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Magazine for Surveying, Mapping & GIS Professionals


Volume 17

Intergeo Special
Scanning the Top of Europe
ArcGIS Pro
The Lifecycle of Mobile Mapping Data

Publishing Director
Ruud Groothuis
Eric van Rees
Copy Editor
Elaine Eisma
Remco Takken
Contributing Writers:
Marie-Caroline Rondeau, Joe Hutton, Chris Tagg,
Huibert-Jan Lekkerkerk, Remco Takken, Lisa Ranson,
Chao Han.
Matt Sheehan
GeoInformatics is available against a yearly
subscription rate (8 issues) of 89,00.
To subscribe, ll in and return the electronic reply
card on our website www.geoinformatics.com
Graphic Design
Sander van der Kolk

ISSN 13870858

Copyright 2014. GeoInformatics: no material may

be reproduced without written permission.

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E-mail: services@geoinformatics.com

GeoInformatics has a collaboration with

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

A Preview of the Twentieth

Edition of Intergeo
It is likely that many of you will be reading this article during or around the time of
Intergeo. This event, the Intergeo Conference and Trade Fair for Geodesy,
Geoinformation and Land Management in full, will be held in Berlin, Germany this year
from the 7th to the 9th of October. Because this years conference is celebrating its 20th
anniversary in the German capital, it is a fantastic opportunity to offer some more attention to politics than in previous years, due to the proximity to many legislators and politicians, many of who will be present in the course of thetrade fair and both conferences
that form part of Intergeo.
Intergeos rst conference is the third national INSPIRE Conference, opened by German
Federal Interior Minister, Dr. Thomas de Maiziere, and German Federal Minister
Dr. Barbara Hendricks, responsible for the Federal Environment, Nature Conservation,
and Building and Nuclear Safety. A plenary discussion on the second day of the
conference, regarding the direction in which mobile solutions and services are heading,
may also be of interest.
This will be hosted by Dr. Jrgen Dold (Leica Geosystems AG), Prof. Georg Gartner (TU
Vienna), Eric Arvesen (Trimble Navigation) and Jrgen Schomakers (Esri Deutschland
Intergeos second event is the imaGIne-2 conference, hosted by the European Umbrella
Organisation for Geographic Information (EUROGI), with the support of its branch organisation, the German Umbrella Organisation for Geoinformation (DDGI). The German
Vice Chancellor, Sigmar Gabriele, will be the benefactor of the conference.
One of the key aims of the conference is to showcase Europes best efforts in the eld of
GI.One interesting area of focus will be the European Unions multi-billion investment in
Copernicus. This is a satellite based initiative, which will be providing massive amounts
of detailed new GI in the next few years, which can be used in a variety of elds.
But theres more: the Jobshaker recruitment format of previous events will return at the
exhibition, allowing job-seekers to meet potential employers. We will also
see the international Students meeting returning, organised by the
Council ofEuropean Geodetic Surveyors (CLGE) and the DVW e.V..
This will provide younger individuals an opportunity for conversation
programme on UAVs called UAVs in practice on Thursday, 7th of
October that will look at the state of the art application trends and
legal principles.
This edition of GeoInformatics, which will be distributed at the
event, has been designed to be a guide to what can be
expected at Intergeo. The magazine opens with a
special feature, including the proles of a number of companies, who will be present as exhibitors at the event. There
will also be a variety of case studies on laser scanning, UAV
projects and a variety of special interest areas such as mobile
GIS and the latest Esri application for 2D and 3D GIS: ArcGIS
Pro. This is only a small overview of the new and exciting stories within the industry.
I look forward to meeting you at the Intergeo in Berlin
and would be more than happy to discuss your work
and to share information about it via this publication in upcoming issues.
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:
Berlin, Alexanderplatz. This years edition of Intergeo will take place in Berlin.
Image copyright: European Space Imaging.

Company Profiles
Zoller + Frhlich GmbH

European Space Imaging



RIEGL Laser Measurement Systems GmbH




PCI Geomatics




Scanning the Top of Europe


A Direct Mapping Solution


The 1Spatial Management Suite


Mine Surveyors take off with UAS


New Heights for Aerial Imaging Technology


The Future of FME


SuperSurv Mobile GIS App


ArcGIS Pro


GNSS Update


One Generic Viewer for All Current Data Types


Python Scripting and GIS


VRMesh for LiDAR Point Clouds


Using GIS for Election Campaigns


Event preview
SPAR Europe, European LiDAR Mapping Forum




Calendar / Advertisers Index


AeroScientific is changing the

face of airborne remote sensing by introducing award-winning technology.
The Australian company's
flagship product, Aviatrix,
offers award-winning camera
control and image acquisition
technology to companies.



This year a team consisting of

two surveyors from Leica

Don Murray, President and

Co-founder of Safe Software,
looks back at the recent FME

Geosystems France and the

Chartered Land Surveyors, based in Frances Upper Savoy region, decided to make the first
ever 3D laser scan of the shape
and volume of this legendary
glacier using the Leica Nova
MS50 MultiStation.


UC, held in June in Vancouver,

Canada and previews some
of the new functions to be included in FME 2015.

The upcoming release of

ArcGIS, version 10.3, will
contain a brand new application for 2D and 3D. Named
ArcGIS Pro, it contains the
most commonly used aspects
of all individual desktop applications.

In the previous update the

various problems with the
Glonass launches were
explained. Unfortunately,
Glonass does not have the
monopoly on launch errors;
this time it was Galileos turn.




In order to help users with quick

data capture need, GIS software
developer, Supergeo now offers
a professional mobile GIS app
designed for field data collection, especially designed for
Android and iOS devices.


Following extensive market research and testing, one of

Australias largest coal mines is
set to increase productivity and
safety by deploying Unmanned
Aerial System (UAS)

Orbit GT is one of the few

providers, possibly the only
one, to offer a generic viewer
for imagery: scanned data
and imagery of all sorts.


Company Prole

Zoller + Frhlich GmbH

Company overview

Laser scanner IMAGER 5010C

Zoller + Frhlich GmbH is one of the leading manufacturers for 3D laser scanning technology. With over 20 years of experience Z+F provides high quality products and excellent customer service. The headquarters are based in Germany. There are also subsidiaries in the
USA, the UK, Italy and has resellers all over the world.

IMAGER 5010C with thermal camera

Product information
For this years InterGEO exhibition, Z+F will
present the following features:
Our new Z+F LaserControl 8.6 software
with even more tools that allow a more efcient workow. What you also can look
forward to are new accessories that will
expand the elds of application of Z+F
scanners even further.
HDR Point Cloud Reichstag, Berlin, Germany
The Z+F T-Cam is a thermal camera which
generates thermal data after the scanning process.
The Z+F SmartLight is a light source that can be attached to the scanner and is also fully powered by the device. It enables the user to
capture color data in scans, even in dark conditions. Z+F also just released a universal battery charger that ts in the cigarette socket of
any car, offering more exibility.

Current projects
Since Z+F was founded, it has always been an innovative company. As a future oriented company, Z+F is always working on projects to
extend the elds of application for its laser scanners and software, in order to optimize the workow. Be assured, as in the past and in the
futue, Z+F will continue to amaze the world with new innovations and set new standards in laser measurement technology.

HDR Point Cloud Berlin Wall, Berlin, Germany.

Company Prole

European Space Imaging

Company Prole
European Space Imaging (EUSI), based in Germany, is a leading supplier of global very
high-resolution (VHR) satellite imagery and derived services to customers in Europe, North Africa
and CIS Countries.
EUSI operate a multi-mission capable ground station for the WorldView constellation enabling
optimized image collections over Europe taking into account real-time weather information giving customers the highest degree of exibility.
With a reputation for expert personalized customer service European Space Imaging have been
providing tailored VHR imagery solutions to meet the diverse projects requirements of their customers since 2002.

Product Info
In 2014 European Space Imaging expanded their satellite constellation offering to include three
new VHR satellites. WorldView-3, the rst super spectral satellite with SWIR and CAVIS bands,
joins WorldView-1, WorldView-2, GeoEye-1, QuickBird and IKONOS as the most powerful
satellite European Space Imaging will access from the DigitalGlobe constellation. SkySat-1 &
Skysat-2, the newest birds on the block both offer HD video and VHR image data and are part
of the growing Skybox Imaging constellation. EUSI can now offer imagery from 8 satellites, an
expansion which means customers can receive more data more quickly.
As a result of the change in the US Law regarding minimum satellite image resolution European
Space Imaging is now offering 40 cm imagery and will soon be providing 30 cm data, the
highest resolution commercially available, from the DigitalGlobe constellation.
European Space Imaging continues to direct task the WorldView satellites over Europe and will
soon be operating a SkyNode for direct tasking of the SkySat constellation across their region.

Project Info
European Space Imaging successfully provides satellite data service to large projects across
Europe. Two recent projects of signicance are OpSServe (Optical Satellite Services for EMSA)
for the European Maritime Safety Agency (EMSA), and provision to the European Commissions
Control with Remote Sensing (CwRS) project in support of the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP).
OpSServe is a fully operational near real-time service established in cooperation with the German
Aerospace Center DLR for detecting vessels and vessel activities using very high resolution optical satellite imagery. The rapid access to satellite data and derived information is requested by
the European Maritime Safety Agency (EMSA) to support maritime situational awareness, e.g.
reducing the risk of maritime accidents, marine pollution from ships and the loss of human life at
sea. Satellite data from a eet of six high resolution optical satellites form the basis for near realtime image delivery in less than one hour to EMSA. In addition, value adding services are provided to aid EMSA in delivering timely information on vessel locations and activities to EU member states.
Since 2014 European Space Imaging is the sole provider of very high resolution (VHR) satellite
data to the Control with Remote Sensing programme of the European Union. Under a multi-year
contract, satellite data is provided to the European Union Member States administrations to
check if European Union Common Agricultural Policy area-based aids are correctly granted.
Working together with a team of major European partners (GAF AG, e-GEOS and the German
Aerospace Center), European Space Imaging collected nearly 300,000 km across a multitude
of sites throughout within very narrow time windows with a success rate of 100%.
For more information, have a look at: www.euspaceimaging.com

CwRS project image of a field in Spain.




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Launched August 2014


Launched July 2014


Company Prole

Company Prole

A non-prot institute owned by the Federal

Trimble offers a complete geospatial portfo-

State of Rhineland-Palatinate, RLP AgroScien-

lio, which includes: GNSS systems, GIS, opti-

ce, based in Neustadt an der Weinstrasse,

cal total stations, imaging solutions, handheld

has been focused on developing a methodol-

controllers, and eld and ofce software,

ogy to automatically map and classify vegeta-

which enables seamless data collection, pro-

tion using geospatial imagery. They used

cessing, modeling and analysis. Trimbles

Trimbles eCognition software to supply an

objective analysis to create standardized,

geospatial solutions facilitate a high quality,

productive workow and data exchange to

In Miami, FL., the C-100A canal runs though

reproducible results in a fraction of the time

drive efciency, productivity, safety and value

residential areas, and includes two small

and to produce a large-scale vegetation map-

in organizations of all sizes so they and their

lakes. Over the decades erosion and wear

ping system.

clients can make informed decisions.

has caused changes to the canal, resulting in

Founded in 1978, Trimble is headquartered

sloughing and changes to the shape of the

To help assist customers like the Federal State

in Sunnyvale, CA.

canal. The District wants to be sure that it is

of Rhineland-Palatinate further with their spa-

not creeping out of its right-of-way. They decid-

tial data gathering Trimble has developed

The role that geospatial information plays in

ed to call upon GCY, a Florida professional

Trimble InSphere, a cloud-based software

everyday life continues to expand. As the

surveying and mapping rm to survey 6.1 km

platform of software, data, and services

availability of geospatial information increas-

(3.8 mi) of the C-100A canal and surround-

focused on the needs of geospatial profes-

es, traditional consumers of geospatial data

ing properties. Initially they planned to use a

sionals including surveyors, engineers and

from industries such as: local government, oil

Trimble R10 GNSS receiver connected to

GIS professionals. InSphere's easy-to-use Web

& gas, land administration and rail - are pre-

the Trimble VRSNow service for locating

interface provides access to other productivi-

sented with new demands for geospatial infor-

improvements in the more than 250 back

ty-enhancing applications such as Trimble

mation. In addition to precise, accurate data,

yards along the canal. But, the volume of infor-

InSphere Data Manager, Trimble InSphere

clients are looking at new and better ways to

mation encouraged them to look for a faster

Equipment Manager, Trimble TerraFlex and

utilize it.

approach. They decided to use a Trimble V10

Trimble Access Services.

Imaging Rover to speed up the work.


The new Trimble InSphere Data Marketplace

In the eld, hardware such as the Trimble V10

plays an important role in the cloud-based

Imaging Rover, an integrated camera system

geospatial information management plat-

that precisely captures 360-degree digital

form. It enables rapid discovery and easy

panoramas, with Trimble VISION technolo-

access to third-party spatial data that mat-

gy works with Trimble positioning sensors to

ters to the geospatial professionals busi-

produce a highly accurate datasetcomplete

with imagerythat can be processed and

ness. Quickly search, discover, access and


use the data needed to streamline a workow.

measured in the ofce using Trimble Business

Trimble software such as eCognition pio-

Center ofce software. The panoramic images

neered a decade ago for satellite remote sens-

collected with the Trimble V10 allow geospa-

ing enables geospatial data such as

tial professionals to quickly document the site

images, point clouds and Geographic

for later measurement and communicate site

Information System (GIS) vectors to be inte-

conditions to individuals who are not on site.

grated and analyzed to quantify features or

detect changes over time.

For more information on our solutions, please visit:





Company Prole

RIEGL Laser Measurement

Systems GmbH
Company Prole
Austrian based RIEGL Laser Measurement Systems is a performance
leader in research, development and production of terrestrial, industrial, mobile, bathymetric, airborne and UAS-based laser scanners
and scanning systems. RIEGLs innovative hard- and software provide
powerful solutions for nearly all imaginable elds of application.
Worldwide sales, training, support and services are delivered from
RIEGLs headquarters in Horn, Austria, ofces in Vienna and
Salzburg, main ofces in the United States, Japan, and China, and

RIEGL VUX-1 LiDAR sensor mounted on

UAV helicopter

by a worldwide network of representatives covering Europe, North

and South America, Asia, Australia, and Africa.

Product Info

RIEGL VMZ Hybrid Laser Mapping System mobilizes your VZLine Scanner: Fast transition from tripod to mobile mount
no boresight calibration necessary after re-mounting for
mobile laser scanning

At Intergeo, RIEGL will present rst integration examples of the VUX-1

airborne LiDAR sensor integrated for UAS applications and the new
RIEGL VZ-2000 very Long-Range, High-Speed 3D Terrestrial Laser
Scanner which provides an effective measurement rate of up to
400,000 meas./sec. The VZ-2000 is ideal for both stand-alone static and mobile laser scanning when combined with the new RIEGL
VMZ Hybrid Mobile Laser Mapping System.
Exciting software news too: RiSCAN PROs new 64-bit version
is more powerful and now ready for Ultra-high Denition
(UHD) displays and processing!
Dont miss several other hard- and software product highlights
at the RIEGL booth A3.014 in hall 3.1.

