Вы находитесь на странице: 1из 48

Magazine for Surveying, Mapping & GIS Professionals

5
t
July/Augus

2014
Volume 17

HxGNLive
Trimbles AX60i and AX80 Airborne LiDAR Systems
Mobile Mapping Systems Come of Age
FME User Conference

Count On It

Nikon Q ualit y
There are things you can count on in this world. The sun will rise, taxes will be levied,
surveyors will be working, and Nikon total stations will be right there with them day
after day. Y
Yoour customers count on you and surveyors have always relied on Nikon
total stations to provide quality results.
Nivo C
Series

Nivo M
Series

Nivo C Series features a Windows CE touchscreen interface and powerful


Survey Pro, Layout Pro and Survey Basic field soft ware.
Nivo M Series uses the intuitive, easy to learn Nikon onboard field software.
NPL-322 and DTM-322 Series offer economical choices with Nikon quality
and precision.

NPL-32
22
DTM-322

Nikon surveying equipment provides precise results day in and day out. Visit
w w w.spectraprecision.com to choose the model that is right for you. Your jobs.
Your choice.
Simply
Simply N
Nikon
ikon Quality
Quality

AMERICAS

SCAN THIS CODE FOR


MORE INFORMA
ORMA
ATION

Visit www.spectraprecision.com for


the latest product information and
to locate your nearest distributor.

Spectra Precision Division


10368 Westmoor Drive
Westminster, CO 80021, USA
+1-720-587-4700 Phone
77-7516 (T
Toll
oll Free in USA)
888-477-7516

EUROPE, MIDDLE EAST


AND AFRICA
Spectra Precision Division
Rue Thomas Edison
ZAC de la Fleuriaye - CS 60433
44474 Carquefou (Nantes), France

ASIA-P
PACIFIC
Spectra Precision Division
80 Marine Parade Road
#22-06, Parkway Parade
Singapore 449269, Singapore
+65-6348-2212 Phone

+33 (0)2 28 09 38 00 Phone


2014, Trimble Navigation Limited. All rights reserved. Nikon is a registered trademark of Nikon Corporation.
All other trademarks are the proper ty of their respective owners.

Editor-in-chief
Eric van Rees
evanrees@geoinformatics.com
Copy Editor
Elaine Eisma
Editor
Remco Takken
rtakken@geoinformatics.com
Contributing Writers:
Faith Clark, Tracey Nabe, Wolfgang Juchmann,
Philippe Simard, Michael Dunbar, Tiana Warner,
Huibert-Jan Lekkerkerk, Louis Simard, Remco Takken,
Rhian French, Patrick Cunningham and
David McKittrick.

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

Subscriptions
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
Webstite
www.geoinformatics.com
Graphic Design
Sander van der Kolk
svanderkolk@geoinformatics.com

ISSN 13870858

Copyright 2014. GeoInformatics: no material may


be reproduced without written permission.

P.O. Box 231


8300 AE
Emmeloord
The Netherlands
Tel.: +31 (0) 527 619 000
Fax: +31 (0) 527 620 989
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
magazine.

User conferences and


improving cartography
As is usually the case at the halfway point in the year, the 2014 big conferences are
currently being held. This issue kicks off with two relevant event reviews: HxGNLive and
the FME UC 2014. HxGNLive drew over 3500 people from more than 80 countries to
Las Vegas. At this particular gathering the ongoing integration between ERDAS, Intergraph
and Leica was unmistakably apparent. The Hexagon brand is now a visionary concept
wherein surveying, civil engineering, security, smart transportation and even face recognition meet. A striking example of this can be found in its integration into the mining
industry. As is their habit, Leica Geosystems has got its foot rmly in the door in this particular eld; through existing contacts and the acquisition of MinTec, Devex and
SafeMine, a whole lot of geospatially enabled innovations will probably nd their way
into mines all over the world.
As well as a number of new product launches, the event marked yet another acquisition
by Hexagon; namely North West Geomatics. What is interesting is that, with this acquisition, Hexagon will bring valuable expertise in selling data content as a service. They
will achieve this (CaaS) by means of a special database, which enables crowdsourcing
of data content. It will be interesting to see what Hexagons ambitions are in the eld of
big (spatial) data.
Another new and exciting event is Safe Softwares FME Conference, held in Vancouver,
Canada from June 10-12. More than 350 data experts came to the event, which incorporated the celebrations of the 20th anniversary of the company. The events keynotes
provided a great overview of the spatial enterprises which matter at the moment and
were given by Ismael Chivite (Esri), Paul Ramsey (Boundless), Robert Bray (Autodesk),
Bradley C. Skelton (Hexagon) and Adam Evans (Google). In this issue, you can read a
review of the event, and a number of additional impressions. A day-by-day recap can
be found at blog.safe.com.
Coming up is the Esri International UC in San Diego, which will probably feature the
release of ArcGIS Pro; a new app for the ArcGIS Desktop family. Its 3D
capabilities are being eagerly awaited by the Esri community and it will
be interesting to see how it compares to the CityEngine software, which
has also had a new release recently. Forthcoming events, such as
Intergeos 20th edition (to be held this year in Berlin), Esri International
UC, Bentleys Year in Infrastructure 2014, FOSS4G in Bremen and the
next Geodesign Event, will be covered in later issues of the magazine.
A special mention is called for in this editorial regarding
Google Maps. Since February, a new version of Google
Maps has been available to the public, raising the bar once
again for competitors. It has a number of subtle new improvements, as well as a few more substantial ones, including
advancements in the eld of routing, which offers driving
directions on the map and a variety of travel options to get
from one location to another. Googles recent acquisition of
Skybox, an imaging rm capable of capturing high-resolution photography lm using small satellites, should be
seen as another signicant step towards the improvement of cartography in the digital age.
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:
Brazils Air Force patrols the skies during the FIFA World Cup. The final of the football
extravaganza is on 13. July in Rio de Janeiro in Maraca, the biggest stadium of Brasil.
The drones provide crowd surveillance above Brazils soccer stadiums during the
competition.

Articles
Mobile Mapping Systems

Applying Lean Processes on Revamp Projects

10

UAVs Are Coming. Are You Ready?

14

Mapping Large Areas

18

Rapid & Precise Photogrammetry from UAVs

22

Obscurant-penetrating Lidar

24

Acquiring and Delivering Data

26

GNSS Update

30

Local Community Planning

32

Trimbles AX60i and AX80

36

Event
FME UC 2014

28

HxGN Live 2014

38

Newsletters
CLGE

42

EuroGeographics

45

Calendar / Advertisers Index

46

Examples from around the


world show how Mobile
Mapping Systems (MMS)
are being deployed to gain
significant advantage.

22

SimActives Correlator3D
software efficiently processes
UAV images and generates
precise geospatial data. The
product combines, in the same
package, the advantages of a
one-click solution as well as
those of a traditional photogrammetry tool.

While the UAV boom might


have started with some hobbyists flying the latest generation
of UAVs, the level of sophistication is increasing rapidly in this
brisk new market, argues
Wolfgang Juchmann.

14

In order to deliver base mapping and DTM data for the


five different regions in the State
of Wisconsin, the Wisconsin
Department of Transportation
acquires, processes and
delivers data throughout the
year. The workflow, hardware
and software tools at hand are
discussed below.

Neptec Technologies has


launched a new class of 3D
laser scanners, called OPAL
2.0 (Obscurant Penetrating
Auto-synchronous LiDAR),
specifically designed for realtime 3D applications in harsh
environments.

24

26

18

This article will describe which


satellite imagery are most suitable to meet these requirements
and how to obtain maximum
performance by leveraging the
latest computer software and
hardware advancements.

10

IES Engineering is a dynamic


young company specialising in
the design, engineering and
programming of upstream oil &
gas facilities and processes.
Strong demand for laser scanning brownfield projects has
enabled IES to invest in developing specialised expertise.

Last February, Trimble


released two new airborne
LiDAR systems, the AX60i
and AX80. Both systems
extend Trimbles portfolio of
aerial imaging solutions for
a variety of mapping
applications.

36

Article

By Faith Clark

Examples from around the world show how Mobile Mapping Systems (MMS) are
being deployed to gain significant advantage.

Mobile Mapping Systems


Examples from Around the World
In 2011 Global Geomatics (now part of
the AAM Group) purchased the first
StreetMapper system in Africa.

StreetMapper: the basics


StreetMapper has been developed by UK
based 3D Laser Mapping in conjunction
with German based guidance and navigation specialist IGI mbH. Using vehiclemounted lasers offering a 360-degree eld
of view, StreetMapper enables high precision mapping to a range of 800 metres, a
capacity of 550,000 measurements per
second per sensor and recorded accuracies
in independent real world projects of better
than 10 millimetres.

From humble beginnings


Netherlands based independent surveying
specialists Geomaat originally purchased a
Mobile Mapping System (MMS) back in
2008. Following a series of rigorous eld
trials, undertaken in partnership with 3D
Laser Mapping, data collected by the
StreetMapper system was compared with
more traditional survey measurements
obtained using total stations and levelling.

The difference in results was found to be less


than three centimetres in the X, Y and Z.
At the time Managing Director of Geomaat
Jolle Jelle de Vries was quoted as saying,
StreetMapper 360 has three major advantages over traditional survey techniques;
speed, accuracy and safety. Using StreetMapper 360 it will no longer be necessary
to undertake surveying in environments that

July/August 2014

StreetMapper has been specically


designed for the rapid 3D mapping of highways, runways, railways, infrastructure and
buildings. The system employs the latest
laser scanning technology for improved
eld performance and accuracy, precision
navigation including a solution for reduced
GPS coverage in urban areas, combined
with a exible, modular conguration and
increased ease of use and deployment.

2013 also saw Geomaat build


on earlier work in automatic
feature extraction. Previous
development work had
focussed on the measurement
of safety barriers with software designed to code barrier
lengths based on height; green
for acceptable, red for requiring attention.

may place the surveyor at risk. Travelling at


normal trafc speeds we can capture data
to the same exacting standards, in a fraction of the time and without risk to personnel or other road users.
In following years projects such as the
upgrade of the A1 (SAA-One) on behalf of
the Rijkswaterstaat (an executive of the
Dutch Ministry of Infrastructure and
Environment), a project to upgrade the runway at Schiphol Airport and surveying of
over 1000 kilometres of highway in support
of LEM (Lifetime Maintenance) contracts,
achieved quoted savings in data capture of
up to 50% through the use of the MMS.

degrees of a full sphere. Ground breaking


post processing workow allows for the easy
integration of CAD data within the images.
2013 also saw Geomaat build on earlier
work in automatic feature extraction.
Previous development work had focussed on
the measurement of safety barriers with software designed to code barrier lengths
based on height; green for acceptable, red
for requiring attention. Geomaat had also
explored the use of MMS data to identify
and record the location of the miniscule
detection wires located in the highway and
to calculate clearances and free heights
along the highway for resurfacing works.

scanned data Geomaat are able to automatically detect street lights and road signs.
The inclusion of captured images within the
post processing workow allows for the
semi-automatic classication of these features.
With the detection of road markings, safety barriers and now road signs and street
lights we can make a classied DTM of the
complete highway with 50 per cent of the
work done automatically, concluded de
Vries this gives us and our clients a huge
advantage with real savings and benets for
all parties.

On the right tracks

Moving forward
In 2013 Geomaat added a high resolution
spherical imaging system to their existing
MMS set up. The Ladybug 5 camera offers
an impressive 30 MP resolution covering 90

Taking this work to the next level Geomaat


has made the next big step in automatic
detection of features using MMS point cloud
data. By instructing the software to identify
and classify round shapes within the laser

In 2011 Global Geomatics (now part of the


AAM Group) purchased the rst StreetMapper system in Africa. As early adopters
of emerging technologies such as satellite
positioning, GIS and terrestrial laser scanners, it was important to the multi-disciplinary geomatics specialist to stay one step
ahead of the competition and offer their
international client base the best possible
value for money combined with rst class
service.
Since purchase the StreetMapper system has
been used on a number of projects including the re-commission of an unused railway
line. As no existing as-built information was
available, consulting engineers Hatch commissioned AAM Africa to complete a mobile
laser scan of the 230 km Transnet route
between Kimberley and De Aar. The high
accuracy, high density point cloud captured
by the rail mounted MMS complemented

Streetmapper image

July/August 2014

Article

designed belly pod on the underside of a


Eurocopter AS350 B2 helicopter. An advanced navigation and positioning system
from IGI; including an Inertial Measuring Unit
(IMU) and satellite positioning system (GNSS)
ensured the geographical accuracy of the
laser scanned measurements and the LiDAR
data was complemented with high resolution
aerial survey images captured using a 36
Mpixel camera.

The Geomaat StreetMapper configuration.

other data sources including airborne and


ground survey techniques.
Professional Land Surveyor for AAM Africa
Wynand Mulder commented, By using the
rail mounted StreetMapper system we were
able to capture high accurate data within a
very tight project timeframe. The data delivered included 3D CAD drawings, benchmarks, spherical imagery and a LiDAR point
cloud together with viewing software. This supported the detailed design phase as well as
the assessment of embankment areas for
inll.

Further afield
400 billion dollars of funding to boost investment in Indian infrastructure was all the incentive Geokno needed to purchase a MMS earlier this year. A spin off company from the
Indian Institute of Technology Kanpur specialising in GIS and related technologies such as
LiDAR based surveying, Geokno are already
planning the purchase of a second system.
Prof Dr. Bharat Lohani, Director and Mr Balaji
Nagarajan CEO of Geokno Indian Private
Limited (A GMR Group Company) commented, Up until our purchase of the rst Street-

Mapper system other vendors we were only


able to make promises about the performance
of MMS. In reality, due to under investment
and lack of execution capability, other companies had previously been unable to match
client expectations with actual results. However using StreetMapper we have already
completed on project for a Government client
and the data capture element of a second project is also nished.
Our client has been very pleased with all the
StreetMapper outputs so far, especially as it
was the rst time they had experienced LiDAR
technology. In real terms StreetMapper has
enabled signicantly faster project completion
yet still delivered complete coverage of engineering grade data. The fact that StreetMapper delivered not only on its promises but also
on its potential has given us the condence to
plan to order a second system.

