity, are dened.
While the public and conservationists see this
as a crisis, synthetic biologists consider biolo-
gy to be on a cusp, transitioning from a natu-
ral science with evolved biodiversity to a
designed science with synthetic biodiversity.
The difference between the two is that natural
biodiversity evolves toward stability while syn-
thetic biodiversity is being designed for eco-
nomic or some other throughput.
Improving the existing system requires
acknowledging the challenges currently faced,
deciding what real design objectives are, and
determining real design constraints. Allenby
underlined the urgent need for GeoDesign by
saying, I think that the world we have already
created is one that desperately needs new
ways of thinking, new imagination, and new
tools to help it understand what we already
have.
In conclusion, Allenby said The way we think
about the world is profoundly broken and its
broken just at the time we need to be using
all the imagination and all the skill that we
have to try to break out of the obsolete barri-
ers to thought that inhabit every one of us.
On the second day, attendees heard featured
presentations by Paul Zwick of the University
of Florida; Chris Drew of Smith + Gordon Gill
Architecture; Keith Besserud of Skidmore,
Owings & Merrill; Thomas Fisher of the
University of Minnesota; and Stephen Ervine
of Harvard Graduate School of Design on the
present use and future of GeoDesign.
Designing Alternative Futures
Since the rst GeoDesign Summit was rst
held, the concept of GeoDesign has gained
traction. The Saudi Planning and Geodesign
Workshops 2011, was held scarcely a month
before the Redlands summit. Books, newslet-
ters, and articles on the subject have been
published. GeoDesign has been incorporated
into academic curriculums and institutions
have also started GeoDesign masters pro-
grams.
In the conferences closing minutes, Danger -
mond, Steinitz, and Fisher sketched out an
action plan for pushing along GeoDesign in
private practice, academia, research, and
enabling technologies.
Finally, Dangermond reiterated his belief that
geo problem solving is the way people can
met global challenges. If we can incremen-
tally get them to solve their problems better,
using science, and information and rational
thinking and all the things we believe in, then
we can actually create a sustainable future.
Monica Pratt is the founding and current editor of Esris ArcUser
magazine and oversees Esris two other major publications,
ArcNews and ArcWatch. She has written about GIS and related
technology topics for the past 15 years and was a contributor to
Web GIS: Principles and Applications, published by Esri Press in 2010.
She may be contacted at mpratt@esri.com. Twitter: @arcuser
E v e n t
39
Latest News? Visit www.geoinformatics.com January/February 2012
Prod_GEO112_Prod GEO66 20-01-2012 10:58 Pagina 39
Launch of Socium
Spatial Data Quality to the C
Socium is a new Software as a Service (SaaS) company that seeks to open up the world of data
quality to a broader audience, offering new, online data validation and management services in the
cloud.
G
eo information and GIS is moving
into the mainstream. The incorpora-
tion of geo data within business
intelligence is a prime example of the accep-
tance of spatial data within large enterpris-
es that are not geo information businesses
themselves. But we are not quite there yet.
Cloud computing has become accepted
broadly, but less so in the world of geo IT.
Typically with traditional GIS projects, there
will be a large cost in terms of buying the
software and hardware to run it, training,
support, maintenance etcetera. That all goes
away in a cloud and SaaS model. The
infrastructure is looked after by the provider,
updates are made regularly and the
provider administers everything so that the
user doesnt have to.
A new cloud based SaaS company that has
recently been launched is Socium, a wholly
owned subsidiary of 1Spatial Holdings Plc.
The brand name Socium is Latin for
Partner and represents the ethos of the
company in wanting to work with organisa-
tions across the world to help them with their
data quality challenges.
Online Validation Service
Sociums rst offering, the Online Validation
Service (OVS) is an online cloud based data
validation tool. The underlying technology
behind the service is 1Spatials powerful
rules engine, Radius Studio, which is used
by utilities, data providers and National
Mapping Agencies, such as the Ordnance
Survey Great Britain. The Online Validation
Service was designed to take this award
winning technology and make it available
in the cloud and via a SaaS model so that
everyone would be able to benet from it
irrespective of budget or technical know
ledge. Data is easily loaded into the service
and validated against a set of standard or
user-dened business rules with all non-con-
forming features being identied. The
overview screen inside the service, shows a
summary report of what and how many fea-
tures failed and a report is created that can
be downloaded ready for users to load into
their existing GIS application for visualisa-
tion and correction.
40
January/February 2012
Ar t i c l e
By Remco Takken
Online Validation Service. The screen shows a quantitative analysis of the quality of the data that has been run through the service.
Prod_GEO112_Prod GEO66 20-01-2012 10:58 Pagina 40
Chris Tagg, Head of Technology at Socium, says: You dont have
to be a GIS expert or have a broad technical knowledge to be
able to use the Online Validation Service as it has been designed
to be quick and simple for everyone to use. You just upload your
data, select the rules you wish to validate your data against, hit
the validate button and in a matter of seconds you will be able
to see a quantitative analysis of the quality of your data.
Interestingly, our users like the service because of its simplicity.
