Google Arts and Culture Program Preserves the Past

Photo of Google Arts and Culture Head of Preservation Chance Coughenour

Google Arts and Culture Head of Preservation Chance Coughenour

The Google Arts and Culture program is providing all of us with an incredible opportunity to experience places we might never see.

From an article in i News by Rhiannon Williams.

Technology, as an industry dedicated to the relentless reinvention of the present, and archaeology’s dedication to studying the past may seem unlikely bedfellows to the casual observer. But new innovations are changing both the way we uncover our past and the ways we build our future.

Digital archaeologist Chance Coughenour is head of preservation at Google Arts & Culture, the technology giant’s online archive of artworks and collections from galleries and museums across the world – allowing visitors to climb the Eiffel Tower, explore the British Library or examine Van Gogh’s Starry Night in detail via their smartphone. He studied Computing Engineering at West Virginia University before majoring in History, attending his first field school in Belize where he “fall in love with archaeology” thanks to its ancient Maya ruins.

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Posted in 3D Modeling, 3D Printing, archaeology, art, Consumer, cultural heritage, Historic Preservation, Indoor Mapping, Laser Scanning, Lidar, Photogrammetry, Software, Visualization | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

Construction Firm Reducing Costs with Drones

Photo of Construction Firm Rogers-O'Brien Cutting Costs with Drones

Construction Firm Rogers-O’Brien Cutting Costs with Drones

Many unique challenges arise during the phases of construction and building projects. Even the most seasoned site and business managers of a construction firm can struggle to avoid delays and cost overages, while simultaneously improving operations.

From DroneDeploy.

Effective communication and collaboration across teams are also crucial, with construction companies constantly in search of new, innovative ways to overcome such challenges. But Rogers-O’Brien Construction (RO), a leading general contractor in Texas, has found a competitive edge in the form of drones. By utilizing drones and DroneDeploy, the company saved time, increased efficiency, and avoided costly budget overruns.

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Posted in 3D Modeling, airborne LiDAR, BIM, Business Development, Civil Engineering, Construction, Drones, Inspection, Mapping, Surveying, Surveying Engineering, UAS, UAVs, Visualization, Young Geospatial Professional | Tagged , , | 1 Comment

Airborne Commercial Lidar – The Early Development Days

cover of book on Airborne Commercial Lidar - The History

Airborne Commercial Lidar – The History

I was doing some research on the early days of airborne commercial lidar and luckily remembered Todd Neff had done all that work for me. Todd’s book is “The Laser That’s Changing the World,” and it is a must read if you want to understand and appreciate how we got where we are today with commercial lidar and laser scanning.

Most of seem to know the history of Ben Kacyra and his development of the tripod laser scanner, but my interest was in the development of a moving lidar system – mobile mapping. Not to diminish the work Ben and his team did in the late 1990’s, but the challenge of developing a lidar sensor that could collect data while it was moving involved a lot more physics.

How did all that technology develop?

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Posted in 3D Modeling, airborne LiDAR, Business Development, cultural heritage, Education, Geomatics, GNSS, Government, GPS, Laser Scanning, Lidar, Mapping, Mobile LiDAR, Sensors, Surveying Engineering, Technology, The Industry, Young Geospatial Professional | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Cargo Drone Carries 70 Pounds with Top Speed of 100 MPH

photo of Cargo Drone from Bell

Cargo Drone from Bell

Another delivery cargo drone has just buzzed into view, and this one is designed for a much bigger mission thanks to the engineers at Bell.

From an article in Digital Trends by Trevor Mogg.

Built by aerospace manufacturer Bell, the Autonomous Pod Transport 70 — or APT 70 for short — is a 180-cm-tall Vertical Takeoff and Landing (VTOL) aircraft that can carry cargo weighing up to 70 pounds at a top speed of 100 mph. Range comes in at 18 miles on a single charge.