Up, up and away


StreetMapper system components have also
been deployed to survey overhead power
lines in Angola. South African based GeoM
completed the data capture element of the
power line survey project in December 2013
using a laser scanner mounted in a specially

Following data processing, GeoM delivered


to the client a classied point cloud with an
average point density of 30 points per square
metre, vectored catenary (the curved shape
of a chain or cable supported at either end)
lines and pylon measurements as well as
colour ortho-photographs with a 5 cm ground
resolution. GeoM also provided meteorological data and thermal spot measurements at
intervals of 20 kilometres along the line.
To support plans to diversify the Angolan
economy the country has to be open for business, commented Liene Starka, Service
Delivery Manager of GeoM. The best way
of signalling this intention to the rest of the
world is a well maintained energy infrastructure network with approved plans for expansion. By investing in a detailed LiDAR survey,
data engineers have up to date and accurate
eld measurements at their ngertips from
which they can make informed decisions.

Mobile Mapping as Standard?


These examples from around the world show
how MMS are being deployed to gain signicant advantage. Whether that is savings
in the time and therefore cost of data capture, competitive edge compared to other
suppliers or sometimes just the best tool for
the job. Barriers to use, including a resistance to change, have been overcome and
surveyors and end clients will continue to
demonstrate condence in MMS and innovation in their use.
We have now been working with the
StreetMapper system for over ve years,
concluded Jolle Jelle de Vries. It used to be
that our customers saw the StreetMapper
system as a new system with potential disadvantages. Now they only ask for an end
product like a DTM or asphalt gures; they
dont care if we measure it with a total station or Mobile Mapping System they just
have complete trust in our systems and service.

A pointcloud of urban street scene captured by StreetMapper.

July/August 2014

www.streetmapper.net.

Go Ahead, Be a Know-It-All...

All You Need is Bentley Map!

GIS with the Power of MicroStation


Being a know-it-all can be a good thing when you need to analyze, share, edit, and publish
2D/3D data with confidence. Work confidently with engineering-accurate GIS tools to produce
quality maps, unify disparate 2D/3D data, and quickly access large datasets, even in the field.
Leverage Oracle Spatial, SQL Server Spatial, Esri, and other data types.

THE YEAR IN
INFRASTRUCTURE
2014 CONFERENCE
NOVEMBER 4 - 6, 2014
HILTON LONDON METROPOLE
LONDON, UK

Bring a new level of intelligence to your project with Bentley Map. Be the know-it-all everyone
wants on their team.

www.bentley.com/BentleyMap
2014 Bentley Systems, Incorporated. Bentley, the B Bentley logo, Bentley Map, and MicroStation are registered trademarks of Bentley Systems, Incorporated or one of its direct or indirect wholly owned subsidiaries. Other brands and
product names are trademarks of their respective owners.

10

Article

IES Ernesto Montes De Oca reviews PDMS


design model and scanned fabrication
model.

Applying Lean Processes on


Revamp Projects
Benefits from AVEVA PDMS and Laser Scanning

By Tracey Nabe

California-based IES Engineering is a dynamic young company specialising in the design,


engineering and programming of upstream oil & gas facilities and processes. Strong
demand for laser scanning brownfield projects has enabled IES to invest in developing
specialised expertise in high-value scanning and as-building services. As a result, not
only can it offer cost savings ranging from 25% to as much as 70% on laser scanned
data, it is also able to apply Lean Construction methodologies to revamp projects. We
met with Randy Meyer, Mechanical Division Manager at IES, to learn more.

he decision to utilise laser scanning


with AVEVA PDMS was based both
on the value obtained from such a
combination and from its ease of
implementation and use. AVEVA
PDMSs support for laser scan data, using
Laser Model Interface (LMI) and a laser data
plug-in such as AVEVAs LFM Server, means

that IESs eld crews can use high-performance scanners and survey instruments to efciently capture the numerous pipes, vessels,
supports and other plant features, including
data needed for terrain models. We made
the decision to invest in in-house scanning
capabilities predominantly due to our piping
and facility design expertise, Randy ex-

July/August 2014

plained. Many survey service providers do


not have the level of specialised engineering
understanding required.
The ability to take laser scanned data and
move it directly into the PDMS design model
saves a signicant amount in overall costs
and time. Not only have we been able to cut
labour hours in half, the amount of material

11

Layered image depicting from left, point cloud data, point cloud with 3D model overlay, and point cloud intensity scan.

Lean Construction in action

Laser scan data can be imported into the 3D


design environment and quickly compared
with the design model for every item, even
down to individual pipe spools. As IES has
proven, this ability to continually check and
resolve deviations almost in real time is just
as valuable on browneld projects as it is for
new builds.

The use of 3D laser scanning enables rapid


in-process verication at every stage of fabrication and construction, creating a closed
control loop in which every participant can
actively contribute to the success of the project. This is an important enabler of Engineering and Design for Lean Construction,
which aims to eliminate wastage of any kind.

By overlaying the scans onto the design


model, IES can quickly generate accurate
deviation reports, enabling the client to assess
the nature and extent of any deviations and
make informed decisions to reject or accept
any non-compliant spools, vessels or structural
components. These deviation reports are very

wastage is greatly reduced, continued


Randy. We believe that if the design can be
accurately fabricated in-shop instead of onsite, this provides great value in the construction phase through reduced costs, fewer manhours and earlier project start-up.

Randy Meyer (left) and client conduct an on-site review of a water plant vessel installation with reference to PDMS design model.

July/August 2014

important to IESs clients; the ability to identify incorrectly fabricated items to avoid on-site
rework can save considerable costs. Randy
described how IES had recently scanned six
lter-vessel skids that had been fabricated in
Canada and produced detailed deviation
reports to the clients specication.
Scanning in the fabrication shop creates a
baseline for asset integrity. If any fabrications
are damaged during transit, installation or
start-up, more scans can be captured and overlaid on the originals to determine the extent of
the damage. IES used this capability for a large
process facility located in Bakerseld,
California, for which the piping was fabricated on the east coast of the US. Laser scanning
was used to verify the accuracy of the fabrications before their shipment across the US, saving IESs client over $2 million.
IES heavily exploits the capabilities of AVEVA
PDMS to save overall time and cost through
better quality design. Pipes are regularly modelled to less than 1 (25mm) and the rebar,
anchor bolts, and other components are
designed with a similarly high level of detail.
IES then updates the 3D PDMS design after
the fabrication and scan of the spools, so that
the PDMS design model accurately reects
the as-fabricated condition. Such attention to
detail pays dividends; for one steam generator project, IES had 800 spools fabricated,
of which only four needed to be modied onsite.

Article

12

cation that IES uses is highly interoperable,


so that clients have the advantage of also
using this application with their own vendors.

Increasing affordability
Rapidly increasing adoption of laser scanning
as an important tool for capital projects is
increasing the demand for laser scanning
hardware. This is good news for EPCs as vendors compete vigorously to win this new business by increasing hardware capabilities and
reducing prices. The result is that laser scanning for large engineering projects is becoming ever more affordable. As an added benet, the lower costs that we can offer for laser
scanning have enabled smaller clients to take
advantage of its capabilities, Randy concluded.

Vision for the future


3D PDMS Model of Gas Plant Corridor in Belridge, California.

Such quality and accuracy of 3D data adds


value far beyond design and fabrication; it is
an important enabler of Lean processes in the
on-site construction stages by eliminating
clashes and by supporting the efcient
sequencing of demolition and construction
tasks. 3D data not only offers the ability to
create design and fabrication that will bolt
up with no issues, it also enables the creation
of highly detailed demolition plans, providing the client with more control to dene the
scope of work on a project, Randy
explained. Using AVEVA PDMS, we can
apply rule sets for demolition drawings,
helping us to efciently create accurate
cost estimates. 3D design also enables
the client to more fully understand the
design concept and to contribute effectively to reviewing it for ease of operation. So, not only can the revamp
design be created with operations in
mind by ensuring the accuracy of asbuilt information, laser-veried 3D data
also supports many other aspects of
efcient asset management, minimising
downtime and increasing operational
safety.

high level of design accuracy. The technology is also used extensively for data mining
and material management. PDMS enables
us to extract far more information value from
the 3D model than any other software application on the market, Randy assured us.
IES takes pride in working closely with its
clients to keep them involved throughout the
entire design review process. 3D models are
sent out daily for review and approval, which
cuts down time spent issuing drawings with
revisions and keeps projects on schedule. In
addition, the point cloud laser scanning appli-

Randy Meyer originally worked for a large overseas Owner Operator.


Whenever he was back in the US, he was struck by the number
of requests that he would get from operators and EPCs for design
work on local facility and pipeline projects.
Spotting an opportunity, in 2009 Randy decided to capitalize on
his 20 years experience of using AVEVA PDMS and incorporated
TSM in Bakersfield, California. In little over three years, through
growing demand for PDMS standardisation and a high level of
client satisfaction, Randy grew the company to 28 employees.
In 2013, TSM merged with IES Engineering, another local engineering company in Bakersfield and, for simplicity, kept the company name. The company has continued to grow strongly, and
now employs over 200 staff and is expanding its customer base
throughout California and into other regions. IES currently has
two dedicated laser scanning teams who are kept fully occupied
on brownfield project work.
The merger of IES and TSM proved to be a match made in
heaven as their respective skills complement each other perfectly, establishing the expanded business as one of the regions
leading engineering service providers for process and pipeline
facilities and positioning it to take advantage of opportunities
both across North America and globally.

Key differentiators
While many companies provide only
data capture and a few also carry out
modelling, IES uses the data to add
value to all its engineering and design
processes. It uses AVEVA PDMS and
laser scanning data for piping, civil
and structural design and enforces a

Through its focus and commitment to developing its in-house expertise, IES has achieved
signicant success in the California region
and beyond. Today its challenge is to retain
its competitive advantage as it expands into
wider markets. Part of its plan to meet this
challenge includes adopting AVEVA Electrical
and AVEVA Instrumentation, enabling IES to
offer a more extensive design package. As
still a relatively small company, IES appreciates the ease of use of AVEVA solutions,
which enables it to quickly train new designers with minimum disruption to ongoing project work.

3D Laser Scan of As-Built used with PDMS for New Design Construction Support.

June 2014

Even the smallest


things matter
with big data
Geospatial 2014 solves your big data problem using analytics through
the cloud, delivered to mobile. In a user-friendly way, we make real-time
connection from the field a reality and allow you to create customised
solutions. We understand your big data problem and can easily manage it
down to the smallest point and pixel.
We shorten the life cycle between sensing change and taking action.
View our webcast on-demand at hexagongeospatial.com/geo14webcast

2014 Intergraph Corporation. All rights reserved.


Intergraph is part of Hexagon. Intergraph and the Intergraph
logo are registered trademarks of Intergraph Corporation or
its subsidiaries in the United States and in other countries.

Article

14

UAVs Are Coming. Are You Ready?


New Developments, Products and Services

By Wolfgang Juchmann

While the UAV boom might have started with some hobbyists flying the latest
generation of UAVs, the level of sophistication is increasing rapidly in this brisk
new market, argues Wolfgang Juchmann.

Figure 1: Phoenix Aerial 3D Point Cloud of San Diego Stadium.

great deal has been written regarding UAVs (unmanned


aerial vehicles) and how they may enter everyday life sooner rather than later. Were now awaiting an FAA regulation that will make commercial use of UAVs legal in the
United States. Meanwhile, other nations have been even
more eager to take advantage of this emerging technology and potentially get an edge on the U.S.

While the UAV boom might have started with some hobbyists ying the
latest generation of UAVs, the level of
sophistication is increasing rapidly in this
brisk new market.
As UAVs have become more technologically advanced, pilot error has been kept to a
minimum. UAVs that automatically take off
and land are now available, making it possible for even an inexperienced pilot to
command the skies. Now, virtual fences
can keep the UAV within a certain air space,
preventing accidental y-aways due to pilot

error; theyre also helpful as pilot training tools. In addition, the payloads
that modern-day UAVs can handle have become more sophisticated (and
include sensors that take actual measurements). Clearly, a great many
advancements and adaptations now shape the challenging world of UAVs.

Developments in the mobile mapping world


In the beginning, a go-pro type camera or an iPhone would be xed to
a UAV to take some pictures while ying -- great for cool videos on
YouTube or Facebook, but hardly a sophisticated application. That, too,
is changing; imaging has matured signicantly. Cheap webcam-type cameras have
been replaced by gimbal-stabilized lm studio-type cameras. Some commercial movie
scenes are no longer lmed using expensive helicopters but with more readily available UAVs, equipped with professional
equipment as payload.

Velodyne
Figure 2: XactMap.com UAV with HDL-32E but without GPS_IMU.

July/August 2014

For the mobile mapping world, pretty pictures are not enough; accurate quantitative

15

data are required, hence the trend


toward real 3D measurements from
an inexpensive airborne platform.
Velodynes 360 3D, lightweight,
compact LiDAR sensor epitomizes
this product evolution. While it was
developed for self-driving cars and
mobile mapping on highways, the
LiDAR sensor weighs only 1kg; its
magnitude of data (~700,000
data points/sec) have made it the
prime choice for UAV payloads
that require 3D data capturing at
altitudes less than 100 meters (300
feet).

Figure 3: Headwall Hyperspectral and 3D LiDAR Scanner HDL-32E.

navigational aids is a process


called SLAM (Self Localization And
Mapping), where content from the
point cloud over time is used to recognize the movement of the sensor
and incorporate that information for
proper stitching of the point
clouds taken during a given period.
The XactMaps UAV has the benet
of lower weight (resulting in longer
ight times), and lower cost
(GPS/IMU isnt cheap). It can even
be used indoors, where GPS-based
solutions cant operate (3).

Aibotix

Phoenix Aerials
Another outstanding example is Phoenix Aerials AL2, a compact mobile
system in a box that contains data recording, GPS/IMU and Velodynes
HDL-32E sensor. The industry is beginning to take notice; a video posted on YouTube has received more than 15,000 hits in less than 9
months (1). Phoenix Aerials sophisticated software tracks the UAV
through even heavy winds and provides a xed, UAV-based coordinate system for accurate geo-referencing of the resulting point cloud.
Of special note is Headwall Photonics recent test ight, with a combined payload containing its own Hyperspectral camera, visual camera
and Velodynes 3D sensor. A motorized gimbal in the system allows for
adjustment of the eld-of-view from a mainly horizontal direction downward, to a birds eye view from the top. The combination of hyperspectral data that gives clues about the chemical composition of the ground,
combined with the 3D measurements from Velodynes HDL-32E, making
it an ideal tool for the mining industry and for environmental analysis of
troubled areas (2).

