Bringing Airborne LiDAR to the Commercial Market

  Puts everything into 3D world which provides more robust measurements of assets When the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) released the highly anticipated rules governing the operation of small UAS (sUAS) for commercial purposes, everything changed for drone and sensor manufacturers, aerial data service providers and forward thinking, innovative businesses. Scheduled to take effect by the end of August, the most […]

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The Coming Revolution in Scanning 3D Close Up

A few weeks ago it was announced that Google and Lenovo will start deliveries of the Phab 2 Pro Smartphone, the first Tango enabled device on the market. The developer kits which have been on the market for some time now for $512, are specified with a suite of sensors covering a motion tracking camera, 3D depth sensing, acceleration, ambient […]

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Just How Accurate Are Your RFP’s?

Article written by Mike Tully Requests for Proposals (RFPs) are a standard method of soliciting professional services for a reason – they can save your organization money. They can be efficient mechanisms for the buyer to find a qualified service provider at a competitive price. However, when procuring professional geospatial services, it is rarely advisable to use this process to […]

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Got Data?

3D point cloud software in the geospatial industry has been steadily improving as LiDAR and 3D imaging technologies have rapidly evolved.  New innovative breakthroughs have now made it possible to move from traditional, limiting data management techniques to instantaneous data access and visualization. Recent technological developments such as Semi-Global Matching (SGM) and Structure from Motion (SfM) are creating enormously dense […]

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The Value of 3D Workflows

Background In 2014 AECOM combined with URS Corporation to establish the world’s #1-ranked engineering design firm by revenue, according to Engineering News-Record magazine. More importantly, in 2015, they were recognized by Fortune magazine for the first time as a World’s Most Admired Company. Quite an honor in such a short period of time. AECOM is listed on the Fortune 500 […]

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3D Competitive Advantage

The Firm Kapur and Associates, is a multi-discipline, consulting engineering firm with four offices in Wisconsin and one in Chicago, Illinois. Founded in 1981, the firm ranges in size from 150 – 200 people and is partially employee owned with approximately 1/3 being involved with survey. Kapur has been growing steadily over the past couple of years performing heavy construction […]

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Rescue-Scanning in Zanzibar

The tropical island of Zanzibar on Africa’s East Coast, the embodiment of exotic dreams and a reminder of the largely lost world of Indian Ocean trade is still trying to hold onto its history and its Swahili culture. Stone Town, the historical part of Zanzibar’s main city, with its colourful shops and crowded markets, its unique architecture, its narrow lanes […]

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Pivot or Persevere?

Eco3D has been a laser scanning service provider for the last 7 years, growing to 50+ full-time employees with offices in Phoenix, New York, and Utah. All we do is laser scanning, 2d replication, and 3d modeling – no engineering, surveying, or other services. I share this only to provide referential support for the views I’m about to share. Our […]

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Mobile Building Documentation Services

Background In the early 1980’s Russell Klein, one of the founders of Archidata, a New York city – based building conditions survey firm began his career as a licensed architect by working with a number of early CAD systems.  This included a product (CADAM) that had used a light pen and an unmarked box with 36 function keys to create […]

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Merging Terrestrial and Hydrographic Scanning

Background Back in the late 1980’s John F. Sawyer saw the need for a surveying services company that could provide accurate hydrographic surveying and quantity calculations. Mr. Sawyer had a background in dredging and in 1989 Arc Surveying and Mapping (Arc) was born. The company is family – owned and operated with three brothers running the day – to – […]

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A Portable Scanning Solution

Background MK Surveys, based in the UK has been using 3D laser scanners since 2002. They offer a wide range of professional measurement services including; topographical surveys, measured building surveys, mobile mapping, 3D laser scanning, BIM, 3D modelling (CAD / Revit), HDR (High Dynamic Range) imagery, utility surveys to PAS128 standard, CCTV drainage condition surveys, adoption surveys, GIS data capture […]

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More Than a Map – Property Management Methods Enhancing Tax Modernization

Introduction The quest for a sustainable and transparent approach to managing property records in Latin America has been challenging. A variety of approaches have been employed yet most yield little results for generating accurate, fair and consistent tax revenue. México is one country that is implementing social reforms to modernize processes in property appraisals, land registration, invoicing alternatives, and tax […]

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Top 5 Considerations for Choosing Lidar for Outdoor Robots