Project Info
After the exceptional success of RIEGL LIDAR 2013, held in
Vienna, Austria, RIEGL is pleased to announce that RIEGL
LIDAR 2015, RIEGLs International User Conference for
Terrestrial, Airborne, Mobile, Unmanned and Industrial Laser
Scanning will be held in Hong Kong and Guangzhou, China
from May 5-8, 2015.
Experience the future of LiDAR technology, see and hear about
the latest RIEGL hard- and software updates, attend captivating

Data acquired with the RIEGL VUX-1 LiDAR

sensor for UAS/UAV: PRR 550 kHz, flight
altitude AGL 250 ft, speed 30 kn

keynotes, presentations and workshops from industry experts

and meet with members of the RIEGL community from all over
the world. For more information please visit www.riegllidar.com.
For more information, www.riegl.com.

RIEGL VZ-2000 Long Range High Speed 3D

Laser Scanner providing an effective measurement rate up to 400,000 meas./sec


World Premiere at

RIEGL VZ -2000

October 7-9, 2014 | Berlin

Hall 3.1, Booth A3.014

Long Range, High Speed

3D Laser Scanner with
Online Waveform

laser scanning

MOBILE laser mapping

RIEGL VZ-2000: Long Range, High Speed 3D Terrestrial Laser Scanner

for Stand-alone Static and Kinematic Laser Scanning
Pulse Repetition Rate near to 1 MHz | up to 400,000 effective measurements/sec. | up to
240 scan lines/sec. | 2,000 m long range scanning on natural targets | 100 x 360 Field
of View | eyesafe Laser Class 1 | fully customizable scan parameters | high accuracy,
high precision ranging based on echo digitization and online waveform processing | multiple target capability | Multiple-Time-Around (MTA) processing | highresolution photogrammetry integration | various interfaces | ideally suited for Standalone Static Laser Scanning and, with RIEGL VMZ, for Mobile Laser Mapping
RIEGL offers a whole family of proven 3D Terrestrial Laser Scanners:
VZ-400 / VZ-1000 high accuracy (5 mm / 8 mm), measurements up to 600 / 1,400 m
VZ-4000 / VZ-6000 ultra long ranges up to more than 4,000 / 6,000 m, accuracy 15 mm


RIEGL LMS GmbH, Austria


RIEGL Japan Ltd.

RIEGL China Ltd.


Company Prole

Company prole
DroneMetrex is an Australian com-

In August 2014, in South Korea,

pany specialising in high accurate

DroneMetrex demonstrated the

photogrammetric mapping using

Direct Georeferencing System and

TopoDrones. The TopoDrones are

performed mapping of the golf

unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs)

course with no ground control.

specically designed and built by

Accuracies were independently

DroneMetrex as a powerful pho-

checked and veried: DroneMettex

achieved 4cm accuracy from the

togrammetric mapping tool to collect

High density 3D point cloud

regular, repetitive, rapid and accu-

4cm GSD imagery. At the end of

rate geospatial data for a wide range of industries including, but not limit-

the ight sortie, the TopoDrone-100 had to land on dirt during light

ed to, civil engineering, roads and railroads, mining industry, agriculture,

rain. However, this provided no difculties because the high-quality

forestry, waste management and recycling, environmental applications.

camera was protected by the TopoDrones unique protective door system, safely and cleanly cocooning the payload.

DroneMetrex has proved to be the only UAV company in the world to

develop from the start the true drone mapping system based on photogrammetric principles and only

Earlier DroneMetrex has successfully performed a

3D Digital Surface

high-precision railway mapping project in

then adapted it to an airframe. The TopoDrone-

Australia. The TopoDrone-100 ew and reliably

100 addresses all known systematic and random

mapped 0,5 km on each of the four sides of the

geometric errors (tip, tilt, yaw, forward and lateral

approach to the crossing intersection of the rail-

motion, blur) from the start and eliminates them

way and the bitumen road with the unsurpassed

right at the point of capturing the data.

accuracy: the companys UAV captured 2,5cm

GSD aerial imagery with 25mm absolute accuracy in height. The mapping project was aimed, in

The TopoDrone photogrammetric mapping systems capture and process aerial data with unsur-

the rst instance, at creating 3D real world for

passed mapping accuracy: 10mm horizontal and

obscurity analysis when approaching an intersec-

better than 25mm in height.

tion from a train drivers perspective, and from a

The TopoDrones are the only mapping UAVs in

rate mapping was performed for future civil works

vehicle drivers perspective. Secondly, high accuthe world to feature simultaneously:

involving repair as well as upgrading of the exist-

1. A Unique Dynamic-stabilised Active Mount to

ing railway. The launches and landings happened

ensure near-nadir position of each and every

from the nearby eld, therefore no interference

with rail movements, no disturbance for road traf-

photo with no crab (yaw);

2. Calibrated full-format camera with focal leaf
shutter and Zeiss lens;

3D Digital Terrain Model

c ever occurred. Based on the captured data,

DroneMetrex produced very dense 3D point

3. Direct Georeferencing Solution mapping with no ground control;

cloud, digital orthophotos and DTMs. Also the company specialists per-

4. Extended spectrum mapping using the same camera and changing

formed 3D line mapping via photogrammetric 3D heads-up digitis-

three separate lters the following types of imagery can be captured:

a. Natural colour;
b. NIR imagery;
c. UV, Blue and Green imagery mapping under water;


The only true
UAV photogrammetric mapping system

Accuracy: 10 mm horizontal and

25 mm in height;
Dynamic-stabilised Active Mount:
camera position is always nadir
with no crab angle;

Direct georeferencing solution:

mapping with no ground control;

Mapping under water;

NIR imagery from the same



Phone: +61 (0)8 82431280

Email: info@ dronemetrex.com

Website: www.dronemetrex.com


Company Prole

PCI Geomatics
Company Prole

Smart Geo-Fill. Enhance and retouch ortho-mosaics while main-

PCI Geomatics is a world-leading developer of software and sys-

taining full geo-referencing, channel combinations and bit-depth. By

tems for remote sensing, imagery processing, and photogrammetry.

using simple polygon selection in your imagery, you can select, copy

With more than 30 years of experience in the geospatial industry,

and paste the best parts of the best images for your nal mosaic.

PCI is recognized globally for its excellence in providing software

for accurately and rapidly processing both satellite and aerial

Python Scripting. Script your Geomatica image processing and

imagery. PCI has installed more than 30 thousand licenses, in over

combine it with other tasks in Python to streamline your data man-

150 countries worldwide.

agement applications, generate intelligent business products, or customize your output.

Visit www.pcigeomatics.com/Geomatica for more information, or
www.GetGeomatica.com to start a 15-day free trial today.

Project Info
The Perenco Group is actively involved in exploration activities in
Turkey, and is committed to increasing reserves through new eld discoveries. It is for this reason that the uses Geomatica software to analyze remotely sensed data in its operations. No other technology can
match the capabilities of remote sensing and its necessity in the oil
Through geological and geophysical seismic interpretation and use
of orthorectied satellite images, remotely sensed imagery provides
insight on the selection of areas to plan seismic surveys for an exploration drilling program as well as aiding in the identication of environmental and operational safety hazards.

Product Info

Interpreting surface lineaments using satellite imagery is a straight-

Get More From Imagery. Get Geomatica.

forward process. Using Geomatica software with ASTER-Terra satel-

Available now, the latest Geomatica release adds even more tools

lite images, 45 cm resolution airphotos, and a 2.5 meter DEM from

to streamline operational workows combined with improvements to

Cartosat data. Dip and strike calculations were performed easily

key algorithms, new wizard-based functions, and an expanded list

using PCIs DIP Module Algorithm.

of supported sensors.
The measurements made from the remotely sensed data are very
New features in Geomatica 2014 include:

accurate and closely match actual eld measurements, indicating

that the software works very well. As such, the study indicates that

Live DEM Editing. See and edit DTM blunders on an ortho pre-

using remotely sensed data to calculate accurate dip/strike points

view that updates with your changes. You immediately see the results

as a means to perform lineament analysis is a real possibility and a

of your edit, so there is no need to wait for a full ortho to be pro-

cost-effective alternative to collecting eld measurements.

duced and checked.

For more information visit www.pcigeomatics.com

Get More From Imagery

Geomatica is the software geospatial professionals
around the world trust to solve problems quickly
and effectively. Geomatica 2014 adds new tools,
functions, and improvements to key algorithms;
making it our most ambitious release yet. Visit
GetGeomatica.com today to start your free trial.

Live DEM Editing

See and edit DTMs on an ortho preview that
updates in real time, with no need to wait for a full
orthophoto to be produced and checked.
Smart GeoFill
Select, copy and paste the best parts of the best
images in mosaics using simple polygon selection
while maintaining full geo-referencing, channel
combinations and bit-depth.
Python Scripting
Script image processing and combine it with other
tasks using Python to generate intelligent business
products or customize output for use in ArcGIS and
other GIS applications.




Company Prole

Company Prole

upgrades the Sirius Pro to its full functional-

TOPCON, an innovative & global mar-

ity; use of an internal or external base sta-

ket leading company, develops & man-

tion depending on your needs. This add-

ufactures precise satellite & optical posi-

on is available anytime via Internet without

tioning products and software solutions

changing your hardware.

for the geopositioning, construction &

agriculture industries.

More Information
Following the violent earthquake that hit

TOPCON is able to serve this global market with main centres for

Valle del Belce (Italy) in 1968, the ruins of the old town centre of

manufacturing, development and distribution in Tokyo, San

Gibellina, Sicily have been compacted inside Alberto Burris

Francisco, Moscow, Brisbane, Beijing, Singapore and Rotterdam.

Grande Cretto. It is currently the largest open-space contemporary work of art in the world. It is actually not completed yet, even

TOPCONs product portfolio consists of high precision GNSS sensors, robotic & imaging total stations, BIM layout systems, laser scanners, mobile mappers, machine
control & agriculture systems & eld controllers,
supported by cloud based software for all positioning & construction activities.

though the project ended up in 1989. The shape that it will

nally achieve will be the one of an irregular quadrilateral. To describe the current situation a mapping
study has been carried out.
The mapping study consisted of a traditional survey and a mountain-bike over cycle lanes within
the work of art. The experiment aimed at dening the accuracy

Recent Product Info

of the existing surveying system that compares coordinates of

Topcon's latest version of the Sirius Pro surveying UAS (compatible

specic points, on the Grande Cretto. In total 2150 points

with existing RTK base station or NTRIP) will be available at

were surveyed both using traditional RTK survey.

Intergeo in Berlin this October.

The University of Palermo provided the GNSS equipment: a

By connecting an external base station, Sirius Pro will receive the

Topcon HiPer Pro base station and a Topcon GRS-1 receiver with

RTCM correction signals and deliver 2-5cm accuracy without using

antenna was used for both surveys.

ground control points. When you have mobile Internet on your

Both survey results of the Grande Cretto obtained, are very

site, you can achieve the same accuracy even without a local base

encouraging; in fact, the data related to the values of the stan-

station using NTRIP, said Eduardo Falcon, executive vice presi-

dard deviation indicate a centimeter precision allowing for an

dent and general manager for the Topcon GeoPositioning

updated state of the art of the Grande Cretto.

Solutions Group.

More Information
Sirius Pro is designed to deliver orthophotos and 3D ele-


vation models with a high absolute accuracy. Combining

MAVincis precision timing technology with Topcon sub-cm

Contact Details

grade GNSS RTK receivers, this robust system stands up with


a clever solution that helps in the realising of projects in a

Essebaan 11

better and faster way, said Johanna Claussen, CEO at

2908 LJ Capelle a/d IJssel


The Netherlands
Phone: +31 (0)10 458 5077

For users who do not have an RTK base station, an internal base

Mail: news@topconsokkia.com

station add-on for the Sirius Pro is available. Falcon said, It

Web: www.topconpositioning.eu

our guarantee to growth

E xp a n d y o u r busine ss w it h gr
pr ofit a bilit y.
a t e r profit
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Scanning the Top of Europe

The First 3D Laser Scan of the Mont Blanc Ice Cap
Reaching the top of Mont Blanc, Europes highest peak, is a formidable challenge even to the most experienced alpinists not only because of its elevation, but also because of its severe weather conditions.
Strong winds and snowfall at the summit constantly cause altitude and volume fluctuations to the mountains ice cap. This motivated a team of expert surveyors to take on the mountains challenge and every
two years, determine the actual variations of the ice cap using
the latest in measurement technology. This year a team
consisting of two surveyors from Leica Geosystems
France and the Chartered Land Surveyors, based
in Frances Upper Savoy region, decided to
make the first ever 3D laser scan of the
shape and volume of this legendary
glacier using the Leica Nova MS50
By Marie-Caroline Rondeau

Farouk Kadded, carrying the Leica Nova MS50 MultiStation in his backpack, makes his way through a glacial well.

he team of fourteen climbers included the surveyors and

their technical partners: Covadis (Gomdia), Teria
(Exagone) and Leica Geosystems. They were accompanied
by guides, a photographer and a cameraman. Leica
Geosystems, responsible for measuring the elevation and
shape of the ice cap of Mont Blanc, was represented by Farouk
Kadded, Product Manager at LGS France, an experienced alpinist
and who founded the partnership that was formed with the surveyors from the Upper Savoy region. Farouk has taken part in the expedition since 2001 and explained why 2013 offered an opportunity
to add a new technical dimension to the adventure.

vide higher point density than GPS measurements, which we took in

previous years. With such extreme temperatures and with wind chill
factors of -10C, fast data collection is a real bonus. For the rst
time, we had at our disposal an instrument that not only combines
the latest technologies in the elds of total station measurements,
digital imagery, 3D laser scanning and GNSS positioning but is also
designed to operate in extreme conditions. Our only consideration
was the additional weight. Transporting the instrument to the summit
added about seven kilograms to my backpack but the results were
certainly worth it.

