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Susan Smith
Susan Smith
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 »

Leica BLK360 3D Scanner and Software Pack a Big Punch in a Little Body

 
April 27th, 2017 by Susan Smith

Leica introduced its BLK360 3D scanner at Autodesk University 2016, which was met with great awe when attendees saw how small it is. It is 6.5 inches tall and four inches in diameter, weighing 2.2 lbs., and has one single button on its housing, giving the impression of a Star Trek device.

But the minimalist design has a purpose: the BLK360 3D scanner is designed to be controlled via iPad, thereby eliminating the need for hardware inside the scanner and relying on an external device.

The iPad functionality comes to Leica from Autodesk, with their ReCap 360 Pro Mobile edition that provides a controller for operating the BLK360. ReCap 360 registers scans wirelessly that have been captured by the BLK360 in real time. Autodesk cloud services make it possible for users to share or transfer data into Autodesk design software for generating 3D models, meshing, and other analysis tasks.

While the small size may suggest the BLK360 has limited range and capacity, oddly enough it is capable of capturing 360,000 points per second, making it a very high quality 3D scanner. The range of the BLK360 is 60 meters, accuracy 4 mm, with several scanning methods: infrared sensors for thermal imaging, laser and visible light imaging, are just a few. In just three minutes, the scanner can capture a 360 degree scan, and also is outfitted for HDR and LED flash support.

Customers may really like the price: $15,990, which will include a subscription to Autodesk’s ReCap 360 software package. The scanner should be available some time this spring.

LP360 2017.1 is the latest release of GeoCue’s desktop exploitation software for point cloud data from LIDAR and SfM (Structure from Motion, point clouds produced from small unmanned aerial systems imagery).

It can be purchased as a standalone application and also as an extension to ArcGIS. Many feature updates as well as new tools aimed at improving LP360’s Feature Editing capabilities are included in this release.

The new Feature Edit Toolbar, features tools to enable the display, creation and advanced 3D editing of vector features. With these tools, users can perform on-the-fly 3D editing including automatic assignment of Z values to vertices by probing point cloud data. LP360 allows you to know where information is supposed to be and how best to collect it.

The toolbar also includes tools for simplifying features as well as reshaping, splitting, respacing and reversing geometry. New Feature Analyst tools allow users to view and edit the attributes of features and perform automated analysis such as downstream compliance for hydro modeling, steep slope detection for stockpile toes and acute angle removal for smoothing water body polygons.

In a webinar, the water body smoothing polygons were demonstrated. For example, data can be verified actually showing and enforcing to the breakline desired.  You can see breaklines and triangulation being formed and look at results of ground points.

An added on and on toggle button allows using just point data information. Breakline information is done in a couple of different ways –  you can do it as part of shape, can do as part of attribute tables. Water body tables can be enforced based on values.

According to company materials, GeoCue has added a number of functions in addition to edit tools,  as well as updated many existing capabilities of LP360. Among these are:

  • New Spatial Reference System Reproject/Shift/Scale LAS Point Cloud Task. This tool is particularly useful for removing elevation bias caused by incorrect focal length in sUAS projects.
  • New Grid Generator Point Cloud Task for creating project layouts and conducting grid-based QC
  • Enhanced performance of the automatic stockpile toe extraction point cloud task
  • The automatic Rail Centerline Extractor can now span at-grade crossings
  • A new option that allows reprojection of control and check points during import
  • Capability to Classify points at any display resolution
  • Point selection is displayed across all views during classification
  • Smoothing option for removing noise from sUAS generated contours
  • New Export by LAS File option in Export Wizard allows easy upgrades of LAS data to version 1.4 including full WKT encoding of horizontal and vertical spatial reference systems
  • Breakline Enforcement button shortcut on main menu allows quick visualization of surface models with incorporated mass point, linear and polygonal breaklines
  • Snapping to Vertices and Lines for selection/editing

Each copy of LP360 includes both a Windows standalone and an ArcGIS extension license.

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Categories: 3D Cities, analytics, ArcGIS, ArcPad, Autodesk, cloud, drones, Esri, geocoding, geospatial, GIS, GPS, indoor mapping, lidar, location based services, location intelligence, mapping, mobile, public safety, spatial data

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