They can now not only get non-GIS users to quality check data,
but also ensure all users within their organisation are validating
their data before sharing it with others or before committing it to
a central repository. This part of the service is all completely free
of charge too, so our users can gain a quantitative analysis of
their data quality without it costing them anything.
Data migration
One of the industry trends, data-migration of large portions of
business-critical geo data, comes with considerable quality issues.
Particularly big enterprises have landed in a position where they
have large portions of to-be-migrated geodata, waiting to be re-
examined and/ or validated after many years of use in older GIS
systems. Sociums Online Validation Service can step in here to
validate the data and enable the user to have condence in the
data before they migrate it across. Chris Tagg said: This is cer-
tainly a scenario where the Online Validation Service can help.
Data migrated and being used in different systems is a classic
example where data quality assessments and initiatives can be a
costly and time consuming exercise. The OVS is a way where
assessments can be done very quickly without huge investments
in infrastructure, software, training, administration etc.
New user groups
According to a presentation shown during the launch of Socium,
local councils and other regional governmental organisations
have often not been users of topology and quality assurance soft-
ware before, because of the capex cost involved in getting the
software up and running and the on-going maintenance and
upgrade costs.
Tagg explains: Ensuring data quality is often seen as an expen-
sive and time-consuming undertaking, and one that all too easily
falls down the priority list as a result. Complexity of software is
also a hindrance. However, because of data accessibility, shar-
ing initiatives and using data for more purposes than the one it
was originally created for, there is a driver to ensure and quanti-
fy data quality.
What we at Socium believe is that giving people more con-
dence in the data they have and use every day, shouldnt be a
Ar t i c l e
41
Latest News? Visit www.geoinformatics.com January/February 2012

Cloud
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costly and complex exercise. By removing
all the capex costs, making it easier to
access via the cloud, providing a exible
pay as you use pricing model and an easy
interface to use the service, data validation
is no longer restricted to organisations with
high budgets and technical knowledge, but
instead can be beneted by everyone.
Tell you where the error is
Some larger organisations are already
working towards a data quality strategy and
could be doing so within their existing GIS
system, using Oracle tools or their existing
1Spatial product suite. Chris Tagg feels how-
ever that these organisations could still ben-
et by using the Online Validation Service
as an independent and dedicated data qual-
ity service. Many of the in-house topology
checks and data quality tools available in
GIS platforms and Oracle do not tell you
exactly where the error is. They usually tell
you that a feature has failed, but not show
you where. Our Online Validation Service
pinpoints the exact location of the error. For
instance, before we launched the Online
Validation Service we worked with a num-
ber of Government organisations to trial the
service so that we ensured it was developed
in line with what our users wanted and need-
ed. One of the trialists had some large poly-
gons with thousands of vertices in them.
These polygons were captured in one sys-
tem, but needed to be used in another. The
rst system said there were no problems with
the polygons. The second system kept com-
plaining that some of the polygons were
invalid. The ID of the polygon was provid-
ed to the user to help them identify which
polygons were invalid, but the system did
not tell them exactly where. The user was
spending hours and hours searching the
polygon to see where it might be invalid.
The OVS found the errors (self-intersections)
in a matter of seconds and the user was
therefore able to x them immediately so
that the second system would accept the
data. This is a great example of the value
of independently validating data utilising a
dedicated data quality tool.
What the Online Validation Service brings
is, according to Tagg, A way to indepen-
dently check the quality of your data.
Particularly with data sharing and accessi-
bility being high on most peoples agenda
these days, being able to prove the quality
of the data is very important. Organisations
need to know they can rely on their data to
make important decisions and when shar-
ing it with others need to be condent that
what they are providing is t for their pur-
pose, hence the accuracy of data is becom-
ing ever more critical.
Business critical data
While there is no technical training needed
to use the Online Validation Service; one
might expect that new users might need just
a little bit of encouragement to shoot up their
business critical data into the cloud. Chris
Tagg agreed that security in the cloud is
something that some users have been keen
to investigate before using any cloud based
service. Security is naturally the number
one priority for anyone handling and work-
ing with data. At Socium we take the issue
of security very seriously and have therefore
put into place a truly trusted, secure cloud
environment. In addition, the service does
not actually store the data, so once the vali-
dation process has nished, all data is com-
pletely cleared from the system. As a result
of the security levels we have put in place
we are pleased to say that we have not had
any concerns from any of our users, but I
would agree that security is an area that
users should pay attention to when looking
at any cloud based services.
Freemium
There is also a free version of the Online
Validation Service which is called Free -
mium. The Freemium version enables users
to load their data into the service, and inde-
pendently quantify the errors in their data in
a matter of seconds. Tagg explains: The
Freemium version can be used to check the
quality of the data against a range of pre-
dened business rules. At the moment we
have a range of rules available, but are also
happy to create additional rule sets free of
charge for users that they can then access
within the service. Once the validation pro-
cess is run, you will be provided with a
graphical and numerical overview showing
the number of features in your data that
have failed each rule. This free service can
be accessed as many times and on as many
data sets as a user wishes. If there are errors
in the data and the user would like to see
where they are located, they can simply pur-
chase credits on a pay as you use basis and
use them to download the error report.
Internet:
www.socium.co.uk
42
January/February 2012
Ar t i c l e
Validation report loaded into local GIS. All non-conforming features in the data are identified with coloured arrows to pinpoint where
the error is located.




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The World loves Spatial Data
Recap of the FMEdays 2011
It was not without reason that con terra and Safe Software, organisers of the FMEdays 2011, chose to
hold this event under the somewhat sporty sounding motto of: START MEET STUDY. The meeting,
which went on for a whole week from December 5 to December 9, centred on the Canadian company,
Safe Softwares successful spatial data transformation platform: FME. Attended by 160 people from
15 nations, the FMEdays constitute the largest single central event in Europe where FME users can
exchange experiences and information.
T
he FMEdays was organised into mod-
ules, comprised of so-called tracks and
workshops, held in both German and
English. The event kicked off with the START
module, which was held on the afternoon of
the rst day. This comprised a series of short
presentations by users as well as the two hosts,
and gave an interesting overview of the many
elds and applications in which FME can be
deployed: in publishing, in local government,
as a desktop solution or in the Cloud, in 2D
or in 3D. Many interesting themes from the
rst day were subsequently expanded on dur-
ing a joint visit to Mnsters Christmas market.
FME 2012
To begin the second module, MEET, Uwe
Knig, CEO of con terra GmbH and Christian
Heisig, head of the Spatial ETL division at con
terra, welcomed the participants to the
FMEdays. The opening session which fol-
lowed was presented by Don Murray and
Dale Lutz, and was as entertaining as it was
informative. The two Safe Software co-
founders summed up the FME situation with a
single phrase: The world loves spatial data.
What they were referring to was the constant
rise in the number of different data formats
with which GIS and CAD users are confront-
ed with in their day-to-day work. And so it
came as no surprise to hear that the number
of formats supported by the FME 2012 ver-
sion, which is due to be launched in January
2012, has risen yet again. The addition of 12
new formats brings the total number of le for-
mats, GIS and CAD formats, web services,
44
January/February 2012
E v e n t
Christian Heisig, con terra, Don Murray, Safe Software, Dale Lutz, Safe Software, Uwe Knig, con terra (left to right)
By Reinhard Abke
Prod_GEO112_Prod GEO66 20-01-2012 10:58 Pagina 44
databases and 3D formats supported by FME
to over 275. This impressive gure makes FME
the most powerful and exible spatial data
transformation platform in the world.
Whenever a new version of FME is released,
the publication of the design for the new start
screen is always something to look forward
to. This time, with their tongues rmly in their
cheeks, Don and Dale presented the familiar
lizard mascot dressed up to resemble a
famous adventurer, right down to the oppy
hat and whip.
The new features offered by FME 2012 as a
result of the expanded range of formats
are no less exciting: these include in
particular Google Fusion Tables, Oracle
Spatial point clouds, the extremely exi-
ble Text reader, column-aligned text,
and the inclusion of Version 1.1 of the
CityGML format.
In terms of functionality, FME Desktop
focuses above all on the additional pro-
cessing features of XML/GML and point
cloud data. For instance, it is now pos-
sible to transfer information from raster
les to point clouds.
The new FME Server 2012 is also
equipped with an easy-to-activate noti-
cation service and an expanded
scheduling function, which can also be
used to halt and edit processes.
Moreover, FME Server 2012 will fea-
ture an express option to make it con-
siderably easier to install.
Concentration on the user
As ever, the core of the whole event was
the many user presentations that were
held in three simultaneous tracks, one
of which was solely in English. These
tracks also gave people a chance to go
into more detail on some of themes intro-
duced in the Lightning Talks. Speakers
from all over Europe took this opportunity to
give more thorough insights into their day-to-
day work and to take part in some engaging
discussions.
But what would a user meeting be without a
chance for personal discussion away from the
ofcial tracks, and away from the various
application elds and national boundaries.
The unique Factory Hotel provided just the
right amenities for exactly that. Whether dur-
ing breaks in the proceedings or after the ses-
sions, there were plenty of opportunities for
general networking and discussing the con-
tents of the presentations and talks, in a
relaxed, lounge-style working atmosphere,
which participants gladly took advantage of.
In their presentation Looking Past 2012: FME
Futures, Don Murray und Dale Lutz brought
the MEET module to a tting conclusion on the
third day. The Dynamic Duo presented inter-
esting views of up-and-coming developments
(in the elds of usability, point clouds and
raster data processing, to name but a few)
including yet another sample of their unri-
valled presentation style.
MEET and STUDY modules
Filled with numerous new experiences,
stimulating discussions, and motivation
for the future of FME, some users took
their leave following the conclusion of
the MEET module. However, nearly 70
chose to remain and take part in the
educational STUDY module that fol-
lowed. Six parallel two-day seminars
were on offer, covering such themes as
FME Server, raster data processing and
FME and Python, which concluded the
FMEdays 2011 in Mnster.
To sum up, the FMEdays 2011 were a
highly successful event and featured a
varied technical programme, to the sat-
isfaction of a large number of partici-
pants. The success was not only reect-
ed by the variety of the technical
components and the large number of
participants, but above all by the
extremely positive feedback received
from the people who took part. We can
already start looking forward to the next
developments to come in the world of
FME and wondering what the next
FMEdays in 2013 will hold in store.
Reinhard Abke, r.abke@conterra.de,
Marketing con terra GmbH.
E v e n t
45
Latest News? Visit www.geoinformatics.com January/February 2012


A well-attended opening session
Factory Hotel, Mnster
Hootin the Blues played Goodtime Music
Prod_GEO112_Prod GEO66 20-01-2012 10:58 Pagina 45
Monitoring and Control in Russia
Space Imagery Data and T
Russian government institutions and business companies have been increasingly applying space
imagery data and technology in their activities. Size of the country territory (Russia covers more than a
ninth of the earth land area), variety of natural and climatic zones, northern latitudes, and specifics of
socio-economic development and structure of foreign trade all this is the reason why a complex
monitoring and control of the regions is required. This article reviews only several projects, implement-
ed by ScanEx RDC specialists in 2011 in Russia using space imagery data.
Multiple use of space images for fires monitoring
In spring-summer period of 2011 satellite imagery of natural and
human-induced res was made in the interests of the EMERCOM of
Russia. Space images were used for control over re situation on the
Russian territories and on the territory of adjacent countries. An experi-
mental work was carried out to detect low intensity re blazes, an oper-
ational imagery of res and explosions on military ammunition storage
facilities was performed. Thus, for example, an experimental work to
detect low intensity res based on space images was conducted dur-
ing the Peat project. High resolution SPOT 4/5 scanners operating
in short-wave IR band (SWIR, 1.58-1.75 micron) were used for this
project tasks, as well as the images delivered from Landsat 5 satellite.
The fact of insufcient probability of low intensity res detection
based on MODIS sensors of Terra and Aqua satellites, as well as
AVHRR sensors of NOAA and METOP satellites with low resolution
(around 1 km) was the reason for such an experimental work.
SPOT 4/5 satellites were used to detect re blazes on peat elds in
form of thermal anomalies, conrmed by ground inspections. The
operator detected low intensity res, analyzing images using SWIR
band, where thermal spots can be easily detected (re plumes can
be seen on visible bands).
As experience showed, some low intensity res at early stages basi-
cally do not generate smoke, so they are practically invisible on vis-
ible bands and can be detected only in SWIR as bright thermal spots.
Nonetheless, in a typical situation low intensity peat res (including
smoldering peats) can be detected by smoke plumes.
The received results allow us to speak about the possibility of a suc-
cessful application of SPOT 4/5 high resolution scanners and those
of Landsat 5 for detection of low intensity res, including peat res
that are sometimes cannot be detected by low resolution sensors
(g. 1).
Rivers ice formation and seasonal floods
monitoring
Rivers are among the major transportation routes of Russia. The coun-
trys climate and weather characteristics include yearly river oods,
and the average levels of the low-water channel and the oodplain
are known. Annually starting from 2009 ScanEx RDC carries out
spring oods monitoring. For the purposes of the project the technol-
ogy of operational multi-satellite monitoring of objects, processes
and phenomena was developed, the ScanNet. The key aspects in it
are the universal space data receiving stations UniScan, operational
targeting of the satellites sensors on the imaged areas, parallel
stream processing in near real-time mode of images received from a
group of satellites with different equipment for detailed Earth obser-
vation, and the application of on-line geoportals.
For the detection of most problematic areas during the spring sea-
son ooding river ice formation monitoring has been conducted from
the autumn. Within the ice formation period in the ice jamming haz-
ardous areas of rivers the ice hummocking occurs that may in spring
time cause ice jamming and ooding of vast oodpain territory,
including settlements and facilities.
Starting in December 2011 ScanEx RDC carries out operational
46
January/February 2012
Ar t i c l e
By Artem Nikitsky, Natalya Filimonova and Anna Antonyuk
Fig 1: Peat fire near Ragovitsy village, Kingisep Municipal District, Leningrad Region. Above: Landsat 5
image, acquired on June 10, 2011, fire detected based on thermal anomaly. Below: SPOT 5 image,
acquired on June 11, 2011, pan imaging mode, the fire is detected based on smoke plume (
SpotImage, ScanEx RDC)
Fig 2: One of stamukhas with land fast ice in
Kara Sea SPOT 5 image, acquired on April 29, 2011 ( SpotImage, ScanEx RDC)
Prod_GEO112_Prod GEO66 20-01-2012 10:58 Pagina 46
satellite-based imagery of ice cover formation on the rivers of the
Northern European part of Russia and Siberia. The images are deliv-
ered using SAR sensors of RADARSAT-1 and ENVISAT-1 satellites.
Products of these satellites meet the criteria of operability, cost and
coverage of the territory.
Stamukha detection in the Arctic seas waters
In 2011 Atomflot Fleet Operations Board together with ScanEx
Research & Development Center carried out a joint project on
operational satellite-based detection of large stamukhas in shal-
low-water areas of the Kara and East-Siberian seas, used for nav-
igation of commercial ships. Stamukha is a hummocky ice for-
mation that has run aground, usually formed in shallow-water
areas of freezing seas. Detection and mapping of stamukhas on
seaways in shallow-water areas of the Arctic Region is an impor-
tant task to ensure safety of ice channeling of ships through the
Northern Sea Route. Early detection of stamukhas on the future
ships navigation routes is very important for ensuring sea naviga-
tion in general.
The information sources to do this work were 100 m radar images
(ENVISAT-1, RADARSAT-1) and 250 m optical images (Terra and
Aqua). Only after positive detection of stamukhas imagery was
made at higher resolutions (EROS B, EROS A, SPOT 5). As a result
of such an approach large stamukhas were detected with land
fast ice around them of several miles in length and width (fig. 2).
Studying Atlantic walrus population in Barents Sea
Extensive resources of hydrocarbons were found in the south-eastern
part of the Barents Sea. Preparations for proved elds development
are ongoing, offshore oil production platforms installation and coast-
line infrastructure development is planned as well as an increase in
seaway trafc is expected. As a consequence, the human-induced
impact on eco-system of the south-eastern part of the Barents Sea in
general grows and in particular on the habitat of walrus one of the
most vulnerable species of the ecosystem, put in the Red Book of Russia.
In June 2011 following the initiative and supported by WWF Russia
and the Marine Mammals Council the ScanEx Research and
Development Center launched the project to tune methods of inter-
pretation of walrus habitat areas using space images on coast rook-
eries of the south-eastern part of the Barents Sea. Highly detailed
satellite images were used for the rst time in the history of Russia
for walrus groups detection and evaluation of their number. The
imagery was carried out during the important for the animals sum-
mer-autumn period, when the Barents Sea is ice-free and walrus use
the coast as a platform for rest.
Operational satellite-based monitoring was conducted in places of
presumed walrus rookeries on the islands of Kolguev, Dolgiy,
Matveev in May to September period of 2011. The rst important
result of the study was the imagery of the rookery on the island of
Matveev being part of the territory of the state natural park
Nenetsky. The quality of the received image enabled to detect the
Ar t i c l e
47
Latest News? Visit www.geoinformatics.com January/February 2012

Technology
Fig 3: Colonies of the Atlantic walrus on
the Matveev Island on the EROS B image
(to the left) from July 28, 2011. On the
right: GeoEye-1 image from July 4, 2010,
no colony of walrus (ImageSat, GeoEye,
ScanEx)
Prod_GEO112_Prod GEO66 20-01-2012 10:58 Pagina 47
location of the groups of walrus and to count the approxi-
mate number of the species.
On EROS B image, acquired on July 28, 2011, the spe-
cialists detected a group of around 200 walrus species on
the coastline of the Matveev island (g. 3). The use of high-
ly-detailed 0.7 m resolution images enabled to identify the
animals of 2.5 to 3 m in size.
Oil fields monitoring and their development
in the Northern Caspian
Starting 2007 annual monitoring of oil slicks in the north-
ern part of the Caspian Sea has been conducted. The prin-
cipal scientic and practical objective of such monitoring is
detection and localization with maximum accuracy of facts
and areas of oil slicks (emergencies) on offshore facilities
of oil and gas complex and along sea navigation routes.
Within February 1 till December 31, 2011 monitoring peri-
od oil slicks of human origin were detected on 52 radar
images. During the survey around 63 oil slicks (the total
acreage of about 216 sq.km), ve of which (less than 4.4
sq.km) were detected within the limits of a licensed area,
where production facilities of an oil company are located. Slicks on
the sea surface, detected within licensed areas on 5 radar images,
were in most cases related to seaway routes, crossing those licensed
areas and as the analysis and slick drifting modeling results revealed
they have nothing to do with production activities on the oil eld.
Geospatial analysis results show that the majority of oil slicks within
Russian and Kazakhstan sectors of the Caspian Sea grouped along
the sea routes (g. 4).
Artem Nikitsky, Natalya Filimonova,
Anna Antonyuk, ScanEx RDC.
Ar t i c l e
Fig 4: Ship oil spill of 67.9 sq.km in size, detected by ENVISAT SAR image within the Russian sector of the Caspian Sea 115
km away from the licensed areas (14.06.2011, 07:04 UTC). (ESA, ScanEx RDC)
Prod_GEO112_Prod GEO66 20-01-2012 10:58 Pagina 48
Prod_GEO112_Prod GEO66 20-01-2012 10:58 Pagina 49
A Premier Geospatial Industry Event
Geospatial World Forum 2012
Geospatial World Forum 2012 scheduled to be held from 23-27 April at RAI Convention Centre, Amsterdam
is one of the biggest and most comprehensive conferences in the geospatial domain for the year.
A
s the premium global geospatial industry event, Geospatial
World Forum will bring the stakeholders solution providers,
policy makers as well as users to a single platform, providing
unparalleled opportunities for discussion, debate and interaction.
Theme: Geospatial Industry & World Economy
In recent times, the world has witnessed a large number of calamities
both natural and manmade, some major security issues, health and
food security issues, incredible expansion of urban infrastructure and
the resultant load on cities. Along with such socio-political problems,
the world has also witnessed an upsetting economic crisis resulting in
much upheaval across countries. While attempting to address each of
the issues mentioned above, one common thread that emerges that can
lend support and boost its growth is GEOSPATIAL technologies.
Convergence and integration of geospatial technology with mainstream
technologies like IT, telecommunication, and Internet, has enabled the
harnessing of true potential of geospatial information and technology
for improving the productivity and efciency of enterprises across dif-
ferent industry domains including energy, mining, oil and gas, telecom-
munication, infrastructure, transportation, water, agriculture, local gov-
ernance and business enterprises.
At Geospatial World Forum 2012, the endeavour will be to touch
upon the dimensions and directions of geospatial industry and an
attempt will be made to bring forward and project its utility, contribu-
tion and relevance to several important industries contributing to the
economy of the world. Under this theme, a range of plenaries, sympo-
siums, and panel discussions shall be organised involving the stake-
holders from specic industries to appropriately project and steer the
discussions and deliberations to line with the theme of the conference.
Key Objectives of the Forum:
Raising the Profile and Addressing Global Challenges
Geospatial World Forum 2012 shall attempt to raise the prole of
geospatial industry to the political and administrative leadership of the
world to address global issues and challenges including land resources,
climate change, environment, ecology, health, education and develop-
ment. It shall engage and associate with geospatial experts and profes-
sionals dealing with global issues and enable them make effective usage
of geospatial information and tools in addressing global concerns.
Connecting Communities
Geospatial World Forum 2012 shall strive to connect communities and
stakeholders. On the one hand it shall connect several constituents' of
geospatial industry like GIS, Positioning, GNSS, Imaging and
Photogrammetry, and on the other hand, it shall be an occasion to con-
nect geospatial community with other industry communities of global
economy. The conference shall be a platform to share and learn from
each other and work together to serve each others' business interests
and purposes.
Business Development
Geospatial World Forum 2012 shall serve as a platform for the indus-
try players to develop linkages across different geographies for pros-
pering their business interests. It will enable the local companies to con-
nect with the global technologies, explore the opportunities that
transnational companies present for them. It will also serve the larger
multinational companies to foster partnership networks across the globe.
Knowledge Sharing
Geospatial World Forum 2012 shall enable researchers, academicians
and think tanks of the domain to share their knowledge with each other
and thus further the domain. Through the various sessions, seminars,
symposia and tracks professionals will learn about the latest develop-
ments and applications using geoinformatics in various vertical seg-
ments.
Registration Details
Registrations for the events are open and can be done online at
http://geospatialworldforum.org/2012/registration/form.htm.
For more details, please visit www.geospatialworldforum.org or write
to us at info@geospatialworldforum.org
50
January/February 2012
E v e n t
By the editors
Participation Breakup: Geospatial Community Participation Regional Participation
Prod_GEO112_Prod GEO66 20-01-2012 10:58 Pagina 50
Prod_GEO112_Prod GEO66 20-01-2012 10:58 Pagina 51
Surveying from above is increasing in popularity, and its the height of
data capture that makes the difference, from just a few meters to several
kilometres. So, what is the link with soccer?
F
uture surveyors should learn how to play soc-
cer before they start surveying. At the SIG-
GRAPH Asia conference in Hong Kong, the
University of Berlin showed a special soccer ball,
which is yet another way to survey from above. This
ball contains 36 cameras and an accelerometer.
When the ball is at its highest point, all 36 cameras
take a picture. For stereo photogrammetry you need
2 pictures, but now 36 pictures are taken simulta-
neously, but with a small base. When you kick the
ball twice, you have 72 pictures and a proper base
distance. The advantage of this ball is that pictures
are taken in all directions, even straight down,
which is always a problem when you use a tripod
for your camera.
The problem is to get the ball at the exact
location and height from which you want to
take the pictures. Thus, that is why you rst
need to be a skilled soccer player before
you can start capturing image data.
Capturing Data
At the latest Intergeo several suppli-
ers showed different ways of captur-
ing data from the air. Aeroplanes,
catapult systems, helicopters, hot
air balloons and kites are all used
to capture data from above. The
techniques used are mainly scan-
ning and photo capture, and
combinations of the two. It is
hard to believe that a decade
ago aerial photogrammetry was
seen by many ground surveyors
to be a small business utilizing
dusty images. In their estimation, it was
not as accurate as the ground techniques,
and it took a long time to prepare and a
long time to process the data. However,
new technologies can change a business. Laser
scanners and affordable digital cameras with high
resolution ccds have created new markets.
The present trend in surveying seems to be towards
capturing data of smaller areas from lower altitudes.
The technology used in this type of application is of
course more interesting to show at exhibitions and
can be purchased by relatively small surveying com-
panies, while a complete airplane with cameras and
IMU/GPS etc., is a different kind of investment.
Small-area observations from a relatively low height
means the preparation time is often shorter and data
processing faster. The new buzz word is working in
the cloud, but as mentioned before, the altitude is
decreasing and not rising into the clouds.
Tender
Despite the trend to obtain data from lower heights,
in the Netherlands a huge tender was put forward
to supply photo images of the entire country. Not
only aerial photos at a resolution of 7.5 cm, but
also with a resolution of 25 cm, and the addition of
360 degree terrestrial photos too. After more than
half a year of discussion, the tender was cancelled,
among other things, because the techniques to
obtain a 7.5 cm resolution were not yet available
on the market. This tender has now been divided
into two tenders and the required specications
have been reduced. Thus, data acquisition from
higher altitudes still continues.