Measurement ambassadors
Farouk says, It seemed altogether appropriate to use the worlds
rst MultiStation, the Leica Nova MS50, to capture the rst ever 3D
laser scan of the Mont Blanc ice cap. This would save time and pro-

After taking a deep breath and appreciating the extraordinary view,

the team had little time to lose. The temperature felt like -25C, with
gusting winds of over 50 km/h. In order to make a 3D laser scan of

October/November 2014


Mont Blanc.

the ice cap, they had to quickly prepare and set up the Leica
Nova MS50 MultiStation as well as two Leica Viva GS14
receivers: one for taking precise altitude measurements that
would later be analysed during post-processing and one receiver on a pole for taking kinematic measurements.
After setting up the rst GNSS antenna for two hours of observation, the surveyors got started with the second antenna that would
take approximately one hundred measurements of the ice cap.
At the same time, Farouk, in charge of the MultiStation, positioned it to scan the ice cap. Minutes later, it recorded almost
100,000 points, despite freezing conditions, which were immediately displayed on the MultiStations screen. This conrmed that the
survey was complete and the team could begin their descent.
Philippe Borrel, owner of the survey company, Cabinet Borrel and
an experienced member of the expedition team, said, Using the
Nova MS50 MultiStation to model the Mont Blanc summit was an
exercise in precision measurement, resulting in greater accuracy
than traditional topographic surveys. The speed of the data collection and being able to use a minimum number of control points is
particularly advantageous when working in such a hostile environment. We signicantly cut back the amount of time and energy needed to get the job done and the MultiStations size and weight made
it surprisingly easy to carry in a backpack, considering the rocky
terrain, steep slopes and windy ridges we had to climb.

peak may vary the actual summits altitude anywhere from 15 to 20

m. Expedition partner Gomdia calculated the volume of the ice
cap covering the rocky summit at 20,213 m and produced a 3D
animation from the scan data as well. In the future, these results will
help researchers determine possible changes to the ice cap caused
by global warming.
Farouk Kadded noted, The MultiStation added a new dimension to
the measurement campaign enabling us to produce, for the rst time,
a precise 3D model of the ice cap of Mont Blanc. Collecting data to
millimetre accuracy is a human and technical achievement and this
campaign demonstrated that this technology is at the top of its

What were the exact measurements of Mont Blanc?

The 2013 expedition proved that the current elevation of Mont Blanc
is 4,810.02 m, which is 42 cm less than in 2011. The actual rock
summit has an altitude of 4792 m, however the snow covering the

October/November 2014

This article was reprinted from Leica Reporter 70. Marie-Caroline Rondeau is Marketing Manager for
Geomatics solutions at Leica Geosystems in France.



By Joe Hutton

GNSS-inertial approach limits requirements for ground control, reduces sidelap/endlap needs.

A Direct Mapping Solution

I m p r o v e d A c c u r a c y a n d E f f i c i e n c y o f M a p p i n g f r o m U AV s
ccurate geospatial information is
increasingly relied on today for
many important applications.
Everything from emergency
response to crop management
and environmental monitoring requires quick
access to accurate, up-to-date georeferenced
imagery. While satellite imagery is viable, it
can take weeks to collect and the nal geometric accuracy is only a few meters at best.
The method of choice today for acquiring
high-resolution, geometrically accurate
orthorectied imagery information about
ground objects is Airborne Remote Sensing,
which utilizes Direct Georeferencing (DG)
technology. As the aircraft is ying, real-time,
high-accuracy maps are created, ready to use.

custom DMS solutions, comprised of hardware, software and workows, that meet the
specic size, weight, power requirements of
the platform, and the accuracy requirements
for Directly Georeferencing the payload sensors. A DMS can be developed for virtually
any size or type of UAV (Vertical Take-Off
and Landing, Fixed wing), and for any type
of mapping sensor (Camera, FLIR, LIDAR).

The use of differential GNSS and Inertial position and orientation technology for Direct
Georeferencing (DG) has long been established and proven in the aerial mapping industry. It is highly efcient and accurate. For even
the smallest and lightest manned aircraft, the
relative size, weight and cost of GNSS-aided
inertial navigation systems required for direct
georeferencing and the attendant computing
equipment required to process the data are
small factors of the cost of ying and inconsequential to the aircrafts ability to perform. In
unmanned aircraft however, the calculations
are very different: the size and weight of the
DG payload must be signicantly smaller for
the aircraft to y, the cost must be signicantly
reduced to make the system economically practical, and high accuracy is still required. For
small UAVs the size and weight considerations
are even more signicant.
A small yet highly accurate DG payload for
UAVs not only meets the needs of aerial survey on a UAV, it also provides high-accuracy position and orientation information for

DMS in action
For Medium/high Altitude Long Endurance
(MALE/HALE) platforms, a DMS has been developed that has the following conguration:

An RGB camera based Direct Mapping Solution (DMS) payload for

medium-sized fixed-wing UAVs.

UAV ying tasks such as precision RTK landing and Guidance and Control.

A directly georeferenced mapping

solution for UAVs
Applanix, known for its highly-accurate POS
(positioning and orientation) technology, has
brought together its long-established and
proven POS expertise for aerial mapping
with small-form-factor hardware to produce
solutions for improving the accuracy and
efciency for aerial mapping for UAVs.
They are called the Direct Mapping
Solutions for UAVs, or DMS for UAV.

Small, light and accurate is the

requirement for UAVs
Working with UAV platform manufacturer
and payload providers, Applanix develops

October/November 2014

1) The Trimble AP-20: Incorporating a compact, custom-built inertial measurement

unit (IMU) based on commercial microelectromechanical mechanical system
(MEMS) sensors, the AP20 enables system integrators to achieve high-rate position and orientation measurements with
excellent accuracy. The AP20 is designed
for continuous mobile positioning in poor
GNSS signal environments and for highaccuracy direct georeferencing of imaging sensors. It delivers high-rate position
and orientation measurements at 200
hertz, supporting its use in challenging
mobile environments while sustaining
performance levels. The unit is fully compatible with the POSPac MMS ofce software for enhanced accuracy using network differential GNSS.
2) A calibrated Nikon D800
3) Metric camera and lens mount
4) The POSPac MMS (Mobile Mapping
Suite) ofce software and associated
photogrammetry workow: POSPac
MMS is software for directly georeferencing mobile mapping sensors using
GNSS and inertial technology. It processes data from either POS AV or Trimble


The RS-16 UAS with DMS test flight, an industry first.

AP board sets to accurately georeference

data collected with airborne sensors.
The AP 20 was integrated into this payload
in order to meet the size, weight and power
requirements of MALE/HALE UAVs, and
meet the high-accuracy georeferencing
requirements for beyond Line-of-sight (LOS)
mapping without Ground Control Points.

Accuracy assessment: test ight on

manned platform
In late 2013, a test ight on a Cessna 172
was performed to assess the performance
of the Nikon D800 based DMS. The DMS
conguration for the test was with:

pixel level RMS for the ortho products, 1.5

pixels RMS horizontal and 4.0 pixels RMS
vertical for stereo products (15 cm GSD).
These accuracies scale to lower ying
heights and smaller GSDs until the lower
limit of the GNSS position accuracy of 2 cm
RMS is hit. For complete details on image
accuracy evaluation methodology and
results, please review the detailed white
paper at http://bit.ly/1wW7C47.

CASE STUDY: Nikon D800 DMS and the

RS-16 Unmanned Aircraft System from
American Aerospace Advisors, Inc.

The Trimble AP20 GNSS-Inertial System

The Nikon D800E (36MP; image size of
7360 columns by 4912 rows and a detector size of 4.9 microns) with a 50 mm AFS Nikkor f/1.8G lens

Working with AAAI, the Nikon D800 DMS

was integrated with the newest American
Aerospace aircraft system - the RS-16
Unmanned Aircraft System (UAS), becoming one of the worlds very rst mapping
grade long endurance UAS designed for
civilian mapping applications.

Directly Georeferenced accuracies achieved

during this test were very high: at the 1.0

Advanced imaging sensors provide a professional grade mapping payload for the RS-

16. The combination of the airframe with

positioning and orientation technology
offers cost and time efciencies for many
mapping tasks. Built for missions where aircraft and crew safety are a factor, remote
eld deployments are inefcient and expensive, where surveying a network of ground
control points is impractical, and/or when
long endurance or long range operations
are critical, the RS-16 coupled with DMS is
a mapping-grade system with 12+ hour
Capable of legally, safely and effectively
mapping large areas and long corridors in
civilian airspace, the RS-16 with integrated
DMS becomes a complete mission system
an avionics suite designed for operation
in civilian airspace,
integrated DMS,
mobile ground control stations,
RF systems,
everything needed to conduct safe and
effective eld operations with long
endurance aircraft.
The availability of this solution followed a
series of successful test ights. Joint teams
from the AAAI and Applanix planned and
ew a sequence of missions to evaluate the
capabilities, including the ability to provide
highly accurate, directly georeferenced and
orthorectied aerial imagery without the
need for ground control points or aerial triangulation calculations. The system tested consisting of the airframe, its avionics,
mobile ground control station, telemetry
systems and the digital mapping payload performed according to expectations and
successfully produced high-quality geo- referenced imagery.

The Applanix DMS framework incorporates
a number of complete and ready-to-integrate
OEM solutions for directly georeferencing
survey data on unmanned aerial platforms.
Designing a direct georeferencing solution
specically for the survey task, the airborne
vehicle and the sensor type (Camera, FLIR,
LIDAR), signicantly enhances the value
proposition over a one-size-ts-all approach.
Highly accurate mapping results can be
achieved from unmanned aerial platforms
without the use of dense networks of ground
control points.
Joe Hutton, Director, Airborne Products.

Georeferenced imagery produced from test flight.

October/November 2014



The 1Spatial Management Suite

Supporting Key Stages

of the Data Lifecycle

1Spatial Management Suite is a family of products that unifies data management processes
through the implementation of a comprehensive workflow orchestrated set of services. These
products can be used individually or as part of an integrated suite and are designed to provide
maximum efficiency, automation, resilience and performance, whilst maintaining flexibility. The
result is the timely publication of accurate and up-to-date product data. This data is automatically generated from an efficient data maintenance environment underpinned by data quality.

By Chris Tagg

ing for organisations with national spatial

big data holdings with billions of features
and complex data models that represent the
As a result of these challenges, many organisations are evolving from being suppliers
of traditional mapping products generated
from legacy cartographic databases, to
being authoritative suppliers of rich, intelligent data and data services from real-word
feature databases.

Introducing the 1Spatial Management

1Spatial Management Suite

rganisations all around the

world are continually challenged to maintain accurate
and up-to-date information for
their area of responsibility,
operate efciently in a competitive and
demanding environment, and be exible and
innovative in a rapidly changing marketplace.
Geographic data underpins the growth of
national economies. In the UK, Ordnance
Survey mapping data is so vital that an independent report put its value to the British
economy at more than 100 billion. Spatial
data holdings are critical to decision making. Therefore these data holdings have to
be accurate, up-to-date and managed to a
guaranteed standard.
Organisations (such as National Mapping
and Cadastral Agencies, utilities companies,
defence and government departments) that
create and maintain these spatial big data
holdings face a number of important challenges:

1). Firstly, these organisations must nd a

way to manage the size and complexity of
their spatial big data holdings, very often
with a high rate of real world change. So
there is a need for more efcient and consistent data capture, maintenance and publication processes to model real world
change and supply up-to-date information to
2). Secondly, these organisations often need
to be exible and innovative in a rapidly
changing marketplace. The ability to derive
new data products and services in response
to changing needs and requirements is key
in order to be competitive and to satisfy consumer demand for new data products.
3). In addition to the rst two challenges,
these organisations must also manage data
quality and accuracy to guaranteed standards. Data must be of known quality and
be consistent. This is particularly challeng-

October/November 2014

The 1Spatial Management Suite is a data

management environment for such organisations where there is a particular focus on
spatial information. It provides a suite of
products to efciently and consistently manage the key processes of data capture,
maintenance and publishing.
With the 1Spatial Management Suite, organisations can:
rapidly respond to real world change
ensuring data is always current, accurate
and trusted
increase productivity and reduce operational costs by adopting automated data
management workows
meet continually changing market needs
with scalable and exible on-demand
product generation.
The 1Spatial Management Suite products
support the key stages of the data lifecycle:
Plan, Maintain and Publish. The entire
lifecycle is orchestrated by a workow management platform.
Data capture jobs are easily dened and
automatically controlled throughout their lifecycle. This includes review and analysis of


1Spatial Management Suite. This orchestrates

the ow of data between products and provides a fully dened, and auditable lifecycle
for user jobs. Automatic recovery from infrastructure or service failures is also provided, as
well as a personalised Worklist application
for each user showing allocated jobs and status.

The power of automation

Job management within 1Plan Ordnance Survey Ireland/Government of Ireland. Copyright permit No. MP 0004213

change intelligence, assigning editors to a

job and the enforcement of validation rules
so that only valid captured changes are
accepted and propagated into product-ready
datasets. The 1Spatial Management Suite is
particularly suited to dealing with the challenges faced by organisations with large,
complex and dynamic spatial data holdings
that need to efciently and consistently manage multiple, concurrent, data editing processes. However, because it is modular individual products can also be used to address
specic organisational needs.
The 1Spatial Management Suite is a robust,
exible, highly performant and scalable endto-end solution based on an orchestrated set
of service components. It is built on industry
leading relational database and workow
technologies, such as Oracles Database,
Workspace Manager and BPEL Process
Manager. These enterprise technologies work
together with 1Spatial technology to deliver
automated enterprise data management.

allow data to be extracted, edited, submitted,

validated and then merged back in to thelive
database. By automating the quality assurance according to your own quality rules, you
can ensure that the data is always validated
on submission. This avoids the usual costly,
inconsistent and ineffective techniques of
either manual subsampling or partial and
infrequent automated validation.
1Spatial Publish converts maintenance or
legacy data into useable or publishable content. It enables legacy data to be re-engineered for internal use, new data and product scales to be derived and the publication
of data products to customers. This product
group provides world-leading automatic data
engineering tools, which save huge amounts
in manual effort and make previously impossible tasks possible.
1Spatial Workflow automates and integrates the operation of all services within the

Automation is key to be able to ensure production workows are efcient and consistent
and to also allow users to be agile and quickly develop new products and services. So,
where it is possible and appropriate to do so,
minimise the amount of human intervention in
order to facilitate straight-through processing.
This concept was rst used in nancial sectors
to automate trading and reduce the large number of complex and error-prone manual processes required to process trades, which often
took days to complete. Utilising the same
proven workow, enterprise technologies and
rules-based approach within the 1Spatial
Management Suite, spatial transactions can
also be completed using automated methods.
For example here are a few processes in typical data capture and maintenance tasks that
benet from being automated with the
1Spatial Management Suite:
Data Extraction
Using workow and web services, data
required by an editor (eld survey or in-house
editing) is automatically identied and extracted from the database and sent to the editor.
Jobs can be targeted and specic so that the
right amount of information is made available,
rather than generic where whole tiles of data
are being transferred and much of the data is

The 1Spatial Management Suite comprises of

four product families, which can be used individually or together as an integrated suite to
provide end-to-end support of the spatial data
1Spatial Plan provides a web-based environment for the creation, editing, scheduling
and allocation of survey jobs. It allows
progress of these jobs to be tracked and visualised in real-time throughout the 1Spatial
Management Suite.
1Spatial Maintain is a group of products
that keeps data up-to-date, accurate and safe,
ensuring production data is always in a validated and publishable state. These products

Assess and edit your data in 1Edit Ordnance Survey Ireland/Government of Ireland. Copyright permit No. MP 0004213

October/November 2014



Data Editing
Using automated data
quality and topological
rules, data edited in the
eld or in-house is captured ensuring the data is
accurate at time of capture, rather than validating
after editing has been
completed with subsequent return trips to the
eld, or not validating at
all and reducing data

only certied data changes are committed to production data, rather than
polluting the database
with data of poor or unknown quality.

