GeoInformatics provides coverage, analysis and commentary with respect to the international surveying, mapping and GIS industry. GeoInformatics gives product and business news, reports, technical/application articles, hard- and software reviews, columns and more.
One of RIEGL mobile customers, Michael Finlay who is a Geospatial Engineer with Jacobs, recently shared an amazing railroad video that he worked on with his team.
This project took the RIEGL VMX-450 mobile system scanning through the Blue Mountains rail corridor. The length of the project extended from Springwood to Lithgow to scan some of the most challenging conditions for an MLS system, happening even between the regular train services!
Michael shared the video below on LinkedIn, along with data analysis of the final product.
“I thought I would share one of my favourite projects I’ve worked on. A mobile laser scan through the Blue Mountains rail corridor – with clash analysis for a new fleet of trains.”
Trimble introduced the latest version of its core real-time monitoring software—Trimble 4D Control software.
Version 5.0 provides new features that enable users to streamline real-time structural monitoring system deployment as well as simplify the connection to geotechnical sensors.
Trimble 4D Control software enables project stakeholders to monitor critical infrastructure such as dams and bridges along with mines and buildings surrounding construction sites and tunnels.
Robust and powerful, Trimble 4D Control software provides unparalleled movement analysis as well as extensive support for a wide variety of monitoring sensors—from total stations to piezometers and crack gauges to GNSS reference receivers. In addition, multiple monitoring sites can be managed from a single, customizable platform that enables visualization, performs rigorous analysis and provides alerts, which are essential for real-time automated monitoring applications.
“We are committed to delivering the most comprehensive monitoring solution that enables users to reduce installation time and improve efficiency,” said Lisa Wetherbee, business area director for Trimble Monitoring Solutions. “Configuring sensor communications previously took hours and now only takes a few minutes. Setting up and operating a real-time monitoring system is now easier than before, making it a preferred solution for a wider variety of monitoring projects.”
Faster Project Set Up with Simplified Geotechnical Sensor Communication Trimble 4D Control 5.0 introduces support for Worldsensing’s Loadsensing wireless monitoring system. This allows users to rapidly connect and configure geotechnical sensors from a variety of manufacturers with hundreds of sensor models. It simplifies the configuration process for users, delivering real-time data streaming from the geotechnical sensors to Trimble’s 4D Control software. Loadsensing long-range and low-power wireless nodes are an ideal connectivity solution for complex monitoring scenarios.
Unique Seismogeodetic System Processing Version 5.0 also includes an updated seismogeodetic data processing module that simplifies the setup when using Trimble’s Kestrel™ seismogeodetic system as part of a real-time monitoring deployment. With this new version, Trimble T4D Control makes it easy to use the enhanced satellite-based RTX corrections capabilities of the Kestrel system, giving structural engineers the detailed information required for real-time monitoring projects where high-quality, real-time seismic data is critical.
About Loadsensing Loadsensing enables industrial companies to connect and wirelessly monitor infrastructures in remote locations. The data acquisition system is the industry reference for wireless geotechnical monitoring as it’s currently used to monitor over 50.000 sensors worldwide. Loadsensing is compatible with most geotechnical instrumentation and monitoring sensors and may be integrated with various data visualization software.
Loadsensing LS-G6 Product Overview by Worldsensing - YouTube
RIEGL, headquartered in Horn, Austria, is investing heavily in the expansion of production and office space. The continued, worldwide demand for the high-performance sensors allows the company to grow and expand further.
RIEGL, which celebrated its 40th anniversary last year, is now meeting the rapidly increasing international demand for RIEGL laser scanners with office and production facilities expansions.
This summer, a new office and production facility has started construction at the location of the company's headquarters in Horn, Austria. The new building will house the company's printed circuit board production and the software development team. The additional area comprises more than 2200m2 (24,000 sq foot) on three floors and will offer space for up to 80 employees. A state-of-the-art measuring tunnel system with a length of over 100 meters will also be built and be used for testing and calibrating the RIEGL sensors. The buildings will be ready for occupancy in fall of 2020.
RIEGL is also continuing to grow in the United States. The company has been active and successful in this market for more than 25 years and is currently building a new North American office facility in Winter Garden, Orlando, Florida, offering 1500m2 (16,000 sq foot) floor space. The building will offer trendy and modern workplaces for up to 50 employees. In addition to office space, the new RIEGL USA Headquarters will also allow the company to expand in the areas of support, service and calibration for the complete RIEGL portfolio. The building will be ready for occupancy Fall of 2020.
Throughout the building process, state of the art RIEGL technology like the RIEGL VZ-400i Terrestrial Laser Scanner as well as VUX-based LiDAR mapping drones will be applied regularly to support, monitor, and document the construction processes.
In total, the investment volume for the expansion of the company's facilities in 2019 and 2020 is more than 10 million EUR.
"Our investments in Austria and the US prove our path of success and the growing internationality of the company" explained Dr. Johannes Riegl, founder and CEO of the RIEGL Group, and his son, Johannes Riegl Jr., member of the management board and President of the US division of the company.
RIEGL – a privately-owned company with subsidiaries in the US, Japan, China and Australia – has grown continuously over the past years. In the last fiscal year, RIEGL achieved a record group turnover of more than 80 million EUR with 250 employees worldwide.
New RIEGL VQ-480II / VQ-580 II Airborne Laser Scanning Systems - YouTube
Cadcorp, has made significant updates in its latest software release, Cadcorp SIS 9. In particular, new functionality has been added to Cadcorp SIS Desktop to support the requirements of Crime Analysts. This functionality is included within SIS Desktop and without the requirement for Police Forces to license additional modules or add-ons. Police Forces have the option to purchase single concurrent licences or make use of an enterprise desktop licencing option.
To support law enforcement activities, crime analysts utilise a number of methods for identifying and analysing patterns and trends in crime data.
SIS Desktop offers, as standard, the processes necessary for these tasks and includes:
Hotspot analysis – Cadcorp has extended the support for KDE hotspots to include Getis-Ord (Gi*). Getis-Ord (Gi*) can be used by Crime Analysts to identify areas where the clustering of crime is statistically significant.
Thematic mapping – In addition to existing options for thematic maps (Ranges, Classification, Labels, Bar Chart, Pie Charts, Graduated, Dot Density, Topology and many more), SIS Desktop includes a Bivariate Theme option. Applying a Bivariate theme is appropriate when Crime Analysts need to compare two attributes on the same map. This for example, would include crime type and demographics.
Routing analysis – Crime Analysts often need to calculate travel time along a network. SIS Desktop presents a range of routing options such as isochrones, multipoint routing and match points. For example, match points can be used by analysts to calculate likely vehicle routes from CCTV or ANPR data.
Cell site analysis – The Process option in SIS Desktop provides Crime Analysts with tools to complete cell site analysis. For example, a Process can be used to buffer a cell tower by its range, and calculate an area of overlap with other cell towers.
Temporal analysis – Time is key to understanding crime patterns and trends. New functionality in SIS Desktop enhances the query and display of temporal data. A time slider allows analysts to play back a range of temporal data such as crime and vehicle locations.
Cadcorp SIS is used by a number of UK Police Forces for a variety of tasks. While SIS Desktop is used for crime analysis, Cadcorp SIS WebMap is used for the distribution of spatially related data over an intranet. Cadcorp also offers developer components to provide a GIS capability to Command and Control systems, such as Sopra Steria STORM.
Trimble announced the release of eCognition Suite 9.5.
eCognition Suite 9.5 introduces a variety of productivity improvements designed to strengthen point cloud operability and boost Deep Learning performance.
A new point cloud resampling algorithm is available to reduce the oversampling of points in dense regions and thus increase processing speed. In addition, raster layers can now be displayed within the 3D viewer to enrich data fusion and aid rule set development.
eCognition’s Deep Learning algorithms have been expanded to support models using batch normalization leading to speedier and more robust learning. In addition, we continue to grow the pallet of vector analysis tools and capabilities.
Region support for vector algorithms offers clear performance benefits. Such regions can now be conveniently generated based on vector domains. It is now possible to calculate statistics in the vector domain, to shrink polygon vectors, and to access layer values and object class under point vectors.
The Open Geospatial Consortium (OGC) announces the formation of the Blockchain and Distributed Ledger Technologies Domain Working Group (DWG).
Participants in this new OGC DWG will focus on understanding the importance of, and requirements for, geospatial standardization within these revolutionary, disruptive technologies.
At the 111th OGC Technical Committee meeting recently held in Leuven, Belgium, the Technical Committee approved the appointment of Anna Burzykowska and Dr. Andreas Matheus as the founding Co-Chairs of the DWG. Anna Burzykowska is a Projects Specialist at the European Space Agency as well as a leader of the emerging practice on Blockchain, Distributed Ledgers and Earth Observation at the ESA's Directorate of Earth Observations Programmes (D/EOP). Dr. Matheus is the founder and Managing Director of Secure Dimensions GmbH, a geo-security company based in Munich, Germany.
Distributed Ledgers are collections of replicated, shared, and synchronized digital records that are stored across multiple sites. The technologies used to implement such ledgers (Distributed Ledger Technologies aka DLT) include blockchains. Blockchains are a digital ledger of records arranged into linked and cryptologically-validated chunks of data called blocks. By far the most widely cited application of blockchain technology is in the finance sector where it can be used as a cryptocurrency, the two most notable examples being Bitcoin and Ethereum.
However, other applications for DLT and blockchains are now gaining popularity. There is potential use of DLT in, for example, land registration, city services, space, pan-government registries, and justice. Location can play a key role in many of these application areas.
The location of financial transactions can determine what taxes apply;
The location of the boundary of a property forms the basis of its registration and
'The location where evidence is discovered at a crime scene can have an impact on judicial proceedings.
At present, there are numerous DLT services and networks available. There is however no standard for how those DLT should encode geospatial information such as location, coordinates, and coordinate reference systems. This situation is likely to lead to a problem of limited interoperability between information held in different DLT networks.
Given the immutable nature of blockchain and DLT, the need for standardization of the information encoded within them is time-critical: any poorly encoded geographic information will remain inherent to a given ledger for as long as it is in use.
In October 2018, OGC published the Discussion Paper Geospatial Standardization of Distributed Ledger Technologies with the purpose of improving the understanding of Blockchain and distributed ledger technologies. One recommendation of the Discussion Paper was to form the OGC BDLT DWG.
OGC members and non-members alike who are actively working within the Blockchain and Distributed Ledger community are invited to participate in the Blockchain and Distributed Ledger Technologies Domain Working Group. Visit the Blockchain and Distributed Ledger Technologies (BDLT) DWG home page for more information on the group, including how to participate.
Trimble announced its Trimble® Catalyst software-defined Global Navigation Satellite System (GNSS) receiver for Android phones and tablets is now available with a usage-based service plan—Trimble Catalyst On Demand.
The new service plan is focused on satisfying the requirements of a growing number of industries and organizations who recognize the benefits of using high-accuracy GNSS technology in the field, but need a more flexible payment model.
Trimble Catalyst On Demand provides scalable access to RTK-quality GNSS positioning using an affordable pay-per-use hourly pricing model in addition to the current Catalyst monthly plans. The new service also enables automated domain-level email address access, which streamlines license allocation for organizations with a large number of users. Account owners purchase access to the service in the form of On Demand time bundles. By keeping the account balance topped up, Catalyst remains ready to use at a moment’s notice, for any number of nominated users in the account. This flexibility eliminates the need to predict project requirements weeks or months in advance.
“Catalyst On Demand is the same popular Trimble Catalyst positioning-as-a-service solution, but has been repackaged in a way that can suit customers needing more flexibility," said Gareth Gibson, Catalyst business development manager for Trimble. "Our goal is to put Trimble positioning technology into the hands of every spatially-enabled field worker. Catalyst On Demand will empower a new segment of users and make professional GNSS technology more accessible than ever before.”
Trimble Catalyst On Demand is expected to be available in late July 2019. Trimble Catalyst service subscriptions and the Catalyst DA1 antenna are available through Trimble’s Authorized GIS Distribution Network.
Terra Drone Corporation has entered into an investment agreement with NDT Corrosion Control Services Co. (NDTCCS), a leading Saudi company which has been providing non-destructive testing and inspection services in the Middle East since 1975.
With this agreement, Terra Drone and NDTCCS will establish a new joint venture, Terra Drone CCS, focusing on the Middle East market.
NDTCCS counts some of the biggest oil and gas companies in the Middle East among its clients. These include major national oil and gas companies like the Abu Dhabi National Oil Company, Saudi Aramco, Kuwait Oil Company, and Oman Oil Company to name but a few. With branches in Saudi Arabia, UAE, Kuwait, Oman and Bahrain that NDTCCS has, Terra Drone CCS will provide UAV inspection and testing services to a variety of sectors, including power line, utilities, renewables, telecommunications, and oil and gas facilities. The company will also contribute to surveying activities and urban development using drones.
L.M. Murugan, Group General Manager, NDTCCS (left) with Toru Tokushige, CEO, Terra Drone Corporation (right)
With Terra Drone’s innovative technology, Terra Drone CCS will be able to cater to its client base in a much more time- and cost-efficient manner. Terra Drone CCS will also utilize the technology stack of Terra Inspectioneering – Terra Drone Corporation’s newest branch which performs visual and ultrasonic inspections using proprietary drone technologies.
Energy consumption in the Middle East is expected to rise sharply on the back of rapid industrialization and infrastructure development. And with the push being toward renewable energy sources like solar and wind power, the demand for inspection of these power generation facilities is also expected to increase. Terra Drone CCS will be in a prime position to provide these services to power generation facilities using drones.
Terra Drone conducts drone survey in Fujairah, United Arab Emirates
According to L.M. Murugan, Group General Manager, NDTCCS, “Joining forces with Terra Drone will not only add value to our customers, but it would also spark a digital transformation in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC). By collaborating both companies’ technical expertise and experience, Terra Drone CCS will become a pioneer of emerging technologies like drones, Internet of Things, data analytics, and artificial intelligence in the region.”
Explaining his motivation toward the new joint venture establishment, Terra Drone Corporation CEO, Toru Tokushige, says, “Of the many NDT and inspection companies we came across, we were most impressed by the capabilities and track record of NDTCCS. The company is already a market leader in GCC and the best partner we could ask for to serve clients in this region. We look forward to bringing our leading technologies such as Terra UTM, Terra Wing, Terra LiDAR, 4G LTE drones, and our proprietary mapping software Terra Mapper to the region.”
Ortho image obtained through drone survey in Fujairah, United Arab Emirates
With more than 25 group companies already in its network, Terra Drone takes pride in collaborating with cutting-edge drone technology providers.
A detailed 3D computer model from Bluesky is being used to communicate a £250 million transformation of the town centre of Huddersfield, UK.
Created from the most up to date, nationwide coverage of aerial photography, the Bluesky model forms part of AECOM’s visualisation of plans prepared for Kirklees Council. Including a 3D fly through and realistic animations the AECOM presentation will form part of an online platform used to consult and engage with the community over the forthcoming months.
“Working with Kirklees Council we have been able to develop a strategy to transform Huddersfield town centre and identify specific projects to achieve this,” commented Becky Mather, Regional Design Director at AECOM. “The Bluesky model gave us an accurate, up to date base from which our specialist team was able to create a stunning visualisation which, it is hoped, will help to sell the Huddersfield Blueprint to the public, investors and stakeholders.”
Kirklees Council’s ten year masterplan, known as the Huddersfield Blueprint, will see six zones within the town centre transformed. These include the areas around the train and bus stations, St Peter’s Gardens, Kingsgate and King Street and New Street. The plans also include the creation of a ‘Cultural Heart’ between the library and university which will involve the demolition of the Piazza shopping centre recently purchased by the Council.
The ambitious plans were unveiled at a launch event last month which was attended by attended by more than 300 business owners, councillors, developers and other interested parties. Presentations were made by council leaders and former Iceland chief executive Bill Grimsey. The AECOM generated presentation, including the Bluesky model, was followed by a round of applause from the audience.
Following the launch Mr Grimsey commented, “I’ve had the chance to see what Huddersfield has put together as a blueprint for the next ten years. In anything I’ve seen over the course of this year...this is up there in the top echelon.”
AECOM is a fully integrated infrastructure firm with a project life-cycle offering that brings together architects, engineers, designers, scientists and management and construction consultants. One of the largest and most dynamic built environment practices in the UK, Urban design is a core component of AECOM’s offering to clients in both the private and public sectors.
Virtual Surveyor has enhanced the LiDAR elevation data handling capabilities in Version 6.4 of its drone surveying and mapping software. A new function enables Virtual Surveyor users to select specific feature classes from classified LiDAR point clouds before converting the point cloud to a surface terrain.
“The latest upgrades in Virtual Surveyor 6.4 are designed to meet the needs of UAV users who are increasingly equipping their drones with LiDAR systems,” said Tom Op ‘t Eyndt, CEO of Virtual Surveyor nv in Belgium.
Virtual Surveyor is popular among surveyors because it bridges the gap between UAV photogrammetric processing applications and engineering design packages. The software generates an interactive onscreen environment with UAV orthophotos/DSMs and/or LiDAR point clouds where the surveyor selects survey points and breaklines to define the topography, creating highly accurate products up to five times faster than otherwise possible.
In Version 6.4, users can import a LiDAR point cloud that has been classified by elevation in a third-part software into feature classes such as ground surface, low vegetation, building structure, and tree canopy. Virtual Surveyor allows its users to select one or more classes for visualization and further processing into topographic products. The new release interpolates points as needed to generate a smooth terrain surface.
“This new feature was requested by Virtual Surveyor clients who are working in heavily forested areas and rely on LiDAR to penetrate the canopy and capture data of the bare Earth below,” said Op ‘t Eyndt. “They can now extract meaningful points and breaklines directly from the bare-earth level instead of producing a ground surface on the DSM using the low-pass points.”
A second new function added in Virtual Surveyor 6.4 is the ability to integrate two types of data to create a single cohesive scene. Requested by operators of gravel pits and coastal zone monitoring projects, this feature will most often be used to merge bathymetric survey points acquired underwater with traditional photogrammetric imagery captured by drones.
Version 6.4 also gives its users enhanced mosaicking functionality. When numerous LiDAR data files collected on separate UAV flights are loaded into Virtual Surveyor, the software stitches the data together and eliminates seam lines, creating a single merged terrain.
“As prices continue to make advanced LiDAR systems attractive to UAV operators, we will add new point cloud handling features to Virtual Surveyor, such as the Hill Shade Lens introduced earlier this year,” said Op ‘t Eyndt.
Designed mainly for application on a Digital Surface Model created from LiDAR data without an underlying ortho, the Hill Shade lens simulates sun illumination casting shadows on the scene. The result is enhanced 3D perception of hills, valleys and other relief. This lens was introduced with many others in Version 6.3 of Virtual Surveyor.
Virtual Surveyor 6.2 step by step [EASY] - YouTube
Current subscribers to Virtual Surveyor will see their software being updated to Version 6.4 automatically.