Chimney Rock

chimneyA group of researchers at the University of Colorado, Boulder want to make it possible for everyone to virtually walk through the ancient dwellings at Chimney Rock National Monument as the ancient pueblo people did.

Their work is part of Project Map, an effort to model ancient and historic monuments across the state. Chimney Rock is one of their first projects because of its archaeological ties to Chaco Canyon National Historic Park, and for decades researchers from CU Boulder have worked at the site, which was mainly inhabited between 925 and 1125.

“This is one of the most important national monuments of the Chacoan culture in the state of Colorado,” Gutierrez said.

The team plans to make the model accessible to the public as an all encompassing virtual reality experience so people will be able to walk the ancient paths themselves, Gutierrez said. Transferring the data to a video gaming platform will likely start in the fall.

The model also creates a permanent record of the site, so that future researchers and site managers will be able to tell exactly how it changes over time.

Posted in 3D Modeling, cultural heritage, Historic Preservation, Research | 2 Comments

Lasers or Cameras for Pavement Analysis?

profilerThis reminds me of my masters thesis on skid resistance of asphalt pavements.

A University of Texas at Arlington engineer is working with the Texas A&M Transportation Institute to assess whether scanning lasers can accurately measure microtexture of pavement aggregates, which are used in asphalt and concrete mixtures.

Roger Walker, a professor of computer science and engineering, is leading the two-year, $671,011 project, which is funded through the Texas Department of Transportation. The agency currently uses camera-based systems to assess aggregate characteristics.

“These lasers will enable TxDOT to more accurately measure the microtexture of the aggregates,” Walker said. “The laser system also will measure aggregate shape and angularity, offering important insights into which materials and mixes work best on Texas roads. This could ultimately affect sustainability, cost and safety.”

Walker’s project will determine the viability of replacing the current camera system with lasers. The data generated in the study will be crucial for the development of new adhesive systems that make binding asphalt and concrete better and longer lasting.

Posted in Research, Sensors | Tagged | Leave a comment

Voxel Group Feature Extraction

remotesensing-08-00419-ag_jpegThe search for the Holy Grail continues. This paper from a group of researchers in China describes a voxel group approach to automate the extraction of buildings from mobile lidar surveys.

“In this paper, a new technical framework for automatic and efficient building point extraction is proposed, including three main steps: (1) voxel group-based shape recognition; (2) category-oriented merging; and (3) building point identification by horizontal hollow ratio analysis.

This article proposes a concept of “voxel group” based on the voxelization of VLS points: each voxel group is composed of several voxels that belong to one single real-world object. Then the shapes of point clouds in each voxel group are recognized and this shape information is utilized to merge voxel group.

This article puts forward a characteristic nature of vehicle-borne LiDAR building points, called “horizontal hollow ratio”, for efficient extraction. Experiments are analyzed from two aspects: (1) building-based evaluation for overall experimental area; and (2) point-based evaluation for individual building using the completeness and correctness.

The experimental results indicate that the proposed framework is effective for the extraction of LiDAR points belonging to various types of buildings in large-scale complex urban environments.


Posted in Mobile LiDAR, Research | 1 Comment

Apple Invests $1 Billion in Didi

nvidiaApple’s announced a few days ago that it is investing $1 billion in Didi Chuxing, China’s largest ride-sharing company. This is just the latest signal that the future of cars will be radically different from anything we have imagined for over a century, and to some that this change is going to come much sooner that we all might think.

This article provides a thought provoking look into the world changing impact that autonomous vehicles will have on society and the world’s economy – or will it. Will the typical American give up their beloved automobile?

Regardless, the good news for the lidar industry is that high definition, up-to-date maps are going to be in high demand no matter which technology or paradigm wins out.

Posted in 3D Modeling, Autonomous vehicles, SLAM, Technology | Leave a comment

As-Damaged BIMs

quakeA group of Israeli researchers are working on developing algorithms to predict the damage states of concrete buildings with masonry infills.

After an earthquake, Terrestrial Laser Scanning (TLS) can capture point clouds of the damaged state of building facades rapidly, remotely and accurately. A long-term research effort aims to develop applications that can reconstruct ‘as-damaged’ BIM models of reinforced concrete (RC) framed buildings based on their ‘as-built’ BIM models and scans of their ‘as-damaged’ states.

This paper focuses on a crucial step: generating an initial ‘best-guess’ for the new locations of the façade structural members. The output serves as the seed for a recursive process in which the location and damage to each object is refined in turn. Locating the ‘as-built’ structural members in the ‘as-damaged’ scan is challenging because each member may have different displacement and damage.

An algorithm was developed and tested for the case of reinforced concrete frames with masonry infill walls. It exploits the topology of the frames to map the original structural grid onto the damaged façade. The tests used synthetic datasets prepared from records of two earthquake-damaged buildings. In both cases, the results were sufficiently accurate to allow progress to the following step, assessment of the individual structural members.