Data Submission
Using workow, web services and automatically
derived change-only-updates, only the data changes are automatically sent back to the database, rather than all
data having to be re-submitted causing unnecessary, time consuming processing.

Automatic data quality rules enforced in 1Validate

Data Quality and Transaction

Using long transaction services, productready databases are protected by ensuring

Product Generation
Using automated rulesbased processing, data
committed to the database
are used to automatically
derive data products and
change-only product supply to consumers, rather
than waiting for manual
processes to derive new
or updated product sets.
By Chris Tagg, Head of Product Management and Samus Gilroy,
NMCA and Land Registry Account Manager, 1Spatial.
For more information about 1Spatial Management Suite, to speak
with one of our team or to request a demo of the product,
visit www.1spatial.com or email info@1spatial.com.


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



By Gina Velde

Following extensive market research and testing, one of Australias largest coal
mines is set to increase productivity and safety by deploying Unmanned Aerial
System (UAS) technology.

Mine Surveyors take off with UAS

Increasing Productivity and Safety


ary Robertson is a registered

surveyor and senior engineer
at a large coal mine in Central
Queensland. His working
teams have been nominated
for Delivery Improvement Awards the past
three years running, while he has been awarded Young Professional of the Year at 2013s
Queensland Spatial Excellence Awards and
nominated for the National Individual Award
at the upcoming Asia-Pacic Spatial Excellence Awards. Mr Robertson has a unique
ability to discover ways in which the latest
technology can be adapted and intertwined
to benet mining productivity.

For example, he recently worked with technology suppliers to devise solutions for real-time
reconciliation on draglines by combining scanning systems and dragline monitoring systems to improve
productivity. He has also taken part
in multiple ACARP & CSIRO projects
in mobile mapping and GIS functionality. I enjoy learning about new
technology and exploring ways to
adapt it to improve mining operations, he said.
Hes been keeping an eye on the
development of Unmanned Aerial

System (UAS) technology since 2000, when

the rst military drones were released and
hobbyists were designing their own remotecontrol aircraft and has become a UAS controller himself. I could instantly see the potential for surveyors to use an unmanned aircraft
for a wide range of applications on a mine
site. It was just regulations and computing
power that let us down, he said.

How UAS benets mining operations

Because UAS can carry different payloads,
such as an infrared camera or even gas monitoring equipment, Mr Robertson explains that
they can benet a wide range of mine applications, including:
Reconciliation: using photogrammetry techniques for monitoring stock pile volumes and

3D Model

October/November 2014

design comparisons for excavation and dumping equipment (where a fast turnaround of
data is essential so that mining operations can
take action while the machinery is still in the
Rehabilitation and environmental: using
infrared and multi/hyperspectral payloads for
vegetation mapping and topsoil monitoring.
Geology and geometric applications: UAS
can cover a large area that could previously
only be mapped with manned aircraft .
Gas monitoring and spontaneous combustion:
y aircraft into the area to monitor sulphuric
gas levels. Without UAS the monitoring is hit
and miss, as it involves setting out monitoring
devices based on wind direction in the hope
something is collected.
Imagery: multispectral 3-band imagery for use
in presentations, data analysis, and
QA of GIS layers.
LiDAR: use for volumes, excavations
and dumping, reconciliation, dig versus design, ramp grades & width
Geotechnical monitoring: detect
movement in the spoil piles by comparing UAS data to scan data.
As the rst UAS designed for surveying and mapping began to appear


3D Models

around 2008, Mr Robertson explained that

they were hindered by computer processing
power and the lack of post processing software capable of handling the huge amount
of data that a UAS collects.
Recently there have been great improvements
in both, so I re-instigated the process of investigating the best setup for our mine site in
earnest, he explained. Finding a system that
would do imagery and photogrammetry was
easy enough, but nding something that
would satisfy the companys rigorous health
and safety guidelines, approvals process, and
be capable of holding various sensors for different site tasks, all with limited impact on current resource requirements for site was another matter entirely.

Finding the best option

Mr Robertson began a comprehensive Critical
Analysis and Job Step Analysis (JSA) to determine the best solution for the company, which
has now been sent to corporate so that the
ndings can be reviewed for other sites and
as a corporate business improvement review
article. We reviewed every option available
on the market, comparing xed wing UAVs
with multi-rotary systems, petrol-run versus battery-operated, large versus small, payloads,
targets versus RTK. We looked at systems from
America and New Zealand as well as those
available locally in Australia.
We dismissed systems that used a catapult
launch because of the energy the catapult
stores inline with company HSEC guidelines
and also petrol/combustion crafts due to the
maintenance side of the regulations & certication, he added. We also needed a solution that had semi-autonomous control so that
you could take over either mid-ight or during
landing to avoid any potential obstacles.
Larger aircraft often needed some sort of
catching device or descended by parachute
there was too high a risk of them getting
blown off course and landing in the wrong
area. RTK systems appeared to reduce
turnaround time compared with conventional
target placement systems.

In addition to the analysis of the hardware

itself, as a CASA approved UAS controller Mr
Robertson explored the possibilities of owning
and operating the UAS outright, or contracting a service provider that will conduct the
ights and post process the data. Because of
the CASA requirements to become fully certied, we thought the best option was a service
provider who was experienced and had all
the required qualications in the short-term,
until the business sorts out the CASA UOC,
Chief Controller & Maintenance Controller
requirements. It cant just be a buy and y
approach as some people think due to the aviation regulations.

A Mining solution
Mr Robertson has worked with a local service
provider to explore and test a potential mining solution. Matt Ewing, director of UAS service provider company Airmap3D, recently
conducted a demonstration ight and data
analysis over the mine with his SIRIUS and SIRIUS Pro UAV.
The hardware met all of our safety requirements, as it is launched by hand just above
the operators head and it has semiautonomous control options to ensure a safe
landing, Mr Robertson said. The data it supplies is well within our accuracy requirements
and the SIRIUS Pro has the unique ability to
map accurately without setting out ground control points through GPS RTK solutions. This has
the added safety benet of removing surveyors from the active mine site environment while
also reducing job request turnaround times.
Mr Ewing has extensive experience with UAS
technology, having conducted more than 160
ights since his company launched in 2013.
Like Mr Robertson, he saw the instant appeal
of unmanned aircraft for mining, having
worked as a mine surveyor for ten years. For
me, the appeal in UAS technology is that it
gives you the perfect vantage point for conducting surveys, he said. All terrestrial systems face two main challenges on a mine site:
covering a large enough area and getting a
good vantage point where you can capture

October/November 2014

the right data. UAV systems are the ideal solution to both of these problems.
Mr Ewing also did his homework before committing to a UAS. I was starting my own business that was completely centred around this
technology, so I had to make the right decision, he said. As with any complex technology venture, I also needed to buy from a supplier that would be able to support me. He
opted for the SIRIUS UAV, distributed in
Australia and New Zealand by Position
Partners. The accuracy, ease of use and reliability of this UAV is astounding, he said. I
carry out quality assurance on every job that
I do and consistently achieve a mean accuracy of around 50mm xyz, with a standard
deviation of less than 100mm. But I can often
get 20mm mean accuracy, with only a
50mm standard deviation.

Mapping like a pro

Before purchasing the newly-released SIRIUS
Pro, which eliminates the need to set out
ground control points, Mr Ewing faced the
challenge of getting site access to the mines
in order to set out. Organising the logistics
to get out and set out the ground control points
was a long process that would add up to a
whole day to each job, he explained. But
now with the new Pro system, I am able to
achieve the same if not better accuracies, without having to go through the ground control
setup at all. That means I can deliver a job
to a mine site, from start to nish including
data processing, in half a day, he added.
Mr Ewing has said the response he has
received from mine surveyors has been very
positive. Because I can supply them with a
wealth of accurate data in a short period, they
can focus on data analysis and other tasks
and not spend time manually walking the site
to collect data. Having stood out in the scorching Queensland sun myself collecting data
with GPS for many years, I can understand
why they love to see me arrive on site!
Gina Velde, Marketing Communications Manager,
Position Partners Pty Ltd.



By Lisa Ranson

AeroScientific is changing the face of airborne remote sensing by introducing

award-winning technology. The Australian company's flagship product, Aviatrix,
offers award-winning camera control and image acquisition technology to companies, individuals and organisations in a package that is easy-to-use.

New Heights for Aerial Imaging

Camera Control and Image Acquisition

with customers and resellers in Europe,

North and South America, and the Asia
Pacic Region.

Aviatrix is compatible with a range of FLIR thermal cameras.a

viatrix takes care of ight management and camera control

from the cockpit. AeroScientic
CEO, Dr Paul Dare, says his priority is to make airborne image
acquisition simple and affordable so that
more operators can benet from advances
in technology.

compact and lightweight camera control systems.

Our mission is to make the most advanced
technology affordable and accessible for the
benet of aerial surveyors and photographers across the globe, said Dr Dare. The
company is experiencing rapid expansion

In partnership with FLIR Systems, the company has also developed thermal imaging systems using the Aviatrix platform. The technology supports a range of applications
including urban heat island mapping; bushre mapping, monitoring and management;
geothermal hot spot mapping, and even
feral animal detection. Today, the systems
are available to aerial photographers, surveyors and remote sensing specialists looking for cost-effective ways to gather thermal
imaging data from airborne platforms. Our
airborne thermal imaging systems are the
culmination of more than a decade of devel-

AeroScientic products have a solid foundation. Company CEO, Dr Paul Dare, has
more than twenty years experience in
remote sensing, aerial surveying and photography as a survey pilot, photographer
and academic researcher. AeroScientics
Head of Software Development, Dr Simon
Cronk, has more than fteen years experience in image processing and software

Since its release in 2013, Aviatrix has continued to evolve. With each new application
or user, the AeroScientic team customises
the product, and expands its repertoire of
compatibility. Established applications include environmental monitoring and thermal
imaging. AeroScientic is also working with
UAV manufacturers to develop even more

The system takes care of camera control from the cockpit.

October/November 2014


PAPA International the Professional Aerial

Photographers Association is a professional
trade organisation with members throughout
the world. Its annual Innovation Award recognises new products and services that benet
the art and business of aerial photography.

The company will have user demonstrations

of the Aviatrix system at INTERGEO, alongside FlightPlanner, AfterFlight and AeroAlign.
The AeroScientic stand will also feature the
companys technology partnership with Phase
One, a manufacturer of fully integrated medium format aerial camera systems.

The award recognised AeroScientic's Aviatrix, as well as FlightPlanner, its ight planning
software; and AeroMosaic, its cloud-based
image stitching software. We were delighted
to win this award, which recognises innovation in the aerial survey and photography
industry throughout the world, said Dr Dare.

opment, and have been proven through rigorous testing, in the air and out in the eld,
said Dr Dare.
The heat maps created with the thermal
imaging system are suitable for a range of
different mapping projects and provide useful insight to many industries. For councils
and governments, this technology can provide valuable data and assistance for energy conservation, bushre management and
environmental monitoring. In the mining
industry, applications include mineral exploration, underground re mapping and spontaneous combustion detection.

The AeroScientic team has been working
with FLIR sensors for more than ten years, and
the partnership further increased the capabilities of Aviatrix. Integrating the hyperspectral
camera introduced a further level of complexity but thats one of our strengths, said Dr
Dare. We have the experience and the technology to adapt our camera control software
and hardware to accommodate complex customer requirements.

Count On It

Aviatrix software in action.

By Lisa Ranson, Business Development Manager, AeroScientific..

For more information visit: www.aeroscientific.com.au

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Dr Dare believes that the AeroScientic

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global airborne remote sensing industry.





Spectra Precision Division

10368 Westmoor Drive
Westminster, CO 80021, USA

Spectra Precision Division

Rue Thomas Edison
ZAC de la Fleuriaye - CS 60433
44474 Carquefou (Nantes), France

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888-477-7516 (Toll Free in USA)

2014, Trimble Navigation Limited. All rights reser ved. Trimble, the Globe & Triangle logo and Spectra
Precision are trademarks of Trimble Navigation Limited, registered in the United St ates Patent and
Trademark of fice and in other countries. All other trademarks are the proper t y of their respective owners.

October/November 2014



Big Data, the Cloud, Game Engines and More

The Future
of FME
Don Murray at the FME International User Conference.

By Eric van Rees

Don Murray, President and Co-founder of Safe Software, looks back at the recent
FME UC, held in June in Vancouver, Canada and previews some of the new functions
to be included in FME 2015.

hese are exciting times for the industry and for Safe Software in particular. The company had a lot to tell
its users who took time out in June
to visit Vancouver, Canada for a
week-long program of sessions, workshops
and keynotes. The audience showed some
overlap with that from the FME World Tour,
which takes FME founders Don Murray and
Dale Lutz around the globe every year to
promote the latest version of their product.
Murray doesnt want to wait for another ve
years though to organize a user conference:
These are pretty exciting times in the industry, so Id say every three years.

FME 2015: whats new?

All presentations from the FME International
User Conference 2014 are available online
now. One particular presentation, which is

very much of interest, is a sneak preview of

the 2015 release of FME Desktop and Server.
Although there are too many new features to
cover here, Murray was happy to mention
some of the features that are proving to be of
particular interest to many FME users.
For starters, theres the brand-new server
interface that will be coming out in FME
2015: this new interface is going to make
it much simpler to congure a server than it
is now. At the moment, its a little bit
involved since you have to do a number of
things, such as create a topic when a le
arrives in a directory and create a publisher. With the new interface, we just call them
automations and it will just say whats going
to trigger your event and what workspace
you want to run and what you want to happen. Of course, whenever you bring out a
new interface, there's always the danger

October/November 2014

that you missed something or you take away

functionality, so we'll have a button which
will allow users to use the old interface.

Cloud data sources

An extensive topic covered in FME 2015
was cloud data sources. Murray sees lots of
different cloud systems like Google Maps
Engine, Socrata and ArcGIS Online and
Safe Software is working hard on this.
Murray adds: SharePoint is something that
we're excited about, so we're going to have
SharePoint reading and writing in FME. Its
where we see our technology moving
towards - we will continue to use spatial but
we're expanding on that. We have more
and more customers who are also doing
more business type workow with FME, and
since SharePoint's obviously a big piece of
that, we'll do that in FME too.


