The Laser That’s Changing the World

Todd Neff has written the first comprehensive book on the development of 3D laser scanning and lidar.

Picture of Book Cover the laser that's changing the world

Published by Prometheus Books

I think I may have reached the peak of my literary career! No, I haven’t written a book, or even a chapter of a book, but the folks at Prometheus Books have been kind enough to include my “blurb” on the back cover of Tom Neff’s interesting and important, The Laser That’s Changing the World.” My mother would be so proud.

Where to begin? Well, if you want the inside story on the development of lidar and 3D laser scanning from the early 1900’s through the present than this book is a must read.

It includes a discussion of the technology as well as the individuals who turned physics into commercial products. Now when someone asks you what this “lidar thing” is all about you can point them to Neff’s book for a detailed explanation.

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Posted in airborne LiDAR, art, Consumer, cultural heritage, Data, Digital Transformation, Hardware, Mapping, Mobile LiDAR, point clouds, Research, Technology, The Industry | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Geo Week 2019 Includes ILMF, ASPRS and MAPPS

There is big news in the winter geospatial conference schedule for attendees of ILMF, ASPRS and MAPPS. You will just need to attend one conference during Geo Week 2019 in Denver, CO. Great news!

logo for Geo Week 2019

Geo Week 2019





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Posted in 3D Modeling, airborne LiDAR, Conferences, Forestry, GIS, Government, Mapping, remote sensing, Research, satellites, Sensors, Technology, The Industry, UAS, UAVs | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Frank Lloyd Wright – His Vision of the World in 3D

The personal story of Frank Lloyd Wright is a complex one, but for many of us there is no disputing the genius of this architect.

Photo of the Frank LLoyd Wright Inside Taliesin West

Inside Taliesin West

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Fine Art Reproduction Using 3D Mapping

Arius Technology, based in Vancouver, BC is teaming with British museum powerhouse, Tate, UK on a five-year fine art partnership to 3D scan and reproduce artworks by world-famous artists and British masters.

Logo from Arius Technology fine art

Arius Technology

Every so often a company really nails their corporate name or tag line. In this case it’s the latter from Arius Technology – “The Intersection of Art and Technology.” That exactly describes  where this company operates and consequently what it does.

I am sure I have seen a presentation on this technology a few years ago, but I cannot seem to find it in the database. In any case, Arius is a world leader in the creation, restoration, reproduction and conservation of fine art using 3D laser scanning.

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Posted in 3D Modeling, 3D Printing, art, Consumer, cultural heritage, Historic Preservation, Mapping, Quality, Sensors, Visualization | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

Doppler Lidar – Is This the Better Approach?

Blackmore is promoting the use of Doppler lidar as a better sensor for the autonomous vehicle industry.

Data Captured with Blackmore Doppler Lidar

Blackmore Doppler Lidar

The typical example of the Doppler effect in the real world is the apparent change in frequency of a train as it approaches and then passes by. In the case of Blackmore’s Frequency Modulated Continuous Wave – FMCW Doppler lidar technology which is targeted for the autonomous vehicle market the end result is that all the information, including location and velocity of every point is collected in a single pulse and processed using the Doppler effect.

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Underground Infrastructure Mapping with GPR

Geoff Zeiss, Principal at Between the Poles has provided an in-depth look at the state-of-the-art in underground infrastructure mapping.

Sensors and Software Towed Array for underground infrastructure mapping

Sensors and Software Towed Array

The vision of innovators in this arena is to combine mobile lidar data collection with ground penetrating radar – GPR. This would allow the creation of a digital twin for both the underground utilities and the above ground infrastructure.

As you can see from the photo to the right there is a significant investment in sensors and computers required to mobilize one of these combined systems, but the real challenge is in interpreting the data.

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Posted in Business Development, Ground penetrating radar, Mapping, Mobile LiDAR, Research, Sensors | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

Point Cloud Market Survey is Being Updated

The Open Geospatial Consortium (OGC) is updating an online survey from 2016 involving the point cloud marketplace. This is one of the most important online technical surveys I have seen in a while.

OGC logo for point cloud

Point Cloud Testbed-14

This survey is a follow-up to an online survey about the point cloud marketplace by the OGC® in 2016. It is focused on web services, compression, and formats.

To participate in the online market survey you will be required to provide your email address, but it will not be spammed or released. There are 37 questions that should take you about 10 minutes to complete.

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Posted in 3D Modeling, Cloud, Data, Mobile LiDAR, Online surveys, point clouds, Software, Standards, The Industry | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

Rolling Shutter Effect Important in UAV Photogrammetry

The typical UAV camera uses a rolling shutter to record the image scan line by scan line. This can cause distortion of the image. (Be sure to watch the video at the end for a detailed explanation.)

Photo of Trimble Gateway UAV with Rolling shutter

Trimble Gateway UAV

Dr. Munjy, who I recently met at the TRB AFB80 summer meeting and his grad student Jacob Lopez have written an important paper on the rolling shutter effect inherent in all CMOS cameras. These are the cameras found on most UAVs. The rolling shutter effect becomes significant when flying the UAV fast and/or when flying at low altitudes.

The researchers studied the use of software to correct for the rolling shutter effect on a test site that had extensive ground control installed. They tested three different commercial software products, two of which claimed to remove the rolling shutter effect from the imagery. They used a number of control layouts varying from using 15 ground control points to just five.

Photo of Test Plot Using 5 Ground Control Points to test rolling shutter

5 Ground Control Points

To read the full article click here.



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In the following explanation by Destin at SmarterEveryDay he does an impressive job of visually explaining a difficult topic. Maybe that is why this video has nearly 2,500,000 views – Incredible! This is a person you might want to follow.

Posted in airborne LiDAR, Data, Mapping, remote sensing, Research, Sensors, Software, UAS, UAVs | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

FIG Young Surveyors North America Meeting

The NSPS Young Surveyors Network (YSN) is sponsoring a  meeting of the FIG Young Surveyors North America October 17-18th, 2018 at the College Park Marriott in College Park, Maryland.

NSPS Logo for Young Surveyors


If you are a young surveying professional this FIG Young Surveyors North America Meeting in October is an excellent opportunity to connect with fellow professionals from around the world to compare notes and develop ideas for how the surveying profession can be advanced. This is absolutely critical to the future of the profession. This is an important meeting to attend.

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Posted in Admin, Business Development, Conferences, Education, Geomatics, Orgs, Surveying, Surveying Engineering, The Industry | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

3D Laser Scanning the World’s Population

Size North America has a mission of 3D laser scanning the North American population.

3D laser scanning company logoGetting the correct size clothing can be a real challenge for some people, but this project has far greater importance than it might appear on the surface. A little research reveals that Human Solutions GmbH, based in Germany is the company behind a worldwide study involving 3D laser scanning human populations around the globe.

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