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Magazine for Surveying, Mapping & GIS Professionals

4
June

2014
Volume 17

Leica Pegasus:One
Central Coast Aerial Mapping
SmarterBetterCities
Phase One iXU 150 Camera
GIS and Weather Forecasting

Bentley Descartes Integrating Point Clouds


into Information Modeling Workflows

Advanced point-cloud processing

Scalable terrain modeling

Bentley Descartes provides a powerful toolset for integrating point clouds into information modeling
workflows. Bentley Descartes supports the processing of the fundamental data types used in
infrastructure engineering, including point clouds, scalable terrain models, and raster imagery.
The benefits to your organization are:
s Higher productivity through intelligent hybrid vector/3D imagery models

3D texturing

s Increased return on investment on point-cloud and other large data sets


s Increased flexibility to bring raster images into information modeling workflows,
providing visualization and context
s Enhanced project team productivity when used with ProjectWise Point-cloud Services
Bentley Descartes is advancing information modeling for intelligent infrastructure and helping
users meet todays demanding project challenges.

Bentley Bringing Enrichment and Mobility


to Point Clouds. Learn more at:
www.bentley.com/Geo-Descartes

2013 Bentley Systems, Incorporated. Bentley, the B Bentley logo, MicroStation, and Bentley Descartes are either registered or unregistered trademarks
or service marks of Bentley Systems, Incorporated or one of its direct or indirect wholly owned subsidiaries. Other brands and product names are
trademarks of their respective owners.

Raster image processing

Editor-in-chief
Eric van Rees
evanrees@geoinformatics.com
Copy Editor
Elaine Eisma
Editor
Remco Takken
rtakken@geoinformatics.com
Contributing Writers:
Stuart Woods, David Stanley, Philip Cheng,
Tobias Toelg, Stephen Epstein, Robin Lovelace,
Matt Zimmerman, Ben Domenico, Stefano Nativi,
Claudio Mingrino, Aidan Mercer, Andrey Yu. Sechin,
Vana Giavi.

Finance
nance@cmedia.nl
Marketing & Sales
Ruud Groothuis
rgroothuis@geoinformatics.com

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Surveyors (CLGE) whereby all individual
members of every national Geodetic
association in Europe will receive the
magazine.

The Shape of Things to Come


Adapting to change is fundamental to survival. The speed at which change is happening in the geospatial industry is fascinating. Geospatial companies have completely
changed over the years, whether it is in terms of their product portfolios, acquisitions of
other companies or market strategies. The most notable example of how these changes
have manifested themselves can be found in the case of Hexagon, who have grown to
become a major player in the geospatial market and have bought Leica Geosystems
and Intergraph. Its hard to keep up with their numerous acquisitions, however, recent
additions to their portfolio are Arvus (a manufacturer of precision agriculture solutions)
and Mintec (a mining industry software developer and service provider).
Esri hasnt been standing still either and has also adapted well to changing technology.
They have embraced cloud technology and introduced a cloud platform which connects
users worldwide. The focus on maps as a static product has resulted in a shift to an
approach where maps are a useful communication means to visualize data and, subsequently, sharing these has become just as important as the software used to produce
them. Esri also started their own open data initiative, which is on a par with what governments are doing in terms of open data initiatives. It enables organizations subscribing to ArcGIS Online to make their data open and freely available to the public through
a simple, hosted and best practices web application. Last but not least are some interesting open source projects carried out by the Esri R&D Center in Portland, Oregon.
Examples of these include a Javascript library to help developers build lightweight applications using the Leaet Javascript mapping library and a geometry toolkit for working
with different geometry formats and building geo databases.
Esri and Hexagon are not the only ones adapting to change: as for the big data movement, a strategic partnership between SAP and Pitney Bowes was announced recently,
where Pitney Bowes will develop next generation geospatial and location intelligence
solutions using the SAP HANA platform. Recent examples in the travel industry show the
importance of using big data for extensive personalization of offerings to match each
segment of a customer base from within the travel industry.
Trimble made an interesting move with regards to data management by
buying WeoGeos technology for cataloging and delivering data. This
allows their clients access to up-to-date imagery data and, conversely,
access to the latest in geospatial technology for WeoGeo clients. The
acquisition wasnt that unexpected, as Trimble had had a number of
software releases recently, including specialized analysis software,
modeling software and a new cloud-based software platform.
There have been a number of signicant changes on the data
acquisition side of the market, which are of particular interest
too. They include handheld scanners in the construction
industry and a free and open satellite earth observation
program by the European Union and the European Space
Agency (ESA). Change is further mentioned in this issue of
GeoInformatics, for example, in an article on the Leica
Pegasus:One mobile mapping platform. This is another new
market for Leica Geosystems. Also of interest is the contribution
from Racurs on the main trends and developments in digital photogrammetric systems, which highlights the
changes on this front. Finally, the article on
SmarterBetterCities sheds light on the shape of
things to come for 3D GIS.
Enjoy your reading,

Eric van Rees

Photography: www.bestpictures.nl

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.

On the cover:
With 3D Cities Libraries for Esri CityEngine city scenarios could be created quicker and easier.
See article on page 18. Image credit: SmarterBetterCities.

Articles
Leica Pegasus: One

Central Coast Aerial Mapping

10

Processing 4,000 UltraCamX Large Format Aerial Photos

14

SmarterBetterCities

18

Rising to the Challenge

22

VHR Imagery Helps Enforce Property Rights in Greece

24

GIS and Weather Forecasting

26

OGC netCDF-CF

28

Digital Photogrammetric Systems

32

Enterprise Management of Street Works Noticing

36

Event
Jornadas de SIG Libre

12

HxGN LIVE 2014

30

Newsletters
CLGE

38

Calendar / Advertisers Index

42

With Bentleys help, Bristol developed an Exor Information


Manager-based solution that
provides high-level aggregate
executive information, monthly
performance reports, and manages noticing and street
works activities.

36

Robert Lafica, a Certified


Photogrammetrist by the

Leica Pegasus:One is a complete mobile mapping solution


encompassing hardware to
post-processing from Leica
Geosystems.This article describes the different components
of the hardware and software.

American Society for


Photogrammetry and Remote
Sensing who supervises and
oversees all phases of compilation, editing and orthophoto
production at CCAM, discusses
some major products, services
and work flows.

10

To combat a perfect storm of


challenges, the combination of
a geographic information
system (GIS), outage management system (OMS), and
accurate weather forecasting
provides a serendipitous
partnership as an innovative
solution to disaster relief.

Creating accurate ortho-mosaic image maps from large


volumes of aerial imagery
using traditional methods is a
time-consuming task, even
when completed using highend hardware and software
systems.

14

26

30

Each year, Hexagon hosts its


global conference to provide a
broad range of users with the
opportunity to experience innovations from across Hexagons
entire platform of products and
solutions.

Based on Esri technology, Swiss


start-up company SmarterBetterCities offers a holistic urban
planning tool. Covered in this
article are a 3D city model viewer in the cloud, 3D city libraries for Esris CityEngine and
ArcGIS for Desktop, as well as
a number of evaluation tools for
cities, provided as apps.

18

After having supplied imaging technologies for aerial


acquisition for many years,
less than two years ago,
Phase One introduced the
iXA camera, a dedicated medium format camera for aerial photography.

22

Article

By Stuart Woods

Leica Pegasus:One is a complete mobile mapping solution encompassing hardware


to post-processing from Leica Geosystems. This article describes the different
components of the hardware and software which comprise a complete solution
for users and covers the issue of object extraction for asset management.

Leica Pegasus: One


Mobile Mapping Platform

ture a full 360 x 70 view, a laser scanner


(2D Proler or 3D HDS), an industrial computer with dedicated 500 GB SSD hardware,
and a single power connection to a battery
to power the system.
To reduce the complexity of such a system for
the customer, Leica has introduced several key
system points with the integration of the system at the factory. The cameras are calibrated to the laser scanner and everything is integrated via a positioning system, which
includes GPS, IMU, and post-processing software. Time stamping ties all the collected information together. The operator has a screen
above all this, in which he has a view of six
cameras, the position of the vehicle, the laser
scanning view, and the status of the
GPS/IMU.
Battery capacity offers a typical operating
time of 11 hours. Time to full charge is 10.0
max hours starting at 100 % and 5.5 hours
starting with 50 %.

Leica Pegasus: One

Introduction
Leica Pegasus:One is a complete mobile mapping solution encompassing hardware to postprocessing from Leica Geosystems. Released
in June of last year, it is Leicas rst mobile
mapping platform and allows service
providers to use their existing terrestrial scanner in proler mode for mobile mapping or to
buy a system with a dedicated proler
installed. The Leica Pegasus:One mobile mapping software platform, draws on synergies
resulting from Leica Geosystems recent acquisition of Geosoft S.r.l.
The solution is targeted at anyone needing to
capture geospatial data quickly and accurate-

Camera specifications
ly. To this is primarily engineering and surveying rms, but a transition to both regional and
national municipalities and governments is
already starting. Leica now has a number of
clients globally. They have systems in operation in eight countries around the world,
including Russia, Brazil, Japan, France and
the USA. Particularly within Europe, Leica has
worked closely with 3DSI Getude and Perazio
Engineering in France on rail applications.

Hardware parts
The system consists of several different hardware elements: a NovAtel SPAN GNSS/INSS
receiver, six 2MB cameras positioned to cap-

June 2014

There are six cameras providing a 360


degree view. The cameras are 2MB pixel cameras; however, a large CCD was chosen so
each pixel has 4.4 x 4.4 m of the CCD. This
provides a very high resolution, so that the
image is clear at vehicle speeds. The cameras
can capture images at a frame rate much higher than most applications require.
The cameras are calibrated to the LiDAR scanner, which means that the user can work in
either the imagery with photogrammetry or
within the LiDAR scan once the data is processed: clicking in one gives the same point
in the other and vice versa. By marrying the
high resolution cameras to LiDAR, the user is

Leica Pegasus: One

assured that no data is omitted and that there


will be no need to return to the project location. A shadowed object in the LiDAR for
example, will be captured in the images.

Accuracy
The key to absolute accuracy lies in the fact
that it is a sum of all the components used in
the system. Leicas philosophy is that control
points should only be added after processing
the data. Typically, one to two centimeter accuracy is achieved under normal use conditions.
For most situations, the DMI does not improve
the accuracy, it only helps in the worst of situations, but with the latest IMU technology this
is happening less frequently.
In the event of GPS/GNSS outage, the IMU
starts to track the vehicles position. For example, even after ten seconds, theres no more
than two centimeters drift, after data post processing. The IMU tracks the trajectory and the
speed of the vehicle and depending on the
time of the outage, this information can be
used to calculate the vehicles current position.
To achieve centimeter level accuracy, a master GNSS receiver is required within ten kilometers of the project location to achieve cm
level accuracy. The majority of Leica customers
already work in this way for typical survey
projects, even in remote locations. Today, such
master GNSS receivers are readily available
and used. In most applications, Leicas customers achieve between 15 to 20 mm in absolute accuracy without control points.

Laser scanner compatibility


The system is compatible with a variety of
scanners and prolers, including the Leica
ScanStation P20 in single. The Pegasus:One

supports the ZF 9012 proler, Leica HDS


7000 scanner, and the Leica Scanstation P20.
The Pegasus:One with the option of the Leica
ScanStation P20 in proler mode has been
available since January 1st 2014.
The ZF9012 provides the best solution for a
x mounted proler system, as it provides
1M/secs at a scan rate of 200Hz. The key
here is that by using a single high speed proler, there is less noise and no additional calibration is needed when compared to dual
head proler solutions. Typically, in this conrmation, Leicas customers see four times less
noise with the single ZF9012 proler vs typical dual head congurations. Dual head congurations provide add complexity as they
require special calibration.