The larger-than-usual quadcopter, complete with its centrally located cargo compartment, took to the skies for the first time this month for a test flight at Bell’s base in Fort Worth, Texas.

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Posted in airborne LiDAR, Business Development, BVLOS, Drones, Lidar, UAS, UAVs | Tagged , , , | 1 Comment

Earth Archive Would Map Earth with Lidar

seal of Earth Archive Being Created at CSU

Earth Archive Being Created at CSU

Colorado State University archaeologist Chris Fisher was in the beginning stages of unearthing an ancient “megalopolis” in the state of Michoacán, Mexico, a decade ago when he ran up against a tough reality: it would take him the rest of his career to document such a huge find using traditional archaeological methods. Fisher is proposing to create what he is calling the Earth Archive.

From an article in Colorado Sun by Nancy Lofholm.

The buried city was not something he and his team could easily explore with brushes and trowels and string grids. It covered 26 square kilometers and had as many structure foundations as the island of Manhattan.

Fisher remembers slumping in the baking heat after he had walked the outlines of the city, and thinking, “Dude, there’s gotta be a better way.”

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Posted in 3D Modeling, airborne LiDAR, archaeology, cultural heritage, Data, Education, Environmental, Forestry, Historic Preservation, Mapping, Orgs, Photogrammetry, remote sensing, Research | Tagged , , , | 1 Comment

Anonymous Security Solutions Better Served by Lidar

image of crowd Anonymous Security with Lidar

Anonymous Security with Lidar

There is a growing need for autonomous security solutions as organizations are becoming increasingly concerned about protecting privacy.

From an article by Neil Huntingdon in Security Sale and Integration.

Most of today’s security and monitoring systems have been designed around camera technology which has its inherent benefits and drawbacks. But the public is becoming increasingly worried about how some newer camera-based technologies like facial recognition are being used for surveillance.

As companies look to adopt the latest security technologies to keep people safe, privacy needs to be a key consideration. So how can businesses secure their property, protect their assets and respect people’s privacy at the same time? LIDAR technology nicely fits the bill.

While LIDAR has been widely recognized for its potential to enable self-driving vehicles, LIDAR also serves as the “eyes” for a wide variety of machines including robots, drones, roadside sensors and security systems.

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Posted in 3D Modeling, artificial intelligence, Business Development, Cepton, computer vision, Consumer, Government, Hardware, intelligent cities, Laser Scanning, Lidar, machine learning, Mapping, point clouds, Security, Sensors, smart cities, The Industry, Visualization | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

ARE Maps Great Bay Estuary with UAS Lidar

image of ARE Maps Great Bay Estuary with UAS Lidar

ARE Maps Great Bay Estuary with UAS Lidar

Recently, ARE partnered with Quantum Spatial, Inc. to complete a drone-based lidar scan of four locations within Great Bay, New Hampshire (my home), to support ongoing monitoring programs at Great Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve (NERR.) The scan was done to further establish baseline conditions and assist with tracking changes in vegetated subtidal (seagrass) and intertidal (salt marsh) habitats in the Great Bay Estuary.

The seagrass beds provide important habitats for a variety of fish and other animals. Declines in the spatial extent and biomass of seagrass have caused concern in recent years. The salt marshes represent key intertidal habitats for many species and have shown signs of ecological responses to climate change in recent years. The change can be seen in the bay from receding due to the changing precipitation regimes, nutrients, water levels, and temperature. (

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Posted in 3D Modeling, airborne LiDAR, Drones, Environmental, GIS, Government, Lidar, Mapping, Photogrammetry, remote sensing, Research, Sensors, topography, UAS, UAVs | Tagged , , , , , | 1 Comment

Self Driving Trucks – Simpler is Better – Maybe

photo of Self Driving Trucks - Simpler is Better

Self Driving Trucks – Simpler is Better – Maybe

Many in the autonomous vehicle industry believe that self driving trucks will be the first to launch commercially. Driving on the interstate is relatively simple compared to an urban environment, but the challenge is getting from the pickup to the interstate and then to the drop off. Starsky Robotics thinks they may have the problem solved.

