Laser Scanning Errors as Art

It takes an artist to turn a mistake into something that people (might) find interesting to observe. In this case its the team of Matthew Shaw and William Trossell, the London-based duo known as ScanLAB Projects, who continue to push the envelope of laser-scanning technology, producing visually stunning and conceptually intricate work that falls somewhere between art and practical surveying.

Their latest show reviewed in Gizmodo called Noise: Error in the Void, utilizes scanning data taken from two locations in Berlin, but-as the show’s title implies-it actually foregrounds all the errors, where the equipment went wrong: a world of “mistaken measurements, confused surfaces and misplaced three-dimensional reflections.”

I can’t say this  show does much for me, but as the old saying goes, beauty is in the eye of the beholder. Take a look at their website for a lot more interesting content. A very interesting mix of work and art.

Posted in Consumer | 1 Comment

Handheld Consumer-Grade Laser Scanner

When you see a product advertised for sale by the retail catalog giant Hammacher Schlemmer you have to assume the technology is going mainstream, albeit we are still not talking Walmart.

In this case it’s the handheld Sense scanner from Cubify quickly reviewed here. At $400 it is going to be interesting to see if this consumer-grade laser scanner is going to take off. This is going to be a good test of the consumer market interest in 3D.

Here’s the LiDAR News review from Bill Gutelius.

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3D Laser Scanning for Fire Investigations

The International Association of Arson Investigators 65th International Training Conference, April 13-18, in Las Vegas, will be featuring a session on the current and future applications of high-definition 3D laser scanning technology in forensic animation, from the field to the courtroom.

The course, “3D Technologies for Fire Investigators”, will be presented 3-5 p.m., Monday, April 14, by Kirk McKinzie, CFI, Director of Fire and Explosion Services for Precision Simulations Inc. and is recommended for all criminal justice professionals, including fire and explosion investigators, law enforcement professionals and special investigations unit members.

“The value and relation to high-definition laser scanning,” McKinzie explains, “is its ability to rapidly document the scene geomatically, or spatially, and visually by use of photographic overlay.”

Posted in 3D Modeling, Forensics | Leave a comment

The “S” Word – Standards

I did a search on this blog using the  key word “standards”. There were over 80 references, most of which are related to the ASTM E57 3D Imaging committee that I belong to. There is going to be a session at SPAR on Thursday morning April 17 explaining what the committee does and attempting to attract new members. I hope you will consider attending and joining if you are at SPAR.

Back in 2006 we had over 100 people attend the early E57 meetings, twice a year. We have not been able to get enough people to commit in the last couple years to even schedule a meeting.

As we all know the economy has been difficult over the past few years. Travel is expensive and there just does not seem to be a believe in the need for investing in developing standards, especially on the part of the leading vendors. This is a very short sighted and damaging position.

Until the major vendors, who are the employers of the people who need to be driving the committee work make industry standards a priority the laser scanning industry will not achieve its full potential. It’s that simple. The economy is improving. It’s time to step up.


Posted in Standards, The Industry | 1 Comment

Oregon County Uses LiDAR to Update Landslide Risk Maps

clackAs a quick follow up to last week’s post on local planners not using the LiDAR-derived data it is encouraging to note that Clackamas County has teamed up with the Oregon Department of Geology and Mineral Industries and other municipalities to create up-to-date geologic maps.

It’s an effort to better identify areas at risk of landslides and other natural threats. Now we’re talking.

Posted in Government, Mapping, remote sensing | Leave a comment

UAV Operators Want Tighter Regs

As reported in the sUAS News, the Australian Certified UAV Operators Association (ACUO) is calling for the current Federal Government Aviation Safety Regulation Review to back a harder line to combat the growing problem of illegal unmanned aircraft operations. I am not surprised.

ACUO is today releasing its submission to the review in light of last weeks reported near-miss incident involving a Westpac rescue helicopter and an unknown unmanned aircraft operating at 1000ft.

There are many issues that need to be addressed with even smaller UAS.

Posted in Government, UAVs | Leave a comment

SPAR 2014 in Two Weeks – #SPAR2014

Is it just me or did March just fly by – it was a blur. In any case just a quick reminder that SPAR 2014 begins just two weeks from today in Colorado Springs, CO. with the first day devoted to a number of pre-conference sessions. Tuesday will be the official opening with three interesting keynotes and the opening of the exhibit hall. The remaining two days will be for multiple track sessions.

I’ll be presenting Tuesday afternoon with Mike Olsen on the recently completed TRB Mobile Mapping Guidelines and with David MacKinnon on the activity of ASTM E57.

Our third issue of LiDAR Magazine will be distributed at this event. Subscriptions have been on the increase. If you would like to receive a free copy please click here. Please help us to pass the word. You can’t beat free. Hope to see you in Colorado.

Posted in Conferences, Education, Technology, The Industry, training | Leave a comment

LiDAR-Lite Gets Funding

As an update to the original post it looks like the LiDAR-Lite sensor from PulsedLight has reached its goal of $75,000 on the Dragon Innovation crowd sourcing website. This lightweight, compact sensor could be disruptive especially in the consumer 3D space. Thanks to Michael Raphael at Direct Dimensions for the follow up.

13038_PLSDLT_DRAGON_V2-YouTube 1080

Posted in Business Development, Consumer, Research, Technology | Leave a comment

Ecologists Need a Space LiDAR

My son is going to be in the field sampling fish and wildlife habitat for 5 months this summer. I believe this will be in support of the use of remote sensing sensors of some kind as they seek to ground truth the desired automation. I’ll keep you posted.

In this article from environmentalresearchweb Scott Goetz of Woods Hole Research Center explains that, “We recognize the importance of vegetation cover in all its dimensions, and so we continue trying to get a lidar instrument in space that will allow us to map vegetation canopy structure and associated ecosystem dynamics through time,” said Goetz. “A space-based instrument is the only way to acquire systematic measurements over large areas. Having such data sets would advance ecosystem models of biodiversity as well as carbon cycling and many other aspects of the integrated Earth system.”

Posted in Environmental, Mapping, remote sensing, Research | Leave a comment


EMAPS is a new backpack mobile LiDAR developed at Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Lab. It uses SLAM, similar to the Zeb1 for location. Thanks to Bill Gutelius from Active Imaging Systems for the heads up.

Posted in Indoor Mapping, Mobile LiDAR, Research, SLAM | Leave a comment