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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 »

GISCafe Essential Gift Guide 2017

 
December 14th, 2017 by Susan Smith

Gift Guides abound this time of year, but gifts are only as good as their on-the-job usefulness. What would make your job easier, provide more accuracy and save time and money?

From hardware to services to gadgetry, the AECCafe Technology Gift Guide includes items and services you may want to buy for yourself, plus a couple of gadgets loved ones may be able to buy for you, plus some you may just envision in your wildest dreams!

BLK360

BLK360 3D Scanner

While this product was on last year’s Technology Wish List, I believe it is still a winner for 2017. 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.

The price: $15,990 USD, which will include a subscription to Autodesk’s ReCap 360 software package.


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Maptitude

For the USA (international data is here), Maptitude comes with

  • 700+ demographics for most geographies including states and counties
  • 550+ variables at the ZIP Code level
  • 1,800+ population characteristics at the local level (Census Tracts)

Want to target your product to those ZIP Codes that have the most under-25 year-old householders earning over $200,000? Easy! (That would include ZIP Codes 10016, 10003, and 10012 in Manhattan.)

Want to identify those areas where renters earn more than $100,000 but spend under 20% of their income on rent? A cinch! (That would be the darker red tracts in the Manhattan map)

Whether you want the latest population statistics, the broadest collection of Census data, or future demographic projections, Maptitude has you covered.

The latest demographics are included free with Maptitude 2017 only. Each annual release of Maptitude includes new data, and Maptitude 2017 includes age by income for the first time. Don’t have Maptitude 2017? Purchase or upgrade to Maptitude 2017 to use this premium data.

DJI Inspire 2 Drone

The Inspire 2 Premium Combo from DJI bundles the Inspire 2 professional quadcopter with the Zenmuse X5S gimbal camera with Micro 4/3 sensor. In addition, the Inspire 2 features the CinemaDNG raw and Apple ProRes codec licenses pre-installed, enabling you to record 4K and 5.2K video in these low-compression, post-friendly formats. PC Magazine calls it the best drone out there if money is no object, delivering Raw video capture at 5.2K quality, superb build quality, and top-end performance.
DJI’s magnesium-aluminum-clad Inspire 2 Quadcopter is a powerful cinematic and photographic tool. Combining the Inspire 2 with the separately available X4S and X5S gimbal cameras yields cinema-grade images, which can be recorded in high bit rates using H.264 and H.265 formats, or, in the case of the X5R, various flavors of Apple ProRes and CinemaDNG raw using the required licenses available from DJI. All the recording functionality is processed by the Inspire 2’s CineCore 2.0 image processing engine.

Package Includes:
DJI Inspire 2 Premium Combo with Zenmuse X5S and CinemaDNG and Apple ProRes Licenses
Manufacturer Accessories:
Remote Control (Transmitter)
4x Propeller Pairs
2x DJI Intelligent Flight Battery
Battery Charger
Charging Hub
Power Cable
USB Cable
16GB MicroSD Memory Card
Vision System Calibration Plate
3x Gimbal Damper
Propeller Mounting Plates
Carrying Case
4x Battery Insulation Sticker
Additional Accessories
Sandisk Ultra 64GB MicroSD Memory Card
6PC Graduated Filter Kit
Variable Neutral Density Filter (ND2-ND400)
5PC Cleaning Kit
Microfiber Cleaning Cloth

URC Smartphone Solution for 3D Scanning

Structure Reports from URC Ventures takes the sensor data from Apple’s new ARKit and merges it with URC Ventures’ 3D reconstruction technology. This marriage is expected to make it possible for companies to develop apps to model buildings in 3D with just an iPhone.

According to URC Ventures’ CEO David Boardman, Structure Reports combines the rich sensor data available from Apple’s ARKit with the 3d reconstruction capabilities of the industry leading mobile phone 3d reconstruction pipeline from URC Ventures.  StructurePro enables software companies to build applications that can be used by construction workers, building inspectors, or insurance claims adjusters to successfully model buildings from iPhone imagery.

To explore licensing URC Ventures image processing pipeline or partnering on the development of solutions please contact Tony Jacobson, VP of Product, (425) 285-4303, tony.jacobson@urcventures.com.


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Padzilla Interactive Case is an 150-inch case that attaches to your iPad or iPad, created by Crunchy Logistics.  The case is multi-touch capable and also comes in a 70-inch version. With a fully functioning home button, volume controls, multiple touch points, and camera, your Padzilla will look, feel, and work exactly like a giant iPhone or giant iPad. Because Padzilla is a fully functioning Giant iPad, Giant iPhone, or Giant Android, you have access to the Apple App Store or Google Play Store and can download any app that is available. If you’re building your own app, simply load it onto Padzilla’s iPhone or iPad device through iTunes or TestFlight and you’re ready to go.

Padzilla can become an interactive table, be mounted in your lobby, stand at your trade show with a traveling mount, or mounted on a wall. Weighing in at approximately $35,000 USD, it might be the most expensive techno device on the market this holiday season.

New Location Content Information from Nearmap

 
December 6th, 2017 by Susan Smith

In a conversation with Robert Carroll, VP of 3-D commercial and government for Nearmap, he talked about the latest announcement for Nearmap of new location content information, the Nearmap Panorama and Nearmap Oblique, now available through a  new MapBrowser™ interface.. Nearmap is a location content provider specializing in high-resolution aerial maps. Delivered within days of capture, Nearmap shows changes over time. Users save time and money, reduce site visits, and efficiently plan with current, clear imagery.

