Industry Pros Explain Mobile Lidar

In this 60-minute webinar, join Stephen Ellis and Joseph Romano as they highlight how Langan is using mobile LIDAR as an alternative to conventional scanning solutions to acquire data and how they’re altering perceptions, both internally in their firm and externally with clients, as to how the data can be used. You’ll learn:

• How mobile mapping can synergize workflows across agency departments
• How to market the full capabilities and diverse uses of the data to clients
• How to demonstrate and build confidence in the data’s accuracy compared to other acquisition methods

It takes place Thursday January 22, 2015 from 2 PM to 3PM EST.

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Your Trusted Living Point Cloud

That is an interesting title for a presentation. If you want to get the details you will have to attend the LFM User meeting February 5, 2015 in Houston, Texas. Lidar News will be reporting on the details of this event so stay tuned.

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Using Lidar to Understand Vantage Point

Researchers at Boise State are reporting on their use of lidar to better understand vegetative cover, from the vantage point of the animals.

In November of 2014, a group of universities published a paper titled “Fearscapes: Mapping Functional Properties of Cover for Prey with Terrestrial LiDAR.”

According to Jordan Nobler, masters student in biology, the paper was meant to serve as proof that LiDAR can be used effectively.

“In traditional methods you have to pick and choose what vantage points you get,” he said. “You can’t go and get a comprehensive view of every possible vantage point from every possible height.”

“(LiDAR) allows us to assess climate change’s impact on structure,” Forbey said. “Now let’s say you put in a power line for energy development. Now you get a look from the perspective of a raptor sitting on a power line and if that makes it scarier for the prey down on the ground using shrubs for cover.”

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Low Cost 3D Nav for Vehicles

A recent article in R&D magazine reports on the development of a low cost video camera – based driverless vehicle navigation system. Ryan Wolcott, a University of Michigan doctoral candidate in computer science and engineering, estimates that it could shave thousands of dollars from the cost of these vehicles.

The technology enables them to navigate using a single video camera, delivering the same level of accuracy as laser scanners at a fraction of the cost. His paper detailing the system recently was named best student paper at the Conference on Intelligent Robots and Systems in Chicago.

His system builds on the navigation systems used in other self-driving cars that are currently in development, including Google’s vehicle. They use three-dimensional laser scanning technology to create a real-time map of their environment, then compare that real-time map to a pre-drawn map stored in the system. By making thousands of comparisons per second, they’re able to determine the vehicle’s location within a few centimeters.

Wolcott’s system uses the same approach, with one crucial difference—his software converts the map data into a three-dimensional picture much like a video game. The car’s navigation system can then compare these synthetic pictures with the real-world pictures streaming in from a conventional video camera.

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Lincoln’s Retreat Preserved

An experimental project is being conducted at a historic location on a hill overlooking Washington, D.C. The beautiful cottage built around 1842 in the Gothic Revival style was used as a summer retreat by President Abraham Lincoln during the Civil War.

In one of its rooms, Lincoln signed the Emancipation Proclamation, effectively ending slavery in the United States.

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Novel Indoor Mapping System

orb-prototype-650x433A novel indoor measuring system based on laser scanning was developed at Aalto University. It paves the road for automatic point cloud generation from indoor environments. By solving the scanner localization from the point cloud data, the scanner can operate without navigation systems. The first research article concerning the development has already been published.

It certainly is a unique design. I am trying to find out more about this system.

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Where to Trim Trees?

This article and video provides a great introduction to the use of mobile lidar for tree trimming along power lines.

“We could measure this entire area without even looking at it or taking a picture if we just drive the LiDAR system,” said Joseph Feyder, a LiDAR engineering specialist. “It captures everything in view.”

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Scanning the Taj Mahal

The Taj Mahal is a place that I have always wanted to visit. Perhaps we’ll get the chance to virtually see it.

The Central Building Research Institute (CBRI) will start the work of 3D laser scanning of the Taj Mahal from Wednesday to gauge its structural dimensions and strength.

According to information, following some new reports that monument’s minarets were tilting, the Supreme Court in 2011 had directed the Archaeological Survey of India to get the study done find out the damage caused to the 17th century monument.

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REAL 2015

Autodesk in conjunction with Leica GeoSystems, Topcon and Artec are sponsoring what they believe is going to be a different kind of 3D event. Here’s the pitch:

REAL is a brand new event exploring the convergence of the professional 3D Sensing and 3D Making industries taking place in San Francisco on February 25th & 26th 2015.

Experience how the emerging category of Reality Computing is now allowing us to capture, compute and create the world around. Join 500 of your peers for this exclusive summit to learn, discuss & share ideas with pioneers from the industry.”

I’ll be covering this.

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It’s All About Data

I attended the first day of the Transportation Research Board’s 94th annual meeting. How is that for a conference with a track record? There  are 12,000 people here at the Washington, DC conference center to discuss every aspect of transportation that you can imagine.

I was in the 3D data sessions and although we are still very early in the process the direction is clear – the DOT’s will be moving from a project centric business model to a lifecycle asset management approach. This will require a lot of data collection and mobile lidar will be the method of choice.

There is a lot of work to do after the data is collected, but key people are becoming aware of the need for an integrated, unified transportation data model.

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