From an article in Forbes by Steve Banker.

When it comes to self-driving trucks, trucks that can tool down the highway without a human behind the wheel, the common perception is that this is a very complex technological problem. It is thought that solving the artificial intelligence problem, computer-based intelligence that can navigate roads as safely or more safely than a human, is a particularly hard nut to crack. Several pundits argue this technology is still probably ten years away. Stefan Seltz-Axmacher, the CEO of Starsky Robotics, begs to differ. “When it comes to safety engineering, in general, simpler is better.”

He may be right. In a technology arms race that has seen hundreds of millions of dollars in investment, and the participation of much larger and better-known technology companies, Starsky Robotics has gotten out of the gate first. Yet Starsky Robotics, a San Francisco startup building driverless trucks, has only been funded to the tune of $21.7 million.

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Posted in AI, artifical perception, artificial intelligence, Autonomous vehicles, Business Development, computer vision, driverless vehicles, Government, GPS, Lidar, machine learning, Mapping, Mobile LiDAR, Research, Robots, SLAM, Technology, The Industry | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Geomatics Career Opening at the U.S. Military Academy

photo of Geomatics Career at West Point

Geomatics Career at West Point

If you are looking for a truly once in a lifetime, geomatics career opportunity please read on. Having visited the United States Military Academy at West Point, NY this spring I can tell you there is a 200+ year old spirit that pervades this incredible facility. If only I were 40 years younger.

This information was supplied by good friend and faculty member at the Academy, Matt O’Banion.

The Geospatial Information Science (GIS) Program at West Point is looking to hire a full time lab technician comfortable with modern surveying equipment (e.g., total stations, differential levels, GNSS, sUAS), computers, and geospatial software packages. The new hire would work closely with myself and the rest of the West Point GIS faculty to maintain and manage our computer lab(s) and specialized equipment. Responsibilities would also include assisting with the set up and delivery of various surveying labs and classroom exercises.

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Posted in 3D Modeling, Civil Engineering, Construction, Education, geodetic, Geomatics, GIS, GNSS, Government, GPS, Hardware, Historic Preservation, Laser Scanning, Lidar, Mapping, military, Photogrammetry, remote sensing, Research, Sensors, Surveying, Surveying Engineering, Technology, UAS, UAVs, Young Geospatial Professional | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

FHWA Supports DOT Drone Programs

photo of FHWA Supports DOT Drone Programs

FHWA Supports DOT Drone Programs

UAS offer several transformative aspects for highway transportation, enhancing safety and productivity and reducing cost. The FHWA is supporting DOTs around the country with the introduction of drones for wide variety of applications.

From the FHWA Every Day Counts program.

Unmanned aerial systems (UAS), sometimes referred to as drones, are multi-use aircraft controlled from a licensed operator on the ground. The benefits of UAS are wide ranging and impact nearly all aspects of highway transportation—replacing boots on the ground, increasing accuracy, speeding up data collection, and providing access to hard-to-reach locations.

UAS provide high-quality survey and data mapping that can be collected automatically or remotely. Large areas can be mapped relatively quickly in comparison to traditional survey and mapping practices. Other uses include survey and imagery as part of emergency response events, where traditional surveying and mapping practices may be inadequate or sites impossible to access. UAS can supplement conventional activities, such as bridge safety inspection and routine construction inspection, to increase safety and collect data from otherwise unattainable perspectives.

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Posted in 3D Modeling, airborne LiDAR, Civil Engineering, Construction, Data, Drones, Environmental, Geomatics, GIS, Government, GPS, Infrastructure, Inspection, Laser Scanning, Lidar, Mapping, Research, Technology, topography, UAS, UAVs, Young Geospatial Professional | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment