Day 1 at Spar 2009

  1. The first day at Spar 2009 was jam packed with info and inspiration.
  2. The GSA is going to issue an RFP this week for laser scanning services.
  3. David Evans and Associates claims a reduction in greenhouse gases of 90% for mobile vs. manual.

The first day at Spar 2009 was packed with outstanding presentations and information exchange with the vendors. It really is difficult to know where to begin. I must say that the overall tone of the conference is extremely positive and optimistic about the future of laser scanning.

I thought I would recap a few of the highlights each night, and then follow up next week with more details on specific companies and presentations when I am able to think a little more clearly.

Hans Hess, who was CEO of Leica Geosystems at the time they acquired Cyra in 2002, stressed the importance of data and technology/sensor fusion as important trends for the future. He also recommended that we adopt an appropriate level of detail approach to point cloud data density. Hans was presented with one of the annual Spar awards for his contributions to the industry.

Tom Greaves, founder of Spar Point Research was also presented with an award for his contributions to the ASTM E57 3D Imaging Committee over the years.

Perhaps the presentation which had the most people taking notes was provided by Charles Matta of the GSA. They are the owner of 8500 buildings, totaling 340 million square feet, but that is only 10% of the federally owned buildings. They are in the process of receiving $5.5 billion in stimulus money, $3.1 of which will go for high performance green projects.

As a leader in 3D-4D-BIM integration the GSA has mandated the use of laser scanning as part of this program. The key word being mandated. More on the importance of creating mandates in another post.

The GSA is going to release an RFP this week for 5 Indefinite Delivery/Indefinite Quantity contracts for laser scanning services. Each contract will run for up to 5 years. The information in this presentation alone made the trip to Spar a good investment.

Perhaps the most interesting presentation was by Dan Livecchi of the US Secret Service. He focused mainly on the pre-event security planning for the recent Democratic National Convention here in Denver. The Secret Service uses terrestrial laser scanning and aerial LiDAR to prepare their detailed 3D urban models, which are created at 3 levels of decreasing detail as one moves out from the primary building of interest.

These models are used for simulations, animations, line of sight analysis, evacuation planning and to provide briefings and training exercises.

The afternoon sessions were split into 3 tracks – industrial plant; mobile surveying and mapping; and forensic an security planning. I wish I could have attended all 3, but I chose mobile. One of the more unique presentations was by Marcus Reedy, Director of Survey at David Evans and Assoc. He laid out the benefits of laser scanning over manual survey from the point of view of reducing greenhouse gases from the reduction in vehicle travel.

His example project showed a reduction from 14o lbs. of carbon dioxide for manual survey to only 15 lbs. when using laser scanning. Marcus predicted that this will become increasingly important to customers that are attempting to reduce their carbon footprints.

Out of energy for tonight.

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