Susan Smith has worked as an editor and writer in the technology industry for over 16 years. As an editor she has been responsible for the launch of a number of technology trade publications, both in print and online. Currently, Susan is the Editor of GISCafe and AECCafe, as well as those sites’ … More »
Trimble Geospatial Announces New Solutions at INTERGEO
October 8th, 2015 by Susan Smith
Trimble Geospatial announced several new solutions at INTERGEO in Frankfurt, Germany this past month. Tim Lemmon, marketing director Geospatial Software for Trimble and Todd Steiner, marketing director for Imaging and UAS platform for Trimble. outlined what the new products and enhancements are for this release.
Steiner said their portfolio of GNSS receivers is almost “entirely new,” with updates to the highest R10 all the way through to, the newly released Trimble R2 and the Trimble R1 released in April. The complete portfolio of GNSS solutions includes very high accuracy measurement applications all the way to the more relaxed specifications GIS type workflows and ease of use Bring-Your-Own-Device solutions.
“We refreshed the Total Station platform in April, with the new S series of robotic Total Stations including the S9 for high accuracy and specialized engineering applications,” said Steiner. “the S7 with added vision scanning capabilities and many nice features combined with software, and the new S5 which is the workhorse general survey Total Station.
The Trimble R2 on the GNSS receiver side is a configurable GNSS receiver and is a series of applications for our customers. It is configurable in that it can be used for high accuracy surveying applications but also configured for lower accuracy GIS applications. It is a very versatile GNSS receiver that allows a surveying company that wants to do more GIS related applications to use this type of tool and the workflows that are associated with it flow nicely into GIS databases. It is also good for a GIS company that wants higher accuracy measurements and still wants to get it at an affordable price.
On the UAS side, Trimble has announced two new products – Trimble UX5 HP, their fixed wing solution and the HP means high precision.
“We’ve added L1L2 GNSS payload for post processing kinematic processing of the images that it captures to enable users to get high accuracy orthophotos, and point cloud services without having to establish ground control or with the ability to minimize ground control in those applications where they needs some,” said Steiner. “Customers in the mining industry use this where you can’t have people on the ground in the open pit mine from a safety standpoint so you can’t put ground control out easily. The UX5 HP aims to solve those kinds of issues by allowing our customers to get high accuracy information without having to go through that added step of setting a lot of ground control.”
Additionally, Steiner said Trimble has announced Trimble ZX5, their first multirotor UAV platform that emerges from their relationship with a company called Service Drones that they announced in Q2. This is a complementary solution to the fixed wing. The fixed wing can cover a lot of ground in wide open spaces but doesn’t do very well in crowded obstructed environments. The Multirotor vertical lift and takeoff and landing is able to operate in those more confined spaces and do things like vertical mapping and vertical inspection. A customer using UAS may need both types of platforms for various differnet types of work.
“We now have a complete portfolio of UAS solutions for our geospatial customers,” said Steiner.
One other major hardware release announced was the Trimble MX7 mobile mapping and imaging solution.
“This is a mobile mapping solution for folks who want to go out and do asset management progress monitoring, site condition updates, etc., where they don’t necessarily require high accuracy, but they need to capture information in an efficient way,” said Steiner. “The system is very compact is easy to install. We have reworked our image capture software so that it’s very easy and intuitive to use. This is a new feature compared to other mobile mapping systems. The MX7 as a mobile imaging system, captures 360-degree panoramic images of the environment georeferenced through the Applanix AP 15 GNSS inertial system that’s on board. Customers can get very accurate results, being able to measure assets of interests, and capture that data to use for a host of applications: from GIS to simple visualization of site conditions.”
The MX7 is land based and mounted in vehicles. Its compact size allows it to be mounted on almost any type of vehicle. It can be mounted on an ATV, car truck, and it’s portable and easy to move from one type of vehicle to another. The focus of this release is making mobile mapping easier to use, and providing it at a more attractive price point than available from other mobile mapping systems. It will ship starting in late Q4.
Looking at software, Tim Lemmon spoke first about field software enhancements for productivity. Information about attribution is all on one screen when using a tablet so it makes it much easier to visualize what’s being captured. There a number of improvements just to make it easier to calculate remote points.
“Then we have specific improvements for a pipeline application that we offer through Trimble Access,” said Lemmon. “The pipeline application is used by our customers who are measuring oil and gas pipelines prior and during construction prior to the pipeline being covered underground. In that case they could be measuring all the weld joints and functionality to make it easier to add more information to those measurements prior to the pipeline being covered.”