XactMaps
Its also worth keeping an eye on XactMaps, which has integrated the
HDL-32E into its large-scale UAV, to measure the environment in 3D without the use of GPS or IMU. The trick for geo-referencing without those

The UAV sector is poised to become even more robust if the recent
acquisition of Aibotix by Hexagon, the parent company of Leica
Geosystems, is any guide. Aibotix is a German start-up company that
makes UAV copters. Leica Geosystems, well known world-wide for its
complete geospatial solutions, clearly is taking a close look at applications in the mining industry, where inexpensive and readily available
UAVs could be used for volumetric measurements of stockpiles on a
daily basis -- without the expense and complications of scheduling a
commercial airborne LiDAR system.

LiDAR-USA
Existing buildings that have grown over time (oil reneries, offshore
platforms) structures where blueprints are outdated -- could easily be
updated in 3D by ying a UAV with a camera and a 3D LiDAR sensor
in and around it, to capture the as-is situation.
Heres a link to some footage taken by Lidar-USA, a U.S.-based company that has mounted its mobile mapping system on cars, boats, trains
and even gyro-copters (4).
And for disaster analysis, a quick deployment of a UAV with 3D measurement capabilities would be a fast way to scan how a natural disaster might have altered existing structures. The data from that scan could
be used to come up with emergency plans within hours instead of days.

Figure 4: LidarUSA mobile Scanner


with HDL-32E on GyroCopter.

July/August 2014

Article

16

Figure 6: Headwall Hyperspectral and 3D LIDAR Scanner 2.

Figure 5: Phoenix Aerial Octo-Copter with HDL-32E scanning San Diego Stadium.

All in all, it looks like a very promising market -- one that is already developing despite the current regulatory hurdles from the FAA (for good reason, of course). Commercial applications for UAVs are clearly coming
in the not-so-distant future.
Velodyne is ready with its lightweight HDL-32E sensors. Are you?
Or should I ask: is the government?
Wolfgang Juchmann, PhD., is Director of Sales & Marketing, Velodyne LiDAR
www.velodynelidar.com in Morgan Hill, Calif.
[1] https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aIxYt7DkK5A&feature=youtu.be
[2] https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z4CR3Kgd6js.
[3] http://vimeo.com/86810214
[4] https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gS-MgQPNiVM&list=UU9b5WSC3RAryUZQznR7fuWw.

Figure 7: Headwall Gimbal Sensor Rotation.

July/August 2014

Article

18

By Philip Cheng

The increased availability of imagery from a growing number of sub-meter resolution earth observation satellites has made it easier to create detailed image
maps over large areas. When mapping large areas using high resolution satellite
imagery, the biggest challenges are the processing of the high volumes of imagery
and the requirement to generate accurate ortho-mosaic images efficiently and
economically. This article will describe which satellite imagery are most suitable
to meet these requirements and how to obtain maximum performance by leveraging the latest computer software and hardware advancements.

Mapping Large Areas


Satellite Imageries with Limited Ground Control
ince the breakthrough of the rst sub-meter resolution commercial
earth observation satellite IKO-NOS in 1999, many additional high
resolution satellites have been launched. In addition, more countries
now have their own high resolution satellites. Different applications
have been using high resolution satellite imagery such as mapping,
digital elevation extraction, and most notably, consumer level mapping over
large areas on platforms that are used by hundreds of millions of people everyday such as Google maps and Bing maps.

Currently the three highest resolution commercial satellites: GeoEye-1,


WorldView-1 and WorldView-2, are owned by U.S. commercial operator,
DigitalGlobe, of Longmont, Colorado. GeoEye-1 provides 0.41 m panchromatic and 1.65m multispectral images in 15.2km swaths. The spacecraft is
intended for a sun-synchronous orbit at an altitude of 681km and an inclination of 98 degrees, with a 10:30a.m. equator crossing time. GeoEye-1 can
image up to 60degrees off nadir. WorldView-1 is a high-capacity, panchromatic imaging system featuring 0.46 m resolution imagery. With a nominal
swath width of 17.6 km at nadir and an average revisit time of 1.7 days,
WorldView-1 is capable of collecting up to 750,000 square kilometers
(290,000 square miles) per day of 0.46 m imagery. WorldView-1 is equipped
with state-of-the-art geo-location accuracy capability and exhibits unprecedented agility with rapid targeting and efcient in-track stereo collection. The most
recent satellite in the DigitalGlobe constellation, WorldView-2, was launched in
2009 and has a panchromatic band with 0.46 m resolution and eight multispectral bands with 1.84 m resolution, introducing new opportunities for high
resolution thematic mapping.

Toronto mosaicked image

However, all of the imagery provided by the satellites discussed above have
been resampled to 0.5 m panchromatic and 2.0 m multispectral for commercial use due to US government maximum resolution restriction. DigitalGlobe
formally asked the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
(NOAA), the licensing authority for the industry, for permission to sell 0.25 m
imagery in 2013. Company ofcials say the current restrictions are outdated
and hinder their commercial opportunities and competitiveness. Although the
National Geo-Spatial Intelligence Agency (NGA) is DigitalGlobes biggest cus-

July/August 2014

19

tomer, the company is looking to broaden its non-U.S. government business and has said it could better compete with the aerial photography
market if allowed to provide higher-resolution imagery commercially.
According to DigitalGlobe, aerial photography with 0.3 m resolution is
widely available. DigitalGlobe currently operates a eet of ve satellites. The companys WorldView-3 satellite, currently scheduled to launch
in August, will be able to capture panchromatic imagery with 0.31 m
resolution. On June 11, 2014, the U.S. Department of Commerce approved DigitalGlobes application. Effectively immediately, DigitalGlobe
will be permitted to offer customers the highest resolution imagery available from their current constellation. Additionally, the updated approvals
will permitDigitalGlobeto sell imagery to all of its customers at up to
0.25 m panchromatic and 1.0 m multispectral ground sample distance
(GSD) beginning six months after its next satellite WorldView-3 is operational.

Mapping large areas using satellite imagery


Given that there is an increased availability of high resolution commercial satellite imagery from multiple providers, it is now common for governments and commercial organizations to map large areas, or even
entire countries, using high resolution satellite imagery. There are two
big challenges when mapping large areas. The rst challenge is the
requirement of accurate ground control points (GCPs) to compute the
geometric model for the imagery, which is essential for the creation of
accurate image maps. An existing source of GCPs may not be available, especially for areas where it is prohibitively expensive or impractical to collect new points, such as areas inaccessible by road. The questions of which high resolution satellite imagery are most suitable for
mapping large areas, especially when GCPs are limited or not available at all, will be explored in this article by looking at the satellite geometric modeling method required to process the satellite imagery.
The second challenge is the processing of high volumes of satellite
imagery to generate ortho-mosaic images, as the size of the high resolution imagery is very large. For example, a single WorldView-2 panchromatic image can be up to 10 Gigabytes. The size will become eight
times larger when performing pansharpening using both panchromatic
and 8 bands multispectral imagery. A system which can utilize the latest
computer hardware and software advancements to gain the maximum
processing performance is required. This article will present a system
which can be used to perform the processing tasks both economically
and efciently.

Satellite Geometric model RPC method


To create accurate image maps using satellite imagery, the imagery must
be corrected to a map projection. This correction process is called
orthorectication or geometric correction. The process requires the use
of a rigorous geometric model, GCPs, and a digital elevation model
(DEM). Since the introduction of rational polynomial coefcients (RPC)
method to correct IKONOS data, this method has become the most popular method to correct satellite data as it requires only a small number
of GCPs, and in some cases, no GCPs at all. Most current commercial
satellite imagery are distributed
with RPCs. The RPC method uses
an empirical/statistical model
developed by Space Imaging
(now
DigitalGlobe),
which
approximates the 3D physical sensor model of a satellite. This
method is useful as it eliminates

the requirement of 3D physical model, enabling users having little familiarity with the satellite sensor to perform a geometric correction without
GCPs; only a DEM is required. Since biases or errors still exist in the
RPCs, the original RPCs can be rened in most cases together with a
zero or rst order polynomial adjustment computed from several accurate GCPs. Zero and rst order polynomial adjustment require a minimum of 1 and 3 GCPs, respectively. A zero order polynomial adjustment, which only computes the translation in the horizontal and vertical
direction is always preferable because the GCPs can be collected anywhere on the image. A rst order polynomial adjustment, which warps
an image as opposed to a simple horizontal and vertical translation,
requires GCPs to be collected uniformly throughout the image in order
to get the best accuracy for the entire image. To the knowledge of the
author, only IKONOS, GeoEye-1, WorldView-1 and WorldView-2 orthoready level images can achieve accurate results with only zero order
polynomial adjustment especially for large areas. Most other satellite
images require rst order polynomial adjustment, with some requiring
even second order polynomial adjustment, are not recommended when
only a limited number of GCPs are available.

Test Imagery and software


To test image mapping for large areas with limited number of GCPs, eight
WorldView-2 and six GeoEye-1 ortho-ready images covering Toronto,
Canada and the surrounding area were obtained from DigitalGlobe. The
images were acquired in different seasons and years with a coverage of
approximately 7500 square km. The author would like to thank
DigitalGlobe for providing the test imagery. The latest release of PCIs
software, Geomatica 2014, was used to perform the testing. The Optical
Satellite Ortho Suite within OrthoEngine software was specically used
since it supports reading of the imagery, manual and automatic GCP/tie
poinit (TP) collection, geometric modeling using different methods including Toutins rigorous model and the RPC model. In addition the software
provides automatic DEM generation, orthorectication and either manual
or automatic mosaicking with multiple color balance methods.

Testing results
To evaluate the results using different GCPs and TPs, 81 measured points
were obtained from 0.25 m aerial photos and 10 m spacing DEM
together with 657 tie points collected automatically. The following cases
were tested by changing the measured points to GCPs and independent
check points (ICPs): (1) no GCPs and no TPs, (2) TPs only with no GCPs,
(3) 1 GCP with TPs, (4) 3 GCPs collected near the center of the block
with TPs, (5) 3 GCPs collected at each edge of the block with TPs, and
(6) case 5 with one additional GCP near the center of the block. Table
1 shows a summary of the results for each case.
From the table we can draw the following conclusions when using
large block of imagery with only limited number of GCPs: (1) the
geometric accuracy of the image block is within approximately 5 m
with no GCPs and no TPs, (2) TPs can improve the geometric accuracy of the image block to approximately 3 m, (3) A single GCP can
improve the accuracy to within 3 m, (4) GCPs should be collected
near each edge of the block if possible to provide the best accuracy,

Table 1: Comparisons of geometric accuracy results using different GCPs and ICPs

July/August 2014

20

(5) The best case is GCPs collected near each edge of the block with
a GCP near the centre of the block, and (6) Only a minimum of 3
GCPs with TPs can produce geometric accuracy approximately within 2 m. Figure 1 shows the mosaic result of the 14 images.

GXL System
The second challenge of mapping large areas is the processing of such
high volumes of imagery An advanced system is required to utilize the
latest computer hardware and software to gain the maximum performance. One signicant hardware improvement is the graphic processing unit (GPU). This is a specialized electronic circuit designed to rapidly manipulate and alter memory to accelerate the creation of images in
a frame buffer intended for output to a display. GPUs are used in embedded systems, mobile phones, personal computers, workstations, and
gaming consoles. Modern GPUs are very efcient at manipulating computer graphics, and their highly parallel structure makes them more effective than general-purpose CPUs for algorithms where processing of large
blocks of imagery is done in parallel. Another hardware improvement is
the increase in the multi-core processors. This is a single computing component with two or more independent processing units (called cores),
which are the units that read and execute program instructions. Multiple
cores can run multiple instructions simultaneously, increasing overall
speed for software programs amenable to parallel computing.
Combining these two pieces of hardware together with computer distributed system nodes can improve the processing speed signicantly
when compared to a single processing machine. The GXL system, developed by PCI Geomatics, uses proprietary algorithms which are uniquely
suited to leverage multi-core CPUs and GPUs to deliver incredible increases in speed on a multi-node system.

As an example, using the GXL system, the total orthorectication and


mosaicking time of the 14 images in this article was approximately 12
hours and 3 hours respectively (15 hours total), when running on a single desktop system with 8 CPUs. The time was shortened to only 2 hours
and 45 minutes respectively (2 hours and 45 minutes total), when using
a GXL system equipped with 2 nodes.
The real benet of working with GXL system is its scalability adding
additional nodes to the system enables load balancing, and proper allocation of processing to multiple nodes this provides even greater time
savings and is critical for these types of high volume processing projects. The GXL system has been successfully deployed to different environments, including the Cloud, where machine virtualization can be further explored, and the system can expand and contract based on the
image processing need and throughout requirements.

Conclusions
To map large areas using high volumes of high resolution satellite
images and limited number of GCPs, it is recommended to use GeoEye1 or WorldView-1 or WorldView-2 satellites because they only require
zero order RPC polynomial adjustment to get the highest accuracy. A
minimum of 3 GCPs collected near each edge of an image block
together with tie points could generate geometric accuracy within 2m.
To speed up the process of mapping of large areas, a system which
utilizes GPUs and CPUs together with multiple-processing nodes, which
is highly scalable and exible, could be deployed.
Dr. Philip Cheng cheng@pcigeomatics.com is
a senior scientist at PCI Geomatics.

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

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

Article

22

By Philippe Simard and


Louis Simard

SimActives Correlator3D software efficiently processes UAV images and generates precise geospatial data. The product combines, in the same package, the
advantages of a one-click solution as well as those of a traditional photogrammetry tool, supporting both neophytes and advanced users.

Rapid & Precise Photogrammetry from UAVs


SimActive Correlator3D Software

Figure 1: Tie-points automatically extracted between adjacent images.

Introduction
The number of UAV platforms used to collect imagery is growing exponentially. Typical applications include agriculture, forestry and mining.
The need to process images and derive mapping products, such as
digital elevation models (DEM) and orthomosaics, is therefore also
exploding. Tools developed for 3D modeling are being offered, but fail
to correctly address photogrammetry requirements as they were not
designed for mapping purposes. To fulll this need, SimActive has
recently adapted its Correlator3D software to efciently process UAV
images and generate precise geospatial data. The product combines,
in the same package, the advantages of a one-click solution as well as
those of a traditional photogrammetry tool, supporting both neophytes
and advanced users.

Current Challenges
Common software tools used for UAV mapping present several major limitations. First, they are
designed to handle a couple of hundreds of images
at most, which means that larger projects cannot
be managed efciently. Consequently, all photos
in a project need to be loaded in PC memory,
hence requiring incredible amounts of RAM (e.g.
128GB) for relatively small projects. Furthermore,
processing times are exponential with the number
of frames, making production from a few hundreds
of images to take several days. Furthermore, they
generate only digital surface models (DSM) and
cannot extract terrain models (DTM). This leads to
orthophotos having signicant artifacts, such as

building edges being distorted. They also lack manual tools, such as
DEM and mosaic editing (e.g. for modifying seamlines), which means
that the automatically generated data cannot be adjusted for specic
client requirements. While GCPs can be imported, they often are not
fully taking into account during the aerial triangulation process, leading to inaccuracies.

Correlator3D Software
Originally developed for traditional mapping using large-format aerial
images (250+ megapixels) as well as satellite data, SimActives
Correlator3D was recently adapted to support any non-metric sensor
(e.g. consumer grade cameras). The software allows overcoming issues
associated with common software tools. Unlimited number of images
can be processed and production can even parallelized on different
PCs. Also, Correlator3D uses the graphics processing unit (GPU) to accelerate processing, allowing
the processing of hundreds of images within a couple of hours only. The product features a DTM
extraction module, which allows automatically
removing objects from the DSM, keeping terrain
only. It also includes a DEM editing module to alter
elevation values as well as a seamline editing tool
to ne tune orthomosaics. GCPs are also fully taken
into account during the aerial triangulation process,
ensuring absolute accuracy of results.

Aerial Triangulation
Figure 2: Residual errors after aerial triangulation.

July/August 2014

Correlator3D accepts approximate GPS for each


image as input and does not require any orienta-

23

Figure 3: DSM generated from UAV images over forested region.

tion data (i.e. roll, pitch, heading). The software also allows importing
GCPs and to pinpoint their location through a simple user interface. As
a rst step, tie points are collected to link adjacent images (Figure 1).
Then, an automated bundle adjustment procedure is performed where
highly precise exterior orientation (i.e. easting, northing, elevation,
omega, phi, kappa) will be calculated for each image. During that
phase, the software can also calibrate the camera for adjusting focal
length and account for lens distortion. This aerial triangulation (AT) process is extremely fast and leads to accuracies of less than one pixel
residual. The quality of AT results can be quickly assessed through a
simple user interface (Figure 2).

DSM / DTM
After AT has been performed, a dense DSM can be generated. Images
are processed on a pair-by-pair basis, each time creating a small DSM
for the overlap region. Once all have been processed, Correlator3D
merges all small DSMs into a large DSM covering the full project area
(Figure 3). This allows processing unlimited number of images. The software can generate one elevation point every three pixels of the original image, which means for example that photos having a 1cm ground
sampling distancle (GSD) would lead to a DSM with a 3cm grid post
spacing. Once a DSM is created, Correlator3D will automatically lter
out objects (e.g. buildings and trees) to create a DTM. The software
also includes manual tools to select polygonal regions and perform
operations, such as delete & ll to manually remove objects.

Figure 5: Correlator3D Automated UAV Workflow.

edges. Correlator3D then merges all orthophotos together by automatically generating seamlines as well as performing color balancing to
ensure a highly consistent mosaic (Figure 4). Users can then manually
modify position of seamlines according to specic client requirements
and adjust overall colors.

User Interface
Correlator3D can be used through three different modes of operation.
For quick and easy setup, the product includes an Automated UAV
Workow (Figure 5). Using this feature, users only need to specify
their ight log, camera parameters as well as the input / output folders. The software will then automatically perform AT and produce DSM,
DTM and orthomosaic. Another option is to access modules one by
one, which allows complete control over all production parameters.
Finally, Correlator3D features a script mode which allows performing
batch processing with no user intervention.

Production Statistics
Correlator3D uses standard PCs under Windows. Since the GPU is used
to accelerate processing, the only particular requirement is a 3D graphics card (e.g. NVIDIA GeForce). The following table showcases a typical UAV project of 300 images. Such a project can be completed in
less than 2.4 hours, which means that collection, processing and delivery of results can basically be done within the same day.

Orthomosaic
Individual orthophotos can then be created based on the DTM. Using
a DTM offers a signicant advantage over a DSM for orthorectication, as there will be no artifacts along steep objects such as building

Sample Project
Number of Images
Image GSD
Frame Size
DEM Resolution
Mosaic Resolution
Number of PCs

300
5 cm
20 MP
25 cm
5 cm
1

Processing Times
Aerial Triangulation
DSM
DTM
Orthophotos
Orthomosaic
Total

4 min
52 min
1 min
7 min
78 min
2.4 hours

Conclusion
Demand for generating map products such as DSM, DTM and orthomosaics from UAV imagery is growing rapidly. The main challenge is
the ability to derive accurate data from consumer grade cameras
extremely rapidly. SimActives software allows processing large projects in hours only and generating highly precise results. In conjunction
with GCPs, absolute accuracy can even be achieved, transforming nonmetric cameras in precise photogrammetry devices.
Dr. Philippe Simard, President, SimActive. Louis Simard, CTO, SimActive.

Figure 4: Color-balanced orthomosaic with seamlines displayed as an overlay.

July/August 2014

Article

24

Obscurant-penetrating Lidar
LiDAR for Harsh Environments

By Michael Dunbar

Neptec Technologies has launched a new class of 3D laser scanners, called OPAL 2.0
(Obscurant Penetrating Auto-synchronous LiDAR), specifically designed for real-time
3D applications in harsh environments. Using their OPAL and 3DRi solutions, Neptec
Technologies is currently working with mining companies on real-time machine automation applications in the loading area of open pit mines, and to overcome the dust problems experienced by vision sensor used on robotic vehicles like autonomous haul trucks.

OPAL-360 (left) and OPAL-120


3D laser sensors

he use of 3D laser scanners has proliferated in


recent years to become a
trusted and valuable tool
for real-time machine control and automation as well as for
more traditional survey and mapping
applications. A major limitation for
conventional laser scanners, particularly in automation applications,
has been situations in which line-ofsight is degraded or obscured by dust,
fog, smoke or other types of obscurants. Most commercial laser scanners
are also poorly suited for applications
in very harsh environments.
3D laser scanners (also known as LiDAR

July/August 2014

which stands for Light Detection and Ranging)


commonly use Time-of-Flight to measure distance by emitting a short laser pulse and precisely measuring the time it takes that pulse to
travel to an object and reect back to a detector in the sensor. By scanning the laser beam
across an area, the laser scanner can create
a 3D point cloud that can be geo-referenced
into Cartesian (x,y,z) coordinates.
Neptec Technologies Corp., located in Ottawa, Canada, has launched a new class of 3D
laser scanners, called OPAL 2.0 (Obscurant
Penetrating Auto-synchronous LiDAR). Neptec
Technologies Corp. was founded in 2011 as
a spin-out of Neptec Design Group, an awardwinning NASA Prime Contractor and is com-

25

mercializing proven Space technologies into


terrestrial markets.
OPAL 2.0 laser scanners are specically
designed for real-time 3D applications in
harsh environments. They incorporate Neptecs obscurant-penetrating LiDAR technology
originally developed for helicopters landing
in brownout conditions in the desert and
have been packaged for the punishing conditions typical of off-road vehicles and mapping
sensors used in the mining, oil and gas, and
construction industries. The OPAL 2.0 family
of sensors consists of the OPAL-360 series with
a 360 degree panoramic eld of view and
the OPAL-120 series with a conical eld of
view of up to 120 degrees. Both scanner
series are environmentally sealed (IP 67) and
have been ruggedized to withstand signicant
vibration and shock levels. They deliver an
unprecedented combination of range, data
density, acquisition speed and obscurant penetrating capability all packaged for harsh
environments. Different versions in the OPAL360 and OPAL-120 series support ranges of
400m out to 4km at accuracies of one centimeter and data acquisition rates of up to
200,000 points per second.

More Information, Less Data!


In real-time applications such as autonomous
navigation or monitoring, its not about collecting and processing millions of data points

OPAL-360 installed on a P&H shovel at an open pit mine

per second but about collecting the right


amount of 3D data that contains the actionable information you really need. OPAL sensors collect 3D data in seconds using a
unique, non-overlapping scan pattern and can
adjust the amount of data being collected in
real-time under software control from sparse
to high resolution without relying on vehicle
movement to ll in those data gaps. They

are compatible with Neptecs 3DRi (3D Realtime intelligence) software toolkit, which
includes out-of-the-box features such as automatic change detection, automatic scan alignment, and object recognition and tracking.
OPAL and 3DRi products make it easy to integrate optimized 3D machine vision solutions
and reduce development and life cycle costs.
Using their OPAL and 3DRi solutions, Neptec
Technologies is currently working with mining
companies on real-time machine automation
applications in the loading area of open pit
mines, and to overcome the dust problems
experienced by vision sensor used on robotic
vehicles like autonomous haul trucks.

The helicopter brown-out problem

Michael Dunbar, Director of Business Development, Neptec


Technologies Corp.
OPAL versus conventional LiDAR in a dusty mine environment

July/August 2014

Article

26

By Eric van Rees

In order to deliver base mapping and DTM data for the five different regions in
the State of Wisconsin, the Wisconsin Department of Transportation acquires,
processes and delivers data throughout the year. The workflow, hardware and
software tools at hand are discussed below.

Acquiring and Delivering Data


Photogrammetry at the Wisconsin DOT
Introduction
The Wisconsin Department of Transportation
(WisDOT) has a photogrammetry unit that prepares base mapping and digital terrain model
(DTM) data for ve different regions in the
State of Wisconsin. In order to acquire, process and deliver the data on time, the WisDOT
has a number of different software and hardware products at their disposal. Cindy
McCallum, who is the Photogrammetry Unit
Coordinator at the Wisconsin Department of
Transportation, discusses both workows and
the reasons why the organization chose the
variety of tools in use within the department
at the current time.

Data acquisition workflow


The State of Wisconsin is divided into ve
regions, each of which has an engineering
department in its regional ofce. These
departments depend on base mapping and
DTM data for their engineering design work.
The WisDOT acquires the data, by ying the
projects in the spring and delivering it within the timeframe specied by the designer for their project. Throughout the year, the
WisDOT is constantly delivering data, says Cindy McCallum: Its
an ongoing process, all depending on when it is needed by the
regions.
Cindy McCallum

In order to acquire the data, the Photogrammetry Unit at the WisDOT


has access to an airplane, metric lm camera, photographer, photo
lab, two high-resolution lm scanners and one Riegl static LiDAR
scanner. The static LiDAR scanner is used for doing terrestrial scanning. Aerial or mobile LiDAR data collection is acquired by consultants who are under contract with the Photogrammetry Unit.

A vertical image of Madison, Wisconsin.

July/August 2014

27

A color map from the Wisconsin DOT

McCallum explains that when a particular region wants the DTM,


they are provided the digital terrain model surface data and the
Photogrammetry Unit retains the LiDAR LAS les.
Traditionally, the United States Department of Transportation (DOT)
uses MicroStation, which was the choice made when the DOT initially adopted computer-aided drafting software. The same goes for
the WisDOT, but the base maps they supply to the regions are in
AutoCAD DWG format. The DTM data is usually delivered as standard Civil3D ASCII .srv format. Sometimes the les are delivered as
a .dwg surface. Its not a standard deliverable yet, says McCallum.
These les are put onto a server and the regions are informed when
they are there. Then, theyll interface with our File Cabinet software
that guarantees the integrity of the data to the WisDOT, and nally,
lets them copy the les off the server.

Software tools
On the software-side of things, the WisDOT uses Riegl, Esri,
MicroStation and DAT/EM software, as well as software for aerial
triangulation. The WisDOT uses DAT/EM Summit Evolution Professional on nine workstations to compile engineering-accuracy mapping and DTM data for highway design and planning. WisDOT has
been using DAT/EM Capture for MicroStation since 1993. DAT/EM
Capture collects vector information from stereo images and acts as
an interface between DAT/EM Summit Evolution or an analytical
plotter and MicroStation as well as other CAD, and GIS software.
The WisDOT still has one analytical plotter in operation. At the
time, this was the most effective PC-based solution. Nowadays, its
very rare that anybody is running an analytical plotter anymore, as
most people are on softcopy. For this we chose DAT/EM Summit
Evolution Professional, explains McCallum. Finally, DAT/EM
MapEditor runs on two workstations to edit the mapping and DTM
data before delivering it to the region.
The reason that the WisDOT went to Summit Evolution in the rst
place was their support for using a conventional analytical triangulation solution on an analytical plotter, which no other software could
do at the time, says McCallum. DAT/EM Capture would allow the
compiler to adjust the default orientation so there was a parallaxfree model, and no other software could do that in 2003 when we
were looking for a new solution.
McCallum has a background in compiling and mapping, contouring, cross-section generation and DTMs. At the moment, shes a data
editor and works on improving the efciencies within the mapping
processes of the WisDOT. Even though Im not a programmer, I
think along efciency lines all the time, and if I or the compilers do
something repetitively, I try to think of how we could get the computer to do this for us in a more efcient way. I then approach DAT/EM
with my idea. Theyre very responsive to suggestions and if the suggestions make sense to all of their other clientele, then they are willing to adapt, which is one of the great advantages of working with
a small company.
For more information, have a look at: www.dot.state.wi.us

July/August 2014

Event

28

Don Murray and Dale Lutz,


Co-Founders and Co-CEOs
of Safe Software.

By Tiana Warner

At the Vancouver Convention Centre in British Columbia, overlooking the glistening harbour
and breathtaking North Shore mountains, hundreds of industry experts gathered for the
FME International User Conference 2014. The week was packed with fun, networking,
gourmet cuisine, and insight, with 6 keynotes and over 70 customer presentations. Trends
surfaced, delivering the conferences promise to celebrate the past, learn about the present,
and get inspired about the future.