Post-processing software workflows


The Leica Pegasus:One mobile mapping software platform, offers users immediate access
to their imagery and point cloud data together in the same GUI. Users navigate visually
through their images, simply clicking in their
street views, and can add GIS metadata or
calculate distances on the y. Both the imagery
and point cloud are calibrated together, so
clicking in one immediately provides access
to the data in the other.
In total, three post-processing workows are
available. Firstly, Leica Pegasus AutoP provides a "hands-off" automated workow for
aligning to the correct time and combining the
captured scan data, images, and post-processed trajectory into a single ArcGIS compatible le structure or dataset. The user has
to simply congure the coordinate system and
click through, locating the respective les as
needed. This unique smart utility has addition-

June 2014

al functionality around exporting LAS to GLD


or the trajectory to NMEA and management
of the data itself, including local coordinate
conversion.
Secondly, Leica Pegasus ManualTA allows the
user to combine and edit existing datasets
which have already been processed with
AutoP. In situations where the user desires to
add additional control points or reuse earlier
acquired data for a new project, this additional module provides the user with the option
to only add control points as needed to gain
the accuracy required by each individual project. This ensures that the total project cost is
minimized. Thirdly, post processing of the
GPS/GNSS to the IMU data is done with
Novatel Inertial Explorer to allow a tight coupling of the hardware to the software workow.
Additional third party software such as
TopoDOT or SiRailScan can be used by
exporting from Leica Pegasus AutoP. Another
benet of the software is that it leverages Esri
relational platform for advanced analysis:
after a user completes the post-processing of
a data set, the output les are opened directly within ArcGIS. From this point, the native
ArcGIS tools and extensions are usable. An
example of this is the Esri 3D Analysis, which
is simply an extension of ArcGIS.

Optional 3D stereoscopic view


capabilities
3D stereoscopic view provides a fast alternative to working in 3D. This ensures that the
user is not limited in how they want to work:
if the user is comfortable to work in 3D, then
this is a natural t to their workow. Typically,
a user can recognize relative position errors
faster in 3D and this, therefore, increases their
throughput for any extraction activities.
Leica supports non-professionals and professionals on several levels. Firstly, independent
of the users experience, all navigation of a
project is done via a street-view interface:
clicking through images allows the user to navigate visually. Next for the non-professional,
basic measurements can be done simply within images, based on stereo captured images,
very quickly without even viewing the point
cloud.

Setting up a project
The basic procedure for providing the service
of mobile data capture and starting a mobile
mapping project begins as follows: assuming
that the user has a vehicle with standard luggage racks, he or she simply takes the system
out the box, lifts it onto the vehicle, and con-

Article

Leica Pegasus: One

nects it to the battery, which is typically placed


in the back of the car. The operator then just
connects to the system via Wi-Fi to start and
stop it, and the car is simply driven in the area
of interest. The operator can adjust the number of images captured based on distance.
Pegasus:One is vehicle independent and
comes self-contained, which means that the
user is not restricted by the sensor in how,
when, or where they want to collect data. The
world is changing fast and the speed with
which projects or decisions must be made is
increasing, so any tool in use should not be
limiting: Leica customers typically do not want
to limit the use options of their equipment to
where they can drive their vehicle or the type
of vehicle that the system can be mounted
on.

ever, what is equally important is ensuring ROI


on time. There is no need to spend hours collecting data by a terrestrial means when it can
be done at vehicle speeds. Furthermore,
Leicas focus is on providing a product where
the data, all possible data, is collected once
and then re-used for multiple projects, so not
just asset management, but also for planning
compliance or topography.

Object extraction
Measurements done within the point clouds
is a manual process, where point to point is
measured. The key, however, is object
extraction, which results in not just measured

Data collection for asset management


Data can be collected at any speed. The key
here is the density of the assets to be collected. Again, the key is to ensure that the sensor doesnt limit the application or user. Data
is collected at highway speeds on highways
and at city speed limits within cities. Trains
are typically run at about 80 km per hour,
where there is a requirement for a very dense
collection of data.
For mobile mapping, it is key that trafc isnt
disrupted and that people dont have to be
deployed onto roads and highways. How-

values, but also in a meta tag of an object.


This can be dened, for example, in the
case of a bill board as height, width, and
distance from a point (typically the road
edge). In the case of a bill board, the complete meta data or measurement is captured
in two clicks from within an image.
Leica offers a number of semi-automated
tools which operate as extensions within
ArcGDS these include billboard, center or
side lane, and vertical pole extraction.
Other advanced features are being released
quarterly. These extractions usually require
two clicks to fully populate the meta tag for
the object. Leica has settled on semi-automated (two clicks) simply due to the complexity of creating a globally usable
extraction tool and based feedback from
users that they are not willing to give up
complete control.
As Leica Geosystems says, theyre committed to delivering and advancing the
mobile extraction market with vehicle
independence with a focus on continued ease of use. They are committed to
leading the mobile market and look forward to delivering on in June.
Stuart Woods, Vice President Leica Geospatial Solutions, Mobile
Mapping Business Unit
For more information, have a look at:
www.leica-geosystems.com/en/Leica-PegasusOne_103551.htm

Leica Pegasus: One

June 2014

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Article

10

By Eric van Rees

Central Coast Aerial Mapping (CCAM) has over 30 years of experience in the
field of photogrammetry. Based in San Luis Obispo, California, they provide aerial surveying throughout California. Robert Lafica, a Certified Photogrammetrist
by the American Society for Photogrammetry and Remote Sensing who supervises and oversees all phases of compilation, editing and orthophoto production
at CCAM, discusses some major products, services and work flows.

Central Coast Aerial Mapping

A Californian Aerial Surveying Company

The Rose Bowl Stadium is a 3D Rendered


Surface Model. The Rose Bowl Stadium is
located in Pasadena, California.

Introduction
Central Coast Aerial Mapping offers photogrammetric mapping and digital orthophoto services in house at their facility located in
San Luis Obispo, CA. CCAM also provides
photogrammetric scanning, aerial triangulation, Digital Terrain Models (DTMs), contour
maps, surface models, airborne GPS, and
LIDAR. CCAM emphasized the need for keeping up with the latest mapping technologies.
DAT/EM Summit Evolution software has been
a powerful tool in achieving this goal.

Topographic mapping
One of the most widely used of all maps is
the topographic map, which uses contour
lines to portray the shape and elevation of
the land. Topographic maps render the threedimensional ups and downs of the terrain on

a two-dimensional surface and usually portray both natural and man-made features,
including mountains, valleys, plains, lakes,
rivers, and vegetation. They also identify the
principal man-made planimetric features,
such as roads, boundaries, transmission
lines, and major buildings. The wide range
and fundamental nature of information provided by topographic maps make them
extremely useful to professional and recreational map users alike.
Topographic maps are used for engineering,
energy exploration, natural resource conservation, environmental management, public
works design, commercial and residential
planning. A large proportion of Central
Coast Aerial Mappings clients are surveyors, civil engineers, and government agencies. The company compiles maps for them,

June 2014

which the client can use for many different


engineering applications. Apart from a few
clients in Nevada, the company primarily
maps throughout the state of California.
The company sub-contracts all the aerial
photography to different ight companies,
as they nd this to be more economical, says
Laca. We use independent ying companies to y our projects for us, then the ight
companies send us over either the digital
les or the lm. We scan the lm images
with our RM-6 high resolution photogrammetric scanner, or if we y digitally, they
send us the digital les which we incorporate directly into our DAT/EM Summit
Evolution softcopy instrumentation. We work
with several ight companies depending on
where the project is located.
CCAM generates all of its own mapping.
Laca explains: When we rst started, we
were compiling with mechanical analytical
plotters, where everything was lm-based
and you'd actually load the physical lm
into plotters. About ten years ago, we decided to make the transition to a complete digital softcopy system, and decided to purchase our own scanner; mainly because
scanning in house is cost effective and we
could control the image quality allowing us
to produce excellent pixel-resolution for
accurate mapping and orthophotography.
Central Coast Aerial Mappings mapping
process consists of creating a DTM (Digital
Terrain Model) which consists of 3D breaklines and points. These methods allow the
engineers to create surface models,
hydraulics engineering, alignment and cross
sections. The use of a DTM process results
in achieving high accuracy in the development of a TIN (triangular irregular network).

11

The company now has the ability to compile


full 3D mapping products in digital format
using DAT/EM Summit Evolution digital photogrammetric workstations.
DAT/EM Summit Evolution is the image orientation software used for the topographic
mapping process. According to Laca, the
feature most favored is the availability of
superimposing AutoCAD layers on top of
aerial imagery: One of the problems with
the older instrumentation was having to look
back and forth from the imagery and the
vector CAD linework; with DAT/EM Summit
Evolution softcopy superimposition, the vector CAD linework is now superimposed over
the stereo imagery and displayed together.
This makes it really easy to capture all the
detail. It's a great quality control measure
that ensures we don't miss any planimetric
features like utilities, manholes, etc...
Another component of DAT/EM software is
DAT/EM Capture, a software tool for vector
information collection from stereo images.
This is used with Summit Evolution in conjunction with AutoCAD to transfer all the
mapping data lines into a CAD format.
Laca: Using DAT/EM hardware and software is really nice because it has a lot of
tools for compiling. For example, using
DAT/EM Summit Evolution in conjunction
with DAT/EM KeyPad Advantage on a
tablet, we can set up macros to draw certain objects and dene the layering, line
styles and blocks automatically within
AutoCAD; the program is very user friendly. The interoperability afforded by the
DAT/EM tools makes digital feature collection efcient and cost effective.

Digital Orthophotos
Central Coast Aerial Mapping also produces digital orthophotos. The digital
orthophoto process transforms a vertical
aerial photograph into the equivalent of a
traditional map. Yet it retains the advantages

Robert Lafica

of a photograph, visually displaying actual


cultural and land featuresand the built environment, rather than representing those features using symbols and lines.
In order to create digital orthophotos,
Central Coast Aerial Mapping uses
DAT/EM Summit Ortho+Mosaic, an add-on
application to create orthophotos and
orthophoto mosaics from Summit Evolution
stereo projects. When you nish your map,
you can generate your orthophoto. What
you need in order to create the orthophoto
is some type of base (terrain) data for the
image to rectify against, which is normally
created during the mapping process. With
DAT/EM Summit Ortho+Mosaic, you can go
straight into generating the orthophoto once
the map is compiled, which saves a lot of
time. Our clients really appreciate the
orthophoto background as it gives them a
detailed background image besides just line
work, which they can then use for their projects.

Digital Terrain Models (DTMs)


The digital terrain model (DTM) can either
come from an existing source or it can be
developed from the aerial stereo photogra-

phy. The aerial photos are taken using a


photogrammetric camera, which take overlapping photos, which are used to create
the 3D stereo effect. The two overlapping
photos are called a stereo pair, and the
overlapping area is called a stereomodel.
Using a DAT/EM Summit Evolution softcopy
instrument, the stereomodel can be viewed
as a 3D single image showing the depth
and relief of the terrain. Ground control
points are established based on ground surveys and incorporated into the softcopy
instrument in conjunction with the stereo pair
to establish a coordinate system.
As mentioned above, the companys mapping process consists of creating a DTM,
which consists of 3D breaklines and points.
Laca explains how this process works:
Basically the relief of the terrain is interpreted by compiling 3D breaklines and
points. This 3D information is what makes
up a DTM le, which is used for contour generation. The planimetric features and contours are combined together to complete the
nal topographical map.

LIDAR Projects
Photogrammetric mapping can be combined
with LIDAR projects at Central Coast Aerial
Mapping. The projects are own using LIDAR,
then the topography is generated from the
LIDAR data, but also combined with all the
planimetric features which are compiled photogrammetrically, such as the buildings, manholes, utilities and painted lines, etc. Laca
states: LIDAR can be benecial to complement specic topographical projects that
have dense tree and brush coverage.

The solution implemented is a live system, continually updating as notices are sent and information comes back.

June 2014

For more information, have a look at: www.aerial-maps.com

Event

12

By Robin Lovelace

Jornadas de SIG Libre - henceforth JSL - is a Spanish-speaking GIS conference. This year
was its 8th iteration hosted by SIGTE, the Geographical Information Systems and Remote
Sensing Service of the University of Girona. The conference takes place there each year
in March and this time ran from the 26th - 28th.

Jornadas de SIG Libre


A E u r o p e a n D i g i t a l Ma p p i n g C o n f e r e n c e

n case you hadn't guessed


already, "SIG" stands for Sistemas de Informacin Geogrca, GIS in Spanish. Jornadas
is, roughly speaking, an informal word for conference or symposium. Libre is perhaps the dening
word of event though: there is a
strong (but not exclusive) focus on
open source software, as illustrated
by the event's afliation with Open
Source Geospatial Foundation
(OSGeo). JSL is more than a conference, it is a hub for many of the
leading lights in the Spanish speaking GIS community.

ly representative example will serve to


provide a avour of the specic talks:
Roberto Antolin, from the UK Forestry
Commission, described the methods
his team use for processing huge
LiDAR datasets. Of great interest to others working with LiDAR will the SPDlib
plugin for QGIS that Roberto has
developed to enable the integration of
these methods in a user friendly interface. A publicly available version of
this plugin is pending approval from
the Commission. The moral of the story
Author Robin Lovelace presents his post on spatial interaction modelling in R at the Jornadas de SIG
for me was that mission-critical softLibre conference.
ware can be developed "in house" by
organisations harnessing advances in open source GIS software.

