New Indoor Mapping System

In the first of what is likely to be a number of important announcements Sanborn Mapping will be demonstrating a new indoor mapping system at  next week’s SPAR conference. To my knowledge this will be the first time Sanborn has offered a sensor.

Designed exclusively for indoor mapping applications, the robotic Sanborn Platform for Indoor Mapping (SPIN) is a compact, easy-to-use, self-navigating system that generates preregistered spatial data in near real time.

SPIN delivers better than 3cm accuracy with a resolution as fine as 1cm as it records more than 200,000 measurements per second. With a 270-degree field of view, the LiDAR-based system generates unprecedented 3-D detail while maintaining a Class 1 Eye Safety Rating.

Got to see this.

Posted in Business Development, Conferences, Indoor Mapping | 1 Comment

SPAR Previews Exhibitor Activities

SPAR announced a preview of activities that the exhibitors have planned for next week’s trade show in Colorado Springs, CO. It looks like there will be a number of exciting product announcements. Stay tuned – we will have our entire team there to bring you all of the breaking news.

Posted in Conferences, The Industry | Leave a comment

NASA Develops First Double-Pulsed LiDAR

Precise measurements of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere are key to figuring out how to counter the planet-warming greenhouse gas.

The Daily Press reports that engineers at NASA Langley Research Center say they have cracked the world’s first double-pulsed laser system that takes measurements of CO2 to a new level — a system that can extract data day or night, rain or shine, all over the planet from an airborne platform with the highest degree of accuracy.

By measuring the infinitesimal difference in return between the two pulses, called the differential absorption LIDAR technique, the engineers can determine the amount of carbon dioxide in the air column. Carbon dioxide absorbs laser light, so the higher the CO2 concentration, the smaller the return.

“We have achieved all the things which we ever even dreamed about, so we are giddy,” said Upendra Singh, associate director of the center’s engineering directorate. “And we have so much quality data that I’ve never seen this kind of data, and I’ve been in LIDAR for 30 years.”


Posted in Environmental, Government, Research | 3 Comments

USIBD Requests Input on Standards

Owners, Architects, Engineers and General Contractors: Are you having difficulties receiving building documentation information that meets your project’s needs?  USIBD is here to help.

From their press release, “We are proud to announce the public review of our draft Request For Qualifications (RFQ), 3D Imaging Specification, Level Of Accuracy (LOA) Specification, Request For Proposal (RFP), and their associated user guides for public review.  During the next 4 weeks we are looking for feedback from all industries and professions that have an interest in the building documentation industry.”

Please take the time to review and comment on these important documents. A tremendous amount of work has gone into this project – now it’s our turn to contribute.

Kudos to Carlos G. Velazquez, USIBD Standards Committee Chair and many others for all their hard work on this.

Posted in BIM, Orgs, Standards | Leave a comment

Rockfalls and Landslides Analyzed Using LiDAR

Airborne and terrestrial LiDAR can be used to analyze both rock falls and landslides according to Chao Han the developer of VR Mesh. This software has been used to support numerous research efforts in this arena including two large rock falls in Yosemite National Park that are discussed in detail in this paper published in Geosphere.

Thanks to Chao for the heads up.

Posted in 3D Modeling, airborne LiDAR, remote sensing | Leave a comment

Landslide Travelled at 60 mph

This is a very interesting video in that it not only provides more of the details of the recent devastating landslide in Washington, but it is amazing to see how comfortable the reporter is with the use of LiDAR imagery. It’s going mainstream.

Posted in airborne LiDAR, Mapping, remote sensing | Leave a comment

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.

Posted in Consumer | Leave a comment

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