FME UC 2014
Celebrating the Past, Present, and Future of Geospatial

Where did this all come from?

Adam Evans, Google.

Don Murray and Dale Lutz, Safe Software cofounders, opened with a look at the last 20
years of FMEback to footage of the rst
ofce headquarters at Dales house in Surrey,
BC. The FME inventors recognized a data
problem in the early 1990s and started working on the S.A.I.F solution, a geospatial format designed for interoperability.
We were convinced that S.A.I.F was going
to change the world, said Don, speaking on
the companys ultimate goal to improve peoples lives. Paul Ramsey also reected on
PostGIS history, and the need for a spatial
data storage and retrieval system in the early
2000s. Looking back at the pioneering age

of spatial data, its hard to believe the magnitude of information today. Since then, the tech
explosion has resulted in a need greater than
simple translation and storage.

Do your learnings
Every session fullled the promise to celebrate
learningnot to mention the massive FME livetraining festival on the nal day. Paul Ramsey,
Boundless, had one of the more memorable
quotes of the conference: do your learnings.
He explained that we open new potential if
we think of data as free to move around,
rather than xed. Data is a liquid, not a
solid. He challenged the crowd to always
learn new skills and tools, to always expand

July/August 2014

29

our knowledge, because expert users can be


trapped by their own expertise.
More than seventy customer speakers showed
data transformation ingenuity during ve
simultaneous tracks of breakout sessions.
California CAD Solutions showed dramatically increased accuracy for Reverse 911, while
GIM (Belgium) showed signicantly reduced
processing time for linear referencing tasks.
Some talks focused on serious applications of
spatial ETLas in Cunning Runnings talk on
using FME to locate a terroristwhile others
highlighted fun data translation possibilities
like crowd sourcing spatial data via Minecraft.
One talk mentioned a whopping 1000-transformer FME workspace. All these demonstrations of high-impact, high-stress tasks being
accomplished with FME provided a staggering glimpse into the level of problem-solving
required in the industry. The possibilities are
truly inspiring for businesses that rely on
geospatial data every day.

In the midst of a data explosion


The exciting trajectory of geospatial data
trended throughout the talks. Data is becoming limitless in every way, and continues to
push these limits exponentially. On data volume alone, Adam Evans, Google, said, We
collect more data in a week now than we had
in our entire archive in 2009.
In the Esri Keynote, Ismael Chivite demonstrated that collaborating on mapping projects
and sharing data across the web are essential to creating rich, informative datasets.
Adam Evans was of the same mind, saying,
maps are the next document type. He
revealed the eye-opening statistic that 51% of
businesses use web-based mapping services.
Maps are becoming as everyday as spreadsheets. ArcGIS Online, Google Maps Engine,
and the tools that enable integration with these
services, are rising to meet this demand.
Bradley Skelton, Hexagon, effortlessly
browsed a 1.3 terabyte dataset in real time,
showcasing the potential for analyzing incredibly precise data. He discussed the exciting
growth in the number of sensors, resulting in
high-precision point clouds that extend beyond
LiDAR. His keynote gave insight to the evolving face of sensor technology, including video
sensors, Semi-Global Matching (SGM), and
radar visualization.
Many presentations stressed the importance
of data integration. Skelton also remarked on
fusing point clouds and rasters for leadingedge change detection. Robert Bray,
Autodesk, discussed contextual models containing unied GIS, CAD, Revit, and point
cloud data. He even spoke about bringing

Paul Ramsey, Boundless.

information to the physical world via 3D printing. He explained that transformative solutions
must offer rich modeling, analytics, and simulation, as well as unied accessanywhere,
anytime.
These astonishing presentations left little question that data is exploding in every way. Its
huge (Hexagons 1.3 TB point cloud), its frequent (ExactEarths 5 million ship signals a
day), its boundless (3D printing, web-based,
even video sensor from outer space), and its
demanding (WeatherNetworks 50,000 lightning strike records per second).
The industry is accelerating like a Data Big
Bang, and its awe-inspiring. Perhaps Dale
summed it up perfectly when he said, Its
hard to imagine 20 years from now. Even
three years from now!

Getting there is half the fun


FME UC attendees played as hard as they
worked. Many presentations brought laughs,
like Michael Fitzpatricks proof that FME Cloud
can help in a zombie apocalypse, or the
demo involving a cell phone stuffed inside a
foam ball. Attendees got to experience
Vancouver in a run around the Seawall and
the evening social at Science World. The FME
World Cup of Data contest pitted formats
against each other, and for Don Murrays benIsmael Chivite, Esri.

July/August 2014

et, a closing montage video featured attendees declaring their love for XML.
Don and Dale always emphasize that its all
about the people, and there was no shortage of recognition of customers, partners, and
staff at the FME UC. Keeping with the theme,
attendees also had the opportunity to pitch
new product ideas to the FME Doctors, and
vote on their favorite FME 2015 previews.
Youre going to help choose the future of
FME, said Dale.

Until next time


After a week of inspiring presentations and
networking with industry leaders, its easy to
get excited about the future of geospatial
data. The look back at the original Safe
Software headquarters revealed Dales excitement over a 100 MB disk, and perhaps it
wouldnt be outrageous to think well soon be
laughing at our astonishment over a 1 terabyte
point cloud, or 50,000 records per second.
A lot happened in the industry since the last
FME UC in 2009. One thing is certain: Don
and Dale agreed that ve years is too long to
wait for the next FME International User
Conference.
Tiana Warner, Technical Communications, Safe Software
For more information, visit www.safe.com/fmeuc.

Article

30

By Huibert-Jan Lekkerkerk

While GPS and Galileo continue to steadily make progress, the Glonass operations seem to be hampered. When an additional Glonass-M satellite was launched
in late March, almost immediately after this, Glonass experienced a 12 hour
outage. In mid-April another outage occurred.

GNSS Update

Two Steps Forward, One Step Back

tion took almost twelve hours. In the mid April


outage eight satellites were given incorrect
settings for about half an hour.
To top off the Glonass problems, another
Proton-M rocket exploded on launch. In 2010
and 2013 similar events led to the loss of six
satellites. The only good news (as far as
Glonass is concerned) is that this time the
satellite was not carrying Glonass satellites,
but a communications satellite instead.

GPS
In May another GPS IIF (6) satellite was
launched on a Delta 4 rocket. Normally these
rockets are tracked using radar, but this time
GPS was actually used to track the rocket on
its ight from Cape Canaveral.

Unloading Galileo satellites in Kourou (source: esa.int)

nvestigations have shown that the outages


were the result of faulty software. As a
result of a mathematical mistake
ephemerides was giving incorrect position information to the satellites and this

was subsequently uploaded to all the satellites. In order to perform a reset, it is necessary for a satellite to be in sight of a control
station (which are all located on Russian territory), which meant a full reset of the constella-

Reverse side of Galileo solar panels (source: esa.int)

The previous GPS satellite (IIF-5, PRN30),


which was launched in February of this year,
has not been set correctly yet. The main reason for this is due to extended navigation testing. As a result, the navigation data changes
in a different way from the other (operational)
satellites. Although the satellite has been set
incorrectly (indicating it should not be used by
receivers), some receivers do not seem to
adhere to the GPS interface specications. As
a result these receivers are using the incorrect
navigation data leading to corrupt or degraded position information. In Australia this led
to an outage in over 1000 vehicles using the
same GPS chipset.
Around the same time the new civil navigation message (CNAV) was also activated on

Sun (flash) simulator for testing solar panels (source: esa.int)

July/August 2014

31

According to Russian communications the reason for this suspension of data was the refusal
of the United States to enter into negotiations
with Russia for placing Glonass tracking stations on US territory. This is a bit of a non-issue
as there are already Glonass monitor stations
on Russian soil.

eLoran

Galileo OS and PRS receivers on frigate Leopold (source: esa.int)

L2C and L5 signals. Allegedly there is no relation between the two. For the time being the
L2C signal is broadcasted as accurate, whilst
the L5 signal remains inaccurate until further
notice.

Augmentation
The second Indian Regional Navigation
Satellite System (IRNSS) was launched on
April 4th. The complete system consists of
three geo-stationary satellites, as well as four
inclined geosynchronous satellites.

With all the GNSS activity going on, it is


easy to overlook the activity of the only backup system to GNSS available today, namely eLoran. As the outages of Glonass, and
to a lesser extent, the issues with GPS IIF-5
have shown, a back-up of GNSS can be
useful in certain circumstances. Recent trials
of eDLoran have shown an accuracy of 5
meters compared to RTK dGPS, bringing
eLoran on a par with unaided GPS and very
near that of the most public Space Based
Augmentation Systems, such as Egnos.
Earlier tests of Differential Loran (DLoran)
had shown an accuracy of around ten

Galileo
Galileo is steadily moving on with the rst pair
of fully operational capability (FOC) satellites
passing their tests at Estec (the Netherlands)
and being made ready for launch on a Soyuz
rocket from Kourou (French Guiana) later this
summer. Around the same time the rst two
satellites arrived in Korou, whilst the next
batch was already being unboxed at Estec,
ensuring a steady stream of Galileo satellites
ready for launch this year.

eDLoran track. Red = raw eLoran; white =


eDLoran; light blue = RTK dGPS with 5 m buffer
(source: gpsworld.com)

Glonass monitor and control stations (source: gpsworld.com)

A major difference between Galileo and GPS


(but not with Glonass) is its capability to reach
greater northern and southern latitudes. The
Belgian frigate, Leopold tested the reception
out at sea of both the Galileo Open Service,
as well as the Public Regulated Service during a voyage from Den Helder (the
Netherlands) to Stavanger (Norway). During
the voyage rough seas with waves up to ten
meters in height were encountered. As with
earlier trials on the ground and in the air, no
major issues were experienced during the test,
thereby validating the useful application of
Galileo in areas with low satellite elevations.

In late March another Egnos / communications satellite was launched from Kourou.
This satellite functions as a replacement and,
as such, users will not experience any major
differences from the existing service.
Those users who use the IGS stations to
obtain either their Precise Point Positioning
(PPP) or Post-Processing data around Russia
may have been a bit disappointed in May
and June. In mid-May, data from eleven GPS
tracking stations was no longer available to
the IGS back-up servers. Although the
archive function was restored in early June,
the real time data was not restored.

July/August 2014

meters, however, for harbor approaches this


was not deemed accurate enough by pilots.
As a result, the Dutch rm, Reelektronika
developed an enhanced differential Loran
system (eDLoran), which provided the stated ve meters accuracy during tests at the
Port of Rotterdam. The main difference in
eDLoran is the use of GSM broadcasts for
transmitting the differential corrections.
Huibert-Jan Lekkerkerk hlekkerkerk@geoinformatics.com is a
freelance writer and trainer in the fields of positioning and
hydrography.

Article

32

Local Community Planning


For Climate Change and Sea-Level Rise

Assessing the impact of climate change is a monumental task for any local
government organization, regardless of where it is located. For coastal communities throughout the world, this is a mission-critical challenge as the impact of
flooding from storm surge and sea level rise can be direct, widespread, and
devastating. The coastal communities of the state of Maine in the northeastern
United States are on the front line in this ongoing battle and use geospatial
technology and LiDAR data for predictive modeling, thus assessing the impact of
climate change.

By Patrick Cunningham
and David McKittrick

Storm surge prediction maps showing downtown Machias for a category 2 scenario in which the storm comes ashore at mean tide. Flooded buildings and roads are shown in red. Note that the municipal wastewater treatment
facility would be impacted along with many downtown businesses and a major causeway. The floods in this scenario correspond to what had previously been called a 1% probability storm (often called the 100 year floodplain). Climate scientists predict that such storms will happen five times more frequently by the end of the 21st century, on average every 20 years.

ommunity planning has changed dramatically over the past few decades
due in large part to the availability
of data and the accessibility of tools required to interpret and utilize this data.

Consider the example of building a new re


house. While community ofcials face the
inevitable challenge of raising the necessary
funds for the project, they must also assess
the many factors that will help determine the

July/August 2014

optimal location for the facility. One of these


factors is climate change and its impact on
the incidence and severity of major storm
events in areas that were previously considered relatively safe.

33

Coastal communities looking for answers


Assessing the impact of climate change is a
monumental task for any local government
organization, regardless of where it is located. For coastal communities throughout the
world, this is a mission-critical challenge as
the impact of ooding from storm surge and
sea level rise can be direct, widespread,
and devastating. The coastal communities
of the state of Maine in the northeastern
United States are on the front line in this
ongoing battle. The challenge of assessing
the impact of climate change with limited
resources and funding for conducting the
proper research necessary for accurate
assessment can have dire nancial repercussions. Historically there has been a perception that devastating storm events do not
occur along the coast of Maine, however,
mounting scientic evidence of climate
change is disproving that perception.
Recently hurricanes have been making landfall further north on the eastern seaboard of
the United States and have been directly
impacting Maine and other New England
states. Coastal communities are looking for
answers, and a deepening sense of urgency is instilling a call to action.
To put this challenge in context Washington
County, the eastern-most county in Maine,
will be considered. Washington County is
perhaps best known for supplying 85% of
the worlds wild blueberry supply however,
it is also a very poor county. The Sunrise
County has a median annual income of
$25,869 according to the US Census
Bureau and its population of 33,000 is
spread over 686 square miles resulting in a
population density of just 13 people per
square mile. Besides blueberry farming, a
once thriving forestry products industry contributes to the countys economy and the
long coastline supports thriving shing and
tourist industries. The rocky shores are characterized by a myriad of inlets with compelling scenery and unspoiled landscape.
Many tourists ock to the area in the summer, sustaining a small number of yearround coastal residents. In short, Washington County is a relatively poor, rural coastal
county which is both dependent on and vulnerable to the Atlantic Ocean.