Designing a robot for outdoor use – for example, in agricultural or mining robots—comes with a unique set of considerations when selecting navigational hardware. For example, outdoor robots must contend with inclement weather, blinding sunlight, and variable temperatures that can interfere with scanner function and impair reliability.  But choosing the right laser scanner (Lidar) ensures accurate navigation and extends the […]

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Automated Feature Extraction Goes Mainstream

Background Civil Maps is an artificial intelligence (AI) start-up based in Silicon Valley.  Over the past couple of years, they have developed industry leading technologies for the autonomous vehicle industry.  Their key technologies include automated registration of LiDAR point clouds without the need for ground control points, automated feature extraction to rapidly produce large area maps, and Scout, their low-cost […]

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Using LOA and LOD to Reduce Risk

My firm Architectural Resource Consultants (ARC) has been performing building documentation services for nearly twenty years.  Over time I have come to realize that most clients don’t know how to write a Request for Proposal (RFP), or properly specify the services they are requesting.  Most of the time when I’ve run into trouble with an unmet expectation on a project […]

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Tying Data Together

The LiDAR profession continues to evolve and with evolution comes new solutions, innovation and analytics which causes the provider of data to evaluate the best solution for the application. Merrick & Company uses most every remote sensing technology to provide solutions to most mapping applications. One of the more challenging aspects of combining technologies is making all the data fit […]

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Delights and Challenges When Scanning in Africa

A hidden Ethiopian treasure history of Yemrehanna Kristos Yemrehanna Kristos is one of Ethiopia’s lesser known and, maybe for that reason, better preserved churches compared to churches of Lalibela. Built by a Zagwe king-priest of the same name, around the 12th century, this church is an outstanding example of a late Axumite design. It was, and still is, an important […]

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Comparing Aerial Photogrammetry and 3D Laser Scanning

In the last decade, the evolution in computing power – both in CPUs and GPUs – has allowed the development of photogrammetry software that can turn a set of photos of an object, such as a building, into a 3D model. These software products compete with laser scanners, which are widely used throughout design, construction, and operations of infrastructure assets […]

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Dignity in 3D

Direct Dimensions has had the opportunity to work on many amazing art projects in the last fifteen years ranging from documenting famous sculptures for museums to working with talented local artists. One of our recent projects has been a partnership with Zachary Oxman, a sculptor based in nearby Bethesda, Maryland. Mr. Oxman is known for his bronze art work as […]

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The Impact of Software on the Lidar Industry

The Trusty Slide Rule I’m sitting here looking at the Sun Hemmi slide rule that I keep on my desk (I have been using it as a ruler over the past several decades) and I reflect that this wonderful device never required any software updates or battery charges, yet it still delivers very accurate advanced mathematical calculations. One could postulate […]

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“Commercial” Drones, but Just Barely

FAA Section 333 exemptions allow operators to fly drones in the national airspace for commercial purposes. We were excited in May 2015 after receiving ours. At last we could use this new technology to expand our remote sensing and mapping operations.  We were primed for starting a new profitable business doing amazing things flying drones.  On the surface the approval to fly “commercially” sounded great. […]

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Thurber Engineering Case Study

Thurber Engineering Ltd. is a Canadian consulting firm that provides a variety of geotechnical, geo-environmental, and construction materials engineering and testing services. The company takes a multidisciplinary approach to projects related to earth, environmental, and materials science. One of the major components of the GIS-based analysis work that Thurber undertakes is identifying geological landforms and assessing their suitability for a […]

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Incorporating High-Definition Scanning in the National Register of Historic Places Nomination

Incorporating High-Definition Scanning in the National Register of Historic Places Nomination of the Proposed Miller Tract/Center-Soll Historic District in Des Moines, Iowa By Colleen Kinney, local project coordinator, NorthofGrandHistory@gmail.com Aaron West awest@mecresults.com and Ted Black tblack@mecresults.com at McClure Engineering Company In 1924, Better Homes & Gardens magazine touted the efforts of a Des Moines, Iowa community group as a national […]

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TopoDot User Conference Keynote

Geospatial visionary is developing world class transportation asset management system for Budapest, Hungary Recently I had the opportunity to interview Gyula Sz. Fekete, Department Head, GIS Application Development and Data Capture for the Road Management Company of Budapest, Hungary. Gyula has his degree in Survey Engineering. He is currently leading the development of one of the most advanced, 3D transportation […]

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