Even at the desktop level, FME is being integrated more into the cloud, which means
users will be able to use Dropbox or Google
Drive as their le system. Murray adds:
Even if theyre running locally, theyll be
able to use those data sources.
Additionally, it is now possible to read and
write from Google Maps Engine with FME,
says Murray: many clients are looking at a
number of different web cloud systems such
as ArcGIS Online, Socrata and Google
Maps Engine. We view that as simply another data source or data sink and so you will
see us adapting as these different systems
come out.
Safe Software held a recent webinar on all
these online systems and they will continue
to move forward in this area. Murray sees
this as a reason to start using FME Cloud;
Safe Softwares cloud offering for FME
Server: As data denitely is moving to the
cloud, FME Cloud is becoming a more logical solution for our clients. If you have your
data in ArcGIS Online, Google Maps Engine
or Socrata, then having FME Cloud makes
more sense than having it on your premises,
as you've already got your data there.

IFC writing and SlimBIM

Safe Software demonstrated at their user
conference how IFC writing is done. This
application will also be released in FME
2015. Murray states that IFC writing is a
very difcult thing: it's not so much the format that is difcult, but building the internal
data models and structures to represent it.
It's in beta now, so people can try IFC writing in FME, and we're looking forward to
SlimBIM is also about taking data. Murray:
With regard to Revit at the moment, we can
easily extract just what is wanted from a
huge Revit model, leaving all the things that
you're not interested in. This means you only
use what you need for a specic task, for
instance space allocations. Once we add
IFC writing, we will have what can be seen
as the missing piece and that's really going
to make the whole thing more real.

GIS data volumes, FME comes in handy as

well. These governments load their data into
Minecraft as a way of getting a 3D feel for
things and then build up a virtual environment with their data. Murray expects that in
the coming years these virtual environments
will take off and will completely change the
way people look at things: I was at the
Google IO event and they had this little
thing you could build with your Android
phone with just a piece of cardboard to hold
it in front of your face. As you moved your
head and turned around, the environment
on the phone would change because of all
the sensors on these mobile phones. The picture, of course, wasn't great, but it did have
stereo, because they have a retina display.
It was sort of a poor man's view of what's
coming, but its certainly very exciting technology.
For more information, have a look at: www.safe.com

The future of 3D looks sunny, thanks to new
sensor technology and game engines. As
governments (notably in Europe) are using
game engines as the destinations for high

Don Murray and Dale Lutz at the FME International User Conference.

October/November 2014



By Eric van Rees

In order to help users with quick data capture need, GIS software developer,
Supergeo now offers a professional mobile GIS app designed for field data
collection, especially designed for Android and iOS devices.

SuperSurv Mobile GIS App

Field Data Collection for Smart Devices

dened attribute tables so that the data will

no longer be in a mess.
SuperSurv offers the following functionalities:
Track log
Tracklog recording records the surveyors
movements and saves it as a .SHP or .KML
le. During the survey, the users may call out
previous tracklog to clearly display the
required surveyed paths on the map. For further application, they may show the .SHP or
.KML les in ofce, to better control eld
works and costs by managing better survey
The data can be shared in two ways; either by synchronizing a mobile device to a desktop computer, or by transmitting via Internet in real time.

uperGeo is a developer of GIS

software from Taiwan. They have
responded to the great demand
for mobile mapping apps with
smart devices, which are fast-moving, easy to use, and low cost. For surveyors looking for time- and cost-efcient tools,
they have released a professional mobile
GIS app designed for eld data collection
called SuperSurv, especially designed for
Android and iOS devices.
The SuperSurv mobile GIS app can be used
in several domains, such as road survey,
forestry, agriculture and any other domains
requiring accurate and updated spatial
data. Users can create point, line or polygon layers and record the coordinate information, time, photos and videos in custom
attribute tables for specied survey targets.

Data capture and sharing

By carrying an Android tablet or an iPad/
iPhone, surveyors can utilize SuperSurv to
replace several tools for spatial data capture, such as paper maps, pens, documents,
measuring equipment, cameras and compasses. All thats needed is the app in the
device. With the built-in GNSS chip in smart
devices, surveyors can collect eld data by

GNSS signals automatically or manually.

SuperSurv supports ofine editing, so users
are able to edit and save the data in .SHP
or GEO formats without any internet connection, even in remote areas.

Waypoint guidance can show you the direction and distance between the targets and
your current position. With this, surveyors can
visualize next stops to plan a best survey
route. To add waypoints, just long-press on the
screen, import by a .TXT or .CSV le or sim-

The data can be shared in two ways; either

by synchronizing the mobile device to a
desktop computer or by transmitting via
Internet in real time. Utilizing one of these
methods enables surveyors to load in base
maps from server on demand, and the data
in geo-databases can be updated timely, to
optimize data quality and improve data
sharing efciency for organizations.

Project environment and functionalities

The attribute information and the direction
of the survey routes are very important for
eld workers. SuperSurv enables users to
create a project environment during eld
work. All the data and media are stored in
a project folder for easier data management. According to the type of data the users
would like to collect, they can create the
layer and customize their attribute tables
exibly. For organizations who conduct
large survey projects, SuperSurv can contribute to following reporting with the pre-

October/November 2014

Waypoint guidance can show the direction and distance between the
targets and your current position.


ply add it by GPS signal. The waypoints in

SuperSurv are editable, and the users may
delete, rename or export them as a .KML, .TXT
or .CSV le for later use.
SuperSurv offers users with several query
ways by features, texts, and hyperlinks. By
tapping on the map, users can directly see the
results shown on the screen of their smart
device. For example, when importing a cadastral map, you may use Spatial Query to get
the land information nearby the current GPS
position. The land information, such as land
size, land ID, owner, etc. will be displayed on
maps. Another way is to select by attributes.
With this, surveyors can easily check the captured data, view the un-surveyed spots, sort
the data and arrange the schedule for the rest
of the work for the day.
The latest SuperSurv 3.2 adds a new function,
Hyperlink Query. With a quick hyperlink setting, users can simply tap on the screen to
open a web page, document, photo, video
etc. of a feature. The eld task becomes so
informative that surveyors wont miss any information of the surveyed targets.
On-screen measurement is supported in
SuperSurv. You can quickly measure a line,
an area or a feature on the map, and you can
switch the units between metric and imperial

On-screen measurement is supported in SuperSurv. The user can

quickly measure a line, an area or a feature on the map and you can
switch the units between metric and imperial for localized use.

for localized use. It helps surveyors to quickly

identify the eld data for planning the survey
work. The measured information can also be
shared with ofce colleagues to plan for land

Integrating GPS and GIS

SuperSurv integrates GIS and GPS technologies to provide functions like Map Display,

Query, Measure, and editing for point, line

and polygon data. The GIS functions combine
several native features of smart devices, like
GPS signals, camera, e-compass, le management, multi-touch and more. Additional
software is not required for data translation.
Everything that is needed has been developed
in the app already. The app is especially
designed for Android and iOS devices, so
any Android phones or tablets supporting
Android 2.3, 3.x, 4.x and iPhone/iPad with
iOS 6.0 above can work with SuperSurv.

There are two kinds of query tools in SuperSurv; Attribute Query and Identify Query. By tapping on the map, the user can see the results shown
on the screen of your smart device immediately.

October/November 2014

After collecting the eld data, users can physically bring the data back to ofce, and synchronize the mobile device with computers to
transmit the data for further use. For iOS users,
cloud hard drive like Dropbox is an easy
way for data sharing. Whats more,
SuperSurv supports online data sharing and
editing. With an Internet/Wi connection, the
users may submit the collected data back to
geo-database by the connection with SuperGIS Server. Downloading maps from the serv-



even in low performance smart devices.

Therefore, eld survey work wont be
delayed due to raster data reading.

Future releases
For future product blueprint, software globalization and GPS function enhancement will be
the key issues in Supergeos product plan.
Firstly, the user interface of SuperSurv will support more languages, enabling more users to
manipulate SuperSurv in the language they
are familiar with. In addition, SuperSurv will
enhance the coordinate system support to
allow worldwide users to collect data with
their local coordinate systems.

For iOS users, cloud hard drive like Dropbox is an easy way for
data sharing.

er is also possible, so there is no need to

worry about missing reference maps during
the eld work.

Product features
SuperSurv can be used in a complete ofine
mode. Without any Internet connection, the
smart app can still conduct data collection by
GPS, manage layers by projects, query and
measure features on-screen, adjust waypoint
and tracklogs settings, etc. The data can also
be transmitted by synchronizing with computers via USB cable (Android) and iTunes/
Dropbox (iOS). It can also be used standalone
to complete mobile mapping tasks. On the
other hand, online connection to download
maps and upload data is also supported in
SuperSurv, so users have a number of comprehensive solutions.
As for free base maps, SuperSurv allows users
to apply OpenStreetMap directly when starting a mapping project. The base map is beautiful and totally free. For other data format,
commonly used .SHP (layer data) and .KML
(GPS tracks and Waypoints) are supported to
be exchanged with more software platforms.
Other features like the custom attribute table,
which can assist quick data collection and categorizing in menu form, is also a useful tool.
On the other hand, if users would like to
import raster data as base maps, SuperSurv
allows users to import cached maps in .STC
format, which can be quickly prepared by
the Cache Generator tool in SuperGIS
Desktop, the ofce software developed by
Supergeo. The benet of cached maps (or
say tile maps) is to display maps quickly

Additionally, SuperSurv will improve GPS

function to increase the data accuracy and
provide more exible ways for users to collect
features with GPS signal. For example, GPS
average function and satellite number display
will be released by end of 2014, and a realtime DGPS solution is being developed as
well. Last but not least, the user interface
design continues to be optimized to supply the
optimal user experience and allow users to
conduct eld survey in an easy-to-use, intuitive,
and effective environment.

Geographical markets
The latest release of SuperSurv (version 3.2)
provides, among other things, more US local
coordinate systems. As it happens, the US is
an area of big interest for Supergeo. The US
is a battle eld for IT products, which means
that succeeding there will be a long road for
SuperSurv. Interestingly, research shows that
iOS users are more willing to pay for professional apps. Supergeo hopes to open the market in the mature GIS holy place, not only for
sales, but also for brand recognition for online
channels like Google Play and App Store. As
the company has gained more attention from
US users, they have had to give more consideration to the localized support for its users.
In response to this more USA local coordinate
systems have been added, and the same situation is expected to happen in other markets
SuperSurv has been installed by users from
many different countries like France, Italy,
Spain, Tanzania, Hong Kong, Australia,
Ukraine, Mexico, Ecuador, and so on. For
example, in Latin America, theres a client
who utilized SuperSurv to manage eld data
for their tequila farm. Tequila is a very important cash crop and needs special growing
environments. SuperSurv is used to measure
the farms size, update crop conditions, man-

October/November 2014

SuperSurv can be used in a complete offline mode.

age waypoints and tracks, and identify crop

positions for farmers and the farm workers, so
they can optimize the planting and increase
It is advantageous that Supergeo is based in
Taiwan, as it makes it easier to promote their
GIS solutions to Asian countries. One particular challenge they have encountered, however, is that many users in this area are not used
to buying apps. Supergeos strategy is to focus
more on the functionality in professional work,
to highlight the value of this app. Also,
SuperSurv can work with enterprise Servers
(like SuperGIS Server) for real-time data
update. This is quite useful in project use for
collecting in the eld and then updating in the
ofce: a practice which is quite popular in the
This year, the companys special focus is the
European market. With the economy downturn, EU users are very sensitive to pricing, but
at the same time, they are more open-minded
to new gadgets. For example, Supergeo collaborates with a Polish company, who
designed a rugged product case for iPad, and
put SuperSurv in the device to form a turnkey
GIS solution for eld survey and mapping with
iOS. Similar success stories are happening in
other countries on a regular basis.
For questions, please refer to: staff@supergeotek.com
For more information on SuperGeo, please refer to:
SuperSurv FB: https://www.facebook.com/SuperSurv



By Eric van Rees

The upcoming release of ArcGIS, version 10.3, will contain a brand new application
for 2D and 3D. Named ArcGIS Pro, it contains the most commonly used aspects of
all individual desktop applications, fused into a fast, multi-threaded and responsive
application representing new opportunities for GIS users.

ArcGIS Pro
2D and 3D GIS

In ArcGIS Pro, your work is organized into projects.

For years, Esri has been hinting at a completely new 3D GIS application as part of the ArcGIS platform. Finally, this new GIS application called ArcGIS Pro will soon be revealed and will enable 2D and
3D mapping, data management and will contain spatial analysis
tools. Branded as the next-generation version of ArcGIS for Desktop,
ArcGIS Pro will emerge as a brand new application with the release
of ArcGIS 10.3 (release date: November 2014).
ArcGIS Pro is a universal GIS application with something to offer to
every type of GIS user. Since it is a multi-threaded, 64-Bit application, it allows for a smooth, fast and responsive user experience. It
will be included as a new application for ArcGIS for Desktop, so that
users can choose whether to install and run both ArcMap and ArcGIS
Pro side by side. Although its being released as part of the latest
version of ArcGIS, the application will be work with older versions of
ArcGIS for Desktop.
Although the term next-generation GIS application caused some
confusion amongst users, ArcGIS Pro is denitely not meant to replace
ArcMap, which will continue to ourish in the future. The choice
between ArcMap and ArcGIS Pro is up to the user: both applications
can be used for visualizing data and there are shared functionalities
such as the availability of geoprocessing tools in both applications
even at the same time, if desired. However, there are also differences
which will give each application within ArcGIS its own character.

ArcGIS Pro: whats new?

The uniqueness of ArcGIS Pro is threefold: its fast, powerful and
offers combined 2D and 3D workows for visualization, data management and spatial analysis. Although there are other Esri software
offerings for 3D available, this is the rst horizontal generic 3D GIS
application for all industries. Users are invited to take their workows, which may traditionally be in 2D, migrate them to ArcGIS Pro
and see the usefulness of 3D.
Product demos during the Esri UC in San Diego showed that ArcGIS
Pro is very fast: not only on display, but also on analysis. To achieve

this, a new software architecture was needed and Esri came up with
a new graphics engine for both 2D and 3D, enabled through innovative, modern, multi-threaded software architecture. Multi-threaded refers to a widespread programming and execution model that
allows multiple threads to exist within the context of a single process. What this means in actuality is that a single process can have
many different "functions" executing concurrently, allowing the application to make better use of the available hardware (multiple
cores/processors) and remain responsive.
ArcGIS Pro allows ease of navigation through 3D data whilst maintaining a frame rate of 60 frames per second and simultaneously
displaying a great deal of high-detailed content to make a 3D scene
realistic. Apart from 3D visualization, 3D analysis is optional, as
the geoprocessing tools available in ArcMap can be applied in the
application (the same goes for the extensions of ArcGIS for Desktop,
more on this below). The new architecture also allows for multiple
views, which means multiple layouts, maps and different locations
of maps which can all be opened side by side.
The application is also faster due to a simplied user interface. One
of the design principles Esri had for ArcGIS Pro, was to focus on the
content (for building a map) and less on the interface. This is further
enhanced by the visual design of the application, which is very clean
and without any pop up dialogues. It has a ribbon interface, which
is also used in Microsoft Ofce applications and consists of tabs,
which have different groups with commands for executing functionality. What is interesting here is that the ribbon is context-driven by
the different views and layers: when a user selects a different layer
type, such as a raster layer, tabs and commands appear which are
allowed in this particular context. These commands vanish when the
user stops working with a raster layer. Since ArcGIS Pro has hundreds of commands, this approach makes it easier to work with.
From the user perspective, there are many interesting novelties, such
as project-based workows. This means that all Esri data les (.mxd,

October/November 2014


Geoprocessing provides a rich suite of tools for performing spatial analysis and managing GIS data in an automated way.