Finding partners
So how do community planners assess the
impact of climate change using LiDAR and
sophisticated GIS analysis? They nd partners. The Washington County Council of
Governments (WCCOG) is an organization

comprised of most of the countys municipal


governments. WCCOG delivers a wide
range of customized planning, advisory and
resource development services to help communities build the future of the county. As a
state-recognized body for regional planning, the organization is owned and operated by its member communities with a
board of directors consisting of town managers, planning board members, and concerned citizens. WCCOG initiates many different projects for member communities and
focuses on a wide variety of issues including regional capacity building and partnering, energy planning, natural resource and
land use management, as well as economic
development.
In 2011, WCCOG joined several other
regional organizations to collaborate on the
Grow Washington-Aroostook Project, funded by a grant from the Sustainable Communities Program of the US Department of
Housing and Urban Development. This
regional planning effort was focused on creating jobs, modernizing infrastructure, and
fostering healthy and affordable communities in Washington and Aroostook Counties
in Maine. Involving dozens of organizations
across two counties, the plan is comprised
of a dozen initiatives, including Economic
Development, Sustainable Housing, Renewable Energy, Browneld Redevelopment,
Climate Change and Infrastructure Resilience, among others. An underlying goal
among all of the projects initiatives is building capacity among local communities to
plan for the future and weather change.
Under the Climate Change and Infrastructure Resilience initiative, the Gro-WA project developed a comprehensive evaluation
of likely climate change impacts to the
region. For the Washington County portion
of the project region, faculty, staff and students at the University of Maine at Machias
GIS Laboratory and Service Center have
been working closely with planners at
WCCOG to develop Climate Vulnerability
Assessments (CVAs) for municipalities in the
region to support emergency, conservation
and land use planning.

A guidebook for regional planning


After three years of community outreach and
research the team, led by Tora Johnson, produced the Grow Washington Aroostook
Climate Change Vulnerability Assessment
(CVA) report for these communities as a
guidebook for regional planning in the face

July/August 2014

of climate change and sea level rise.


According to the CVA, there has been
mounting evidence that even the most skeptical local residents of Maine coastal communities could not ignore. Supported by scientic study, the report states that in recent
years Maines climate has been changing.
The state has been experiencing more frequent and stronger storms, and a larger proportion of precipitation is in the form of rain
instead of snow. The area has also witnessed hotter summers and the normal seasonal cycles are shifting. The report goes on
to state that many industries important to
Washington County have been impacted by
these patterns. Changes in forest types and
tree species are affecting the states lumber
harvest and uctuations in water temperature are shifting ranges for commercially
important sh species such as herring,
alewives, elvers, as well as endangered
Atlantic salmon. Clam ats have been
closed more often due to red tides and bacterial contamination made worse by warming water. Moose populations are on the
decline because they are plagued by winter
ticks that were formerly killed by colder winters.
While not all the effects of a warmer climate
are bad, many of the changes will lead to
serious challenges locally. Researchers and
community liaisons have been hearing from
local municipal decision makers, emergency managers, and others that they need
information about climate change that is relevant for them.
Communities in Washington County are concerned and want answers about how climate change will affect the countys coastline. They are worried about what industries
are vulnerable, what can be done locally to
help them, what factors re departments,
rst responders, public health ofcials and
emergency managers need to consider.
What issues will planning boards, shellsh
managers, water treatment plant managers,
and other local ofcials need to consider to
minimize the effects of climate change?
Other areas of concern are the impact on
critical infrastructure like roads, bridges,
working waterfront, and utilities as well as
natural resources. Communities want to
know the timeframe for climate impacts;
when, what, and how long. They want
answers to the questions of what they can
do at the local level to minimize the problems arising from changing climate. They
wonder what people in other regions are
doing to address climate vulnerabilities, and

Article

34

of course they wonder about resources


and funding availability to help in setting
priorities and choosing actions?

narios using digital elevation models in


3D. The tools draw speed in 3D met their
live demonstration requirements so the
team could utilize Global Mapper for reliably presenting the data at public meetings, zooming and panning based on
requests from stakeholders. The LiDAR
data was complimented with aerial
imagery and road data to present a realistic model for stakeholders.

Climate Vulnerability Assessment


To answer these community planning challenges, WCCOG and UMM have leveraged US Department of Housing and
Urban Development funding to provide
mapping, cartographic, and geographic
analysis for the development of the
Climate Vulnerability Assessment (CVA)
focused specically on these needs and
concerns of Washington County ofcials.
The CVA was designed to assist community members with utilizing climate adaptation strategies into activities such as emergency preparation, planning for coastal
infrastructure, land use decision making,
or any other functions of municipal or
county government affected by these
issues. The report assessed climate change
data for the county including historical
temperature and precipitation trends
along with sea level rise and frequency as
well as strength of both tropical and winter
storms for the area. Storm surge is assessed
in relation to historical storm events, tides
and sea level rise and how those various
measures can combine to impact coastal
storm events especially in larger storms.
Other meteorological phenomena are discussed including the effect of wind direction
on storm surge. For coastal Washington
County, the most dangerous sector of a
storm is to the east of the storm center where
the wind blows hardest from the south, driving the storm surge northward into the narrow coastal bays and estuaries that are a
common geographical component of the
county.

Prediction modeling
Storm surge prediction maps for all coastal
areas of Washington County were developed focusing on hurricane-strength events.
For the hurricane surge prediction modeling,
the CVA utilizes the Maximum of the
Maximum (MOM) Envelope of Water predictions from the US National Weather
Service (NWS) Sea, Lake, and Overland
Surges from Hurricanes (SLOSH) Model. The
predictions for the area of interest of coastal
Maine are derived from a computer model
of a hurricane, composited from measured
storm track and tide gauge data for historic
storms. The track of the modeled storm
would make landfall over Penobscot Bay to
the east of Washington County. The model
estimates storm surges for mean and high

Global Mapper allowed us to quickly


and easily visualize sea level rise scenarios in precise detail over LiDAR terrain
models, stated Johnson We are able to
provide each coastal town with a vivid
and specic picture of the areas of concern.

Advice and suggestions

tide landfall for storm categories 1 through 4.


According to the NWS, the surge height predictions from the SLOSH model are accurate
to within +/-20% for storms that follow the
track and force patterns within the model
(Sea, Lake, and Overland Surges from
Hurricanes (SLOSH), 2013). For a more indepth discussion of this work and to view maps
and CVAs, see the GroWA Climate Change
and Infrastructure Resilience page: (1)
The predictive modeling using LiDAR data
was enabled by freely available data of the
entire coast of Maine collected by the United
States Geological Survey (USGS) and the
National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). Blue Marble Geographics,
a Maine-based GIS software developer, provided the team with an academic site license
of Global Mapper, its low-cost GIS application, to process this data. The data was
delivered to the team as unclassied LiDAR
points, which greatly diminished its usefulness. Researchers needed to be able to
model structures in the oodplain in three
dimensions, so the University of Maine at
Machais GIS Service Center devised a process to use Global Mapper to draw on information from other data sets such as digitized
building footprints and road layers to assign
classications to unclassied points. Global
Mappers lter functions for LiDAR were very
valuable for this process, according to
Johnson. The team also used Global Mapper to create terrain surfaces from gridded
LiDAR les, utilizing Global Mapper to visualize terrain and structures with ooding sce-

July/August 2014

The Climate Vulnerability Assessment concludes with advice and suggestions for
dealing with the effects of climate change.
The strategies are focused on reducing a
communitys vulnerability to storm surge
inundation. Areas of interest include evacuation planning and emergency routes to
avoid ooded roads, as well as plans for
placement of re and rescue trucks before
storm events to keep them safe from ooding and allow them to access remote areas
cut off by storm waters. Education for residents, storm shelter planning, mapping location of important community stakeholders
assets and much more are also strategies
suggested by the CVA. Finally, a discussion
of long-term planning addresses issues with
infrastructure improvement, grant or loan
funding, ordinance planning, and construction codes for coastal properties. The report
and the geospatial analysis are all hosted
at the Grow Washington Aroostook website
and maintained as a resource for community planners in Washington County. For more
information visit: http://gro-wa.org/climatechange.htm#.U6LhsrHN7rw
Patrick Cunningham President, Blue Marble Geographics and David
McKittrick Senior Application Specialist, Blue Marble Geographics.
(1): http://gro-wa.org/climate-change.htm#.U6MdcY3D0u8
Citations:
Sea, Lake and Overland Surges from Hurricanes (SLOSH). (2013,
June 2). National Weather Service National Hurricane Center.
Retrieved December 12, 2013, from
http://www.nhc.noaa.gov/surge/slosh.php
Climate Vulnerability Assessment for Washington County (2014,
April). GroWashington Aroostook : http://gro-wa.org/climatechange.htm#.U6LhsrHN7rw

Article

36

By Eric van Rees

Last February, Trimble released two new airborne LiDAR


systems, the AX60i and AX80. Both systems extend Trimbles
portfolio of aerial imaging solutions for a variety of mapping applications. This article describes the key features of these systems, their
main application areas and how both systems fit into Trimbles airborne
imaging solutions portfolio.

Trimbles AX60i and AX80


Airborne LiDAR Systems

rimbles latest additions to its aerial


imaging solutions portfolio are the
AX60i and AX80. These two new
airborne systems have been
designed to provide rapid and efcient point cloud capture as well as high-resolution images. Intended to be used for corridor and wide area mapping projects, they
can be installed on either xed wing or
rotary aircraft.

Trimble AX60i
The Trimble AX60i is an entry-level LiDAR system designed for low-altitude mapping applications. The system can be operated up to
5,000 feet (1,500 meters) above ground level
(AGL) while offering a 400 kHz laser pulse
repetition rate (PRR) with a single-channel,
downward-looking laser. As such, it supple-

ments the Trimble AX60, released in October


2013. This was Trimbles rst high-altitude system with a laser pulse repetition rate up to 400
kHz. The AX60i is basically the same system,
but with a limited ight altitude and is, therefore, suitable for people who only require a
system for low-altitude projects. As a low-altitude system, its ideal for mapping corridors,
such as power lines, oil and gas pipelines,
etc. It is an excellent solution for that market,
explains Moosa Ali Khan, Product Manager
for Land & Airborne Imaging at Trimble.
As the system is built on the same platform as
the high-altitude AX60 system, AX60i users
can upgrade easily to an AX60 in the future.
While the AX60i is targeted at the corridor
mapping market, ight altitude can be a factor if a ight operator wants to bid for widearea mapping projects. This is why Trimble

July/August 2014

decided to utilize a common mechanical platform so that customers can upgrade to the
AX60, the high altitude version. If the customer wishes to purchase an upgrade, they
send the system back to Trimble, we mount a
longer range laser scanner, calibrate the hardware and software for high-altitude applications and then the customer basically gets an
AX60, instead of having to buy a completely
new system, said Ali Khan.

Trimble AX80
The Trimble AX80 on the other hand is a highaltitude system, which is ideal for performing
wide-area mapping as well as low-altitude corridor mapping applications. The AX80 is a
dual-channel LiDAR system, which can be
operated up to 15,500 feet (4,700 meters)
above ground level.

37

The AX80 offers an 800 kHz PRR with a new


forward- and backward-looking capability to
enhance point density on the ground and
improve image resolution. Additionally, it
offers scanning of vertical surfaces. Ali Khan
explains how this new technology works:
With the AX80 you have one laser that is
directed in a slightly forward-facing position
and another facing slightly backwards. This is
quite a big advantage if you want to scan vertical surfaces such as the facades of buildings
for city mapping. It also comes in handy for
mapping power lines. We have had customers who wanted to scan both the back and
the front of the pylons and this can easily be
done with the AX80.
An optional, fully-calibrated 60 or 80 Megapixel camera with forward motion compensation can be added to both systems. The camera is integrated into the sensor head package
and harmonized with the laser sub-system so
that it does not need re-calibration each time
the system is tted to an aircraft.
Ali Khan explains that while its possible to
use the camera with lenses of different focal
lengths, Trimble only offers this camera with
50 mm lenses for their airborne systems.
With the 50 mm lens, the camera has a eld
of view of 56 degrees, he said. This closely
matches the eld of view of the laser, which
is around 60 degrees, resulting in a much better resolution. The advantage of having forward motion compensation is that it allows
operators to increase the ight speed. It
reduces the exposure time while maintaining
the same image quality. It also allows operations under low-light conditions for rapid
response missions.

System optimization
Both systems are optimized for precision applications, providing a uniform distribution of
laser points across the entire eld-of-view to
widen the usable swath width. Operators can
reduce track overlap or duplication and also
y at higher altitudes to achieve a given resolution. Together with a high-precision positioning system, integral power supplies and an inight monitoring tool, the Trimble AX60i and
AX80 can allow operators to reduce the complexity of airborne LiDAR surveys whilst increasing the quality of the output.
The systems allow operators to y at a faster
speed with a xed wing aircraft and still have
reasonable point spacing on the ground,
explains Ali Khan. Both systems, especially
the AX80, allows operators to y much faster,
because the point cloud density is so high.
From the point of view of operating costs, a
xed wing aircraft is more economical to operate than a helicopter.
Combining imagery and point clouds has
become an industry standard these days, says
Ali Khan. The LiDAR point cloud is the basis
of creating our models, but the camera adds
more visual information than a point cloud
ever could. With the system, you get both the
imagery and the point cloud so you dont
have to y a second time to get imagery or
laser. Ali Khan said that although Trimble
offers the system with LiDAR-only, 99 percent of system enquiries are for the
system with both LiDAR and camera.
If youre ying the camera-only system, you can also make a point
cloud, he said. But that would
require you to have much more overlap.

July/August 2014

Both systems are delivered with Trimble ight


planning software and Trimble Inpho software, which can automatically apply the different roll, pitch and heading values of the aircraft to the collected laser data. The laser les
are exported in LAS format and can be
brought into any kind of software for laser
data post-processing.
Trimbles eCognition platform for geospatial
data analysis can be utilized for feature information extraction using point clouds, raster
data or vectors as inputs. For example, if
youre ying over a city and you want to
detect certain features, you can put the characteristics of that feature in the software and
it will perform the extraction of the object automatically, says Ali Khan.
Ali Khan said that currently the biggest
demand for aerial LiDAR is in the North
American and European markets. He noted
that theres an increasing demand in Asia,
especially in China, where a great deal of
mapping is underway.
For more information, have a look at:
www.trimble.com/imaging/aerial-mapping.aspx

Evenet

38

HxGN Live 2014

Hexagon CEO Ola Rolln


(photo credit: Hexagon)

Geospatial, Solutions and Mining

By Remco Takken

The HxGN Live event has outgrown its predecessors as organised by Leica Geosystems
and Intergraph. Now is the time to emphasize the umbrella under which integrated
solutions are being developed. With a little help from ERDAS, Metrology and a string of
recently acquired corporations.

uring his keynote speech in Las


Vegas, one of the rst in a line of
interesting comparisons by
Hexagon CEO Ola Rolln dealt
with the variety of tools and products sold under the Hexagon umbrella, and
the Do It Yourself kits by furniture design giant
IKEA. Rolln remarked: Just like IKEA, we just
provide you with a set of tools, but you do all
the work; you are the enablers. Those tools
cover a lot of ground. While Leica and
Intergraph still provide traditional products
as surveying equipment and GIS software,
early warning monitoring systems are going
from human to autonomous: intelligent,
automated systems, either machine controlled
or making use of UAVs. From ownership to
access, from products to workow solutions
(Hexagons Smart Content Program).