Read the rest of New Location Content Information from Nearmap

GISCafe Editorial Calendar 2018

 
November 30th, 2017 by Susan Smith

GISCafe Editorial Calendar 2018*

 January:

01/23-01/25 Esri Geodesign Summit Redlands, CA

Editorial topics:

  • Top Geospatial Predictions for 2018
  • 3D Cities and Geospatial

February:

Editorial topics:

  • Small Sats Update
  • Current Events

March:

23/20-3/21 Esri Federal GIS Conference 2018, Washington D.C.

Editorial topics:

  • Esri Federal Conference Coverage
  • Current Events

Robert Cardillo, the director of the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency, speaks to the GEOINT 2017 symposium June 5. Credit: USGIF


Read the rest of GISCafe Editorial Calendar 2018

ClimaCell Offers Short-Term Weather Prediction Model for Construction Industry

 
November 24th, 2017 by Susan Smith

In an interview with Rei Goffer, ClimaCell, CSO, GISCafe Voice discussed the company’s partnership with Autodesk BIM 360 announced at Autodesk University 2017.

Read the rest of ClimaCell Offers Short-Term Weather Prediction Model for Construction Industry

GIS Day 2017 is for Everyone

 
November 15th, 2017 by Susan Smith

Dr. Joseph Kerski, Ph.D., GISP, Education Manager for Esri, spoke with GISCafe Voice about GIS Day events and his trip to University of Central Florida (UCF) to participate in GIS Day 2017 there. Coordinating the UCF event is Dr. Timothy Hawthorne, Assistant Professor of Geographic Information Systems, Principal Investigator, NSF Citizen Science GIS REU Site for UCF.

Read the rest of GIS Day 2017 is for Everyone

Velodyne Partners with BoE Systems to Deliver LiDAR Sensors to UAV Fleet

 
November 9th, 2017 by Susan Smith

On November 1, Velodyne announced that it is partnering with BoE Systems to integrate its VLP-16 Puck and VLP-16 Puck LITE LiDAR sensors into BoE Systems’ UAV fleet for geospatial data collection and analysis. This partnership delivers full 360° imaging of geography and equipment for a multitude of industries with a critical need for quick, safe, and accurate aerial inspections, including transportation, utilities, telecommunications/infrastructure, construction, aggregate, forestry, and agriculture.

Golf Course

Read the rest of Velodyne Partners with BoE Systems to Deliver LiDAR Sensors to UAV Fleet

High Flying SORA 200 3D LiDAR Sensing Solution from Cepton Provides High-Rez, Low Cost Mapping for UAVs

 
November 2nd, 2017 by Susan Smith

Cepton Technologies, Inc.’s Head of Business Development Wei Wei  and Vice President of Engineering and co-Founder Dr. Mark McCord talked about the Silicon Valley company’s growth and their latest announcement. In October, Cepton Technologies, a provider of 3D LiDAR sensing solutions for automotive, industrial and mapping applications, announced the launch of SORA 200, a lightweight 3D LiDAR sensor.

Read the rest of High Flying SORA 200 3D LiDAR Sensing Solution from Cepton Provides High-Rez, Low Cost Mapping for UAVs

From the Highest Mountaintop to the Arabian Desert with Geospatial

 
October 26th, 2017 by Susan Smith

While a large percentage of the civilized world has been mapped, the world’s mountains have not been among those areas to be mapped as they most often located in remote landscapes. Now available from the USGS is a new web based browsing tool that gives users the most detailed view yet of the world’s mountains, that can be viewed on a cellphone or desktop computer.

Read the rest of From the Highest Mountaintop to the Arabian Desert with Geospatial

Utilities and Government Go “Digital” at Bentley Year in Infrastructure 2017

 
October 19th, 2017 by Susan Smith

The Bentley Year in Infrastructure conference held in Singapore October 8-12, kicked off with a Media Day on Monday, October 8th.  Among the forums that were offered was one on Utilities and Government, which showcased the company’s commitment to geospatial technologies that are inherent in all of their utility and government applications.

Read the rest of Utilities and Government Go “Digital” at Bentley Year in Infrastructure 2017

Singapore: Becoming a Geo-enabled Smart Nation

 
October 11th, 2017 by Susan Smith

Getting to stay at a hotel that was crafted using the software of the host company is a really exciting experience. The Bentley 2017 Year in Infrastructure thought leadership event is held at the iconic Marina Bay Sands Hotel, in Singapore, a marvel of architecture made possible in large part by Bentley software.

Whenever a host city is chosen for a Bentley event, it is chosen based upon that region’s commitment to infrastructure. For many years I’ve attended the Year in Infrastructure events and this one is no different in honoring the geographic region that presents a great deal of industry and innovation in infrastructure. The event showcases finalists and winners in the annual Bentley Be Inspired Awards, that demonstrate excellence in all aspects of infrastructure and land planning – from roads and bridges, utilities, rail, reality modeling and much more.

There are other Be Inspired Award finalist buildings dotted around the bay that also reflect the creative use of Bentley software, and help define the Singapore skyline.

Why are so many of these ambitious projects clustered in one city/state/country? In opening comments yesterday, Chris Barron of Bentley remarked, “The center of gravity for infrastructure is in Asia. One-half of our finalists this year are from Asia.”

While Singapore is a thriving city metropolis, it is also a small nation. It may be one of the first countries to take a leap into being a “smart nation,” far beyond the ambitions of the “smart city.”

There is a stark difference between the Singapore we see today and eight years ago when the Marina Bay Sands Hotel was built. The center of the 720-square-meter island was essentially seawater, and needed to be built up with many tons of soil shipped in to support the ambitious structures that would eventually make up the profile and economy of this city/state/country.

This is where geospatial comes in, and it is indelibly woven into the fabric of how the island came to support such structures and new economic growth. In Bentley’s world view, geospatial is a part of the whole, and it is a part of all the utilities, road, rail and construction offerings as it must be part of the projects themselves.
Read the rest of Singapore: Becoming a Geo-enabled Smart Nation

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