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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 »

Esri’s new Survey123 for ArcGIS Includes Spike Laser Measurement Integration

 
March 29th, 2018 by Susan Smith

Esri recently introduced its new software release of Survey123 for ArcGIS mobile application with Spike, a laser measurement solution offered by ikeGPS. Field data capture and asset inspection activities just got easier with the integration of Spike into Survey123. Spike allows users to measure hard-to-reach physical objects from a distance simply by taking a photo with their smartphone or tablet. Survey123 with Spike runs on Apple iOS and Google Android smartphones and tablets.

Users can then capture real-time measurements from that image, including areas, elevations, distances between two points, and GPS/GNSS location. With just a single mobile device, fieldworkers can locate the correct asset, record measurement data, and report accurate data directly back to the office using this low-cost application.

Roberto Avila , Ph.D. GIS Applications & Data Services Unit Manager with Colorado Department of Transportation, spoke with GISCafe Voice about the integration and how the DOT is making use of the technology.

Avila said that he had used Spike and realized that it would be a vast improvement over using specialized measurement equipment and paper maps to measure and collect dimensions for all kinds of surveying, asset and facilities management, field asset inventories and inspections and damage assessment, plus disaster response operations. He felt that the DOT would be more likely to use Spike if it was integrated into the Survey123 release rather than being used separately from that application.

The Colorado Department of Transportation manages and maintains a great number of physical assets along Colorado roadways, and has already benefited from beta testing of this solution. “We have been beta testing it since November or December and developing applications groups who are using it,” said Avila. “These are engineering, environmental and other groups who see its potential. We’re using it in facilities, for areas and volume, to measure the rough length of culverts and bridges, and how much damage is caused by natural events.”

Avila said they were already using Esri’s Survey123 forms to conduct field assets data collection on signs, curb ramps, outfalls, bridge asbestos inspection, cattle guards and other assets. The ability to collect sign panel dimensions (height and width) as well as the height of the sign post through the use of Spike has been a game changer.  The CDOT is now able to incorporate Spike measurement capabilities into some of the current apps like sign, facilities, and rip-rap providing a tremendous increase in efficiency, monetary savings, and a safe data collection environment for CDOT workers.
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Street-Level Images Come to ArcGIS Pro with Mapillary

 
March 22nd, 2018 by Susan Smith

Recently, ArcGIS Pro specialists at the company Mapillary answered a few questions for GISCafe Voice:

How long has Mapillary been in existence? What is its primary focus?

Mapillary is a street-level imagery platform powered by collaboration and computer vision. The company was founded in 2013.

Mapillary combines images from any device into a visualization of the world to generate data for improving maps, developing cities, and progressing the automotive industry. Mapillary’s tools enable anyone to collect, share, and use street-level images. Computer vision technology reconstructs locations in 3D and recognizes objects from the images to generate map data at scale. Today, people and organizations all over the world have contributed over 250 million images toward Mapillary’s mission of helping people understand the world’s places through images and making this data available.

What does the new Mapillary for ArcGIS Pro beta contain – what are its primary features?

The Beta focuses on bringing Mapillary public imagery into ArcGIS Pro. In short, it lets customers:

  • view Mapillary imagery as visual reference,
  • view, edit, and create features in street-level imagery,
  • compare imagery to see how places change over time.

What was in the previous release and why did you make certain feature upgrades?

The latest version, available in Public Beta, contains the same general functionality as earlier releases. However, we’ve made considerable performance improvements.

Earlier releases of Mapillary for ArcGIS Pro faced a challenge when rendering the large number of features required to show our imagery coverage. Our previous method of serializing vector tiles into a feature layer came coupled with a decrease in performance. For the Public Beta, we’ve notably increased performance and reduced system overhead by serving vector tiles directly into ArcGIS Pro. This means a faster and more efficient experience using Mapillary Imagery from the add-in.

Is a specific type of camera used?

The imagery on Mapillary is contributed collaboratively by Mapillary users all over the world: individuals, companies, non-profits, and governments. The platform is device-agnostic so every contributor uses a camera setup that suits them best, from Mapillary mobile apps to action cameras to professional 360-degree cameras.

What kind of geotagging of photos is used?

The Mapillary mobile apps (including integrations with some common action and 360-degree cameras) save location information into the image EXIF during capture and is then uploaded to Mapillary directly via the app. In addition, any geotagged images can be uploaded with help of our web uploader or command line tools. It’s also possible to upload image files together with a .gpx file that’s used for geotagging during the upload process.
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GISCafe Special Coverage: The World of State-of-the-Art Satellites, Reusable Spacecraft and More

 
March 15th, 2018 by Susan Smith

Both large full size satellites as well as small satellites are now being used for various purposes around the globe. In addition, constellations of satellites are being developed for specific purposes, such as internet satellites. We also include here maritime surveillance that relies on Satellite Automatic Identification System (AIS) payload.

Hamburg Port Rathaus, European Space Imaging

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GIS News of the Week: From Services to Data to Sensor Support

 
March 9th, 2018 by Susan Smith

This week’s GIS news includes a wide variety of announcements, from IBM’s PAIRS Geoscope to redistricting data from Caliper, of the 2018 edition of Congressional Districts.

