Billed as a training symposium, the RIEGL North America event this week was all of that and much more. These relatively small, customer-focused events are the best for gaining knowledge, making connections with the vendor and networking with your peers.
RIEGL may have just celebrated 40 years in the lidar business, but the excitement and company spirit/culture makes it feel like an exciting start-up. They have an incredible team of highly motivated and capable people, both on the technical side and sales/marketing.
Under the capable leadership of Johannes Riegl, Jr. and Jim Van Rens, the company is on a steep growth curve. Johannes announced that they are doubling capacity with a new building in Austria and a new RIEGL North America headquarters in Orlando. They are also considering a west coast office and they will be focusing on South America as an under served segment. RIEGL USA has established a 60 acre test and calibration test site near the Orlando office.
Susan Licari, Head of Sales and Marketing has those functions running like a well oiled machine. A special note to congratulate Jill Kreider, plus her support team for organizing and delivering a high impact event that took some risks in providing a number of highly technical sessions that were supported with a full room of eager students.
Overall there was an excellent mix of RIEGL technical experts, customer success stories and a few partner presentations. Dave Finnegan from the US ACE Cold Regions Research Lab explained how they are continuously monitoring a massive glacier in 3D and Jeffrey Deems did the same for snow depth in the Western U.S.
Joe Hutton from Applanix gave a very informative presentation on inertial navigation and there was an excellent discussion of GeoSysManager which is a complete geospatial coordinate system module much like the Geographic Calculator.
Ryan Swingley from ESP explained how he had been working with a competitive product that was causing him to be in the office 7 days a week. Once they switched to RIEGL he literally felt like he got his life and family back – amazing story.
Esri announced a new product for point clouds. LMAP is the central point cloud processing software for ArcGIS Pro. Euclideon demonstrated their incredible ability to load and display files of any size.
There is a very bright future for RIEGL, based on their foundation of technical excellence, dedicated staff and customer focus. The next 40 years are going to be something to see.
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