Towards a Common Architecture

  1. The number one complaint that I hear is that you need a separate software package for every scanner.
  2. Is the OGC a possible model for making this happen?
  3. Ideally there would be a common architecture for all survey instruments, but not if we don’t get started.

I think the number one complaint that I hear from the 3D laser scanning community is that for every scanner you must have the manufacturer’s software. Users want the software and hardware to be interchangeable.

I realize that this is more complicated than supporting a total station, given the level of data post processing that is required, but this is what customers are all asking for. They want the flexibility of having scanners from different hardware vendors without having to manage multiple software environments. A neutral data format will help, but the problem is larger than that.

So the question is really how best to go about making this happen. I have referred to the OGC – The Open Geospatial Consortium a number of times. Perhaps they are a model for the approach that needs to be taken. The OGC brings users and vendors together to work on common architectures and platforms. Isn’t that exactly what needs to happen?

In the case of the OGC it was a number of key players in the federal government that demanded that this happen. Unfortunately there is not enough central buying  in the laser scanning market to apply this kind of pressure.

It seems to me that this issue is key to the future growth of the industry. Ideally, there would be a common architecture for all survey instruments that would support real time communication in the field. It’s a BIG dream, but this is the state of the art with GPS.

If we want to see this become a reality we have to get started.

P.S. Thanks to all for making yesterday the largest single day for In the Scan readership.

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1 Response to Towards a Common Architecture

  1. Ted Knaak says:

    Interesting comment and we at C3D totally agree. We see the world evolving as follows: 1) There will always be a data collection, command/control software for each scanner. That is necessary and no one has any objections. 2) The acquired data will be passed on into open formats to generic post-processing software (such as TopoDOT). Right now TopoDOT processes data from static, mobile and airborne scanners seamlessly in a CAD environment. Note that we also publish requirements of formatting data like calibrated images in addition to point clouds in open format such as LAS and of course the new ASTM E57 standard. So we share the market’s vision and have implemented that vision.

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