There is a great need for services that facilitate working with large amounts of geospatial data from disparate sources. IBM addresses that need with their announcement of PAIRS Geoscope, a new experimental cloud-based service that makes it easier for developers to work with large amounts of geospatial data from across a wide variety of sources. The service handles ingesting, integrating and managing the data and allows developers to focus on their queries.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pywazIg53JM&feature=youtu.be

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Bluesky Develops Low-Cost Measurement Tool for Capturing Accurate 3D Spatial Data with SmartPhones

 
February 28th, 2018 by Susan Smith

Aerial mapping company Bluesky of Leicestershire, UK has completed a research project backed by the UK government’s innovation agency, Innovate UK, to develop the use of mobile phones for capturing accurate 3D spatial information.

The nine-month research project focused on the use of standard smart phone technology to capture and calibrate video footage, and then convert it to 3D information. Designed for electricity Distribution Network Operators (DNO) and other organizations with a distributed asset base, the low-cost measurement tool can provide an accurate record of the feature’s location and its environment. Accurate measurements of essential infrastructure, such as overhead power lines and other utility facilities, could then be extracted using specially developed algorithms and workflows.


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U.S. Income, Immigration and Impacts Told Through Maps

 
February 15th, 2018 by Susan Smith

Recently, I began to receive maps pertaining to income, immigration, unemployment and related impacts. It made me consider putting together these maps to show a broader story of what these maps can show us in terms of current as well as historical timelines in terms of income or lack thereof. The following maps also displays communities where the highest number of non-citizen residents and DACA recipients live.

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Trimble Announces MX9 Mobile Mapping Solution Addition to Portfolio

 
February 8th, 2018 by Susan Smith

Trimble announced the release of the Trimble® MX9 mobile mapping solution, completing Trimble’s mobile mapping portfolio. A next-generation mobile mapping system, the Trimble MX9 combines a vehicle-mounted mobile LIDAR system, multi-camera imaging and field software designed for efficient, precise and high-volume data capture for a broad range of mobile mapping applications such as road surveys, topographic mapping, 3D-modeling and asset management.

Trimble MX9 Back Perspective

According to company materials, the Trimble MX9 is characterized by its ability to capture dense point cloud data along with 360 degree immersive georeferenced imagery using an industry-leading spherical camera, GNSS/INS technology and dual-head laser scanning sensors. The system’s lightweight design makes it easy to install and setup on a variety of vehicles. Spatial data can be captured at highway speeds from inside the vehicle for safe operation in transportation corridors. The intuitive, browser-based field software, accessible via most tablets or any notebook, enables operators to quickly establish and conduct data acquisition missions, monitor the status of the system as well as assess the quality of the acquired data in real time.

Christian Hoffmann, Market Manager, Mobile Mapping Solutions, Trimble Geospatial spoke with GISCafe Voice about the recent announcement:

GISCafe Voice: Has Trimble had a mobile mapping solution before the MX9?

The Trimble Mobile Mapping portfolio has been in the market for more than a decade with popular products like the MX2 and MX7, which we currently sell. The MX9 completes Trimble’s mobile mapping portfolio, adding a high-end system that is designed for efficient acquisition of survey-grade dense point cloud data and imagery. The lightweight design and a focus on easy, tablet-based operation lowers the learning curve and contributes to maximize ROI.

Trimble MX9 Top View

GISCafe Voice: Is there a limit to how much point cloud data the MX9 can gather?

The system collects up to 2 million points per second plus various imagery, which is one of the highest data rates in the market. 2 x 2 TByte SSD drives allow recording a lot of data, typically for 7-8 hours of constant data recording. Details are dependent on the project specifications. Customers can use additional sets of disks in order to maximize acquisition capacity.
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Geospatial Corporation Integrates Blockchain Technology with GeoUnderground

 
February 1st, 2018 by Susan Smith

Troy Taggart, president of Geospatial Corporation, spoke with GISCafe Voice about the company’s integration with the popular Blockchain technology, the software behind Bitcoin and other Cryptocurrency, with their cloud-based GIS platform, GeoUnderground. GeoUnderground provides energy companies a secure way to manage contracts, assure provenance and track asset maintenance.

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Share Open Datasets Using theMapCloud

 
January 26th, 2018 by Susan Smith

Recently, Scottish Geographic Information Systems (GIS) company thinkWhere announced the launch of a new cloud-based platform for GIS and geographic data, theMapCloud. theMapCloud allows maps, open data and business records to be accessed anytime, and anywhere, through a web-connected computer or mobile device. Using standard web browsers, users can view, retrieve and share maps, geographic data and other open datasets and, as well as providing a platform for GIS and other web applications, theMapCloud can be used for a host of data services and Software as a Service (SaaS) applications.

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Satellites: Large and Small – Questionnaire for GISCafe Special Coverage!

 
January 22nd, 2018 by Susan Smith

This questionnaire is aimed toward those who do research and development on traditional artificial satellites and “smallsats,” as well as those customers of satellites, and companies providing third party solutions for them. Since companies of larger satellites produce small satellites as well, larger satellites, their features and their pros and cons are included in this questionnaire.

McMurdo Station Iceberg, Antarctica, NASA, taken from a small sat.

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Canon: oce crystalPoint
Teledyne Optech
Teledyne:
Bentley:RealityModeling



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