SPAR 2015 – Day 1

Lisa Murray opened SPAR 2015 by announcing that attendance had exceeded 1,000 for the first time and that there were 110 booths with 86 companies exhibiting. The keynotes were very well done – a complimentary mix of laser scanning market research, focused augmented reality/wearable computing business development strategy, and a detailed look at the benefits being derived from a virtual BP facility workflow on the North Slope in Alaska.

There were many company product announcements which can be found on the Lidar News website, but the most comprehensive was from Leica Geosystems. The official release will be tomorrow, but as a sneak preview we were told that there were three new scanners being announced with a primary  emphasis on increased ease of use and productivity. On the software side Leica JetStream, Leica TruVeiw Global and Leica CloudWorx for Navisworks are planned for release Q2 2015.

On the conference front it looks like it is going to be a one year stay in downtown Houston. SPAR 2016 will return to the Woodlands, where it had been held before moving to Colorado Springs.

The video shows the use of a Velodyne 32 with the Segway – another mobile mapping platform.

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SPAR 2015 Keynotes

SPAR 2015 officially kicks off this morning with three keynotes. The first is from Ralph Rio, Research Director at the ARC Advisory Group on Global Market Trends. Second is by Andy Lowery, President of DAQRI, a leading augmented reality developer on Sensing Change: To the Cloud(s) and Beyond and David Truch, Technology Dorector, CTO at BP International Limited on Creating Virtual Facilities to Do Real Work.

It should be a very interesting mix.


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SPAR Pre-Conference

On Monday the SPAR pre-conference gets underway with two tracks of short vendor presentations, four workshops, a User Group meeting and two educational sessions – one that is aimed at beginners and the other that is more advanced. This will be followed by a Happy Hour from 5 to 6.

The USIBD will be hosting two informational sessions on their recently published standards, an open forum session where you can share your goals and needs within the industry, followed by a meet and greet for USIBD members and the USIBD leadership. Please consider supporting the important work that they are doing.

I look forward to seeing you there and for those not attending stay tuned for all of the breaking news.

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Monitoring Construction Settlement

They are using 3D laser scanning in Seattle to monitor settlement in an area above a major tunneling operation where crews were pumping out groundwater to construct the access pit to repair the tunnel machine Bertha, which broke down in December 2013 early in its drive to dig a new SR99 tunnel to replace the viaduct.

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Lidar Finds Mayan Citadel

citadelThe images in this article provide striking evidence of the game changing value that the use of airborne lidar is bringing to archaeology. “We discovered a completely new component of the greater site that does not meet with any traditional expectations,” said Ford. “It shares nothing in common with Classic Maya centers: no clear open plaza, no cardinal structure orientation, and curiously no evident relationship to the major Classic site of El Pilar, little more that 600 meters away.”

You just can’t identify these landscapes when you are on the ground. Where is Indiana Jones when we really need him?

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Are You Going to SPAR?

The time is running out for you to answer that question. From the advance promo it sounds like this year’s event is going to offer a number of exciting new features. Those getting the top billing include DAQRI with the Smart Helmet, Euclideon’s Hologram Room, and Atheer Smart Glasses, as well as UAS pavilion.

Sean Billingsley, a member of the Advisory Board commented, “However, it seems to me that it is in an adolescent phase that is about to end as the scanning and 3D imaging market has matured as we know it. A quick look at this year’s lineup of presenters and exhibitors has a lot of new faces and is an indicator of the rapid expansion of 3D technologies into a plethora of new industries.

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Velodyne Wins Automotive Industry Award

Velodyne LiDAR announced today that Frost & Sullivan, the prestigious market research firm, has honored the company with its 2015 North American Automotive ADAS (Advanced Driver Assistance System) Sensors Product Leadership Award.

“As an important go-to resource for corporate decision-making, Frost & Sullivan evaluates technologies across the spectrum, which is why its word carries such great weight as organizations make procurement decisions,” said Wolfgang Juchmann, Director of Sales & Marketing, Velodyne LiDAR. “We’re honored and delighted by the recognition, but even more, we greatly appreciate the depth and quality of Frost & Sullivan’s analysis of the VLP-16.”

Congratulations and well deserved.

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Engaging The Younger Generation

I admit this post is a bit outside the domain, but if your company is thinking about the long term then engaging with 18 – 24 year olds is vitally important. According to Next Big Thing’s William Higham and Voxburner’s Simon Eder, they are “serious-minded” and “motivated to do well”. They have ambitions and they are determined to achieve them.

If you are still reading then this short article is well worth a look.

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700 Hours of Laser Scanning

apr2015_h03_chauvetcave.jpg__800x600_q85_cropWhat can you do with 700 hours of laser scanned data? Re-create an incredible cave experience.  As reported by the Smithsonian the $62.5 million facsimile is called the Caverne du Pont d’Arc, after a nearby landmark—a natural archway of eroded limestone spanning the Ardèche River and known to humans since Paleolithic times.

The replica, opening to the public this month, has been in the works since 2007, when the Ardèche departmental government, recognizing that an international audience was clamoring to view the cave, decided to join with other public and private funders to build a simulacrum. Restrictions imposed by the French Ministry of Culture bar all but scientists and other researchers from the fragile environment of the cave itself.

It’s an incredible story, if you are interested.

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Adjusting Canopy Height for Slope

In this research paper the authors explain how they were able to take into account the effect of steep slopes on the canopy height models for forests. They note that, “On steep slopes, the raw elevation values located on either the downhill or the uphill part of a tree crown are height-normalized with parts of the digital terrain model that may be much lower or higher than the tree stem base, respectively. In treetop detection, a highest crown return located in the downhill part may prove to be a “false” local maximum that is distant from the true treetop.”

Sounds like a valuable read if you need to make these determinations.

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