Public/Private Education Partnership at OSU – Google and Scanning

  1. OSU, Leica and David Evans have formed a partnership to promote geomatics education programs.
  2. They see 3D, including LiDAR as their competitive advantage.
  3. Google is using the Velodyne 64 scanner.

This may be one of the most important and encouraging press releases that I have come across in a long time. Oregon State University, Leica Geosystems and David Evans and Associates, Inc. will form an industry partnership to “help address the need for more geospatial surveying professionals and embrace the trend toward “geomatics,” as this age-old profession evolves in an era of sophisticated 3-D data flow, remote sensing, and other new technologies”. Amen.

With 56 being the average age of a surveyor in the US this is exactly the kind of creative thinking and pro-active approach that is needed to attract the younger, college-age students to the surveying profession. (I know I have an 18 year old son who is going to pursue a GIS program. I did not push him.) LiDAR is specifically mentioned as one of the important technologies that will be included.

Where many 4 year civil engineering programs are giving up survey courses completely, OSU sees geomatics as their competitive advantage. Of course this is not news to our counterparts in other countries where geomatics is one of the most honored and lucrative professions, but don’t get me started on that topic. Surveyors here in the US are their own worst enemies, and have been for a long time.

Congratulations to all involved parties and talk about an opportunity to give back something to the industry. We can all act locally on this one. Find the program in your state that could benefit from something like this and see how you can get something started.

One other news item that caught my attention was from last week’s O’Reilly Emerging Technology Conference in Silicon Valley. Aaron Koblin, a technology lead at Google’s Creative Lab in San Francisco, demonstrated the HDL-64E from Velodyne Acoustics in Morgan Hill. I have blogged about this scanner before, but what I find interesting is the combination of Google and laser scanning. Any thoughts on where this may be going?

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