Geosystems
Of course, Jrgen Dold of Leica Geosystems
highlighted the recent MS-50 multi-station to
his audience. This hybrid tool for surveying
and laserscanning was released exactly one
year ago, and now it boasts its rst achievements in the eld. Also a news item during last
years conference, was the Aibotix UAV, or
drone. Due to severe legislation in the U.S.,
this particular data capturing device is mostly
operated by big enterprises with assets on private grounds. Behind the scenes, though, lots
of exciting and innovative applications are
being developed for mapping and creating
(3D) models. Last year, love was already in
the air, when Aibotix UAV was shown extensively at parallel sessions and in the exhibition hall. In 2014, Hexagon acquired Aibotix.
Headquartered in Kassel, Germany, Aibotix

July/August 2014

is the maker of Aibot X6, a vertical take-off


and landing unmanned aerial vehicle. The
multi-rotor platform is designed to suit the
needs of customers in the industrial inspection,
aerial mapping, surveying, utility and security
markets. The Aibotix acquisition is an important addition to Hexagon's photogrammetric
and mapping technologies portfolio, said
Hexagon President and CEO Ola Rolln when
the acquisition was announced. The growing number of applications for UAV-based
solutions offers huge growth potential, especially in areas that require frequent and local
updates such as smart city applications,
dynamic GIS, and emergency response.

Dust, Diamonds and Data


A recurring theme for the Geosystems division was Dust, Diamonds and Data, with

39

increasing the utilisation of automation technologies in order to deliver higher efciencies


at lower costs, said Ola Rolln at the time of
the acquisition. Devex's strong presence and
technology leadership not only opens doors to
cross-sell complementary Hexagon offerings to
the same market but also exploit product integration opportunities to better serve the
automation needs of additional segments, like
agriculture and construction.

SAFEmine
Headquartered in Baar, Switzerland, SAFEmine provides comprehensive trafc safety
solutions for vehicles operating in open-pit
mines. Built around a compact collision avoidance system, SAFEmine's technology increases situational awareness and reduces accidents by actively alerting the vehicle operator
to imminent threats. The product line includes
collision avoidance, driver fatigue monitoring,
advanced tracking radar and vehicle information systems. This acquisition is signicant for
our customers in mining and other sectors that
are increasing the use of technologies in order
to operate with the highest amount of efciency while also improving safety conditions,
according to Ola Rolln. SAFEmine's strong
presence and technology leadership not only
open doors to cross-sell complementary
Hexagon offerings to the same market, but create integration opportunities across multiple
businesses within Hexagon.

Mintec

Registration booth (photo credit: Hexagon)

a rm nod to the mining industry. Unexpected new technology integration was seen
in Safety Through Motion Awareness; truck
drivers' face movements were used to measure fatigue. This is part of a solution where
a virtual geo-box is created around vehicles. An example of this was shown during
the presentation of a new Hexagon vertical
called Smart Mining. This focus on the mining industry is a direct consequence of the
recent acquisitions of a group of companies
such as Devex, Mintec, and SafeMine.

time control and remote monitoring of all mine


activities - in 3D and from a single platform.
Their solutions complement Hexagon's other
offerings in the mining sector, with specic
emphasis on 3D environments. Hexagon's
customers in mining and other sectors are
Demo zone (photo credit: Hexagon)

Devex and SmartMine


Devex is a Brazilian company with mine-management software solutions for open-pit and
underground mines. Having grown signicantly in size and scope in recent years, solutions
from Devex go beyond eet management into
mine process automation. The Devex portfolio
has grown from SmartMine, their agship
operations offering, to a automation platform
for optimising mine performance through real-

July/August 2014

With its 232 employees, Arizona based


Mintec has grown into a global network of mining professionals providing technology, service
and support complex mining operations
around the world. MineSight is the companys
modeling and mine planning brand. Mining is
becoming a more precise practice, and accurate mine planning and scheduling is at the

Event

40

forefront of this change. The integration of the


planning, scheduling and daily production
capabilities of Mintec will enable Hexagon to
close the loop and control data ow from
design and mine planning through extraction
and back into life- of-mine planning, providing
a comprehensive ow of data across all mining operations. The acquisition of planning
and scheduling software strengthens our mining solution strategy, providing a platform for
comprehensive life-of-mine solutions, Ola
Rolln explained. The combination of proven
technologies from Leica Geosystems, Devex,
SAFEmine and now Mintec, in connection with
our geospatial product suite and computeraided dispatch solutions from Intergraph, we
have the tools and technologies to leap ahead
of the competition.

Whats New In GeoMedia 2014?


In dazzling amount of parallel sessions over
the course of the congress, news facts, product presentations and user experiences were
shared. Some of the presenters are seen as
the true source of information for selected
products from the Hexagon family. David
Glenn is one of them. He has been a mainstay
at Intergraph user conferences over the years,
as he is with Intergraph as a software architect since the very rst version of GeoMedia
came out. Glenn recognised the fact that many
long-time customers showed up at his presentation, and he apologised to them that is was
just him to deliver the news, and not those
other prominent GeoMedia veterans: Vince
Smith and Joe Bob Penor. And then, he swiftly
went into detail. Of course, GeoMedia 2014,
supports Windows 8.1, Oracle VM Virtual
Box, XenApp 6.5 and RemoteApp (MS 2008
R2). Glenn also introduced the new GeoMedia

Desktop tiers. Firstly, Essentials consist of Data


access, Query and analysis along with image
preparation. Advantage adds to that Vector
Data Capture, GIS Database Creation, Raster
Analysis and Elevation Artifacts. Lastly,
Professional has all of the above, plus Data
Management, Quality Control and Advanced
Feature Modelling.

Tracing, Edge Matching en Conflation


Of the new features in GeoMedia 2014,
Tracing is designed to help cable and piping
asset managers. It places dynamic analysis
against trace results. It is based on geometry
connectivity (AFM associations), it is able to
forward and reverse feature digitization, and
denes stop features. One of the applications
is toxic spill. When this occurs, the tool traces
downstream water network and uses the trace
in future analysis to identify parcel owners of
the spill. Edge Matching assists in the integration of Feature Sets that share a common
boundary. Conation consists of a set of tools
to merge two datasets, retaining the best characteristics of each.

Add-ons integrated
Glenn summarized the newly integrated menu
system as GeoMedia Repackaged, for the
Essential/Professional versions merely consist
of integrated add-ons that used to come as separate items to GeoMedia. For instance, the
Parcel add-on is now folded in the
Professional tier, and Fusion can now be
found in the Advantage tier. Surface Analysis
has been moved into GeoMedia Grid;
GeoMedia 3D is still an add-on, though.
Transportation Manager has nally made its
way into the ribbon interface, and it boasts
some enhancements, like a search engine

which is capable of nding both local and federal names, and support of concurrent routes.
Concurrency is an instance of one physical
road bearing two or more different highways
or route numbers. This impacts the behaviour
of many of the commands. Mapping Manager
is a bundle, consisting of Feature Cartographer
(for rule driven marginalia and elevation artefact generation) and Map Publisher (for generalization, instance editing and separate cartographic edits from source).

Image Pro 2014, 3D 2014 and e-Training


GeoMedia Image Pro 2014 is now compatible with GeoMedia Essentials, Advantage
and Professional. It has a new ribbon user
interface, supports Windows 8 and includes
Image Light Table Plus 5.0. In the GeoMedia
3D 2014 release, data interoperability has
improved. Theres an update to the latest FME
import tools. Glenn briey mentioned that we
now work better with GML than we did in the
past. Theres now support fot Application
Domain extensions within CityGML models,
WMS performance is greatly increased
according to Glenn. Theres better support for
ECW data; users can now efciently integrate
large collections of ECW imagery into 3D
workows. Theres smoother 3D roaming, easier feature selection (oblique selection), and it
has become easier to create ight paths.
On the subject of educational courses, Intergraph announced nine e-Training modules,
including NDVI, Creating a Shoebox in ERDAS
IMAGINE, FGDB Access, Customizing the Ribbon
Bar, an ERDAS IMAGINE introduction to Spatial
Modelling and the GeoMedia Interface to
Apollo. David Glenn said that Many more topics are planned after HxGN 2014.

All-encompassing
Over the course of four days in Las Vegas,
HxGN Live 2014 was stacked with large and
smaller scale workshops, with around 4,000
attendees. Judging from the amount of effort
that was taken to present the combined technologies of many Hexagon companies, it is
very likely that old brand names like ERDAS
and Intergraph will be seen less prominently
in future shows and exhibitions covered by
Hexagon Geospatial, Hexagon Solutions and
Geosystems (notably without the Leica prex). The ongoing integration processes, which
started some time ago with the merge of product lines within ERDAS and Intergraph, make
Hexagon one of the few all-encompassing
players in the worlds of geo information, measurement and smart solutions.
For more information, have a look at: http://2014.hxgnlive.com

Demo zone (photo credit: Hexagon)

July/August 2014

www.trimbledimensions.com

trimble_dimensions@trimble.com

42

CLGE newsletter

GeoSkills Plus, made in Germany


During the GeoSkills Plus Workshop in Harderwijk (NL), 21 22 May 2014, Dieter Seitz presented a
paper on the education and training of surveyors in Germany. His country has always organized three
levels of education: the surveying technicians, bachelors (land surveyor) and masters (geodesist or
Geodt, in German). Its clear that the state and surveying companies are jointly in charge of training,
ranging from the lowest level of training to publicly appointed surveyors. The professional associations
need renewal in the form of youth and new faces.
Dieter Seitz, Domain Expert, Publicly Appointed Surveyor

Surveying technicians
Surveying technicians or geomaticians are located at the
technical level. An apprenticeship of three years is
required, which normally leads to the professional qualication of surveying technician or geomatician after three
years of training.
The general certicate of secondary education is required
as entry level for this type of apprenticeship. In Germany,
this means 10 years of school nishing normally at the
age of 16 years.
The apprenticeship is performed in private or public
ofces. It is regulated and controlled by the state. In the
rst year the contents of the apprenticeship is the same
for both professions (technicians and geomaticians), in
the second and third year it differs.
Apprentices attend a public vocational school for a period of three years and are simultaneously trained in a company; it is a so-called dual training. Trainees work in an
apprenticing company and have intensive courses at
school for three to six weeks three times a year.
Surveying Technicians work in land registry ofces, for
publicly appointed surveyors, or in engineering ofces
guided by engineers, especially in the eld of on-site surveys, or in ofces collecting and processing surveying
data.
The geomaticians apprenticeship is more focussed on
GIS and mapping. They work mostly in land mapping

Dieter Seitz, German Publicly Appointed Surveyor and CLGE Treasurer.


Mark Wijngaarde

43

July/August 2014

Another result of their cooperation led to the


creation of the website www.arbeitsplatzerde.de. It is available in English. It addresses questions such as
What is geodesy?
Practice & everyday work: What kind
of jobs can you get with this education?
Study programmes (universities, colleges, study programmes)
Career (career perspectives, job proles, etc.)
Downloads & links

Mark Wijngaarde

agencies or cartographic ofces.


Technicians have several possibilities to
progress to University or Technical University.

Bachelors
Bachelors are trained at Universities of
Applied Sciences. These institutions offer an
education of three and a half years including six months of traineeship in an ofce or
in the industry.
The studies are more oriented towards practical training. The former graduate engineers degree (technical college) or the current bachelor degree is at mid-level.
Surveyors with a bachelor degree can assist
in more complex surveys and instruct surveying technicians.
After an additional training of one and a
half years in the public sector and a subsequent surveyors state examination, bachelors can qualify for a position in the upper
grade of the civil service. In some federal
states of Germany they can become a private publicly appointed surveyor after two
more years of practice in the cadastral eld,
working in the public sector, or for a publicly appointed surveyor who plays the role
of mentor.
Surveyors with a good bachelors degree,
interested in further studies, can achieve a
masters degree in the same institutions (4
more semesters). However, it is currently not
possible to achieve a doctors degree at
Universities of Applied Sciences.

Masters
Masters have to attend university. The
entrance requirement is the A-level obtained
at the secondary school. Normally, the
bachelors degree (BSc.) can be achieved
within three years (more theoretical training)
and the masters degree (MSc.) an additional two years. Subsequently, surveyors can
work in the industrial sector or in a private
ofce or stay at university to start a PhD. If
surveyors want to work for the state as civil
servants (higher service) or become publicly
appointed surveyors, they have to pass a
traineeship of two years in the public sector
after having achieved the masters degree.
Eventually they have to pass the second state
examination. To become a publicly appointed surveyor a further year of practice in the
eld of cadastral surveys is required.

Measures taken in Germany to attract


young surveyors
In 2010 the German professional associations
(the DVW is the umbrella association including all surveyors independently of where they
work; the BDVI is the professional association
of publicly appointed surveyors and the VDV
is the professional association of surveyors)
decided to cooperate to nd a standard solution for issues about the future.
For instance, the three associations have
taken a rst measure by establishing a
Geodesy Academy for Continued Professional Development: www.geodaesie-akademie.de

Additionally, it was agreed with the academic sector that the generic term for all surveying professions will be GEODESY. This
umbrella brand comprises all elds of surveying: apprenticeship, study programmes
and junior surveyor recruitment.
The academic sector was asked to integrate
the brand Geodesy in a prominent position into the titles of the study programmes.