Capturing data from above will become more com-
mon in the coming years, both from higher altitudes
and lower altitudes, such as those kickable heights.
Next time I watch a Champions League soccer
game and see midelder Wesley Sneijder, I will
wonder, given the chance, would he be a good
surveyor.
By Lon van der Poel
Ing. Lon van der Poel is director at LEOP,
a company which combines surveying and training of surveyors.
For more information, have a look at: www.leop-bv.nl.
Playing Soccer
and Surveying
C o l u mn
52
January/February 2012
C
O
L
U
M
N
All rights reserved. All trademarks or servicemarks used herein are property of their respective owners. Hexagon
m This document gives only a general descrip-
t




d





Prod_GEO112_Prod GEO66 20-01-2012 12:10 Pagina 52


Copyright Hexagon AB, 2011. All rights reserved. All trademarks or servicemarks used herein are property of their respective owners. Hexagon
makes no representation or warranty regarding the accuracy of the information in this publication. This document gives only a general descrip-
tion of the product(s) or service(s) offered by Hexagon and, except where expressly provided otherwise, shall not form part of any contract. Such
information, the products and conditions of supply is subject to change without notice.
THINK OPPORTUNITIES
Join Leica Geosystems in Las Vegas, NV, 4-7 June for targeted sessions
and workshops, visionary keynote presentations, interactive technology
demonstrations, unlimited networking and much more! Think forward with
Hexagon and learn how you can begin solving tomorrows problems today.
For the latest Hexagon 2012 updates, follow us on
Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and LinkedIn.
REGISTER NOW! Visit www.hexagonconference.com/geo
See us on
Prod_GEO112_Prod GEO66 20-01-2012 10:58 Pagina 53
54
January/February 2012
February
07-09 February Imagina
Grimaldi Forum, Monaco
Internet: www.imagina.mc/2012
08-10 February EuroCOW 2012
Institute of Geomatics, Castelldefels, Spain
Internet: www.ideg.es/page.php?id=1094
24-28 February AAG Annual Meeting
New York, NY, U.S.A.
Internet: www.aag.org/cs/annualmeeting
28 February-01 March RIEGL LiDAR 2012
Hilton Hotel, Orlando, FL, U.S.A.
Internet: www.riegl.com
29 February GeoNext Conference 2012
Australian Technology Park, Sydney, Australia
E-mail: info@geonext.com.au
Internet: www.GeoNext.com.au
March
12-15 March 16th Annual GIS/CAMA Technologies
Conference
San Antonio, TX, U.S.A.
Internet: www.urisa.org/gis_cama
20-21 March 11. Internationales 3D-Forum
Lindau 2012
Lindau, Germany
E-mail: claus.bihl@lindau.de
Internet: www.3d-geodaten.de
21-22 March GEO-12 a world of geomatics and
GIS Innovations
Holiday Inn, London Elstree, U.K.
E-mail: sharon@pvpubs.demon.co.uk
Internet: www.pvpubs.com/events.php
21-22 March Network Analysis
Newcastle University, Newcastle, U.K.
E-mail: ceg.cpd@ncl.ac.uk
Internet: www.ncl.ac.uk/cegs.cpd/cpd/netanalysis.php
26-27 March Free and Open Source Tools for GIS
Newcastle University, Newcastle, U.K.
E-mail: ceg.cpd@ncl.ac.uk
Internet: www.ncl.ac.uk/cegs.cpd/cpd/osgis.php
26-29 March Esri Developer Summit
Palm Springs, CA, U.S.A.
Internet: www.esri.com/events/devsummit/index.html
26-30 March 6th GeoTunis 2012
Tunesia
Internet: www.geotunis.org/2011
28 March Introduction to Spatial Databases
Newcastle University, Newcastle, U.K.
E-mail: ceg.cpd@ncl.ac.uk
Internet: www.ncl.ac.uk/cegs.cpd/cpd/osgis.php
April
12 April The International Civil Unmanned
Aircraft System Event 2012
High Tech Campus, Eindhoven, The Netherlands
Internet: http://uasevent.com
15-18 April SPAR International, Conference on
3D Imaging & Positioning for Engineering/
Construction/Manufacturing/Security
The Woodlands Waterway Marriott Hotel & Convention
Center, The Woodlands (Houston), TX, U.S.A.
E-mail: lmclaughlin@divcom.com
Internet: www.sparpointgroup.com/international
16-19 April Global Aerospace Summit 2012
Abu Dhabi, U.A.E.
