3D Convergence

This may seem obvious to you, but in preparing a presentation on 3D/4D/5D modeling and as-found documentation techniques, such as mobile lidar it struck me that we are part of an amazing convergence of 3D (and more) technologies.

CAD industry veterans will tell you that 3D graphics have been around for a long time, it’s just that we couldn’t afford to put that kind of computing power on the average desktop. The roots of lidar and laser scanning can also be traced back some 20 to 50 years, but it’s just within the last few years that their use is becoming mainstream. Some would argue that is still not the case.

Have you ever stopped to think where we would be if we didn’t have both of these technology road maps converging? What good would 3D as found data be without the computing power to process it and vice versa? I don’t think this was anyone’s grand plan, but we are all benefiting from the collective vision and entrepreneurial spirit of the 3D industry pioneers.

Thanks and I can’t wait to see where we go from here.



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High Dynamic Range Research Questionnaire

A team of researchers at Oregon State University led by Dr. Michael Olsen needs your help. They asked me to invite you to participate in a questionnaire for a research project entitled “Comparison of HDR Tone Mapping Algorithms.” The questionnaire can be accessed at:


High Dynamic Range Photography (HDR) is a technique which analyzes a series of images with different exposure values to capture the details of a different level or range of light into a single image. The final step of this process is tone mapping, which is how the HDR image is interpreted when displayed on computer monitors.

If you have any questions about the research, contact Michael Olsen at michael.olsen@oregonstate.edu or (541) 737 – 9327 and Hamid Mahmoudabadi at mahmoudh@onid.orst.edu or (541)602 – 9273.

Thank you for your time!

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Mobile GPR

rsz_catsurveys_survey_gprIt certainly seems like a tremendous idea, if it works like we need it to. Catsurveys recently announced a mobile ground penetrating radar (GPR) system that they claim can locate underground utilities at highway speed. I had one expert tell me that this does look like a well designed, state-of-the-art product. Among the many challenges with GPR is the variability of soil conditions.

The MGPR uses a multitude of low and intermediate frequency antennas to boost the quality of data and its reliability. Double polarized antennas cover both longitudinal and transverse scans to create one of the clearest underground images available. The surveys are accurate, combining GPS and total station theodolite recording to give pinpoint geolocations of all features of interest. This allows design based on facts and assists with building information modelling integration and clash detection (allowing for the effective identification, inspection and reporting of interferences in a 3D project model).

I am definitely from Missouri – the show me state on this one.

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Certified Plant Service Provider

Leica Geosystems Inc. announced today the availability of a new Certified Plant Service Provider (CPSP) program to establish a standard of excellence for 3D laser scanning in plant environments.

Designed by industry-leading experts at Leica Geosystems, the immersive three-day program includes lectures and hands-on learning to teach the specialized skills required to ensure safety and accuracy in both common and unique situations encountered in plant applications. The program covers automotive, offshore, power generation and oil refineries, as well as other discrete and process manufacturing environments.

It’s an interesting approach.

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Lightweight UAS Bathy Lidars

This article presents a status report on the R&D of lightweight airborne lidar sensors for bathymetric applications and more.

A team at the Georgia Tech Research Institute (GTRI) has designed a new approach that could lead to bathymetric lidars that are much smaller and more efficient than the current full-size systems. The new technology, developed under the Active Electro-Optical Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance (AEO-ISR) project, would let modest-sized unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) carry bathymetric lidars, lowering costs substantially.

And, unlike currently available systems, AEO-ISR technology is designed to gather and transmit data in real time, allowing it to produce high-resolution 3-D undersea imagery with greater speed, accuracy, and usability.

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The President, in 3D

Recently, the Smithsonian stopped by the White House to take a 3D portrait of President Obama, in what will be be the highest resolution digital model of a head of state. The bust of President Obama was created by a Smithsonian-led team of 3D-digital-imaging specialists, Autodesk and 3D Systems, in collaboration with the University of Southern California’s Institute for Creative Technologies.

It took two different technologically sophisticated 3D documentation processes to generate the data needed to create this portrait. Take a look at the process, and the 3D rendering created from this technology.

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USGS Lidar Base Spec Updated

The USGS has recently released version 1.2 of their Lidar Base Specification. This important document has been widely used to guide airborne lidar data acquisition projects since its inception in 2009.

Lidar is a fast evolving technology, and much has changed in the industry since the final draft of the “Lidar Base Specification Version 1.0” was written. Lidar data have improved in accuracy and spatial resolution, geospatial accuracy standards have been revised by the American Society for Photogrammetry and Remote Sensing (ASPRS), industry standard file formats have been expanded, additional applications for lidar have become accepted, and the need for interoperable data across collections has been realized. This revision to the “Lidar Base Specification Version 1.0” publication addresses those changes and provides continued guidance towards a nationally consistent lidar dataset.

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World’s First Multispectral Lidar Sensor

titanOptech just announced what I think could be a very important breakthrough in airborne lidar sensors. The Titan is the world’s first multispectral lidar sensor. Titan breaks away from convention by combining three beams with separate wavelengths, increasing the information content that can be derived from the target surface and allowing surveying professionals to address many more applications using a single sensor solution.

Titan incorporates three independent laser beams at different wavelengths, with a combined ground sampling rate approaching 1 MHz. The sensor includes full gyro-stabilization compatibility for predictable point distribution and a fully-programmable scanner for significant point density increases at narrower FOVs.

Keep an eye on this technology in 2015.


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LiDAR News Magazine Ships

Our end of the year LiDAR News magazine has just been published with articles on historic preservation, low cost UAVs, hosting lidar data, a review of the DOT product handheld scanner, mobile asset data collection and much more.

We have not had any big technology game changers this year, but overall I think most people in the industry will say that it has been a positive business environment.With the incredible decrease in the price of oil which has negative ramifications for some I think 2015 is set up for growth around the world. There is no stopping this 3D rocket.

Please keep LiDAR News in mind for articles that can provide insight and help us all to keep growing this young industry. Thank you for your ongoing interest and support.

Posted in Business Development, cultural heritage, Mobile LiDAR, Research, The Industry | Tagged , , | 1 Comment

SPAR Europe 2014

There is one major event, well actually two, but they are combined left on the 3D laser scanning and lidar event calendar – SPAR Europe and ELMF. These will take place from December 8 – 10 in Amsterdam, a really fun city.

This year’s keynotes include Valentijn de Leeuw, Vice President, ARC Advisory Group whose presentation is entitled “State of the Market: 3D Measurement.” Peter van Blyenburgh, President, Unmanned Vehicle Systems (UVS) International keynote is “RPAS : The Current Status Regarding Civil Operations.”

“From Unmanned Aerial Systems and low cost scanning devices to top of the line HDS scanners, the programme contains critical, actionable information for anyone involved in capturing and actualizing 3D data including BIM, Operations & Maintenance, Engineering Management and New Construction,” said Ms. Murray.


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