Posted in 3D Modeling, Construction, Research, Software | Tagged | Leave a comment

HxGN LIVE 2016 – Anaheim, CA

hexagonHexagon and Leica Geosystems are moving the venue for HxGN LIVE 2016 from Las Vegas to Anaheim, CA. This year’s extravaganza will be held June 13 – 16. Time to make your reservations and take advantage of the early bird rate.

With Geoff Jacobs building the technical HDS program and the rest of the team working on the training, product introductions, exhibits and of course the social events/networking this is guaranteed to be one of the top user conferences of the year.

You’ll be able to learn about the integration of airborne and terrestrial lidar data, the use of SLAM to improve indoor location accuracy with the Pegasus backpack, mobile mapping for the DOTs and much more.

Posted in 3D Modeling, Business Development, Conferences, Education, SLAM, Technology, training | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Lidar, CCD and Hyperspectral

This paper describes the design, implementation and performance of a novel airborne lichysystem, which integrates commercial waveform LiDAR, CCD (Charge-Coupled Device) camera and hyperspectral sensors into a common platform system. CAF’s (The Chinese Academy of Forestry) LiCHy (LiDAR, CCD and Hyperspectral) Airborne Observation System is a unique system that permits simultaneous measurements of vegetation vertical structure, horizontal pattern, and foliar spectra from different view angles at very high spatial resolution (~1 m) on a wide range of airborne platforms.

The horizontal geo-location accuracy of LiDAR and CCD is about 0.5 m, with LiDAR vertical resolution and accuracy 0.15 m and 0.3 m, respectively. The geo-location accuracy of hyperspectral image is within 2 pixels for nadir view observations and 5–7 pixels for large off-nadir observations of 55° with multi-angle modular when comparing to LiDAR product.

The complementary nature of LiCHy’s sensors makes it an effective and comprehensive system for forest inventory, change detection, biodiversity monitoring, carbon accounting and ecosystem service evaluation. The LiCHy system has acquired more than 8000 km2 of data over typical forests across China. These data are being used to investigate potential LiDAR and optical remote sensing applications in forest management, forest carbon accounting, biodiversity evaluation, and to aid in the development of similar satellite configurations.

This paper describes the integration of the LiCHy system, the instrument performance and data processing workflow. We also demonstrate LiCHy’s data characteristics, current coverage, and potential vegetation applications.

Posted in Environmental, Forestry, Full waveform, Government, remote sensing, Research | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Comparing Mobile Scanning Systems

thirdrailgaugeThis research was conducted in Poland comparing a Z + F system with a Riegl which used the VMX 250 to measure the gauge of railroad track. The point of these tests was to answer the question of whether the choice of laser scanning as the methodology for measuring the structure gauge of railway lines is correct and whether the tested measuring systems meet the accuracy requirements.

The measurements were designed so as to provide various elements of the railway infrastructure, the track geometry and the installed geodetic control network. This ultimately made it possible to reduce the time for the preparation of geodetic reference measurements for the testing of the accuracy of the selected systems.

The research was conducted a couple of years ago, but the detailed methodology is of interest.


Posted in Education, Mobile LiDAR, Research | Tagged | Leave a comment

Saving the HMS Victory with Laser Scanning

hmsA very popular tourist attraction in the UK is collapsing under its own weight. HMS Victory, Vice-Admiral Lord Nelson’s flagship at the Battle of Trafalgar, needs 136 metal props fitted as the historic vessel’s deck sinks towards its keel (a ship’s backbone) by a fifth of an inch (0.5cm) each year.

The ship is also slowly falling backwards, away from the bowsprit – HMS Victory’s front end – and water is getting into the hull.

‘We spent the best part of two years undertaking laser scanning. We now have a structural model of Victory that has got 89.25 billion measurements in it and from the model we have been able to understand what is causing the ship to move – to collapse, if you like, commented Andrew Baines, head of historic ships at the National Museum of the Royal Navy.

‘From that finding we know how to stop the problem and arrest the movement and that is where the 136 new struts come in.

‘We have got plenty of problems with the ship moving and we have an issue where there is a quite a lot of water getting in to the hull.

‘The most important thing for us to do is work on the ship’s structure to stop water getting in, stop the rot and stop us losing any more really valuable historical material in the ship.’

Once Victory’s struts are in place and the ship is solid, her main masts will be replaced.



Posted in 3D Modeling, cultural heritage, Historic Preservation | Tagged , | Leave a comment

Augmented Reality for QC

periceptPericept is a start-up that has a unique, “crowd sourcing” approach to quality control on a construction site. The idea is to take advantage of the construction workers who are building the project by collecting data from their mobile devices and comparing it to 3D design model.

BIMVP is an augmented reality software suite for quality control in the construction industry. Tony  Ragucci, Founder and CEO reports the product was well-received at the BIMForum and they report that they have been following up on leads ever since.

This is a glimpse into the future.

Posted in 3D Modeling, Augmented reality, BIM, Cloud, Construction | Tagged , | Leave a comment