E-mail: mail@smg-online.com
Internet: www.aerospacesummit.ae
17-18 April 6th International Satellite Navigation
Forum - NAVITECH 2012
Expocenter Fairgrounds, Moscow, Russia
E-mail: e.sinitsa@expocentre-europe.com
Internet: http://eng.glonass-forum.ru
17-19 April 8th International Exhibition &
Scientic Congress Interexpo Geo-Siberia
Novosibirsk, Russia
E-mail: argina.novitskaya@gmail.com
Internet: www.expo-geo.ru
23-27 April Geospatial World Forum 2012
Amsterdam, The Netherlands
Internet: www.geospatialworldforum.org
25-27 April The European Navigation Conference
Gdansk, Poland
Internet: http://enc2012.org
25-27 April VI International Conference Remote
Sensing - the Synergy of High Technologies
ATLAS PARK-HOTEL, Moscow, Russia
Internet: www.sovzondconference.ru/2012/eng
May
06-10 May FIG Working Week 2012 - Knowing to
manage the territory, protect the environment,
evaluate the cultural heritage
Rome, Italy
Internet: www.g.net/g2012
07-09 May 4th International Conference on
Geographic Object-Based Image Analysis - GEO-
BIA 2012
Windsor Barra Hotel and Conventions, Rio de Janeiro,
Brazil
E-mail: geobia2012@dpi.inpe.br
Internet: www.inpe.br/geobia2012
08-10 May 2nd International Conference and
Exhibition on Mapping and spatial Information
(ICMSI 2012) and 19th National Geomatics
Conference
National Cartographic Center (NCC), Teheran, Iran
E-mail: icmsi2012@ncc.org.ir
Internet: http://conf.ncc.org.ir
14-17 May Global Geospatial Conference 2012
(GSDI 13 World Conference, GEOIDE Annual
Scientic Conference and Canadian Geomatics
Conference)
Qubec City Convention Center, Qubec City, Canada
Internet: www.gsdi.org/gsdiconf/gsdi13
14-18 May 8th Taipei International Digital Earth
Symposium (TIDES 2012)
Taipei, Taiwan
Internet: http://deconf.pccu.edu.tw/2012TIDES/en-wel-
come.html
21-24 May 32nd EARSeL Symposium Advances
in Geosciences
Mykonos Island, Greece
Internet: www.earsel.org/symposia/2012-symposium-
Mykonos/index.php
23-24 May Taza GIS_Days, International
Symposium of GIS users
Taza, Morocco
E-mail: hassan.tabyaoui@usmba.ac.ma
Internet: https://sites.google.com/a/usmba.ac.ma/taza-
gis-en/home
28 May-02 June 5th International Conference
BALWOIS 2012 on Water, Climate and
Environment
Ohrid, Republic of Macedonia
Internet: www.balwois.com/2012
29-31 May MundoGEO#Connect 2012
Frei Caneca Convention Center, So Paulo, Brazil
Internet: www.mundogeo.com
30 May-02 June Geodetic Science and Technology
Conference EUROmatyka2012
Poznan University of Technology / LOS Puszczykowo,
Poland
E-mail: biuro@euromatyka2012.pl
Internet: www.euromatyka2012.pl
June
04-05 June Introduction to GIS
Newcastle University, Newcastle, U.K.
E-mail: ceg.cpd@ncl.ac.uk
Internet: www.ncl.ac.uk/cegs.cpd/cpd/giscourses.php
04-07 June HEXAGON 2012
Las Vegas, NV, U.S.A.
Internet: www.hexagonconference.com
06-07 June Intermediate GIS
Newcastle University, Newcastle, U.K.
E-mail: ceg.cpd@ncl.ac.uk
Internet: www.ncl.ac.uk/cegs.cpd/cpd/giscourses.php
08 June Spatial Analysis
Newcastle University, Newcastle, U.K.
E-mail: ceg.cpd@ncl.ac.uk
Internet: www.ncl.ac.uk/cegs.cpd/cpd/giscourses.php
11 June Mobile GIS
Newcastle University, Newcastle, U.K.
E-mail: ceg.cpd@ncl.ac.uk
Internet: www.ncl.ac.uk/cegs.cpd/cpd/mobilegis.php
13-14 June Geo Maritime
London, U.K.
E-mail: geomar@wbr.co.uk
Internet: www.wbresearch.com/geomar/home.aspx
17-23 June 12th International GeoConference
SGEM 2012
Congress Centre Flamingo Grand, Albena, Bulgaria
E-mail: sgem@sgem.org
Internet: www.sgem.org
Please feel free to e-mail your calendar notices to:calendar@geoinformatics.com
C a l e n d a r 2 0 1 2 / Ad v e r t i s e r s I n d e x
CHC www.chcnav.com 43
DAT/EM www.datem.com 29
ERDAS www.erdas.com 2
Esri www.esri.com 9
FOIF www.foif.com.cn 51
GEO 12 www.pvpubs.com 26
Geospatial World Forum www.geospatialworldforum.org 37
HEXAGON 2012 www.hexagonconference.com/geo 53
ITC Faculty www.itc.nl 27
Leica Geosystems www.leica-geosystems.com 13
Microsoft UltraCam www.iFlyUltraCam.com 23
Optech www.optech.com 17
Pacic Crest www.paciccrest.com/adl 13
Remote Sensing Conference www.sovzondconference.ru 48
RIEGL www.riegl.com 41
Sokkia www.sokkia.net 55
Spectra Precision www.spectraprecision.com 33
SuperMap www.supermap.com 49
Topcon Europe BV www.topcon.eu 21
Visionmap www.visionmap.com 56
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