.sxd and .3DD) can be imported into ArcGIS Pro and saved and
processed as projects (.aprx). Furthermore, another new concept is
tasks, which refers to the ability to capture a workow in a series
of steps and share them with other ArcGIS Pro users. These tasks
can include anything: its possible to record clicks of the user and
interaction with a map, which will be implemented once the task is

Integration with other parts of ArcGIS and ArcGIS Online

Those familiar with ArcMap will recognize elements from ArcMap
in ArcGIS Pro: apart from the aforementioned available geoprocessing tools, theres the Python window for writing Python scripts, as
well as ModelBuilder. All Python scripts should be able to be moved
over to ArcGIS Pro, although there are some syntax changes and
some modications, such as Python 3, used in ArcGIS Pro. To help
with this script migration, Esri has created some tools for scripts
which are used for other parts of ArcGIS.

A signicant part of ArcGIS Pro is

the ability to be a client to the
whole ArcGIS platform, whether
online or on site with ArcGIS for
Server or a portal. A share tab in
the application shows all the different ways to share content: these
can be layers, tasks, maps and
projects. A map and all its layers
can also be shared as a web
scene, which refers to the Esri
CityEngine technology for creating
3D views which users can interact
with in a web browser without a
plugin or download, using a
mobile device, or in ArcGIS for
Desktop. ArcGIS Pro is also tightly
integrated with ArcGIS Online so
that content from the cloud can be
used within the application.

Licensing and customization

ArcGIS Pro has the same breakdown of functionality as ArcMap,
which means Basic, Standard and Advanced levels. It also has many
of the same extensions as ArcGIS for Desktop, so users who already
have these can use the same functionality in ArcGIS Pro as well. The
rst release of ArcGIS Pro will feature Spatial Analyst, 3D Analyst,
Network Analyst, Geostatistical Analyst, Data Reviewer, Workow
Manager and Data Interoperability extensions. A note about the
ArcGIS 3D Analyst extension and ArcGIS Pro: While the 3D Analyst
extension is not needed for ArcGIS Pro (Basic, Standard, and
Advanced) to view and edit data in 3D, it can be used for performing analysis in 3D.
There are three ways to customize ArcGIS Pro. The rst release of
the application will feature a way to simplify the interface with no
programming at all. Secondly, users can automate their workows
and execute processes through Python, leveraging the geoprocessing tools, but also cartography,
mapmaking and data creation
and data manipulation. This fall
will feature the beta release of a
new .NET API within Visual Studio
which will allow users to extend
and to customize ArcGIS Pro, such
as adding buttons and commands. For interested parties,
ArcGIS Pro is now available in
Beta 5.
For more information, have a look at:

ArcGIS Pro provides you with the ability to create, document, discover, and share your geographic information with others.

October/November 2014



By Huibert-Jan Lekkerkerk

Well, actually a lot more difficult than it appeared initially. In the previous update
the various problems with the Glonass launches were explained. Unfortunately,
Glonass does not have the monopoly on launch errors; this time it was Galileos

How Difficult Can It Be?

GNSS Update

Separation of satellites from Soyuz satellite (source: esa.int)

he 22nd of August should have

marked a new phase for Galileo
with the launch of the rst two Full
Operational Capability (FOC)
satellites (nrs. 5 and 6). Alas, after
a by-the-book launch, the satellites were
injected into the wrong earth orbit. The actual cause of the failure was not clear at the
time of writing, but ngers are pointing
towards the Russian-made Soyuz Fregat
rocket which, after launch, took a wrong
Originally the two satellites were supposed
to be in a circular orbit at 29 900 kms with
an inclination of 55. The achieved orbit is,
however, elliptical at 26 200 km, with an
inclination of 49.9. As a result the EU now
possesses (for the time being) another two
expensive Galileo test beds.
An independent inquiry committee will
investigate the issue further. A possible
option for using the satellites, other than as

Galileo control room (source: esa.int)

October/November 2014


test bed, is to alter the almanac allowing for

non-circular orbiting satellites.

Other Galileo news

A contract was signed between the ESA and
Arianespace for the launch of an additional
12 FOC Galileo satellites in 2015. These
satellites will be launched in three launches
using Ariane 5 ES rockets. Another 10 satellites are to be launched on Soyuz Fregat
rockets, which can hold 2 satellites per
Three of the four In Orbit Validation (IOV)
satellites have experienced problems with
the transmitting power. In two cases there
was a drop in power, whilst the third satellite (FM4) actually experienced a loss of
power on May 27th. At the moment the reasons are still being researched. Until these
are clear, all IOV satellites are transmitting
at a 1.5 dB lower power level.
Using the four available IOV, a number of
Galileo position xes have been obtained.
To date the rst x was obtained in ESAs
Navigation Laboratory at ESTEC (the
Netherlands) on March 12th 2013. ESA has
decided to certify the rst 50 position xes
made. In contrast to what one might expect,
about half of these xes were made outside
Europe; mainly in Australasia and North
America. Within Europe, most of the early
position xes were obtained in Italy, with 6
separate xes.
Another test using the IOV satellites has
shown an early proof of concept of the
encrypted E6B and E6C signals. These sig-

First 50 Galileo fixes (source: esa.int)

nals will be used in the future for the

Commercial Service; a paid for service that
should give decimeter level accuracy.

Not much has happened since the last
GNSS update other than the successful
launch of a Glonass-M satellite from
Plesetsk. In addition to the normal satellite
conguration, this satellite (755) holds an
experimental package transmitting in the L3
band (1202.025 MHz). This is a special sig-

Transport of Glonass-M55 towards the launch site in Plesetsk (source: gpsworld.com)

October/November 2014

nal as it is a CDMA signal as used in GPS

and Galileo, whereas all other Glonass signals are FDMA. This is the second Glonass
satellite to have the experimental L3 frequency on board; a Glonass-K satellite was
launched previously, which is also transmitting the L3 frequency.

On August 1st the seventh GPS IIF satellite
was launched into orbit. This is the seventh
satellite to have the civilian L5 signal. Another



same PRN. That satellite, however, has not

been heard from in a while.

launch is in the pipeline for later this year.

In early September GPS satellite SVN35
(PRN03) resumed its transmissions after having been shut down earlier. The satellite is,
however, not operational for navigation, so
presumably the main reason for switching it
back on is to test the last remaining clock
on board.

The Space Based Augmentation System
(SBAS), known as QZSS, is operational in
Japan with one satellite called Michibiki and
may be scheduled for an expansion. The
Japanese Committee on Space Policy has
drafted a proposal to increase the number
of satellites to four. The main use of the additional satellites would be to strengthen the
positioning of surveillance satellites. With
the advance of Chinese maritime exploits
and North Koreas missile launches, addi-

Screenshot of GPS receiver on board the super-yacht being spoofed

(source: gpsworld.com)

tional surveillance is deemed necessary by

the Japanese.
The Russian SBAS system is almost nished,
with the third and nal satellite, Luch-5V, having started transmissions using PRN code 140.
This was somewhat unexpected as the initial
augmentation satellite, Luch-5A, used the

October/November 2014

Possibly one of the major concerns in GNSS

use is that of jamming and spoong. In the
case of jamming no signals are received at
all, whereas with spoong the situation is
more serious, as it allows the spoofer to fake
positioning signals, thereby goading users
to incorrect locations. This summer a spoofing detector was tested by Cornell University
on a super-yacht in the Mediterranean using
fake signals from an earlier tested spoong
device. Initial results show that it is possible
to detect a spoong attack, but it is not possible at the moment to lter out the spoofed
signal from the true signal.
Huibert-Jan Lekkerkerk hlekkerkerk@geoinformatics.com is
a freelance writer and trainer in the fields of positioning
and hydrography.


Using GIS for Election Campaigns

ata is usually related by relationships; this
campaign worker is based out of this ofce.
GIS relates data by location; this voter in this
congressional district. This changes how we both
store and interact with data. Since election are
inherently geographic in nature. GIS is the perfect
technology to use for planning, coordinating, and
analyzing election campaigns. The campaign data
is stored centrally for access across the organization, access to both ofce and eld based staff using
PCs or mobile devices respectively. Visualization
and analysis anywhere, anytime, anyplace.
Take for instance GIS for election campaign planning. At its core GIS provides location intelligence.
The technology can answer a range of location
based questions, and display results in intuitive ways
via maps. Since elections are inherently geographic in nature, GIS provides key tools to help with election planning. For example: nding concentrations
of likely voters or supporters for more efcient targeting or search and display by a set of criteria eg.
show on a map all 2014 Primary Voters by district.
As eld based staff use mobile GIS apps, eld directors will be able to see the progress of sign placement operations, volunteer recruitment, and literature distribution. They will also be able to see the
location of eld workers while they are interacting
with voters and view responses in real time. Unit
and district chairs could use these the data recorded in GIS systems for mass e-mails, the content being
related to the voters district or location. Task lists
could be created and posted for party or campaign
employees, allowing them to record their progress.

Mobile GIS for Election Canvassing and Walk

Political canvassers spend a key part of their time
out talking to voters. Often they are supplied with
a walk list. Mobile GIS provides markers on a map
showing canvassers the location of target households on their walk list. A mobile GIS app can also
provide shortest route to help move from one household to the next.
Mobile GIS provides ways for canvassers to collect
information on voter feedback. In the same way as
we later describe with polling station interviews.
Household interviews can be represented as a
point on the map, the content of the interview stored
as so called map point attributes. So the answers
to questions, comments and images (taken with the
mobile phone or tablets camera) can be collected
and shared with campaign headquarters. That is
potentially very powerful for this and future elections.

Using GIS for Election Coordination and Phone

Since GIS is focused on location, it is the perfect tool
to help coordinate election campaign eld staff, campaign ofces, candidate events and phone banks. All
successful election campaign require careful coordination. Phone banks are often crucial. GIS can help
develop call lists based on location, voter past behavior, demographics. Phone banks help motivate voters
to vote on election day, and provide follow up to
direct mail campaigns.

Using GIS for Political Campaign Sign

Choosing the best locations for election campaign
signs is important. The goal is to nd the best locations in terms of trafc and demographics. If your
campaign is targeting certain voters, it is key that
these voters see your signs. GIS can provide the analysis to discover the best locations for signs. Sign
placement can then be recorded. Images of the location and competing signs taken and stored.

GIS Data Collection for Polling Station Exit

Exit polls are very important on election day. Often
these relate to election result prediction. But increasingly, recording problems at polling stations including voter intimidation, is becoming important. Many
organizations are conducting volunteer driven interviews outside polling stations with voters. Recording
interview location, voter response, images of ID cards
and polling station problems such as lack of handicapped parking. Mobile GIS is being used to collect
exit interview data. This data is helping to prevent
the disfranchisement of voters.

Post-Election Analysis with GIS

All political parties will now be able to visualize
their campaign efforts on a map with much better
results. Looking back at any campaign requires
reecting on the data used to organize and plan
the campaign. With all campaign data stored in
one authoritative source: a GIS, allows campaign
managers to review and learn for future campaigns. GS provides the data and tools to conduct
such post-election analyses.
As the November 2014 election season comes
around, it would behoove many election campaigns across the country to start leveraging GIS.
Given the geographic focus of elections, GIS provides political and nonprot organizations new and
powerful ways to conduct successful campaigns.

October/November 2014

Matt Sheehan is Principal and Senior

Developer at WebmapSolutions.
The company build location focused
mobile applications for GIS, mapping
and location based services (LBS).
Matt can be reached at



By Remco Takken

Orbit GT is one of the few providers, possibly the only one, to offer a generic
viewer for imagery: scanned data and imagery of all sorts.

One Generic Viewer for All

Current Data Types
The Lifecycle of Mobile Mapping Data

Mobile mapping data

n my opinion, its fundamental

that software and data should be
separated. Isnt it strange that you
are obligated to buy superuous
software with the data you need?
says Peter Bonne, CEO of Belgian company
Orbit Geospatial Technologies. In mainstream
and consumer ICT this is stating the obvious,
since data formats have been standardized
and the consumers can randomly choose an
appropriate tool to work with. In the niche
market of mobile mapping data, however, its
(still) normal to purchase imagery with the obligatory purchase of a viewer.
Software house Orbit GT has a generic viewer on the market that can handle all current
data types. According to Bonne there are not
many real standards in this niche market,
but the manufacturer is obliged to provide the

camera position, the lens focal, the angles and

the traditional photogrammetric data.

Four disciplines
Orbit GT discerns four disciplines under the
denominator mobile mapping. For starters,
mobile mapping is a form of data capture with
the aid of a vehicle. This could be a car, a
boat or a train. UAV mapping happens with
the aid of unmanned airplanes or mini-helicopters. Stereo and oblique imagery are aerial images. According to Peter Bonne, it
doesnt matter to the bidder what technique is
used beforehand: what is needed is a certain result and quality level. Often, data sets
which are to hand are accidentally used during projects. Users of open, generic software
dont have to worry at that moment about the
compatibility of available data.

October/November 2014

Oblique imagery
The oblique image is a special data type
which Orbit GT has been supporting for some
time. Bonne states: Oblique imagery has
been around for a long time. The costs were
very high until recently, but nowadays they
are acquired almost automatically with other
imagery. However, some viewer providers
dont seem to want to make any effort to support them. With oblique imagery you cant
replace stereo imagery; at least thats what
theyre probably thinking. However, there are
more than enough alternative applications
available. Bonne explains: take the Up-date
Dutch Height Model (Actueel Hoogtebestand
van Nederland, AHN2). That model exists as
scan data that has been made available
recently as open data. You can use it to position your oblique imagery. The result is very


Mobile mapping data

beautiful and useful. Obviously, the Orbit

Obliques software supports all camera types
and data capture systems. It can be used for
disaster management, urban planning and 3D
city modeling. It can also be a useful addition for diverse government tasks that already
make use of imagery.