Trimble has updated releases of all their office software solutions, plus the addition of two new office software packages.
The Trimble Remote Sensing suite, targeted to GIS and remote sensing, is turning satellite imagery into usable data or generating a specific analytical results. By combining the capabilities with the suite users are able to take satellite images and georeference them to apply them to local control points or existing data sets. Users can then also generate point clouds or orthomosaic images from satellite imagery. The suite includes a choice of either eCognition Essentials or eCognition Developer. eCognition is the software package that allow customers to do feature analysis and feature extraction.
eCognition Essentials provides very streamlined workflows for doing landcover mapping or change detection, so if you want to do a project to analyze the amount of GIS assets you have in a particular county, then you can use eCognition to come up with the GIS layout and analytical result. Some customers are using that type of application for doing water resource management for tracking water bodies that may be drying up or maybe susceptible to change over time. By taking two sets of satellite imagery and georeferencing that together, then using eCognition to do a change detection analysis, you can come up with an analytical result of what’s actually going on with that water body and how much it’s changing, that provides a good basis for spatial information for environmental managers to act upon.
The remote sensing industry is in a resurgence right now, with a lot of activity being driven by cloud based delivery and assets existing imagery. There are multiple marketplaces online where you can get access to satellite based imagery. The costs are coming down too, so it becomes easier to get access to updated satellite imagery worldwide. Within the industry there are a number of different reports of companies launching up to 350 satellites by 2020.
“So there are going to be a lot of devices looking down at us and capturing data that we can use,” said Lemmon. Geospatial applications and analysis as well as companies like PlanetLabs. Their philosophy is to put a lot of low cost satellites into the sky with incredibly quick turnaround in terms of access to data. “We are most certainly likely to see an increase in the amount of remote sensing imagery.”
People are expecting to have remote sensing imagery to be available really quickly because of cloud-based delivery of systems also. And the expectation that the imagery be as close to real time as possible.
Trimble also released an update to eCognition Essentials, which is an addition of change detection and that is an application of deforestation, canopy change, risk assessment water management. The company also released UAS Master support of ZX5, as well as improvement in robustness of the solution. Trimble has a new release of Trimble RailWorks, a software that is predominantly is used with the company’s 3D terrestrial laser scanning solutions. The release makes it possible to take data and process a lot of differnet stations together, and have a number of tools to allow customers to extract out either volumes or surfaces or CAD models in some variety.
There is also a Revit menu structure that has really improved the use of software and made it much quicker for people to get data cleaned up. Trimble has also included registration techniques to make it as quick and automated as possible, so they can get results for their clients spending less time in the office. And associated with Trimble Railworks is a new software introduced at INTERGEO called Trimble EdgeWise. Trimble is selling the EdgeWise software that is produced by ClearEdge 3D under the Trimble EdgeWise brand. This software allows customers to automatically model complex facilities and structures of 3D point cloud based data so workflow now would be to use scanners such as the TX8 to measure points in the facility. Through RailWorks the data is brought together to register and control the quality and that can go through to Edgewise to automatically model the point cloud and come up with the CAD model that can be then integrated into a design process or as-built process.
The Trimble Business Center release has improved capability to handle data processing and adjustment, survey and GIS-based data as well as improving the ability to generate 2D and 3D CAD deliverables. Surveyors can use the software to bring in any type of data whether a total station receiver, third party levels, UAS, even scanning data from railroads, then leveraging deliverables to generate the final results. The Business Center now also has improved feature coding capabilities, that takes data captured in the field and uses it to automatically to create a 2D CAD plan in the office. The CAD functionality within Trimble Business Center has also been improved so that users can do automatic labeling and creation of tables and cross sectional profiles, making the generation of deliverables for the civil engineer, architect, and others much easier.
A new module centered around GIS applications has been added to the Business Center, so the new module is really focused on the surveyors delivering GIS data, or GIS professionals delivering high accuracy data. It allows customers to import feature and attribute definitions of how data needs to be represented from a Esri geodatabase and then that it is used all the way to the field to capture new information. Then it is brought back into a Trimble Business Center and can be automatically synced up with an Esri database to automate the new object being measured in the field. It provides a much more streamlined workflow to update GIS information based on data that is captured in the field.
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