Career perspectives
Currently the situation is very good for all elds
of surveying. In Germany we have both a lack
of skilled surveying technicians and engineers.
The number of apprentices has decreased from
928 to 550. There has also been a decrease
in the number of students and graduated engineers who successfully pass the traineeship
and the second state examination.
At the same time, the age prole of publicly
appointed surveyors, and in the civil service, has changed to an alarming extent.
More than one third of our colleagues are
older than 60 years of age.
In Germany we head towards a period in
which we no longer have the necessary
junior surveyors.
Therefore DVW, BDVI and VDV have created the website www.arbeitsplatz-erde.de
(see above), which addresses young people
and is designed to encourage their interest
in surveying. Furthermore, these associations try to campaign for surveying in
schools. The results are obvious: the number
of students in geodesy at the University of
Bonn increased by 100% in 2013.
Another project designed to encourage the
interest of young people in surveying study
programmes or in apprenticeship is the GIS
in schools competition launched by DVW.

44

CLGE newsletter

July/August 2014

From the artes liberales to knowledge-based service provider


In several European countries, the private surveyor is said to have a liberal profession. Other countries
dont have this concept. But what is it exactly?
Jean-Yves Pirlot reports, based on a document of EESC

he term liberal professions refers


back to the term artes liberales,
or liberal arts, used in classical
antiquity for occupations such as
teaching, law, construction, architecture, engineering and medicine. The
artes liberales were the preserve of free
citizens and nobility. Surveyors were counted among these privileged citizens.
Since the 19th century, the liberal professions have no longer been dened on the
basis of the free birth of a practitioner,
but according to the activity performed.

By the early 1800s, certain liberal professions had become very closely connected
with the State. This prevented them from operating independently,
which resulted in them being held in low esteem by society. In the
19th century, under the inuence of liberalism, the liberal professions in a number of EU countries developed a consciousness of their
status and established professional organisations independent of the
State. For example, the legal profession managed to free itself from
State inuence, and the academic medical profession likewise
achieved a degree of freedom from State regulation and monitoring.
Activities surrounding authorisation to practice, codes of conduct
and professional supervision were often taken over by professional
organisations. Later on, regulatory power was transferred to the selfgovernance organisations/professional associations.
Currently, a liberal profession can be characterised by:
the provision of a valuable intangible service that is distinctly
intellectual in nature based on advanced (academic) training
a service that is in the public interest;
a substantive and economic independence in executing tasks;
the provision of services in a personal capacity, on the providers
own responsibility and in a professionally independent manner;
a particular relationship of trust between the client and the service provider;
a focus on providing the best possible service rather than on maximising prot;
and compliance with precise, strict professional regulations and
codes of professional ethics.
An activity may also be regarded
as a liberal profession in the
absence of some of these elements,
provided the principal characteristics are met: for example, in many
countries an activity undertaken as

an employee may be regarded as a liberal


profession if substantive independence is
maintained.
The state employs many architects, physicians and surveyors. They are employees but
they often have to respect the rules set by
the body regulating the private profession.
The European Economic and Social
Committee notes that the liberal professions
and the organisations which regulate such
activity in Europe have branched out. The
new liberal professions, such as psychologists, social workers, tax advisors, bankruptcy advisors, surveyors and mediators, which
are not classied as liberal professions in all
countries, require an inclusive approach.
There are signicant differences between EU Member States in the
denition of the term liberal profession, and some do not use the
term at all. In some countries, only a small group of occupations are
regarded as liberal professions: medicine, advisory professions such
as law, tax consultancy and auditing, employment consultancy and
engineering and architecture. In other Member States artistic activities are also counted as liberal professions.
One objective that is common to all Member States is to ensure that
the dening characteristic of the liberal professions the asymmetry
of information between service providers and their clients is not
abused. The services provided by the liberal professions are complex and require a high degree of expertise, which means that service recipients do not have enough information, specialist knowledge or experience to judge the quality of the service, either when
choosing a provider or after the service has been provided.
Liberal professions are therefore based on trust. The asymmetry of
information means that service recipients must be able to trust
providers not to exploit this information decit for their own benet,
but rather to provide the best possible service, tailored to the clients
needs. Service recipients are thus making a leap of faith when they
engage a service provider. Minimum professional standards and
compliance with codes of professional ethics are appropriate ways
of protecting service recipients trust.
Therefore, CLGE has developed a Code of Conduct for European
Surveyors. It was adopted in Rome in September 2009. The transposition process is ongoing. About
60 % of the CLGE members have
acknowledged, approved or transposed the Code of Conduct. In a
next phase we will check how this
Code is enforced.

Newsletter

45

More than 50 representatives from the European National Mapping, Cadastral


and Land Registry Authorities attended EuroGeographics Extraordinary General
Assembly held recently in Belgium.
By Rhian French

EuroGeographics General Assembly


Membership Growth, Exchange Network announced

embership applications from two new authorities


were approved during the two-day event at the
Leuven Institute for Ireland in Europe. The Central
Ofce of Immovable Property Registration (IPRO),
Albania is now a full member of the Association with
The Geographic High Councils Territorial Commission (GHC/TCSpain), Spain becoming an associate member.

We are very pleased to welcome IPRO and GHC/TC-Spain to


EuroGeographics, says EuroGeographics President, Ingrid Vanden
Berghe. We are delighted that they recognize the benets of membership, which offers the opportunity to exchange expertise, be represented at a range of regional, Europe-wide and global events and
to participate in important initiatives such as the European Location
Framework (ELF) project.
We now represent 61 members from 46 countries the whole of
geographical Europe and we are encouraging them all to continue
to make their data available for the ELF. This is taking INSPIRE to
the next level by providing the practical means for delivering operational cross-border and pan-European services.
IPRO is a state self-nancing institution with responsibility for registering immovable properties. In addition to a central ofce, it also
has 36 district ofces across Albania.
Geographic High Council/Territorial Committee of Spain (GHC/TC)
is the ofcial coordination organisation for the Spanish Regional
and Mapping Authorities. It is legally responsible for coordinating
regional and national mapping as well as geographic information
(GI) production management.

Positioning Knowledge Exchange Network (KEN)


Following a proposal by the Head Ofce for Geodesy and Cartography in Poland, plans for the new Positioning Knowledge
Exchange Network (KEN) were also announced. Its focus will
include: Maintaining a network of experts in satellite positioning
and navigation; following the development of relevant technologies
and practices; working on the most effective utilisation of Galileo
services; and developing common standards, policies and guidelines for best practice.
Now EuroGeographics members will work to agree roles and joint
actions through a cooperation agreement with the European Position
Determination System (EUPOS), the Reference Frame Sub Committee
for Europe (Euref) and the Council of European Geodetic Surveyors
(CLGE). The new Positioning KEN will incorporate experts from all
four organisations and will also invite other key players to participate.
This is a really exciting addition to our range of benets for members, says EuroGeographics Executive Director and Secretary
General, Dave Lovell OBE. It demonstrates how they are driving
the Associations development to ensure its activities continue to meet
their needs by reecting emerging trends and the relevant interests
of the European Institutions.
We look forward to strengthening our relationships with EUPOS,
Euref and CLGE as we work together to create the uniform GNSS
service for Europe.
EuroGeographics KENs provide an open forum for its members and
invited experts. Each focuses on an area of particular interest for
National Mapping, Land Registry and Cadastral Authorities. These
include Business Interoperability, Quality and Emergency Mapping.

The National Authority for Geospatial Infor mation, Albania, the


National Geographic Institute and the General Directorate for
Cadastre in Spain are already full members of the Association.

July/August 2014

For further information please contact Rhian French on +44 1264 300126,
+447892 698 350 (mobile) or email: press@eurogeographics.org.

Calendar 2014 / Advertisers Index

46

22-26 September 2014 Geospatial Conference (GeCo) in the Rockies


Grand Junction, CO, U.S.A.
Internet: www.gecointherockies.org

July
10-13 July FME International User Conference
Vancouver, Canada
Internet: www.fmeuc.com

October
06-07 October Bentley LEARNing Conference: Geospatial and
Utilities
Mainz, Germany
Internet: http://pages.info.bentley.com/event-detailsae/?name=Bentley%20LEARNing%20Conference:%20Geospatial%20and%2
0Utilities&eventGUID=653fee7a-8195-4095-ad67-8a548051ce17

14-18 July Esri International User Conference


San Diego, CA, U.S.A.
Internet: www.esri.com/events/user-conference
15-17 July FOSS4G Europe
Jacobs University, Bremen, Germany
E-mail: contact-foss4ge@osgeo.org
Internet: www.foss4g-e.org
29-30 July Bentley LEARNing Conference: Geospatial, Utilities, and
Communications Networks
Towson, Maryland, U.S.A.
Internet: http://pages.info.bentley.com/event-detailsae/?name=Bentley%20LEARNing%20Conference:%20Geospatial,%20Utilities
,%20and%20Communications%20Networks&eventGUID=f53b0ff1-09aa4aca-a954-129546d4f74f

06-08 October Symposium on Service-Oriented Mapping 2014 SOMAP 2014 Geospatial Processing and Visualization
Potsdam, Germany
Internet: http://somap.cartography.at
06-08 October 2014 ISPRS/IGU Joint Conference
Toronto Marriott Downtown Eaton Centre, Toronto, Canada
E-mail: geoinfo5@ryerson.ca
Internet: http://www2.isprs.org/2014GeoTPMA/home.html
07-09 October 20th Intergeo
Berlin, Germany
Internet: www.intergeo.de

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

07-09 October UAV Show Europe


Merignac, France
Internet: www.uavshow-europe.com
13-17 October Radar 2014
Lille, France
Internet: www.radar2014.org

September
02-05 September Remote Sensing and Photogrammetry Society
Conference 2014
Aberystwyth University, Aberystwyth, Ceredigion, U.K.
Internet: http://rspsoc.aber.ac.uk/en
03-05 September 7th National Cartographic Conference
GeoCart2014 / 42nd ANZMapS conference / 3rd ICA Regional
Symposium on Cartography for Australasia and Oceania
The University of Auckland, Auckland, New Zealand.
Internet: http://web.env.auckland.ac.nz/public/geocart2014
04-07 September Ninth European GIS Education Seminar - EUGISES
Cork, Ireland
Internet: http://eugises2014.eugises.eu
08 September Blue Marble User Conference
Delta Bow Valley Hotel, Calgary, AB, Canada
Internet: www.bluemarblegeo.com

14-16 October GeoForm+


Moscow, Russia
E-mail: ledenyova@ite-expo.ru
Internet: www.geoexpo.ru
20-23 October 14th International Scientific and Technical
Conference From Imagery to Map: Digital Photogrammetric
Technologies
Hainan, China
Internet: www.racurs.ru
21-22 October Geo Utilities Event
Amsterdam, The Netherlands
Internet: www.geospatialutilities.com
30 October Blue Marble User Conference
Royal Sonesta Hotel Houston, TX, U.S.A.
Internet: www.bluemarblegeo.com

08-12 September FOSS4G 2014


Portland, OR, U.S.A.
Internet: https://2014.foss4g.org

November

11-12 September Geodesign Summit Europe


Delft University of Technology, Faculty of Architecture and Science Center,
Delft, The Netherlands
Internet: www.geodesignsummit.com/europe

03-05 November Trimble Dimensions 2014


Mirage Hotel - Las Vegas, NV, U.S.A.
E-mail: Trimble_Dimensions@Trimble.com
Internet: www.trimbledimensions.com

22-25 September SPIE Remote Sensing 2014


Amsterdam RAI Exhibition and Convention Centre, Amsterdam, The
Netherlands
Internet: http://spie.org/remote-sensing-europe.xml?WT.mc_id=RCal-ERSW

04 November GeoDATA 2014


Glasgow, Scotland, U.K.
E-mail: geodata@geoaware.info
Internet: www.geoaware.info

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

Advertisers Index
Bentley

www.bentley.com

NIKON

www.nikonpositioning.com

DAT/EM Systems

www.datem.com

20

Racurs

www.racurs.ru

16

Erdas

www.hexagongeospatial.com

13

RIEGL

www.riegl.com

47

Esri

www.esri.com/geoinfoagol

35

Supergeo

www.supergeotek.com

17

Intergeo

www.intergeo.de

21

Trimble

www.trimbledimensions.com

41

Leica Geosystems

www.leicageosystems.com

48
June 2014

NEW

RIEGL VMZ

MOBILE
scanning

easy
mounting

From

stati

c to

mob
i le s

c an
ning

in a

few

step

s!

Mobilize yourRIEGL 3D
Terrestrial Laser Scanner

STATIC

scanning
VMZ - horizontal
setup

RIEGL VMZ Highlights

fully integrated IMU/GNSS unit to support RIEGL VZ-400


or VZ-1000 scanners for mobile (kinematic) data
acquisition

RIEGL VMZ vertical setup

fast transition from tripod to mobile mount no boresight


calibration necessary after re-mounting for mobile
scanning
RIEGL VMZ horizontal setup

image acquisition with fully integrated NIKON DSLR

camera
camera and/or POINTGREY ladybug
easy system operation and data processing with
RIEGLs standard software packages for static and
mobile scanning applications

IMU/GNSS unit

registered trademarks

www.riegl.com

RIEGL LMS GmbH, Austria

RIEGL USA Inc.

RIEGL Japan Ltd.

RIEGL China Ltd.

Leica
Leica Pegasus:Two
Pegasus:Two
Co
Complete
mplete Mobile
M
Mapping
apping Solu
Solution
tion

Leica
Leica P
Pegasus:Two
egasus:Two bounded
bounded only by your imagina
imagination
tion vehic
vehicle
le in
independent,
dependent,
data
data economic
economical,
al, mult
multiple
iple senso
sensory
ry pla
platform
tform
M
Main
ain ffeatures
eatures
Light sensorr for auto brightness and balance control
for image capture
Full calibrated spherical view through optional dome
camera to enable city modeling
Marries imager y and point cloud data into a single
calibrated, user-intuitive platform
E x ternal trigger output and ex ternal time stamping
for additional sensors
Scanners and profilers can be added separately, after
purchase, and calibrated by the user

For more information visit


http:///di.leica-geosystems.com
www.leica-geosystems.com

No dedicated, modified vehicles are required


Soft ware enables access to E sri A rcGIS for Desk top
Most advanced GNSS receiver leverages global
constellations
Capture and edit 3D spatial objects from images or
within the point cloud
Economical with data - balances data quantit y and
qualit y, with project logistics and postprocessing