Evolution in use
An enormous revolution has taken place in a
relatively short period of time in the use of
data that has been acquired mobile. From the
client point of view, until recently there were
two approaches to the use of mobile mapping
data. Either someone would take a panoramic photo, which was taken from the street to
the ofce and would, subsequently, be viewed
there, or they would drive around in order to
acquire a 3D point cloud; thereby substituting
traditional land surveying. Theres also been
a noticeable shift from specic to common
use of mobile acquired imagery. Bonne:
mobile mapping is now a very broad phenomenon. You could say: a photographic
image is to be used for interpretation; scanned
points are very useful for performing measuring work. Bonne indeed sees a growth in this
sort of usage, but thinks there are still many

more possibilities: The sensors that are used

are all coming together now. It appears that
combining the now known sensors offers an
incredible added value. He gives an example where 3D scan data are used for civil
(drawing) orders. Take for instance volume
assessments. This can be done with a civil
drawing package, but can also be done in a
3D scanned point cloud. At rst glance, it
appears to produce a whole different product
as youre drawing an imaginary line instead
of a CAD-line. The result, however, i.e. the volume assessment, is the same. What you see,
is that more often than not people switch
between different technologies. 3D point
clouds, digital height models and TIN-models
are more often seen in relation to each other.

Feature Extraction
The data volumes of all this imagery are signicant. Orbit GT facilitates this with the
Feature Extraction tool in solutions for clients
who want to address terabytes of data in one
seamless le. This tool began as an automated tool for road sign recognition in normal
planar photo images. The current Feature
Extraction tools comprise points, distances,
(poly-)lines, (overhead) wires and regions.

Mobile mapping data

October/November 2014

Visualization comprises panoramic image,

perspective, anaglyph stereo and isometric

Point clouds and panoramic images

For many people, working with point clouds
is still a complex thing. By adding comprehensible panoramic images, point clouds
are made more understandable. The lifecycle of point clouds is being extended further
and further. After all, many non-specialists
understand the functioning of a Streetviewlike tool. Measuring in images is becoming
feasible due to the added scan data for people who would normally never work with
point clouds. This massive use has subsequently enabled more rewarding hosting of
these applications than ever before for
clients. The professional also gains from the
combination of images and 3D scans, as
Orbit GTs Content Manager helps the data
collector to organize, clean up and optimize
the accuracy data so that it can be provided properly to the client.
For more information, have a look at: www.orbitgis.com



Python Scripting and GIS

Increasing Efficiency

By Eric van Rees

Many GIS users have discovered the benefits of Python scripting. Drew Flater
(Esri) explains why python scripting makes GIS work more efficient and how
GIS capabilities can be increased by using it.

An example of a Python script for creating a 3D buffer around point or line features.

he use of free and open source software (FOSS) at Esri took a huge
leap when Esri ofcially embraced
Python as the preferred scripting
tool and integrated it further into
their ArcGIS platform after the release of
ArcGIS 10. This decision led to Python
scripting and GIS becoming inextricably
linked within just a couple of years. It was
due to requests from the Esri user base that
led to the adoption of Python in the ArcGIS
platform. Its popularity is readily apparent
and was particularly evident at the Esri
International User Conference, where
Python sessions drew large crowds, made
up, in the main, from those who are interested in using Python Scripting in their daily
work with GIS.

The people that come to the Python:

Getting Started sessions at the Esri UC are
mostly GIS analysts who understand that
Python scripting can be used to work more

efciently and increase their GIS capabilities says Drew Flater (Esri). What also helps
is that Python is free of charge, easy to
learn, is supported on different platforms
and provides exibility for accomplishing
any number of tasks both within and outside
a GIS. Now that Esri has embraced Python,
it is widely used for customizing ArcGIS
Desktop applications, creating new geoprocessing tools and automating geoprocessing and mapping workows. As well as
Python sessions at the Esri UC, Esri offers
training specically for Python and geoprocessing scripting, has online resources available for users and has published two Python
tutorials through Esri Press.

Being more efcient with Python

Drew Flater illustrates with a simple example, how Python scripting can save GIS analysts a lot of time: lets suppose you want
to check the coordinate system of a thousand data sets and re-project any that don't

October/November 2014

have the right coordinate system. Doing that

for a large geo-database would be a full
summer's project for an intern, whereas ten
lines of Python script code can make that
happen in a number of minutes or hours.
What these lines of code do, is access the
existing functions available in ArcGIS
through a site package, so that the Python
scripting language does all the work rather
than the user. A scripting language is not
the same as a programming language: a
programming language involves the development of more sophisticated multifunctional applications, while a scripting language
automates certain functionality within another program. Scripting allows you to put various existing elements together, while programming allows you to build components
from scratch. Python is both a scripting and
a programming language, so it can be used
for both.
Automating geoprocessing tools will likely
be how you rst use Python scripting in
ArcGIS. But over time, as people become
more skilled and increase their Python skills,
there are other opportunities says Flater:
One of the important parts of Python scripting in ArcGIS is that you can build new geoprocessing tools with it from straightforward data management to advanced new
analytic functionality that's tailored to the
exact thing that you want to accomplish.
The close integration between ArcGIS and
Python is established through a site package
called ArcPy. ArcPy gives access to all the
geoprocessing tools in ArcGIS and also contains modules, classes and functions which
add more scripting functionality . Flater
adds: Since ArcPy is our homebuilt site
package for Python, you get ArcPy automatically included when you have ArcGIS
Desktop, Engine, or Server. Additionally, we


A screenshot of ArcMap showing the Python Window

include the third-party libraries which our

current geoprocessing tools leverage. So
tools in the Spatial Statistics Toolbox leverage the NumPy package, as well as the
Matploblib package with more to come.
New additions in ArcGIS Pro include the
netCDF4 library as well as more scientic
Python modules.

ModelBuilder vs. Python scripting

These libraries explain why Python is often
preferred to other automation capabilities
such as ModelBuilder: they enable the integration of other applications with ArcGIS;
this is not possible with ModelBuilder alone.
Also, ModelBuilder doesnt enable branching logic (applying if-then-else logic in
order to run a set of tools or functions if a
specic condition is met), as is the case with
Python. Finally, Python script tools allow the
user to specify tool validation code, which
allows the tool UI to react intelligently with
what you are doing by changing the values
of drop downs, hiding certain parameters

which don't apply to what you're doing and

setting parameters into drop down categories. Creating a ModelBuilder tool is
easy and efcient but doesn't provide those
advanced capabilities states Flater.
Esri has geoprocessing packages for sharing or exchanging either ModelBuilder or
Python tools. Theres an analysis and geoprocessing model and script tool gallery on
ArcGIS Online and there's a lot of ideas and
packages being exchanged between people. Its likely that in the future this will occur
in the Geonet community website, as well
as the new Living Atlas technology for sharing data and for collaborating.

Python: the future

Esri has been with Python for ten years now,
starting with the ArcGIS Desktop 9.0
release. Theyve committed to continuing
Python support by making Python 3 the version of Python used in the new ArcGIS
Desktop application, ArcGIS Pro. There
have been a number of misconceptions,

A screenshot of the Esri GeoNet

community website.

October/November 2014

however, about the change in version with

regards to ArcGIS Pro. Pro will use Python
3.4, whereas ArcMap and ArcCatalog will
continue in the Python 2 version. Flater claries: There might be some misconception
that scripts that are written for ArcMap
wont work in ArcGIS Pro or vice versa. The
most familiar thing that has changed in the
new version of Python is how the print statement of Python 2.7 has changed to a print
function. The change that's required in this
instance is adding parentheses, so that's a
very simple change. The migration really
should be easy. In ArcGIS Pro, as well as in
ArcGIS 10.3, there will a new tool called
Analyze Tools for Pro. This will go through
and run a utility which reports any errors or
any changes that you need to make to
Python 2.7 scripts, in order to change them
to be supported in Python 3.
For more information, have a look at:

Event preview


SPAR Europe and the European LiDAR Mapping Forum

(ELMF) are two major events held simultaneously
covering precision-measurement technologies.
Two Conferences, One Registration Fee
SPAR Europe and ELMF require only one registration
and are held under one roof, which gives you a single source for the latest geospatial technology trends
from innovations in terrestrial 3D data capture to
advances in aerial LiDAR systems. Attendees can network with and gain valuable information from other
precision-measurement and imaging professionals,
even across industry and disciplinary lines.
Paid registration includes access to over 70 presentations in both conference programmes, giving you a
deep dive on education and information from industry leaders from across the globe.

SPAR Europe is a platform-agnostic conference and

exhibition focused on end-to-end business and technology considerations for 3D measurement and
imaging for building, architecture and construction;
industrial facilities; and security.
Visit www.SPARPointGroup.com/Europe for more information and to register.
Check the SPAR Europe programme for sessions
with experts in data capture, point cloud processing
and delivery, who will share best practices that you
can put to use right away for using 3D technologies
to improve processes, produce spot-on deliverables,
and save time and money.

Register before 31 October for

early-bird rates and save up to 200.

European LiDAR Mapping Forum is a technical

conference and exhibition focused on data acquisi-

tion, fusion, processing & point clouds for airborne,

terrestrial, and underwater LiDAR used to support
transport, urban modelling, coastal zone mapping,
utility asset management, and more.
Visit www.lidarmap.org/Europe for more information
and to register.
Check the ELMF programme for sessions on the latest advances in technology, where you can hear about
industry changes and developments rst-hand from
industry experts. This includes information on the latest LiDAR technology to hit the market, new data
fusion/classication and processing techniques and
the increasing integration of key technologies, as well
as case studies highlighting actual experiences and
lessons learned.

Keynotes (as of 11 September, 2014)

Peter van Bluenberg, President, Unmanned
Vehicle Systems (UVS) International
RPAS: The Current Status Regarding Civil Operations

Valentijn de Leeuw, Vice President, ARC

Advisory Group
State of the Market: 3D Measurement

Free to Attend!


If a full registration is not in your budget, access

these free-to-attend features:
An International Exhibition of solutions providers
Technical Workshops showcasing the newest supplier advances and best practices
Live Demonstrations of data-capture technologies
and workows
Mobile Mapping Vehicles displaying the latest in
mobile data capture
Networking Opportunities with hundreds of measurement and imaging professionals

From Unmanned Aerial Systems and low cost scanning devices to top of the line HDS scanners, attendees will see a variety of
options on display in the exhibit hall. Explore the latest innovations from top solutions providers in a platform-neutral forum.

Register online for free at:

www.SPARPointGroup.com/Europe or

A Night at the NEMO Tuesday, 9

Dont miss a fun-lled evening with colleagues at the
NEMO, Amsterdams science museum. Explore the
museums captivating exhibits over cocktails, then
settle in for a delectable 3-course buffet dinner.
Additional cost of 68. Drinks and buffet dinner
included. Register for A Night at the NEMO when
you register for SPAR Europe and European LiDAR
Mapping Forum.

8-10 December

Passenger Terminal Amsterd
am, Amsterdam, The Netherl

VRMesh is a powerful 3D point cloud and mesh processing software application.

It provides cutting-edge solutions for automatic point cloud classification, feature
extraction, and accurate triangle mesh generation. With the latest release of version
8.0, VRMesh has reached a new level of maturity. The most important features are
discussed below by Chao Han, the founder of VirtualGrid and the creator of VRMesh.



By Chao Han

VRMesh for LiDAR Point Clouds

3D Point Cloud and Mesh Processing Software

Point Cloud Feature Extraction

Point Cloud Classification

Point Cloud Classication

The rst feature highlighted here is the automatic point cloud classication capability of VRMesh. Unlike traditional LiDAR data processing
workows that have to extract ground points rst before classifying vegetation and buildings, the rst fundamental step in VRMesh is to detect
vegetation. It provides a next-generation solution to point cloud classication that automatically extract vegetation, buildings, and ground
points from airborne/mobile LiDAR data. A major benet of the workow is that, it has the ability to automatically classify point clouds under
extreme variations in terrain, no matter the data is gathered from steep
slopes covered with dense vegetation or areas where there is very few
ground points available. Furthermore, VRMesh has a unique ability to
automatically identify hidden man-made structures that are fully covered by canopies.
Except for these high-accuracy capabilities, VRMesh provides a simplied procedure for LiDAR data processing. Users only need to dene
one parameter, the roughness on point clouds, to identify vegetation
and extract ground points from LiDAR data. More than 99% classication jobs can be automatically done in most cases.

Point Cloud Feature Extraction

Extracting features such as building footprints,
railways, curbs, power lines, poles, and trees
from LiDAR point clouds is in high demand.
VRMesh provides users a complete solution to
quickly and accurately extracting all these 3D
features from point clouds for further analysis. It
allows you to extract building footprints from
dense urban areas and create 3D buildings in
one click. It provides the ability to detect rail-

ways and curbs in point clouds. In the newest version 8.5, scheduled
for release in July 2014, more features will be available including
extracting power lines, poles, and individual tree from airborne or
mobile LiDAR data. In addition, VRMesh allows you to generate grid
surfaces and export as Esri ASCII Grid format for use in downstream

Point Cloud Triangulation

Much more than an advanced software tool for point cloud classication and feature extraction, VRMesh also delivers best-in-class point
cloud clean-up and triangulation functionalities for users to generate
high quality triangle meshes. It has the ability to generate an accurate
TIN surface from LiDAR data no matter how complex the terrain topography is. Meanwhile, the decimation and remesh smoothing routines in
VRMesh are fast and reliable. Mesh editing tools allow users to merge
multiple overlapping surfaces back into one seamless surface. In short,
VRMesh provides an effective way to convert hundreds of millions of
point clouds into triangle meshes with high accuracy.

Over ten years of development, VRMesh has become the most powerful point cloud and mesh processing software
application covering from automatic point cloud
classication to accurate triangle mesh generation. VRMesh has been used in many elds such
as defense, transportation, mining, urban planning, architecture, manufacturing, gaming, etc.
By Chao Han, Founder VirtualGrid. For more information,
have a look at www.vrmesh.com.
Point Cloud Triangulation

October/November 2014


CLGE newsletter

Kaliningrad Declaration
The IV CLGE Conference of the European Surveyor and GeoInformation, held in Kaliningrad from 1st to
3rdJuly 2014, allowed the participating CLGE delegates to exchange views with the local surveyors.
The Conference was not only the occasion to honour Struve as the European Surveyor of the year, but
also the opportunity to propose a solemn declaration forwarding recommendations to the European and
International decision makers.
Jean-Yves Prlot, CLGE President and Viktor Kislov,
National Chamber of Cadastral Engineers of Russia President

During the IV CLGE Conference

and the 3rd All-Russian congress
of Cadastral Engineers, held in
Kaliningrad, the European
Surveyors succeeded in conducting a number of interesting and
very fruitful talks.

access to the reference points

on Hogland, an island under
the jurisdiction of the Russian
Additionally, in the eld of modern Geodesy, CLGE has expressed its support for Galileo
and GLONASS as important
Global Navigation Satellite
Systems and the European contribution to worldwide satellite
navigation and positioning.

The attendance of more than

400 participating professionals
ensured the event was a huge
success. Fortunately, Marina
Petroshina and Vladimir Tikhonov, who have been CLGE delegates since the establishment of
the Russian Federation in
September 2009, had prepared
the conference with a great deal
of professionalism and thoroughness.
During the meetings, the European Surveyors acknowledged
once again the need for a
strong and specic, initial academic and practical education,
as well as high quality continuing professional development
courses. Recognition of this
point is essential for the whole
of Europe and also seems to be
an important subject in the
Russian Federation, especially
for cadastral engineers.

We are expecting, therefore, a

sustainable implementation of
Galileo without any further
We have requested that the
European surveying community
implement and use Galileo and
We have expressed our wishes
regarding the need for further
standardisation to guarantee
interoperable solutions.

F.G.W. von Struve

Regarding the historic geodetic infrastructure related to the Struve

Geodetic Arc, CLGE has requested that the appropriate authorities
consider directing their efforts to renovate, maintain and give expert

We expect and support technical innovation in the context of

precise point positioning (PPP).
Additionally, we recognise and
underline the need for increasing multi-national cooperation.
All presentations, including the solemn declaration,
are available on www.clge.eu.


october/november 2014

The Missing Key to Eradicate Poverty

The European Parliament is placing land rights at the heart of the EU development policy. A recent
report states that land tenure security and property rights provide an opportunity to improve and consolidate bases for development and poverty reduction in some of the poorest regions of the world. The
report highlights the fact that the EU has the capacity to enhance its currently limited approach in terms
of both scope and visibility with the view to addressing land tenure. FIG and CLGE were represented
at the kick-off conference in Brussels, in April 2014.
Professor Stig Enemark

A High-Level Conference on Property Rights held at the European Parliament, 9 April 2014.

About 1.2 billion people worldwide live without permanent homes,

land access or formal property rights. With recognized rights and
secure physical assets, farmers, small business owners, slum dwellers
and untitled urban inhabitants would be brought into the formal economy, enabling them to secure their investments and intensify production, access credit and start businesses. Secure property rights hold
the key to eradicating poverty and promoting sustainable development.

Facing the global land agenda

Within this perspective, the European Union (EU), as the leading partner on food security and nutrition, issued guidelines on land policies
in 2004 and has nanced 92 development projects since then. The
EU now strongly supports the application of the FAO Voluntary
Guidelines on Responsible Governance of Tenure and also the African
Frameworks and Guidelines on Land Policies. Furthermore, by adopting the recent report on The role of property right, property ownership and wealth creation in eradicating poverty and fostering sustainable development in development countries, the European Parliament
is placing land rights at the heart of the EU development policy. The
report is prepared by the Committee of Development and was presented at a one day high-level conference held at the European
Parliament, Brussels on 9th April 2014 to discuss the future of land
policy in developing countries and the role of the international com-

Secure land rights for all and the rule of law. Importantly,
tenure security could be safeguarded under various forms. In addition to formal titles, security can be achieved through clear, long-term
rental contracts, or formal recognition of customary rights and informal settlements, with accessible and effective dispute settlement mechanisms. In this regard, the report calls for the EU to channel support
towards capacity development and training programmes in land management with the aim of securing land rights for the poor and vulnerable groups, through cadastral surveying, registration, and efforts to
equip educational institutions in developing countries. Furthermore,
the report calls for strengthening the capacity of courts in developing
countries to enforce property laws effectively, to resolve land disputes
and manage expropriations as part of an holistic approach aiming
at consolidating judicial systems and the rule of law.

munity, and the EU in particular, in the post 2015-development framework.

The report addresses some key issues on the global land

agenda such as:


CLGE newsletter

october/november 2014

Womens land rights. The report points out that the formal recognition of land rights for women does not automatically entail the effective implementation of
those rights. It calls for
the EU to pay particular
attention in its land
reform programmes to
womens vulnerability to
changes in family structure and the degree to
Woman worker. Malawi. Stig Enemark
which women can enforce their rights, as well as to ensure that in practice, household deeds
have both spouses names on the land title;

their assets into real measurable and transferable wealth, thereby

producing future economic opportunities. It also stresses that empowering people to make decisions over their own resources, strongly
encourages landowners to sustainably invest in their land to prevent
environmental degradation and soil erosion by practicing terracing
and irrigation.

Land reforms and fiscal policies. The report calls for the EU to
help developing countries to implement their land reforms in order to
promote, in particular, the participation of all stakeholders, and in
combination with awareness-raising programmes, so that the rights
of all parties involved, especially the poor and vulnerable, are fully
respected. It also highlights the fact that building sound scal policies
in developing countries by strengthening land registration and delineating valuation functions, signicantly increases annual land transaction revenue.

support capacity development and training programmes in land

management with the aim of securing land rights for the poor and
vulnerable groups;
strengthen the capacity of courts in developing countries to enforce
property law effectively;
help developing countries to implement their land reforms; ensure
introduction of legislative measures to promote gender equality and
prevent discrimination;
address the means of removing the signicant social, political and
cultural constraints on land rights acquisition.

Economic growth and poverty alleviation. The report considers registered property rights and secure land rights to be a catalyst
for economic growth, provided that land can be used as collateral
and enhance access to capital and, therefore, stimulate productivity
and investment, whilst promoting social cohesion and peace. It
emphasises that securing land rights and greater equity in land access
provides a secure foundation for livelihoods, economic opportunities,
and in rural areas, for household food production. It also stresses that
land tenure security for smallholders, who constitute 95 % of potential landowners in developing countries, stimulates local economies,
increases food security, decreases migration and slows down slum
Land grabbing.
The report stresses that
investment agreements
on large-scale land
acquisitions or leases
should duly take into
account the right of current land-users, as well
as the rights of workers
Large scale land acquisition is a sensitive issue.
Source: Actionaid, USA.
employed on farms. The
obligations of investors
should be clearly dened and should be enforceable, for instance by
means of the inclusion of sanction mechanisms in cases of non-compliance with human rights. All land deals should also include a legal
obligation, whereby a certain minimum percentage of crops produced should be sold on the local market.
Urban growth and environmental protection. The report
states that with a 70% urban population globally by 2050, the legal
property system alone by registration has the capacity to bring slum
inhabitants and urban squatters into the formal economy, converting

Institutional reform and capacity development underpins the sustainability of sound land governance and accompanies the process of
registering individual land holdings and small businesses. The
European parliament report, therefore, concludes the report by calling upon the European Commission to:

In order for the European Union to become a major player in the

advancement of property rights and in the ght against land-grabbing, the Parliament decided to urge the European Commission to:
set a clearly dened budget line for property rights in developing
countries, designed to support long-term land governance reform
and to streamline land tenure, and
enhance its assistance with respect to the inclusion of land rights in
humanitarian and development responses to disasters or civil conicts, whereby land policies must guarantee secure land rights for
different ethnic, social or generational groups in an equitable manner.
A following article in one of the subsequent issues of GeoInformatics
will address the issue of building exible and affordable land administration systems in developing countries using a t-for-purpose
approach to identifying the way land is occupied and used.
EP (2014): Report on the role of property rights, property ownership and wealth creation in eradicating poverty and
fostering sustainable development in developing countries. European Parliament Committee of Development.
Short summary: www.europarl.europa.eu/oeil/popups/summary.do?id=1342744&t=d&l=en

Stig Enemark is Honorary President of the International Federation of Surveyors (FIG) and Professor of Land
Management at Aalborg University, Denmark. Email: enemark@land.aau.dk

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Calendar 2014 / Advertisers Index


13-17 October Radar 2014

Lille, France
Internet: www.radar2014.org

06 October IGI User Meeting 2014
Hampton by Hilton Berlin City West, Berlin, Germany
E-mail: info@igi-systems.com
Internet: www.igi-systems.com
06-07 October Bentley LEARNing Conference:
Geospatial and Utilities
Mainz, Germany
Internet: http://pages.info.bentley.com/eventdetailsae/?name=Bentley%20LEARNing%20Conference:%
0607 October Introduction to GIS using ArcGIS
Newcastle University, Newcastle, U.K.
Internet: www.ncl.ac.uk/cegs.cpd/cpd/giscourses.php
06-08 October Symposium on Service-Oriented
Mapping 2014 - SOMAP 2014 Geospatial
Processing and Visualization
Potsdam, Germany
Internet: http://somap.cartography.at

27-31 October 35th Asian Conference on Remote

Sensing (ACRS)
Nay Pyi Taw, Myanmar
Internet: www.acrs2014.com

13-17 October URISA Leadership Academy

Louisville, KY, U.S.A.
Internet: www.urisa.org/education-events/urisa-leadershipacademy-ula
14 October Leica Geosystems DirectTour 2014
Heriot-Watt University, Edinburgh, U.K.
Internet: http://facts.leica-geosystems.com/directtour2014
14-16 October GeoForm+
Moscow, Russia
E-mail: ledenyova@ite-expo.ru
Internet: www.geoexpo.ru

06-08 October Joint International Conference on

Geospatial Theory, Processing, Modelling and
Toronto, ON, Canada
Internet: www2.isprs.org/2014GeoTPMA/home.html
07 October Leica Geosystems DirectTour 2014
University College, Dublin, Ireland
Internet: http://facts.leica-geosystems.com/directtour2014
07-09 October 20th INTERGEO
Berlin, Germany
Internet: www.intergeo.de

30 October Blue Marble User Conference

Royal Sonesta Hotel, Houston, TX, U.S.A.
Internet: www.bluemarblegeo.com


15 October Leica Geosystems DirectTour 2014

University of Birmingham, Birmingham, U.K.
Internet: http://facts.leica-geosystems.com/directtour2014
16 October Leica Geosystems DirectTour 2014
University of Leeds, Leeds, U.K.
Internet: http://facts.leica-geosystems.com/directtour2014

06-08 October 2014 ISPRS/IGU Joint Conference

Toronto Marriott Downtown Eaton Centre, Toronto, ON,
E-mail: geoinfo5@ryerson.ca
Internet: www2.isprs.org/2014GeoTPMA/home.html

27-31 October 10th International Conference of

the African Association of Remote Sensing of the
Environment - AARSE
University of Johannesburg, Johannesburg, South Africa
Internet: www.aarse2014.org

17 October Leica Geosystems DirectTour 2014

University of Bolton, Bolton, U.K.
Internet: http://facts.leica-geosystems.com/directtour2014
20 October Leica Geosystems DirectTour 2014
Downing College, Cambridge, U.K.
Internet: http://facts.leica-geosystems.com/directtour2014
20-23 October 14th International Scientific and
Technical Conference From Imagery to Map:
Digital Photogrammetric Technologies
Hainan, China
Internet: www.racurs.ru
21 October Leica Geosystems DirectTour 2014
University of Reading, Reading, U.K.
Internet: http://facts.leica-geosystems.com/directtour2014

03-05 November Trimble Dimensions 2014

Mirage Hotel - Las Vegas, NV, U.S.A.
E-mail: Trimble_Dimensions@Trimble.com
Internet: www.trimbledimensions.com
04 November GeoDATA 2014
Glasgow, U.K.
E-mail: geodata@geoaware.info
Internet: www.geoaware.info
04-06 November Unmanned Systems Canada 2014
Annual Conference
The Fairmont Queen Elizabeth, Montreal, QC, Canada
Internet: www.unmannedsystems.ca
04-06 November Year In Infrastructure 2014
London, U.K.
Internet: http://pages.info.bentley.com/eventdetailsae/?name=Year%20In%20Infrastructure%202014&
04-07 November ForestSAT2014
Riva del Garda (TN), Italy
Internet: http://forestsat2014.com

21-22 October Geo Utilities Event

Amsterdam, The Netherlands
Internet: www.geospatialutilities.com

09-11 November 4th International FIG 3D Cadastre

Dubai (AUD), United Arab Emirates
Internet: www.gdmc.nl/3DCadastres/workshop2014

07-11 October GeoConference 2014

Qubec, QC, Canada
Internet: www.geocongres2014.ca/en

21-22 October The Commercial UAV Show

Internet: www.terrapinn.com/exhibition/commercialuav/index.stm

09-11 November 5th Digital Earth Summit 2014

WINC Aichi,Nagoya, Japan
Internet: www.isde-j.com/summit2014

08 October Leica Geosystems DirectTour 2014

Cork Institute of Technology, Cork, Ireland
Internet: http://facts.leica-geosystems.com/directtour2014

22 October Leica Geosystems DirectTour 2014

Imperial College, London, U.K.
Internet: http://facts.leica-geosystems.com/directtour2014

08-09 October 2nd EUROGI imaGIne Conference

2014 - GI Expertise: Made in Europe
Berlin, Germany
Internet: www.imagine2014.eu

23 October Leica Geosystems DirectTour 2014

University of Portsmouth, Portsmouth, U.K.
Internet: http://facts.leica-geosystems.com/directtour2014

07-09 October UAV Show Europe

Merignac, France
Internet: www.uavshow-europe.com

0809 October Intermediate GIS using ArcGIS

Newcastle University, Newcastle, U.K.
Internet: www.ncl.ac.uk/cegs.cpd/cpd/giscourses.php

23-24 October Satellite Masters Conference

Berlin, Germany
Internet: www.satellite-masters-conference.eu/index.php?

09 October Leica Geosystems DirectTour 2014

University of Ulster, Ulster, U.K.
Internet: http://facts.leica-geosystems.com/directtour2014

24 October Leica Geosystems DirectTour 2014

University of Bristol, Bristol, U.K.
Internet: http://facts.leica-geosystems.com/directtour2014

09 October Geo: The Big 5 - policy

SWALEC Stadium, Cardiff, U.K.
Internet: www.geobig5.com/events/policy

27-30 October URISA's 7th Caribbean GIS

Santa Barbara Beach & Golf Resort, Curacao
Internet: www.urisa.org/education-events/caribbean-gisconference

13 October Leica Geosystems DirectTour 2014

Aberdeen University, Aberdeen, U.K.
Internet: http://facts.leica-geosystems.com/directtour2014

11-13 November GeoCom: The Changing Face of Geo

Chesford Grange Hotel, Warwick, U.K.
Internet: www.geobig5.com/events/geocom-big-5
17-18 November Interdisciplinary Workshop on
Risk Information Management, Risk Models, and
Berlin, Germany
Internet: http://RIMMA2014.net
1718 November Introduction to GIS using
Quantum GIS
Newcastle University, Newcastle, U.K.
Internet: www.ncl.ac.uk/cegs.cpd/cpd/giscoursesos.php
17-20 November 2014 Pecora 19 & ISPRS
Commission I Symposium
Renaissance Denver Hotel, Denver, CO, U.S.A.
Internet: www.asprs.org
19-20 November GeoBIM 2014
Novotel Amsterdam City, Amsterdam, The Netherlands
Internet: www.geo-bim.org/Europe

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

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