Workshops

Conclusion

The rst day was packed full - 6 practical workshops of 4 hours each
squeezed into three parallel streams. These were an introduction to the
GIS software QGIS, using Open Street Map (OSM) data for complex
online applications, Python's growing geo libraries, MapProxy tile
servers, mobile GIS app development and the creation of browserbased web applications.
Of great interest for interactive map developers was the second of
these, by Ander Pijoan from the University of Deusto. Ander's tutorial
described how to build a complete web mapping application by combining only three basic tools: the JavaScript mapping library Leaet,
the PostGIS database software and the JavaScript framework NodeJS.
Before this I had assumed that a dedicated map server such as
GeoServer was needed for implementing complex web applications.
However, as Ander Pijoan's talk and impressive example (see
tinyurl.com/jsl-leaet-app) demonstrated, simpler solutions can be
extremely powerful.

With its strong professional focus, the networking function of JSL was
highly visible, so the ofcial talks are only part of the story. Over coffee
new professional contacts and offers of collaboration were made. The
opportunity to share experiences in the use of open source software for
commercial applications and keep ahead of the game with the latest
developments was clearly one of the major attractions.
Beyond commercial applications, an underlying motivation for attending
JSL found implicit in all the talks was a fascination with geographical
information and maps. This attitude is embodied by event sponsors 'Los
Geoinquietos' who combine GIS for fun with applications and outread
for the greater good. This, more than anything else, seemed to unite attendees.
Certainly, it is rare to nd such a diverse group of people from academia,
local and national government and the private sector with so much in
common. This cross-sector collaboration is undoubtedly one of the great
strengths of the GIS community worldwide and was found in abundance
at JSL. The conference left the impression that GIS can be more than 'just
another job'. It can be, to use another Spanish word, a "vocacin", which
encapsulates both what one does for enjoyment and one's passion. What
is more, the focus on public benet indicates that GIS professionals can
more than ourish in a post-recession world: we can actively participate
in the process of building a more sustainable and democratic future.

Presentations
The second day began in earnest with a talk on "The Impact of Geographic
Data on the Open Society" by Alberto Abella. The talk provided evidence
that the economic value of 'opening' ofcial datasets to the public by far
outweigh the costs to the organisation or company that does so, although
these benets are rarely accounted for.
During Thursday afternoon the talks continued in two parallel sessions, one
more focussed on software and the other focussed on applications. A rough-

June 2014

More information about the organisation, including including links to conference material can be found at
www.sigte.udg.edu/?lang=en.

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Article

14

Processing 4,000 UltraCamX Large


Creating Ortho-mosaic Image Maps with a Laptop

By David Stanley and


Philip Cheng

Creating accurate ortho-mosaic image maps from large volumes of aerial imagery
using traditional methods is a time-consuming task, even when completed using
high-end hardware and software systems. This article challenges the traditional
methods and requirements. Over one weekend we push a laptop computer, configured with automated production software, to the edge by attempting to process 4,000 large format UltraCamX aerial photos, from elevation model creation
to the final ortho-mosaic.

Introduction
The transition from the analogue camera to the digital camera in the
past years has completely revolutionized the processing of aerial photos. The digital camera has many advantages over the analogue camera, with one of the biggest being the ability to acquire a large amount
of photos within a short period of time. However, this creates a challenge in processing the photos from raw level to ortho-mosaic in an
efcient manner. The process can take many days, or even months,
and that becomes critical if it needs to meet a short delivery timeline. A
fast, automated system is required to solve this problem.

are allowed from the 20cm resolution photos a highly detailed 60cm
resolution DTM is to be produced and all processing must be done at
full resolution yielding a nal high quality 20cm ortho-mosaic.

Laptop Hardware

PCI Geomatics recently upgraded its Geomatica GXLAerial (GXL-A)


highvolume photogrammetric production system to handle large
(10,000+ images) aerial photo projects. A typical GXL-A system uses
central network data storage with processing spread across multiple
(dual or quad CPUs) servers and accelerated using Tesla GPU add-on
cards. Such a system can be scaled up to achieve increased production rates.
However, modern gaming laptops incorporating high end mobile CPUs
and GPUs, solid state drives, and large amounts of RAM are surprisingly powerful. Though laptop computers are limited in disk space,
cheap external 2TB USB drives can be connected to USB 3.0 ports providing large amounts of easily congured disk space. This poses an
interesting question: how fast can a well congured laptop process
aerial photo data sets? Can a mobile platform, using commonly available and low cost hardware, do signicant aerial photo production
work?
To answer this question we posed the following challenge: to process,
in a fully automated workow, 4,054 UltracamX aerial photos
(1,500GB or 1.5TB of input data) over a weekend. This processing
includes utilizing stereo pairs to generate a Digital Surface Model (DSM)
for the entire area of interest, ltering the DSM to a Digital Terrain
Model (DTM), orthorectifying all of the images, color balancing, cutline
generation and production of the nal ortho-mosaic.
To be kind to the laptop a weekend is dened as 5pm Friday night,
to 9am Monday morning, or 64 hours. On the other hand no shortcuts

June 2014

Figure 1. Laptop hardware configuration

Figure 1 shows a picture of the laptop and the hardware conguration. The ASUS G75V is an older generation gaming laptop, now
replaced with the more capable G750 model.
In processing 4,054 images a large amount disk space is used for
the raw data and the various intermediate products. Disk speed is
critical as well as careful management of le locations. The Solid
State Drives (SSDs) provide read/write speeds in the range of
400MB per second. The external USB 3.0 2TB drives are surprisingly fast, achieving read/write speeds of up to 100MB per second,
and are powered through the USB cable making them extremely
convenient.

Project Data
The project data was provided on loan by the North Bay-Mattawa
Conservation Authority (NBMCA, North Bay, Ontario, Canada,
www.nbmca.on.ca). The dataset reects an area south of the city of
North Bay. NBMCA provided pre-computed and accurate exterior
orientation for the air photos as well as independently surveyed
ground elevation points that could be used to check elevation accu-

15

Format Aerial Photos


racy. This area is partially
forested, with many lakes and
a few small communities.

Figure 3. Overview of the 60cm resolution raster DSM produced from 4,054 stereo aerial photos.

Figure 2. layout of 4,054 aerial photos in the project

Processing Steps
The following automated processing steps were applied and realized the following times:

All processing was completed in less than 53 hours, under the challenge goal of 64 hours. An impressive feat for a laptop running software designed for a network of high end production servers.

Figure 4a.
Small subset of
original DSM

Quality Assessment
However fast, automated processing of this much data does bring up
questions on quality and accuracy.
Comparing the 50 surveyed elevation points against the automatically
extracted DSM yielded an average error in elevation of 4cm, an average absolute error of 18cm and a RMS error of 24cm. After automatic
DTM ltering the average error was -3cm, the average absolute error

June 2014

Figure 4b.
DTM with buildings
and trees removed

Article

16

Figure 5a. Ortho-mosaic images without color balancing

Figure 5b. Ortho-mosaic images with


automatic color balancing applied.

Figure 6. Ortho-mosaic subset (zoomed in) showing cutline in red and alignment between ortho images.

Figure 7. Ortho mosaic subset with cutline (in green) showing excellent alignment even in forested areas.

20cm and the RMS error 26cm. A RMS error


approximately equal to the aerial photo resolution is considered accurate, so the results are
acceptable. The quality of the automatic DSM
to DTM conversion (which removes ground
features such as buildings and vegetation) can
be seen in gure 4a and 4b. Automatic processing invariably introduces some errors,
which can be manually corrected. The GXLA software has an innovative new method of

editing digital elevation model data rapidly


to a higher quality without the use of 3D stereo
hardware, but for the purposes of this article
the fully automated result was used with no
manual editing applied.
Color balancing is an important step, especially with large projects. Figure 5a below
shows the 4,054 images in their original raw
form. The various ight lines can be clearly
identied by variations in both intensity and

June 2014

color. At full resolution (not shown) the


differences between
adjacent ight lines
can be dramatic. By
automatically applying global balancing,
localized
image
dodging and seam
line blending, variations between images
are minimized creating a pleasing nal
mosaic as shown in
gure 5b.
For this particular data set and exterior orientation an error of 80cm in elevation translates
into a 20cm error horizontally (shift on the
ground). Given a 24cm RMS error in the automatically extracted elevation and the high density of the DTM this implies that pixels in the
ortho imagery should have an average error
around of a pixel (5cm) on the ground.
This means that within the ortho-mosaic we
shouldnt be able to see the seams between
images in the vast majority of cases. An
examination of the seam lines conrms this.
Figures 6 and 7 show examples of the accuracy along cutlines.

Conclusion and Future Possibilities


Clearly a high-end laptop, congured with
large amounts of RAM and solid state
drives, is able to process large format aerial photos at surprisingly high rates. This
includes the entire workow - from DSM
extraction to nal ortho-mosaic tiles at a
throughput of 1,800 images per day in fully
automatic mode. Yet even this rate can easily be bettered. The newest generation laptops are about 15% faster than the one used
in this project and PCI Geomatics DSM
extraction speeds (via a software update)
are expected to double again. By late 2014
we expect that this entire project could be
re-run in around 32 hours, for a throughput
of around 3,000 photos per day. By the end
of 2015, with high end mobile processors
expected to increase from 4 to 6 CPU cores,
faster GPUs, cheaper SSD drives and the
new USB 3.1 and SATA express interface
standards, processing speeds of over 4,000
large format UltracamX photos per day, and
over 6,000 per day for smaller format cameras, should be achievable.
Dave Stanley is CTO at PCI Geomatics. He can be reached at stanley@pcigeomatics.com.
Philip Cheng is a Senior Scientist at PCI Geomatics. He can be
reached at cheng@pcigeomatics.com.

Article

18

By Eric van Rees

Based on Esri technology, Swiss start-up company SmarterBetterCities offers a


holistic urban planning tool. Covered in this article are a 3D city model viewer in
the cloud, 3D city libraries for Esris CityEngine and ArcGIS for Desktop, as well
as a number of evaluation tools for cities, provided as apps.

SmarterBetterCities
Holistic Urban Planning Tools

Figure 1: With 3D Libraries new development scenarios or entire


cities can be visualized quick and easy.

Introduction
The Swiss start-up company SmarterBetterCities AG specializes in software for holistic
urban planning. Cities, architectural ofces
and construction material producers are provided with interactive tools featuring innovative 3D web-based technologies and touchdevice-based assessment of urban climate,
densication, construction materials and associated legal regulations. Their tools are based
on Esri products.
The company is a spin-off from ETH Zurich,
the University of Technology in Zurich,
Switzerland. Started in December 2012 by
Antje Kunze and Jan Halatsch, the company

now has ve full-time personnel and is located in Zurich, Switzerland. Both founders
share a background in architecture, as well
as computer science and information visualization. Therefore, the goal of the company
is to develop easy to use planning tools allowing a variety of stakeholders and decision
makers to share 3D models and ideas to
ensure the best possible future development
of a city.
SmarterBetterCities offers three products:
CloudCities, a 3D web viewer in the cloud,
3D Cities libraries and three APPs for Esris
CityEngine and ArcGIS Desktop, which are
all covered below.

June 2014

CloudCities Viewer
The main product of SmarterBetterCities is
the CloudCities Viewer, which is based on
the 3D technology of CityEngine and
ArcGIS online. With this viewer, city models in 3D can be shared through an intuitive
web interface for tablets, smartphones and
desktop computers. Additionally, the viewer
can be embedded on a website. A subscription package is also available so that
business-to-business customers can offer 2D
data or GIS maps and get 3D data in return.
The idea behind the viewer is that customers
have an easy way to visualize their 3D data,
explains co-founder and CEO Antje Kunze:

19

Figure 2: ArcGIS APPs like EnergyCount, SmartZoning and SmartInvest are evaluation tools that provide plug-and-play 3D assessment.

our service is added value for customers


who don't want to create 3D web scenes on
their own, or want special customized interfaces. Customers are able to customize the
viewer with their own branding and logos.
They can embed their 3D content and have
a really easy-to-use interface to discover the
different oors of a building, for example,
or visualize future scenarios of the city.
SmarterBetterCities uses the 3D technology
from Esri from CityEngine for the viewer, as
well as maps from ArcGIS Online, Esris
cloud platform and the company designed
the web viewer themselves. A new version
was released in April 2014; this being the
second version of the viewer. This revised
version offers new functions, such as a
streamlined and fully customizable user
interface, ArcGIS integration and smart layers, which allow for visualization of reporting functions, and introduce sliders for building oors or timeline visualization.
As theres a lot of information in the GIS
data and the viewer, these new functions

help to display this. Kunze shows some


examples of projects done for international
clients. One of them is in Japan, where a
rule library for the traditional Japanese housing style was created for an area where
buildings were demolished by a tsunami.
The number of oors, the roof angle and
window parameters can all be displayed by
the viewer, so stakeholders can easily view
this information.
Analysis goes one step further and this is
also included in the viewer. Here, integration with ArcGIS Desktop comes in handy
as 3D content can be imported, as well as
features. An example would be to import 3D
buildings with information about the household size into the viewer and update the
entire model as part of a contour analysis.
At the moment, the company hosts its own
cloud, which is located in Switzerland and
Germany. In the near future, the idea is to
host 3D content via Esri ArcGIS Online
technology. This would enable customers to
use their ArcGIS Online login for technology of SmarterBetterCities. This option will be

available in the summer or autumn of this


year.

