Novel Lidar Data Improves Understanding of Tropical Forests

Dr. Kim Calders and his team have just completed 2 months of field work in Australian tropical forests collecting both terrestrial and UAS lidar data to support a novel lidar data fusion methodology.

Example of Tree Segmentation using novel lidar approach

Example of Tree Segmentation

Forest ecosystems contain more biomass than any other ecosystem. However, estimating biomass without cutting down trees is difficult. Traditional methods of estimating aboveground biomass (ABG) are based on correlations between destructive estimates of volume and diameter and/or height, which can be measured more easily in the field.

However, harvesting trees is expensive, often impractical and undesirable. 3D-FOREST, a three-year project funded by the Belgian Federal Science Policy Office led by Dr. Kim Calders and Prof. Hans Verbeeck from Ghent University, partnering with Dr. Harm Bartholomeus and Prof. Martin Herold from Wageningen University, aims at providing novel lidar in-situ 3D forest structure and biomass estimates to validate large-scale air/spaceborne biomass products. Co-incident LiDAR data from different platforms was collected to quantify aboveground biomass and forest structure in five tropical sites in Australia during a two-month fieldwork campaign in the dry season.

Fusion of Terrestrial and UAV LiDAR 

The concept of the project is to capture data to create “virtual forests” with a high level of detail by using terrestrial laser scanning (TLS), realizing that we are limited from exploring the ecological uncertainties that happen at larger scale by the relatively small coverage of TLS. The combined, bottom-up TLS and top-down UAV LiDAR data is expected to improve biomass estimates and knowledge on how we can upscale plot-based measurements to landscape level.

Dr. Calders collected ground-based LiDAR (TLS) with the RIEGL VZ-400, scanning from 121 different locations per plot (typically about 1 hectare). This 10 m by 10 m regular grid pattern minimises the data-occlusion, a key requirement for biomass estimates through digital tree reconstruction.

To read the full article click here.

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Posted in 3D Modeling, airborne LiDAR, Data, Environmental, Feature Extraction, Forestry, Laser Scanning, Lidar, Mapping, remote sensing, Research, UAS, UAVs | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Digital Twin – The Key Concept from YII 2018

As noted yesterday, Keith Bentley, CTO and Founder of Bentley Systems believes that the digital twin technology now being developed by his team is the most exciting in the history of the company.

Picture of Not a DIgital Twin

Not a Digital Twin

Yesterday’s open source code announcement notwithstanding, the key concept coming out of this year’s YII 2018 conference is that of the digital twin, as opposed to what you see in the adjacent photo which may best be described as the analogue twin.

Bentley is not the first to use this term. It has been used in manufacturing for years, but Bentley may have given more thought to how their Built Environment customers will actually be able to implement it than anyone else.

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iModel.js Library Released by Bentley to Open-Source

In what Keith Bentley, Founder and CTO referred to as the most important announcement in his 35 years of building Bentley Systems iModel.js, a JavaScript library for creating immersive connections to infrastructure digital twins was highlighted today. If you feel it shaking it’s the shock waves progressing through the Built Environment. Better get outside.

iModel.js press release-screenshot

iModel.js Example

LONDON, U.K. – The Year in Infrastructure 2018 Conference – 17 October 2018 – Bentley Systems, Incorporated, the leading global provider of comprehensive software solutions for advancing the design, construction, and operations of infrastructure, today announced the initial release of its iModel.js library, an open-source initiative to improve the accessibility, for both visualization and analytical visibility, of infrastructure digital twins.

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Scanning for Construction at Bentley’s YII 2018

I met Andrew Evans, Product Manager at Topcon at the Year in Infrastructure Awards today. He offered this blog post on Scanning for Construction, plus a look at the GLS 2000 scanner with its ability to set up over a point and find a target for a backsight, meaning you can know the (X,Y) coordinates of the instrument, as well as the instrument height.

teamwork poster Scanning for Construction

Scanning for Construction

The role of the surveyor in construction. It’s time to claw back some recognition for applied mathematicians. Now, from the very start of this piece I should stake my professional interests.

Confession time: I, like many others in my industry segment, am a professional geospatial trained consultant.

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Going Digital is Theme of Bentley’s YII 2018 Conference

As only Greg Bentley can do, he kicked off the YII 2018 conference in London this morning with an impressive vision of transformation that is being simply referred to as “Going Digital.”

graphic for Going Digital at the YII in 2018

Going Digital at the YII in 2018

LONDON, U.K. – The Year in Infrastructure 2018 Conference – 16 October 2018 – Bentley Systems, Incorporated, the leading global provider of comprehensive software solutions for advancing the design, construction, and operations of infrastructure, today announced they are “Going Digital” with the forthcoming availability of iTwin™ Services, digital twin cloud services for infrastructure projects (project digital twins) and assets (performance digital twins). iTwin™ Services can be transparently provisioned within Bentley’s Connected Data Environment (CDE) for ProjectWise and AssetWise users.

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Posted in 3D Modeling, AI, artificial intelligence, Augmented reality, BIM, Cloud, Conferences, Construction, Data, Digital Transformation, intelligent cities, Internet of Things, Laser Scanning, Lidar, machine learning, Marketing, point clouds, Research, smart cities, Software, Technology, The Industry, UAS, UAVs, virtual reality | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Year in Infrastructure 2018 Starts with Media Day

Bentley Systems’ Year in Infrastructure 2018 conference kicks off in London on Monday with typically more than 100 members of the press in attendance.

graphic for Year in Infrastructure 2018

Year in Infrastructure 2018

Jurors met today to go over their selections and lobby for their favorite projects. In the case of the three categories that I am involved with, the voting is amazingly close, considering the number of projects that were submitted.

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Autonomous Haulage from Caterpillar at FMG Solomon Mine

Rob Lawton, Senior Mine Surveyor for FMG Solomon reports from western Australia that that they have 62 autonomous haulage Cat trucks using LiDAR systems on the front (Velodyne HDL-64E mapping system). Be sure to watch the video to see this real world autonomous fleet in action.

Photo pf Cat Autonomous Haulage Vehicle

Cat Autonomous Haulage

This demonstration of autonomous haulage navigation is obviously not taking place on a Los Angeles freeway at rush hour, but it is still extremely impressive. I’ll bet the autonomous vehicle start-ups could learn a lot from Cat.

The autonomous haulage technology has achieved a 20 per cent improvement in productivity for Fortescue at the Solomon Hub, Power added.
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Year In Infrastructure Awards 2018 in London

Bentley Systems is hosting the Year in Infrastructure Awards 2018 conference in London next week. There are Academy sessions on Monday and keynotes on Tuesday.  Nirvana for the civil engineer.

graphic for Year in Infrastructure 2018

Year in Infrastructure 2018

Bentley has been sponsoring the Year in Infrastructure conference for a number of years now, and each year it gets bigger and better. It honors their customers for the hard work and in some cases incredible achievements that they have made planning, designing, constructing  and supporting the operation of some of the leading infrastructure projects worldwide.

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Lidar Mapping Google Group Invitation

Simon Ritchie has recently created the  Lidar Mapping Google discussion group about the use of Lidar for geographical mapping. He would like to invite you to join.

Lidar Mapping logo

Lidar Mapping

For those not familiar with Google groups, they are online discussion forums. The contributions are sent out by email a record of past discussions is made available on the web.

There is a quiet revolution going on in mapping, because research in other sectors such as robotics, driverless cars and drones have bought down the cost of Lidar surveys by orders of magnitude. It looks like the equipment is already cheap enough for small businesses such as building firms to buy their own. It’s still a little expensive for the amateur enthusiast, but that may be about to change.

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OPUS-Projects Manager’s In-Person Training

An in-person, two-day training session on OPUS-Projects is being offered by NGS trainers Charles Geoghegan and Benjamin Erickson on December 11 and 12, 2018 at the NGS Testing and Training Center in Woodford, VA.

Graphic of OPUS-Projects Overview

OPUS-Projects Overview

This is an excellent opportunity to learn from the experts about this new approach to OPUS – the NGS’ Online Positioning User Service. For those not familiar with the program OPUS provides simplified access to high-accuracy National Spatial Reference System (NSRS) coordinates. Upload a GPS data file collected with a survey-grade GPS receiver and obtain an NSRS position via email.

OPUS requires minimal user input and uses software which computes coordinates for NGS’ Continuously Operating Reference Station (CORS) network. The resulting positions are accurate and consistent with other National Spatial Reference System users.

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