3D Libraries
In addition to the CloudCities Viewer, the
company offers 3D content in the form of 3D
Cities Libraries. These feature typical urban
elements such as parks, bridges and subway
lines and a vast collection of contemporary
building typologies and are meant for Esris
CityEngine and ArcGIS Desktop. They can
be used immediately by dragging and dropping them into a geodatabase or shapele
and dont require any coding.
In May 2014, the rst 3D cities library for
CityEngine and ArcGIS Desktop as a rulepackage, with more than 70 building types,
will be launched. With this library, business
customers can develop in CityEngine,
ArcGIS Desktop scenarios and 3D city models. Kunze: the goal for this year is to
release more libraries before summer.
Customers could go to our website and
download their 3D models for Esris
CityEngine and ArcGIS Desktop. CityEngine

Figure 3: 3D library types.

June 2014

Article

20

Figure 4: The 3D GIS visualization cloud service CloudCities is based on Esri 3D technology, and integrates ArcGIS Online maps.

is much easier if they get this rule package


for their 3D models. Subsequently, they
could apply it to their GIS data.
A rule package is like a combined le,
where the code is hidden, but all the functions are open, so that customers don't have
to think about how these rules have to be
developed. They're only looking at the
parameters they want to change, says
Kunze: the idea with the rule package is
that from the production side we do all CGA
coding and offer the customers a rule package for CityEngine.
The libraries are based on the data schema
from Esri, so that the customers, who also
like to use the library in ArcGIS Desktop,
have the same data schema. We also have
two European projects with Esri, where we
also apply CityGML to the tool chain.

ArcGIS APPs
Three popular apps offered by SmarterBetterCities are for CityEngine and ArcGIS
Desktop. The SmartZoning, EnergyCount
and SmartInvest apps are evaluation tools
that provide plug-and-play assessment
based on 3D models or 2D zoning plans.
The Energy Count app supports planners
with a rst assessment of building energy
use on city-scale. It lets users quickly calculate current and future energy demands and
link them with zoning plans and urban
designs. Energy modes can be linked with
CO2 emission and consumed resources,

such as oil, gas, district heating and clean


energy. The app supports municipalities,
investors and individuals with urban renovation scenarios and associated costs and
trade-offs.
The topic of monitoring energy use of buildings on a city-scale is a current one which
joins national programs in Germany and
Switzerland which are working on bringing
down energy losses in these buildings, as
well as turning to more sustainable energy
sources on a national level. Visualizations
of city plans could help with the rst planning decisions, says Kunze: for the decision makers they could help to strengthen
the different goals, how the city could be
developed and to show different scenarios
before and after building.
Secondly, SmartZoning is a novel app for
zoning plans. Legal regulations can be visualized and assessed in 3D. The app is completely driven by zoning constraints and
shows only building footprints, oor areas
and roof shape which are allowed to be
built. It is used by the municipality of Zurich,
Switzerland to show the zoning lines in 3D.
Not only are they able to test different zoning lines, but also discuss with different
departments in which areas they could
increase the city density or monitor which
buildings t within the regulations of the city.
Thirdly, SmartInvest comes as an app for
ArcGIS Desktop solutions and visualizes 3D

June 2014

investment opportunities within cities. GIS


parcel maps and zoning plans can be used
as inputs, so that the app will tell the user if
and where to add to existing building footprints. It also provides a clear statement of
the resulting building area, which enables
the user to check investment potentials within any city.

3D as a market
In conclusion, Kunze states that the 3D market is fast approaching, as Esri will be
releasing their new 2D and 3D application
ArcGIS Pro later this year: lots of customers
want to offer added value to their GIS data
and also in 3D. We can see that there is a
market and we could bring added value to
CityEngine and other Esri products. They will
get a starting package from us with very fast
3D models, so that they don't have to program in CityEngine their libraries themselves
or get customized web viewer. I think there's
also a growing market for these apps and
3D libraries.
For more information, have a look at: www.smarterbettercities.ch.

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Article

22

Rising to the Challenge


The Creation of a New Camera

By Tobias Toelg and


Stephen Epstein

After having supplied imaging technologies for aerial acquisition for many years,
less than two years ago, Phase One introduced the iXA camera, a dedicated
medium format camera for aerial photography. The camera was built from the
ground up as a dedicated aerial camera and contained features not found in offthe-shelf cameras that are adapted for aerial use. The camera quickly became
popular among a wide range of users and is becoming a standard for medium
format aerial photography.

Introduction
With the recent explosive demand for quality aerial imagery, Phase
One chose to add more cameras to its range of products. The large
demand for camera that is easily integrated into light aircraft as well
as the growth of arrays of cameras for oblique photography sent
Phase One on a course to develop another camera. Dov Kalinski,
General Manager of Phase One Industrial set the challenge to the
research and development department. He asked for, a totally new
medium format platform based on a 50 MP CMOS sensor that offers
more exibility than a DSLR. It must have a fast capture rate
with high sensitivity, while consuming very little power. It
has to be small and light and the entire camera has
to weigh less than 750 grams, excluding a lens.
The new sensor must offer users direct connectivity to controllers, GPS/IMU and storage.

Camera specifications
Tasks were divided between mechanical
and electrical engineers working
around the world, each team working within their specialty and sharing progress to coordinate strategy for the next steps. Moving
from CCD technology to CMOS
meant creating new
electronics
and
rmware to meet the
increased
capture
speed of the CMOS
sensor. Phase One R&D
worked closely with the sensor vendor to integrate the new
CMOS sensor into Phase One plat-

Phase One iXU 150 integrated digital


medium format aerial camera.

June 2014

forms. The new sensor, with 8,280 cross track coverage, is the highest resolution CMOS sensor in the commercial aerial market, and
opens up a completely new range of possibilities for those involved
in aerial data acquisition. As the 50 MP CMOS sensor offers quality imaging across its range of 100 to 6400 ISO, ights under low
light conditions are possible by increasing the ISO while maintaining the highest image quality. With the growing demand for faster
data delivery or on the spot information, the capability to y even
under conditions standard cameras cant tolerate prove to be a valuable component in the lineup of cameras that a company will own.
A second advantage of
the Phase One iXU
150 is the fact that
CMOS
sensors
have a fast image
cycle, which allows
a capture rate of
less than one second per frame (0.8
frame/second). This
enables ying faster
while still keeping
the required overlap. To keep up with
the fast frame rate,
the camera uses
SchneiderKreuznach lenses

23

(ranging from 28 mm up to 240


mm), with central leaf shutters,
enabling users to shoot at speeds
up to 1/1600 second. The central
leaf shutters offer a distinct advantage over focal plane shutters in
DSLRs enabling higher metric accuracy, which is essential in applications such as mapping and 3D
modeling.

weight and size is a factor, especially since the camera has independent self-storage of images in
addition to a USB 3.0 interface. The
camera will likely be popular with
users who do forestry, agriculture
and especially mapping applications. Also, projects that require
immediate take off, despite inclement light conditions, are natural
projects for medium format CMOSbased cameras. A direct take off of
Dealing with heat
a light aircraft can be used to miniWith a camera capturing images
Cross section schematic looking down from the top of the Phase One iXU 150
mize the ight time. This is a distinct
as fast as the iXU 150, special
advantage in inspection projects
attention had to be paid to design
such as power line poles, pipelines, and oil rigs.
a system that dissipated heat quickly to maintain the image quality
Phase One has been known to deliver. The CMOS sensor employed in
Because of the small size and the ability to synchronize the capture of
the iXU 150 and its driving electronics uses less than half the power of
iXU 150 cameras, it is also suited for building multi-head camera sysa comparable CCD sensor platform, enabling smaller and lighter camtems. The cameras have direct connectivity to external GPS/IMU and
era design.
FMS systems and can incorporate position and time values into Phase
The reduction of power was important, but additional steps were
One raw les. An array with multiple cameras in an oblique angle can
required to move any remaining heat outside of the camera chassis. By
easily t into standard gyro stabilized mounts. An array of iXU 150
understanding the induction qualities of the metals used and the posicameras with its low weight and small camera body make integration
tion of the components, a design was made employing heat pipes to
much easier and still offer the quality that users needing high resolution
convey heat to the outside of the camera in a way that did not add to
images are expecting. The oblique camera market is growing rapidly
the overall weight. The heat that is generated is quickly dissipated,
and the iXU is expected to play a major role in this eld because of its
enabling the sensor to stay cool and work efciently throughout the
unique specications.
entire mission.

Weight
The new camera had to be super light but also rugged, so traditional
aircraft grade 6061 aluminum alloy was compared to magnesium alloy
and even carbon ber. Although carbon ber is a very light material, it
was determined that it could not handle the strict mechanical tolerances
needed to support the lens under ight conditions. Magnesium alloy,
which is 30 percent lighter than aluminum, was chosen to be used to
make chassis of the camera. The cameras chassis is barely wider than
the diameter of its lens and the entire camera weighs in at 750 grams
excluding a lens.

Lenses
Both the iXU and iXA cameras use the Schneider-Kreuznach FS lenses.
They also share the same electrical interface, power inputs and image
workows making them totally compatible with each other in an array
of two or more cameras for imaging/LiDAR use, NIR and RGB, or a
nadir/oblique setup. The cameras can be mixed and matched or used
separately according to the needs of the user. Users who start with an
iXU can upgrade to an iXA at a later point and keep on using the
Schneider-Kreuznach FS lenses.
CMOS sensors can also be used to capture either RGB (visual light) or
Near Infra-Red (NIR) up to a wavelength of approximately 1000 nm.
With a single camera this cannot be done simultaneously, but using different lenses and lters by a simple lens exchange the same camera
can be used for both wave lengths. As UAVs are being used more and
more for agricultural missions, NIR is becoming more important.

Airborne applications
When looking at airborne applications, Phase One sees a high potential for the iXU 150 in the applications that utilize a light aircraft, where

June 2014

A terrestrial industrial eld that requires high resolution and compact


cameras is homeland security. The live view capability of the iXU makes
this camera a perfect tool for security applications, where personnel
can view a scene with High Denition video quality and when required,
capture a high resolution image for immediate analyses. The image
can be used to judge if action is needed or not or saved for later analysis or evidence. This enables increased security in venues such as locations for sport events, public events or at sensitive locations like airports
or train stations. Other terrestrial applications can be found in quality
control during production processes, packing or inspection. A remote
camera in a dangerous environment such as a nuclear power plant or
chemical factory enables monitoring of situations without risking the
safety of humans. The high resolution live view and the option to shoot
high resolution images enables new possibilities, which can secure a
situation or deliver more information and contributing to a better understanding of a situation to minimize risks.

Conclusion
The Phase One iXU 150 challenge was indeed met and the resulting
camera, with its 50 MP CMOS sensor is currently the smallest and lightest integrated digital medium format camera on the market. The camera will nd its way into many existing and new applications and with
its high resolution, light weight and compact design, offer all the functionalities of a perfect tool for a growing demand for quality images
that we face today.
Tobias Toelg: Born in Cologne, Germany, Tobias Toelg is a well-known figure in the photogrammetric community. In 2012, he became Phase One Industrials sales manager for EMEA and South America.
Stephen Epstein: Originally from Canada, Stephen worked in the fields of medical, public relations, cultural
heritage and commercial photography before joining Phase One Industrial
as its marketing manager. For more information, have a look at: www.phaseone.com

Article

24

VHR Imagery Helps Enforce


Protecting the Natural Environment and Resources

By Vana Giavi

Known widely as the Cradle of Civilization and the Birthplace of Democracy, the history
and legacy of Greece is unrivalled. From Thessaloniki in the north, to the sprawling capital city of Athens, to the historic island of Santorini, the country is filled with some of
the worlds most familiar ancient architecture and landmarks, treasures that need to be
protected.

he Greek Ministry of Environment,


Energy and Climate Change is
charged with protecting the countrys natural environment and
resources, improving quality of life,
mitigating climate change, and enhancing
mechanisms and institutions for environmental governance. Adhering to building codes
and regulations is also part of their responsibility.

violations. The combination of WorldView2s high resolution and high accuracy and
the depth of the image library have become
invaluable to the process, says Giavi.

Historic Data Key to Ministrys Efforts

Tracking Illegal Structures


Home to 17 UNESCO World Heritage Sites,
Greece is a treasure trove of history. As
such, the country takes building codes seriously, but monitoring illegal structures as
well as structures that do not conform to previously-issued building permits is no easy
task. The Ministry of Environment turned to
WorldView Global Alliance reseller TotalView for help.
Athens-based TotalView is a geo-information
company. TotalViews clients include the
countrys largest network of utilities, public
authorities, academic institutions, and construction and archeological rms that
depend on TotalView for photogrammetry
projects, remote sensing, and GIS solutions.
Preserving the countrys architectural
integrity, and not just in the historic areas,
is a high priority for the Ministry of
Environment, says Vana Giavi, TotalViews
Managing Director. We began the project
about one year ago in a pilot program on
the islands of Mykonos, Santorini, Paros and
Antiparos, and we are now expanding into
Athens and beyond.
A recently passed Greek law strengthens the
penalties for building code violations.
Proving a violation and determining penalties is a lengthy and complex process,

Location of the pilot study.

depending on the year of construction, when


permits were issued and changes to a structures footprint over the years. The availability of historic data and the ability to demonstrate change over time is critical to proving

The ability to identify, track, and determine


precisely when a structure has been altered
is at the core of the Ministrys efforts to pinpoint illegally built structures and structures
that have been illegally modied. In many
cases, local citizens play an active role in the
process, reporting potential violations to the
Ministry. Depending on the severity and validity of the complaint, the Ministry opens an
investigation and accesses the DigitalGlobe
archive in conjunction with the structures
building permit history. Working closely with
European Space Imaging customer service
experts, they mine the DigitalGlobe Image

WorldView-2 data coverage over Greece in the DigitalGlobe Archive Image Library.

June 2014

25

Property Rights in Greece


Minister of Environment showing three buildings in Mykonos,
at project results press conference.

Globe image archive are ideally suited to


the task in this environment. It is the only
satellite image archive that goes back far
enough to adequately track if a permit has
been violated. The accuracy and resolution
of the imagery helps Ministry ofcials to
quickly determine the severity of the violation and levy the appropriate ne.
Imagery from the archive showing structural changes on a plot.

Archive for imagery. With todays nancial


and human resource constraints, the Ministry
must be able to quickly and cost-effectively
determine if the violation is legitimate.

Given the nancial environment across the


European Union, government agencies need
to be more expedient and cost efcient than
ever before. WorldView-2 and the Digital-

Building construction started after the specified cut-off date.

June 2014

Vana Giavi, Managing Director, TotalView

Article

26

Figure 1: House on fire being put out.

GIS and Weather Forecasting


A Powerful Duo for Disaster Management

By Matt Zimmerman

Utilities today face a perfect storm of high profile weather, increased public
expectations, and aging infrastructure. To combat this perfect storm of challenges, the combination of a geographic information system (GIS), outage management system (OMS), and accurate weather forecasting provides a serendipitous partnership as an innovative solution to disaster relief.

tilities today face a perfect


storm of high prole weather,
increased public expectations,
and aging infrastructure. These
challenges apply greater pressure than ever for utilities to minimize outages and put systems in place that allow for
quick response and restoration.
Weather events are costly and increasing in
both severity and frequency. According to

studies from UVM, Berkeley Labs, IEEE


Spectrum, and the 2013 IDC report, 44 percent of outages and 78 percent of grid disruptions are attributed to weather events.
These disruptions hit the U.S. economy each
year with a cost of $20-$55 billion and
have increased six-fold in the past 20
years.
For utilities, being unprepared for tumultuous
weather can quickly become a dire situa-

June 2014

tion, as public opinion can damage a utilitys reputation after just one stormparticularly if the utilitys reaction isnt swift and efcient. Utilities also face increased scrutiny
over their power restoration times from regulators.
Adding to weather and reputation challenges, utilities are increasingly dealing with
aging infrastructure combined with lagging
operations and maintenance schedules, and

27

smaller line crews. Infrastructure replacements are difcult and costly, and many utilities dont have the resources for an infrastructure overhaul.
To combat this perfect storm of challenges,
the combination of a geographic information system (GIS), outage management system (OMS), and accurate weather forecasting provides a serendipitous partnership as
an innovative solution to disaster relief.
It has become common for a utility to combine its GIS systemwhich provides a comprehensive real-time view of network assets
and conditionswith an OMS that serves
as the lens through which outages are identied and monitored. By taking it a step further and integrating weather forecasting
with the GIS, utilities have a whole new level
of insight into not just the network, but how
forecasted weather may impact asset infrastructure.
This powerful integration gives utilities the
ability to plan for forecasted weather events,
respond to asset damage, and recover from
weather events more efciently than ever
before.

determine when the storm has passed and


crews can safely get to work. This balance
lets crews begin restoring equipment sooner
without putting them at risk.

Plan for crew resources and


network assets

Informed damage assessment and


infrastructure replacements

Tracking accurate, real-time weather forecasting in relation to the network, allows a


utility to better plan for crew needsramping up when weather events threaten and
stafng lightly when the sky is clear. This
agile stafng eases response planning while
reducing overall costs.
Knowing when and where a weather event
is likely to strike, a utility can identify which
critical assets may be in danger and prepare for shut-off and restoration needs. For
example, by tracking the advance of a wildre, a utility can determine which critical
assets are in the re path and prepare for
shut-off and potential restoration. As the re
approaches buildings, service can be adjusted to avoid added risk from damaged
assets, such as gas explosions. Using up-todate, advanced network tracing tools allows
the utility to isolate shutoffs, minimizing the
number of affected customers.
Armed with weather forecast data integrated with its GIS, a utility can leverage quantied outage prediction to strategically
schedule and prepare crews before outages
occur and request mutual assistance from
neighboring utilities. These preparations
mean faster restoration times as well as
more efcient stafng.
A utility can monitor real-time weather data
in relation to the asset infrastructure and

The prevalence of aging infrastructure combined with smaller line crews and a mandate
to do more with less means utilities need to
more efciently identify infrastructure replacements. Historical weather data can provide a
utility with the information necessary to easily determine which assets have been most frequently impacted by weather events and
strategically target inspection or replacement
of those assets.
For example, a utility can use historical weather data to map lightning strikes across the network and identify areas with frequent strikes.
By proactively placing lightning arrestors, the
utility strategically protects equipment while
making the most efcient use of resources.
This same lightning strike information can
help a utility determine how to prioritize
equipment for inspection or replacement to
save time and reduce outages.
Utilities can improve long-term outage planning by gaining greater visibility into the
asset infrastructure and its condition.

Reduce restoration time and costs


Similarly, the utility can determine with condence where to quickly restore service or
how to reroute around damaged assets to
keep services online throughout restoration.
The ability to precisely control and track service status, in addition to supporting restoration crews, gives utilities an important asset
for communicating with customers.
This was a valuable resource during the
aftermath of Hurricane Sandy, when millions
of customers were left without power. Many
utilities provided outage maps on their websites, using information often provided by a
utilitys GIS. Some utilities even had these
maps up and running before Sandy hit,
allowing customers to plan and prepare for
their expected days without service. On the
contrary, utilities who never provided outage information suffered the customer and
public relations consequences.

Keep the public informed and


on your side
The ability to access up-to-the-minute GIS
data on infrastructure, integrated with data
on the disaster itself, allows utilities to be
proactive in their preparations and mitigation efforts.

June 2014

As a hurricane, re, ood, or other weather


event approaches a cityand threatens residential and commercial infrastructureutilities are able to leverage their GIS technology to assess risk to critical infrastructure and
prepare for damage related outages. This
data also enables a utility to better communicate with customers to help them prepare
for extended outages and keep them
informed on restoration progress.
Weather enabled GIS also can be a tremendous asset to the greater community. Utilities
can share data from their geodatabase with
rst responder, re authorities, emergency
management groups and public ofcials
who assist in planning and response. With
large-scale disasters that require public safety crews to assess a large numbers of
threats, sharing accurate data on infrastructure and the most advanced mapping tools
can be a great asset to help decision makers triage the most critical areas to deploy
resources.
One example of this occurred in San Diego
a few years ago when res invaded the
area. The public watched as rst responders
arrived on the scene to protect life and property, but behind the scenes responders were
able to create maps of essential infrastructure using utility information and the critical
communication infrastructure. As res
approached a primary communication
tower, a hub for all the main cellular carriers in the area, emergency personnel knew
damage had to be prevented. If the tower
went down it would have been a catastrophe, because in addition to losing cell
phone service, emergency responders also
would have lost their primary communications network. By having the ability to spatially assess the full range of threats and risk
levels, responders were able to redeploy
and prevent the loss of the tower, essential
to the ongoing disaster management effort.
The combination of utility GIS with highly
accurate weather forecasting opens many
new doors of possibility. The weather and
GIS solution may be used to monitor storms
as they approach government infrastructure,
transportation networks, military bases and
campuses, for example. As more systems
become integrated and networks continue
to open and become more visible, our situational awareness of threats and how to
best respond will only continue to improve.
Matt Zimmerman is a product manager at Schneider Electric.
He is responsible for a portfolio of software ranging from outage
management to line design and structural engineering.
He can be reached at matt.zimmerman@schneider-electric.com.

Article

28

By Ben Domenico and


Stefano Nativi

In order to unleash the full potential of Geographical Information Systems (GIS),


better interoperability is needed between traditional GIS and tools used for what
we sometimes refer to as the fluid Earth systems or FES, which pertains
mostly to oceanography and atmospheric sciences. The challenge is to enable
practitioners in each realm to continue using the powerful tools available through
their traditional applications while allowing for integration of data and
applications between the two by means of standard, web -based interfaces.
A powerful tool known as netCDF helps bridge the gap.

OGC netCDF-CF

A Powerful Tool for Earth Sciences


that distribute and use global Earth observations and forecasts, mass market software
vendors interested in geographic based
applications, and the consumer. In 2009,
representatives of the netCDF community
chartered the Open Geospatial Consortium
(OGC) CF-netCDF Standards Working
Group to make CF-netCDF an international
standard.

The OGC netCDF standards suite

Typical GIS rendering of features projected onto map surface of the


Earth (Image courtesy Tiger 2000 Map Service)

What is netCDF-CF?
The network Common Data Form (netCDF)
is a data model and a collection of access
libraries for array-oriented scientic data.
Originally developed by the University
Corp. for Atmospheric Research (UCAR),
netCDF has been formally recognized by
U.S. government standards bodies and
became a de facto standard used around
the world. As an example, output datasets
from climate models being used for the Fifth
Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental
Panel on Climate Change must be submitted in netCDF format, using the associated
Climate and Forecast (CF) metadata conventions (CF-netCDF). Stakeholders include
search engine developers, GIS vendors, the
geosciences research and education community, international government agencies

June 2014

The OGC netCDF standards suite supports


electronic encoding of geospatial data, that
is, digital geospatial information representing space and time-varying phenomena.
In December 2012, the CF-netCDF Data
Model Extension Standard (document OGC
11-165r2) was approved as a new OGC
standard. This standard species the CFnetCDF data model extension introducing
the extra semantics required to capture and
formalize the metadata describing multidimensional gridded and multi-point data.
These data geometry types are used to
encode datasets acquired following the
three main acquisition strategies for geospatial information: (i) coverage-based (e.g.
satellite observations); (ii) feature-based
(e.g. GIS layers); (iii) specimen measurements (e.g. sensor observations).
The OGC CF-netCDF standard extends the
OGC netCDF data model (document OGC
10-090r3) conforming to the Climate and
Forecast (CF) conventions. The purpose of
these conventions is to require conforming

29

ArcMap Rendering Schools and Hospitals in Region of High Forecast Precipitation

datasets to contain sufcient metadata that


they are self-describing in the sense that
each variable in the le has an associated
description of what it represents, including
physical units if appropriate, and that each
value can be located in space (relative to
earth-based coordinates) and time. This
enables users of data from different sources
to decide which quantities are comparable,
and facilitates building applications with
powerful extraction, regridding, and display
capabilities.
In respect to the OGC netCDF data model,
the CF-netCDF extension introduces the following convention packages:
General conventions;
Variables and Standard attributes;
Dimensions and Dimensional Variables
conventions;
Coordinate Variables and Coordinate
Types conventions;
Coordinate Systems convention;
Discrete Sampling Geometries.

Vertical proles and trajectories;


Time Series Prole;

Trajectory Profile.
If this sounds complex, this is because the
uid Earth systems phenomena being
described are complex and the information
processing tasks are complex. The work done
by the OGC netCDF Standards Working
Group, however, has helped make some
important tasks simpler. Scientists working
with climate models and other netCDF-reliant
software benet because they have more
sources of data to work with. Scientists and

Of particular interest are the last conventions:


in fact, they introduce the metadata useful to
describe geometries like: multi-dimensional
array, ragged array; point; feature and feature
collection. These allow the encoding in netCDF
of the following observation data types:
Point and station data;
Time series;

practitioners in a wide variety of disciplines


and roles benet because information derived
from netCDF data is now easier to use with
tools such as Earth imaging software and
GIS. Fluid Earth systems affect us all, so we
all benet when netCDF experts have more
information to work with and when more
experts of other kinds have more netCDFderived information to work with.
Ben Domenico, outreach coordinator at Unidata Program Center, chair
of OGC CF-netCDF 1.0 Standards Working Group. Stefano Nativi, head
of Florence division of the National Research Council of Italy Institute of Atmospheric Pollution Research, co-chair of the OGC CFnetCDF 1.0 Standards Working Group.

Schematic of GIS-FES Interoperability via Standard Interfaces

June 2014

Event

30

HxGN LIVE

Claudio Mingrino

2 0 1 4

Great Stories Start Here

By Claudio Mingrino

Each year, Hexagon hosts its


global conference to provide
a broad range of users with
the opportunity to experience innovations from across
Hexagons entire platform of
products and solutions.

his year, HxGN LIVE: Great Stories Start Here will be held June
2-5 at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas, NV, USA. And while June
may seem far away, the reality is that HxGN LIVE 2014 will be
upon us before we know it.

HxGN LIVE is a world-class event and the ideal venue to network with
peers, learn more about the power of Hexagons solutions and establish your own presence in ways that will ensure long-term business success. The Geospatial track contains content relevant to everybody who
wants to utilize geospatial technologies provided by Hexagon
Geospatial, Intergraph SG&I, IGS, SISGRAPH, and a host of business
partners.
We live in a world that is full of corporate events and conferences, but
HxGN LIVE offers much more. This conference provides you with the
chance to make the connections and gain the insights you need to
become an industry leader.

What are some of the highlights your customers can look


forward to at this years HxGN LIVE conference?

makers can holistically understand change. Attendees can expect to


leave HxGN LIVE with a broader understanding of how combining sensors with smart software solutions enables the transformation of raw
data into actionable information.
We will also be showcasing solutions for streamlining analytics and
communicating relevant information. Our solutions fully address the
requirements of big data by making it available through easy to use,
cost effective, and competitive cloud and mobile platforms that support
interpretations. This helps users exploit geospatial technologies for
improving mission critical functions, such as monitoring, emergency
and security.
In addition, we will be hosting a special event that will allow Hexagon
Geospatial partners to exchange ideas and best practices, as well as
interact with Hexagon Geospatials management team. This will include
both technical and commercial information sharing, highlighting technology trends, market needs and evolution, and reinforcing the importance of our community of global partners.

What do you think is the true value of HxGN LIVE in terms


of customer experience and/or benefit to your business?

One of the most relevant topics of this conference will be the concept
of sensors in action. Every day, multitudes of sensors collect information that can be harnessed to make sense of our dynamically changing
world. Capitalizing upon this wealth of big data, Hexagon delivers
end-to-end solutions that not only capture but also integrate, identify,
organize and ultimately interpret multi-source content so that decision

June 2014

HxGN Live is not your typical user conference. Hexagon is a unique


company that provides an extensive offering through a broad range of
hardware, software and services that spans customers and industries
worldwide. HxGN LIVE is an occasion to fully witness and understand
the extent of this comprehensive workow. It is our goal that our atten-

31

dees have an exciting time and glean useful knowledge about possibilities within their specic industry. Beyond that, we are thrilled to offer
our attendees the chance to think even more outside the box and
become enthralled by the scope of possibilities that Hexagon offers,
unmatched by any other single company on the planet.
Moreover, through select customer solutions we are highlighting what
has been accomplished in terms of integration across technologies.
Between Hexagon Geospatial partners, customers and other third parties, we provide one-of-a-kind, complete workows unlike any other in
the geospatial market.

A wide range of exhibitors will also provide attendees with the opportunity to understand what complementary technologies have been integrated across a variety of powerful workows.
HxGN Live 2014 will provide a unique opportunity for our user community to learn about our comprehensive, full lifecycle offerings that
allow any organization to collect, manage and disseminate the right
geospatial data, which is vital for enhanced decision-making for any
organization.

We look forward to seeing you in Las Vegas!

We start with Leica Geosystems and its best of breed sensors. Captured
data is then integrated with Hexagon Geospatial technologies for processing, managing and sharing multi-dimensional data. This process is
further complemented by vertical customizations made by Hexagon
Solutions and Intergraph SG&I, covering custom development needs to
measure, manage, deliver, monitor, and control solutions of any kind.
From the usual standard land management solutions to the very complex mission critical applications, we will be covering it all at HxGN
Live.

Claudio Mingrino, Executive Director EMEA Hexagon Geospatial

33D
DS
STEREO
TEREO
MAPPING
M
APPING S
SOLUTIONS
OLUTIONS
S

sales@datem.com l www
www.datem.com
.datem.com
+1 907.522.3681 l 800.770.3681
Anchorage, Alaska, USA

Article

32

By Andrey Yu. Sechin

This article deals with main trends and developments of digital photogrammetric
systems (DPS), such as hardware, processing algorithms and computer networks.
Developments such as revision and updating of modern algorithms for DPS and
integration of DPS and geoportals are discussed in detail.

Digital Photogrammetric Systems


Main Trends and Developments
Figure 1: DTM and aerial
imagery overlay.

he main factors responsible for the


development of modern digital photogrammetric systems (DPS) are:
development of airborne and space
imaging systems, development of
computer hardware, development of processing algorithms and development of computer networks. They are considered below.

Development of airborne and space


imaging systems
Earth observation from space for cartography and topography is now common and
popular. The number of satellites is growing,
space resolution of images is improving,
and productivity is increasing. Almost all
satellite images are currently available with
the so-called RPC coefcients, giving a fairly accurate exterior orientation of images.

This greatly simplies the photogrammetric


processing adding a new RPC sensor in a
modern DPS usually presents no substantial
difculties. However, the growth of spacecraft productivity requires higher performance and automation. The main way of
improving productivity is to use parallel computing and computer clusters; this will be
discussed later.
In the eld of airborne imaging systems a
shift to digital cameras took place a long
time ago. Usage of high-capacity media,
attached to an airborne camera set allows
the execution of surveys with big overlaps.
This type of surveying increases the accuracy of photogrammetric processing and facilitates the building of accurate dense terrain
models. Photogrammetric processing of surveys with big overlaps is not fundamentally

June 2014

different from the standard survey executed by


analog cameras with
60% overlap along the
ight.
Some manufacturers produce special airborne
cameras, which allow
companies to perform
photogrammetric processing that differs from the
standard. Among these
cameras there is, for
example, the ADS series
camera by the Leica Geosystems company
and another by Israeli company VisionMap.
Universal DPSs do not perform bundle
adjustment of data acquired by such cameras they can use the results of calculations of photogrammetric software supplied
with the camera for stereo vectorization,
DTM and orthomosaic creation.
In our opinion, universal DPS can use the
data acquired by cameras which perform
both the nadir and off-nadir imaging. These
include the following cameras - Leica RC-30
Oblique, Penta DigiCAM and UltraCam
Osprey. Frames taken by these cameras are
central projection images, and the shooting
has special geometry. The photogrammetric
processing of such images would require a
special DPS modication: new modules for
automatic tie points measurements and

33

modication of bundle adjustment algorithms. Oblique images should be used for


building accurate and perfectly textured 3dimensional terrain models and this requires
new DTS algorithms.

Development of computer equipment


To a large extent the development of computer equipment determines the development of DPS. The most revolutionary changes in computers took place in the early
2000s Intel announced the rst Dual Core
Pentium Processor in 2006, almost at the
same time (in 2005) as Microsoft announced the rst 64-bit windows operating
system. In recent years, the growth performance of computer systems has been
achieved primarily through parallel computing. A modern home computer in the computer store usually contains 4 or more CPU
cores and can, in parallel, run 4 or more
different tasks. Workstations are now available with two or more 6-core processors. In
modern home computers 4 or 8 gigabytes
of RAM is installed, whilst more powerful
workstations have 128 or more gigabytes
of RAM. Usage of high-capacity memory is
possible only in 64-bit operating systems.
There has been a transition from 32-bit to
64-bit DPS. 64-bit applications can use
large amounts of memory on the computer.
This makes it easier to process large
amounts of data and makes the work with
large data blocks more comfortable.
In the near future DPS will only be available
as 64-bit. To improve performance on
lengthy operations DPS should use all cores
and all processors. Here we should distinguish two possible technical approaches to
parallelize time-consuming tasks. The rst
approach (so called distributed processing)
involves independent calculations on each
core and processor based, for example, on
data partitioning by individual images or
images blocks or geometrical areas. This
approach can be used to parallelize timeconsuming processes between network
workstations or between the blades of a
computer cluster. Currently, the cost and
power consumption of computer clusters are
constantly decreasing. In fact, entry-level
cluster can be ordered in a computer store

and no longer requires special cooling or a


special power supply. One of the areas of
DPS development is scalable work on a computer cluster or corporate network, when an
increase in the number of blade clusters or
workstations leads to an almost proportional increase in productivity and reduction of
computation time.
The second approach to parallelization is to
develop special algorithms for the simultaneous use of all the cores of one workstation. In programming, the rst type of parallelism is called multiprocessing calculations,
the second multithreading calculations.
Another way to accelerate these time-consuming calculations is to use special processors. Until recently the most well-known special processors were GPUs by Nvidia. The
graphical cards originally developed for the
3-d computer games made it possible to signicantly accelerate video encoding, different image processing algorithms, and other
algorithms. With NVIDIA Tesla computer
cards many algorithms can be accelerated
up to several times, and sometimes up to a
few dozen times.
At the end of 2012 Xeon Phi cards were
released by Intel. This hardware represents
the PCIx board. After the installation of this
into the computer, a few dozen cores of Intel
architecture CPUs materialized in the computer. This solution has been called MIC
(Many Integrated Core). Intel Xeon Phi turns
ordinary workstations into an entry-level
computer cluster. Unlike CUDA technology,
MIC architecture requires no special programming; it can be used by applications,

Figure 2: Dense DSM calculated from aerial images


in PHOTOMOD system.

June 2014

developed for multiprocessing and multithreading handling.

Development of algorithms
In recent years, photogrammetry classes in
universities are gradually being replaced by
Computer Vision courses. Professor Konrad
Schindler from Switzerland spoke at the plenary session of the XXII ISPRS Congress in
Melbourne on how closely these two disciplines are related. Chris McGlone, Chief
Editor of the Manual of Photogrammetry
(ASPRS, 2013) writes about this in the preface to the 6th edition of the book. In recent
years, new algorithms have emerged in digital photogrammetry precisely because of
Computer Vision.
Despite the two disciplines being closely
related, it is worth noting the differences
between photogrammetry and Computer
Vision. Photogrammetry requires maximum
accuracy of the result, and special algorithms use huge size images (from the point
of view of computer vision) to achieve this.
Computer vision usually solves other problems.
In the last few years, when these changes
in computer vision and digital photogrammetry were taking place, algorithms
emerged which can build dense terrain models based on the minimization of global functionality calculated for all the images. The
cross-correlation algorithms are replaced by
detectors of special points and their descriptors. In the near future, we expect the introduction of pattern recognition theory algorithms to DPS. Another urgent task is to nd

Article

34

Dense Terrain Model

a solution to the transferring of point clouds,


obtained with the use of laser technology or
with the use of algorithms, for constructing
dense terrain, into vector form with automatic recognition of buildings, roads and other
vector objects. Other algorithms associated
with 3-dimensional representation of the
results of DPS processing will be developed
and improved.

Developing of computer networks


In recent years, network technologies have
been developing very quickly. In large cities,
ISPs provide gigabit-speed Internet access at
reasonable prices. In fact, the speed of
Internet access comes up to the speed of the
corporate local network. Lets consider how
this may affect DPS development.
Currently, there is a lot of talk about clouds,
cloud services and cloud data storage. Are
these technologies suitable for DPS? The following approach seems interesting the user
uploads their data to the cloud, then this
data is processed by a cloud cluster in automatic mode and the user needs only to download the result of the processing.
Removable media of modern digital airborne
cameras has a volume measured in terabytes. The total volume of images acquired
during a single ight can be tens of terabytes. It is easy to calculate the time
required to transfer this amount of data over
the Internet in the cloud (or from the cloud)

at a speed of 200 megabits. The transfer of


1 terabyte would take about 15 hours, and
single ight data may take 1 or 2 weeks.
Obviously, that's too protracted. The situation is a little better with UAVs survey data
in this case the amount of imagery is a few
dozen times less. The Swiss company Pix4D
began providing a service for the cloud computing of UAV survey data and faced a problem with providing condentiality; many consumers do not want to upload their data to
the cloud service, since they are unsure of
security and whether there is no unauthorized access to the survey data.
Cloud data storage and cloud imagery processing in DPS can be presented now within the enterprise and intranet network, which
is not accessible from the outside. To implement this workow it is necessary to change
DPS architecture to a client-server one. In
this case, the DPS user side does not require
a powerful computer. All calculations are
performed on a computer cluster located in
the corporate cloud. The user uploads the
data to the cloud (to the cluster), sets the necessary processing parameters, introduces
the GCP and other reference data, camera
parameters, and performs processing control. If necessary, stereo vectorization can
be performed on the client side.
In our opinion, another area related to the
networks development will be the closer
integration of geoportals and DPS. The

June 2014

results of DPS processing are orthomosaics,


terrain models and referenced vector
objects. It is quite natural to upload data,
after DPS processing, directly to the geoportal. On the other hand to ensure the accuracy of processing, data stored on the geoportal can be used as input data for DPS
(GCP, DEMs). When integrated with the geoportal DPS can download this data as input
data or for control purposes.

Summary
From the standpoint of survey sensors development, the greatest impact on the DPS
progress may be oblique images taken by
special cameras. This will require a revision
and update of modern algorithms. DPS will
become 64 bit and that will allow the comfortable processing of large amounts of
data. Algorithms used at DPS will be multithreaded. Cluster solutions for automatic
data processing will appear. Data for clusters will be uploaded from the clients who
are used to conguring automatic processing and performing stereo vectorization.
Processing algorithms will be developed in
the direction of process automation, pattern
recognition, and the automatic vectorization
of buildings, roads, bridges, and 3D processing. An integration of the DPS and geoportals will occur.
Andrey Yu. Sechin, Scientific Director, Racurs Co.

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ScanStation P20 measures out to 120m at up to 1 million
points per second using an eye-safe class 1 laser.

Leica Geosystems AG
Heerbrugg, Switzerland
www.leica-geosystems.com/hds

Ruggedness Matters
With an operating temperature range of -20 C to +50 C
and an Ingress Protection rating of IP54, Leica ScanStation
P20 is designed and manufactured by Leica Geosystems to
master extreme conditions.
Certainty Matters
An onboard Check & Adjust routine allows you to check
and adjust instrument accuracy parameters electronically,
ensuring continuous optimal performance.

Article

36

By Aidan Mercer

Bristol Water, the water supply company responsible for providing water to 1.2
million consumers in and around the Bristol area, needed a way to help it monitor its performance and meet increasing challenges presented by the United
Kingdoms Traffic Management Act. With Bentleys help, Bristol developed an
Exor Information Manager-based solution that provides high-level aggregate
executive information, monthly performance reports, and manages noticing and
street works activities. This enabled a significant reduction in the administrative
burden of reporting, a reduction in street works fines, provided greater visibility
of performance, and allowed them to easily meet legislation requirements.

Bentley Exor Technology Helps Bristol Water

Enterprise Management of Street Works Noticing

A screenshot of the web-based GIS solution for viewing street works.

he Trafc Management Act (TMA)


required utilities in the U.K. to register additional street works, and
also changed notices to be based
on the length of occupation of the
road or highway, thus increasing not only
the number of notices, but the complexity of
noticing requirements. Of equal concern to
Bristol Water and other utilities are the
potential nes and penalties the TMA introduced. With xed penalty notices, street
works promoters can be ned up to GBP
120 for each breach of noticing requirements. Given that Bristol Water produces

June 2014

over 70,000 notices per year, this greatly


increased their exposure to nancial risk. To
overcome these challenges Bristol Water
needed a solution that would help improve
day-to-day noticing management and provide accurate reporting for internal and
external stakeholders, while being exible
enough to accommodate future needs.

Capturing and Accessing Quality Data


for Reporting
In early 2008, when the TMA came into
effect, Bristol Waters collection of street
works information was labor intensive and

37

Web-based GIS Improves Customer


Satisfaction

Real-time data about notices is captured, updated, and then published internally.

often incomplete, with much of the requirements generated manually. Street works
data was stored in numerous different systems, which made it difcult to extract. As
well as being incomplete, data was often
out of date, which made accurate reporting
a challenge. Lastly, Bristol needed a way to
help evaluate business performance as well.
Bristol Waters Street Works and Partnership
Manager Simon Bennett explained: With
improved data quality, and better reporting
we can hopefully improve our performance.

Implementing Exor for Enterprise


Management of Street Works Noticing
Working with Bentley Systems, Bristol Water
leveraged the exibility of Exor Information
Manager to streamline the process. Bennett
explained: We sat down with Bentleys
Exor team and discussed how we could get
full visibility of our assets on the road network and to produce reporting criteria set
out by NJUG (the National Joint Utilities
Group). It was a surprisingly simple process
because of the functionality offered by Exor

Information Manager.
Now, real-time data about notices is captured, updated, and then published internally. The solution implemented is a live system, continually updating as notices are sent
and information comes back. And its webbased so its all real-time information. So
within seconds the Local Authority knows
were on site, said Bennett. From this accurate up-to-date data, Bristol Water is able to
easily access high- level executive information that provides a common operating picture, as well as generate 52 monthly performance reports to NJUG on core areas of
competency and interest.
Information is also categorized so it can be
analyzed according to Bristol Waters business units, or by local authority, for better
reporting and, ultimately, improved performance. What we are trying to do for street
works is self-regulation. We need to regulate ourselves with street works and this
reporting facility is allowing us to look at
our performance and improve the way we
do things, said Bennett.

In 2011 Bristol Water added further


improvements to the solution, including the
introduction of a customer facing web-based
GIS solution for viewing street works noticing throughout the Bristol Water operating
area. This would allow Bristol Waters customer service team to provide better information to customers, direct enquiries to the
correct business unit, and provide full visibility for the general public via Bristols web
page. Bennett noted: The site went live in
2011 and we soon recorded an increase in
customer viewing of the site. As well as complying with regulatory demands, Bristol
Water is seeing the benet of the GIS web
page, which is keeping customers better informed of our works going on in their area.

Reducing Potential Fines and Greater


Performance Visibility
The Exor solution has provided Bristol Water
with numerous benets including targeted
street works training, greater visibility of performance and a reduction in xed penalty
notices and section 74 nes. With improved
reporting and an executive dashboard
Bristol Water also has greater visibility of
performance of both their business and the
effectiveness of their various contractors.
Bennett explained: The new reports available through Exor Information Manager
enable us to share information far more
effectively and highlight problems far more
quickly, enabling us and our contractors to
act on potential issues before they become
liabilities. Bristol Water has also improved
relationships with local authorities, by providing them with reports and information
that they are unable to obtain from their own
in-house systems.
Bennett concluded, Right from the start,
Bentleys Exor team has been highly supportive and responsive to our needs. They
understand that the maintenance of our
infrastructure is not just a series of one-off
events but a continual process involving
numerous parties at Bristol Water, including
several third-party contractors. The solution
they have provided reects this, providing
us not only with full visibility of the current
state of our infrastructure but the tools to
meet all our partner requirements as well as
those set by government.
Aidan Mercer, Industry Marketing Manager, Bentley Systems.
For more information, have a look at:
www.bristolwater.co.uk/work-in-your-area

The solution implemented is a live system, continually updating as notices are sent and information comes back.

June 2014

38

CLGE newsletter

GeoSkills Plus project


Initiated by the Dutch Geo Employment Market Foundation (SAGEO), GeoSkills Plus is an ambitious
project aiming to match labour market needs with the geo education offer in Europe. In order to address
this issue a consortium was formed by partners from Belgium, Bulgarian, Lithuania, the Netherlands
and two European branch organizations, CLGE and EuroGeo.
Paula Dijkstra, Project Manager

Project Description
Geo Skills Plus is a European Commission
funded project under the DG Education and
Culture, Leonardo da Vinci programme. It
began in October 2013 and will run until
October 2015.
The aim of this two-year project is to enable
European countries to exchange best practices and innovation with each other regarding the mismatch between Europes geospatial vocational education and training and
the geospatial labour market. Especially in
Western Europe, there is a growing need
for well-trained students at all levels vocational, bachelors, masters in the eld of
geospatial technologies. This is due to a
growing number of jobs available in land
surveying, mapping data collection, data
processing, data delivery and turning data
into information.
As the number of jobs increases, the GEO
education community has to be able to keep
pace and produce enough qualied graduates. The project will host activities such as
workshops, roundtables, surveys and desktop studies, which will all involve the
European GEO community.

CLGE General Assembly


CLGE, as promoter of the geodetic surveying profession in Europe, is one of the dissemination partners and, together with
EuroGeo, the association for European
Geographers, they will emphasise the need
for all partners to take an active role in
spreading the outcomes of the project in
their own spheres and countries. They will
use their own network to provide input for
the project and to disseminate the results.
The involvement of two European branch
organizations is an efcient way of produc-

Paula Dijkstra moderating one of the 3 CLGE Workshops in Marbella, Spain ( Mark Wijngaarde)

ing a multiplier effect for the project within


Europe.
In March 2014 the General Assembly for
the CLGE took place in Marbella, Spain.
Part of the meeting was a workshop about
GeoSkills Plus to inform the participants
about the project and to discuss the project
in relation to the situation in their country.
During the workshop the three work packages of the project were addressed:
Bridging the Gap: What are the challenges towards meeting the needs of the
labour market?

Raising Awareness: What has been done


so far in Europe?
Cooperation Model: Who are the key
players who need to take responsibility in
order to improve the geospatial labour
market?
In each of the sessions we asked the CLGE
delegates to describe the current situation in
their countries related to the work packages.
The participants, all geodetic surveying professionals, specied the challenges they face
in meeting the needs of the labour market.
Two type of gaps were identied. In several
Western European countries there are not
enough well trained students available to
enter the labour market. In Eastern European
countries they have too many graduates in
the eld each year. Both gaps require different approaches in order to balance the
relation between the labour market and the

39

June 2014

educational institutes.
To bridge the gaps and to encourage enrolment and promotion of
the sector several awareness- raising activities were deployed. These
activities focused not only on students and graduates, but also on
young children in primary school. A good example of this is an initiative carried out in Switzerland, where a book for small children
was published about jobs in the geo sector with attractive illustrations and explanations. In Denmark a branding campaign for land
inspektren was launched. In major Danish cities posters have been
placed at bus stops to try to attract people to a website and social
media so that they can gain more information about the job opportunities as surveyor.
Finally, the cooperation between stakeholders was discussed. It
appeared that in some countries the cooperation between the labour
market, education sector and government was non-existent or only incidental. In countries where there are too many students or a big demand
in skills, the stakeholders need to take responsibility to work towards a
solution. In Sweden, for instance, there have been regular meetings
between companies, government and educational institutes taking place
regularly for the last 10 years. And due to the collaboration between
stakeholders in Finland the curricula at universities have been changed.

The contribution of the CLGE delegates is important to understand the


different situations in Europe. It contains valuable information with examples on how the mismatch between the labour market and the education sector is addressed, how stakeholders responded to these challenges and what kind of awareness raising activities were developed.

First results
The information is collected in a report which will be part of the project results. The shared insights can speed up practical implementation and improve skills for geospatial vocational education and training in Europe and encourage cooperation between education
institutes and the labour market.
On 21st 22nd May, during a two day workshop in Harderwijk,
the Netherlands, the initial results of the project will be presented.
Together with representatives from the education sector, (intern)
national associations and the industry, the results will be discussed
and further elaborated. The recommendations will be used to develop implementation plans to exchange best practices and to provide
an infrastructure to improve skills for geospatial vocational education and training throughout Europe.

IPMS Moves a Step Closer


The International Property Measurement Standards Coalition gets additional support. On 17th March
2014 CLGE donated the Intellectual Property of the European Measurement Code to the coalition.
Richard Stokes, IPMS-C Communications Officer
new, internationally
facing the built environment profesadopted method for
sion the inconsistency in how
measuring
space
space is measured from one region
came a step closer to
to the next.
realisation last month when the
The IPMS Coalition will rst tackle
International Property Measuinconsistency in the way ofce oor
rement Standards Coalition
areas are measured. By the end of
(IPMSC) met in London to disthe year a draft standard for measurcuss implementation and
ing residential property will be
launch plans. The standard,
issued for consultation, followed
which is out for consultation
shortly after by a draft standard for
(online) until 4th April will be
retail property.
implemented by member orgaCurrently, property measurement
nisations of the IPMSC from
methodologies vary considerably. In
Ken Creighton, IPMS-C Chair and Dieter Seitz, CLGE Treasurer signing the Intellectual Property Transfer
June 2014 onwards.
some parts of the world it is common
Franois Struzik
The IPMS Coalition is comto include stairwells and outside
prised of 39 (and growing) proparking in oor area measurements.
fessional and not-for-prot organisations from around the world, includIn other parts of the world hypothetical space (i.e. oors not yet constructed) are included. In some markets, measurements are based on
ing CLGE, RICS, BOMA International, FIG, and the IMF. Launched at
the volume of air-conditioned air space. Within each region these meaa meeting at the World Bank in Washington in May 2013, the Coalition
surement standards may operate perfectly well. However, in an increashas come together to address one of the most fundamental challenges

40

CLGE newsletter

ingly globalised world where companies, professionals and building


owners operate across different markets, these inconsistencies can, at
best, lead to confusion in the interpretation of space and, at worst, completely undermine the data which feeds into valuations and nancial
reporting.
At their recent meeting in London (19th-21st February), Coalition organisations discussed plans for launching the new standard in June 2014,
working with professionals and commercial organisations to raise
awareness of the benets of using IPMS. The standard, which will be
jointly owned by trustee representatives of all Coalition organisations
will be open-access and is expected to be implemented over the course
of several months.
The London meeting also marked a major development as Coalition
trustees outlined plans to create separate coalitions aimed at bringing
consistent international standards in other sectors of the profession,
including construction and ethics. The ultimate aim remaining consistent to create internationally adopted best-practice standards, which
promote transparency and consistency to all.
Whilst Coalition member organisations share the Intellectual Property
for IPMS, the work to draft the new standard has been the responsibili-

June 2014

ty of an independently appointed Standards Setting Committee of 19


experts from 5 different continents. This group has reviewed measurement methodologies from around the world to arrive at the new IPMS.
A major factor, which has contributed to the success of the Standards
Setting Committee to date, has been the gifting of a recently ratied
Europe-wide measurement standard, which has been handed to the
Coalition from the originating organisation, CLGE.
The European standard had already sought to align measurement practices across EU states and, in doing so, made huge inroads in establishing a common international methodology. On 17th March 2014 a
formal ceremony was held to transfer ownership of the CLGEs European
measurement code to the IPMSC. Not only does this symbolise the collegiate environment within which IPMS is emerging as global best practice, it demonstrates beyond any doubt that the IPMSCs endeavour is
wholly focused on creating consistent and transparent processes for the
benet of the profession as a whole, separate from any one professional organisation.
More information on the IPMS and the IPMS Coalition can be found online at: www.ipmsc.org.

SAVE
SA
AVE THE
THE DATE
DATE
O
October
ctober 7
7-8
-8 2
2014!
014!
Berlin, Germany
Tuesday
7th
October
2014!
Tuesd
day 7
th O
cttober 2
014!
FIG
European
Meeting!
:::: 2nd
2n d F
IG Young
Young Surveyors
eting!
Surveyors Eu
ropean Me
:::: CLGE
CLGE Students
Students Meeting
Meeting
Wednesday 8th October 2014!!
awarding
:: INTERGEO and CLGE Students Contest awarding
more information will follow soon!!!

See YOU in Berlin

Calendar 2014 / Advertisers Index

42

17-26 June SGEM 2014 GeoConference on


INFORMATICS, GEOINFORMATICS and REMOTE
SENSING
Flamingo Grand Congress Center, Albena Resort & SPA,
Bulgaria
Internet: http://sgem.org/index.php/sgem-topic/sgem-topics-gis

June
02-03 June Introduction to GIS using ArcGIS
Newcastle University, Newcastle, U.K.
E-mail: ceg.cpg@ncl.ac.uk
Internet: www.ncl.ac.uk/cegs.cpd/cpd/giscourses.php
02-05 June HxGN Live 2014
MGM Grand Hotel, Las Vegas, NV, U.S.A.
Internet: http://hxgnlive.com
03-05 June GEOSummit 2014
Berne, Switzerland
E-mail: info@geosummit.ch
Internet: www.geosummit.ch

17-26 June SGEM 2014 GeoConference on


WATER RESOURCES. FOREST, MARINE and OCEAN
ECOSYSTEMS
Flamingo Grand Congress Center, Albena Resort & SPA,
Bulgaria
Internet: http://sgem.org/index.php/sgem-topic/sgem-topics-water

03-06 June 17th AGILE Conference on Geographic


Information Science
Castelln, Spain
E-mail: agile2014@uji.es
Internet: www.agile-online.org/index.php/conference/conference-2014

17-26 June SGEM 2014 GeoConference on ENERGY and CLEAN TECHNOLOGIES


Flamingo Grand Congress Center, Albena Resort & SPA,
Bulgaria
Internet: http://sgem.org/index.php/sgem-topic/sgem-topics-energy

04-05 June Intermediate GIS using ArcGIS


Newcastle University, Newcastle, U.K.
E-mail: ceg.cpg@ncl.ac.uk
Internet: www.ncl.ac.uk/cegs.cpd/cpd/giscourses.php

17-26 June SGEM 2014 GeoConference on ECOLOGY, ECONOMICS, EDUCATION and LEGISLATION
Flamingo Grand Congress Center, Albena Resort & SPA,
Bulgaria
Internet: http://sgem.org/index.php/sgem-topic/sgem-topics-ecology

06 June Spatial Analysis using ArcGIS


Newcastle University, Newcastle, U.K.
E-mail: ceg.cpg@ncl.ac.uk
Internet: www.ncl.ac.uk/cegs.cpd/cpd/giscourses.php

17-26 June SGEM 2014 GeoConference on NANO,


BIO and GREEN- TECHNOLOGIES FOR A SUSTAINABLE FUTURE
Flamingo Grand Congress Center, Albena Resort & SPA,
Bulgaria
Internet: http://sgem.org/index.php/sgem-topic/sgem-topics-nano-green

10-13 June FME International User Conference


Vancouver, Canada
Internet: www.fmeuc.com
12-13 June Optech's 7th International Terrestrial
Laser Scanning User Meeting
Rome, Italy
E-mail: conference@optech.com
Internet: www.optech.com/ugm2014
15-21 June 5th Jubilee International Conference
on Cartography & GIS & Seminar with EU cooperation on Early Warning and Disaster/Crisis
Management
Riviera, Bulgaria
Internet: www.iccgis2014.cartography-gis.com
15-22 June GEOSTAT 2014 Summer School
Norwegian School of Economics (NHH), Bergen, Norway
Internet: www.geostat-course.org/Bergen_2014
16-20 June 34th EARSeL Symposium
Warsaw, Poland
Internet: www.earsel.org/symposia/2014-symposiumWarsaw/index.php

July
01-04 July GI_Forum 2014 - Geospatial
Innovation for Society
Salzburg, Austria
Internet: www.gi-forum.org
01-07 July AfricaGEO 2014
Cape Town, South Africa
E-mail: aparker@ruraldevelopment.gov.za
Internet: www.africageo.org
10-13 July FME International User Conference
Vancouver, Canada
Internet: www.fmeuc.com
14-18 July Esri International User Conference
San Diego, CA, U.S.A.
Internet: www.esri.com/events/user-conference

16-20 June INSPIRE Conference 2014: INSPIRE for


good governance
Aalborg, Denmark
Internet: http://inspire.jrc.ec.europa.eu/events/conferences/inspire_2014
16-21 June XXV FIG International Congress 2014
Engaging the Challenges Enhancing the
Relevance
Kuala Lumpur Convention Centre, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Internet: www.g.net/g2014
17-26 June SGEM 2014 GeoConference on SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGIES IN GEOLOGY, EXPLORATION AND MINING
Flamingo Grand Congress Center, Albena Resort & SPA,
Bulgaria
Internet: http://sgem.org/index.php/sgem-topic/sgem-topics-geo

15-17 July FOSS4G Europe


Jacobs University, Bremen, Germany
E-mail: contact-foss4ge@osgeo.org
Internet: www.foss4g-e.org
29-30 July Bentley LEARNing Conference:
Geospatial, Utilities, and Communications
Networks
Towson, Maryland, U.S.A.
Internet: http://pages.info.bentley.com/event-detailsae/?name=Bentley%20LEARNing%20Conference:%20Ge
ospatial,%20Utilities,%20and%20Communications%20Net
works&eventGUID=f53b0ff1-09aa-4aca-a954129546d4f74f

August
17-21 August SPIE Optics + Photonics 2014
San Diego Convention Center San Diego,
California, U.S.A.
Internet: http://spie.org/opticsphotonics.xml?WT.mc_id=RCal-OPW

September
02-05 September Remote Sensing and
Photogrammetry Society Conference 2014
Aberystwyth University, Aberystwyth, Ceredigion, U.K.
Internet: http://rspsoc.aber.ac.uk/en
03-05 September 7th National Cartographic
Conference GeoCart'2014 / 42nd ANZMapS conference / 3rd ICA Regional Symposium on
Cartography for Australasia and Oceania
The University of Auckland, Auckland, New Zealand.
Internet: http://web.env.auckland.ac.nz/public/geocart2014
04-07 September Ninth European GIS Education
Seminar - EUGISES
Cork, Ireland
Internet: http://eugises2014.eugises.eu
08 September Blue Marble User Conference
Delta Bow Valley Hotel, Calgary, AB, Canada
Internet: www.bluemarblegeo.com
11-12 September Geodesign Summit Europe
Delft University of Technology, Faculty of Architecture and
Science Center, Delft, The Netherlands
Internet: www.geodesignsummit.com/europe
22-25 September SPIE Remote Sensing 2014
Amsterdam RAI Exhibition and Convention Centre,
Amsterdam, The Netherlands
Internet: http://spie.org/remote-sensingeurope.xml?WT.mc_id=RCal-ERSW
22-26 September 2014 Geospatial Conference
(GeCo) in the Rockies
Grand Junction, CO, U.S.A.
Internet: www.gecointherockies.org

October
06-07 October Bentley LEARNing Conference:
Geospatial and Utilities
Mainz, Germany
Internet: http://pages.info.bentley.com/event-detailsae/?name=Bentley%20LEARNing%20Conference:%20Ge
ospatial%20and%20Utilities&eventGUID=653fee7a-81954095-ad67-8a548051ce17
06-08 October Symposium on Service-Oriented
Mapping 2014 - SOMAP 2014 Geospatial
Processing and Visualization
Potsdam, Germany
Internet: http://somap.cartography.at
06-08 October 2014 ISPRS/IGU Joint Conference
Toronto Marriott Downtown Eaton Centre, Toronto,
Canada
E-mail: geoinfo5@ryerson.ca
Internet: www2.isprs.org/2014GeoTPMA/home.html
07-09 October 20th Intergeo
Berlin, Germany
Internet: www.intergeo.de

Please feel free to e-mail your calendar notices to: calendar@geoinformatics.com

Advertisers Index
Leica Geosystems

www.leicageosystems.com

35

Bentley

www.bentley.com

DAT/EM Systems

www.datem.com

31

Novatel

www.novatel.com

Esri

www.esri.com/geoinfoagol

43

Supergeo

www.supergeotek.com

41

GENEQ

www.sxbluegps.com

17

Spectra Precision

www.spectraprecision.com

44

Hexagon

www.hxgnlive.com/register

13

RIEGL

www.riegl.com

21

June 2014

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