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Posts Tagged ‘LiDAR’

Intergraph Geospatial 2014 launch

Wednesday, January 8th, 2014

Mladen Stojic, president, Hexagon Geospatial spoke about this week’s launch of Intergraph Geospatial 2014, a comprehensive portfolio of industry-leading technologies.


USGS commemorates its involvement with GIS on GIS Day

Friday, November 15th, 2013

On November 20th, GIS Day, the USGS will commemorate their commitment to GIS. In spite of all the new technologies for mapping currently, the USGS would like to remind people that for the past 130 years, it has been the primary producer of topographic data for the U.S. and is producing its own new and emerging geospatial technologies and products.

Geologic map of the Holy Cross quadrangle, Colorado

Geologic map of the Holy Cross quadrangle, Colorado.


Merrick’s Quality Control module automates compliance for LiDAR point cloud datasets

Tuesday, March 5th, 2013

Bill Emison, senior account manager for Geospatial Solutions at Merrick & Company, talked about their new QC module in Version 7.1 MARS (Advanced Remote Sensing Software).

Airborne LiDAR – urban area

Merrick Advanced Remote Sensing (MARS software suite is a comprehensive, production-grade Windows application designed to visualize, manage, process and analyze LiDAR point cloud data.

The Quality Control module is designed to provide an automated tool for verifying compliance of a LiDAR point cloud dataset to the LiDAR Base Specification Version 1.0 from the USGS (U.S. Geological Survey). The application sits on top of MARS as an extension.

“As a data vendor there have been many contracts where we’ve had to comply to those specs, and in an effort to do that effectively, we started to build tools two-three years ago,” said Emison. “We competely automated the entire specs. Our goal is to deliver data one time and not have to do rework, it was important to identify issues before the dataset went out the door.”


Overwatch releases the 3D viewer, LIDAR Analyst 5.1

Thursday, February 14th, 2013

Skip Maselli, Overwatch vice president of Geospatial Solutions, spoke on their new product LIDAR Analyst 5.1 3D Viewer, for managing LIDAR data with mission-critical high-resolution 3D exploitation.

LIDAR 3D Viewer image showing extracted Seattle downtown with threat dome.


Flood modeling data with Intermap Digital Elevation Models and Hydrology

Tuesday, July 3rd, 2012

In a webcast presented by Carahsoft, Intermap representatives talked about the fact that they have “the world’s largest 3D terrain database with the one meter LE 90 accuracy and consistency.” LE 90 is a linear air of 90 percent, and is commonly used for quoting and validating DEMs. LE 90 value represents the linear vertical distance of  90 percent of control points, and the respective twin matching counterparts acquired in an independent geodetic survey should be found from each other. For the U.S., which most on this call is interested in, Intermap has mapped the entire lower 48 plus some of Alaska.


Esri demonstration of using Lidar for situational awareness

Wednesday, April 18th, 2012

At the Esri Federal User Conference 2012, Brett Rose demonstrates how to use lidar and terrain data for surveillance and situational awareness.


ArcGIS Online previewed at 2012 Esri Federal GIS Conference

Friday, March 2nd, 2012

Jeff Peters, Director Federal Programs for Esri spoke with GISCafe’s Sanjay Gangal at the recent Esri Federal GIS Conference in Washington, D. C.


2012 Predictions: Safe Software on remote sensing, 3D GIS and more

Tuesday, January 31st, 2012


Remote Sensing

The amount of data that is being collected by sensors (remote sensors), terrestrial sensors, and personal sensors is going to explode.   Today, everyone with a smartphone is carrying around a very sophisticated sensor.   We are going to see the data from these sensors being used more and more. With all the sensors that are coming on line, we are quickly approaching the point where we can see what is happening anywhere at anytime.


The level of interest in 3D GIS is definitely on the upswing.   With new data sources like LiDAR and the ability of tools to combine these different sources to make immersive environments – it’s going to take a big leap forward.    Augmented Reality is just one technology that is on the cusp of breaking out.   2012 could be the year when it moves from a curiosity to a real must-have application. 2012 could also see a large adoption of 3D GIS technologies, as Autodesk continues work with its Infrastructure Modeler and Esri rolls out the fruit from its acquisition of Procedural and its CityEngine technology.

Web Mapping

We are really seeing a lot of excitement on the mobile platform.   In today’s world, a mobile workforce is still a connected workforce.  No longer is it the case that field workers are disconnected from their office systems.  As a result we are increasingly seeing the need for real-time data movement.  With workers always being connected, the line will continue to blur between the office, the field, and the home.  Smartphones are really “pocket” computers with more processing power than that of desktops only a few years ago.    The challenge now is more about bandwidth than anything else, and this is only going to get better and cheaper in 2012.  In 2012 more people are going to run “mobile” web apps from their smartphones/iPods/iPads than from their computers on the desktop.

Social Media and Authoritative Citizen Data

The importance of social media to business is only increasing.   Now people use social media platforms such as LinkedIn, Twitter, and Facebook to follow topics and keep in touch with their customers and industry trends.   Social media has really changed the way that organizations get the word out.  At Safe now we see ourselves spending more and more time on “content” marketing so that we have the content that users need.   Through social media we are also in constant communication with more of our users than ever before.

On the topic of authoritative citizen data we are going to see more applications where citizens can help their cities and countries run better.  Whether it is helping cities identify potholes, or graffiti locations by simply sending in geo-tagged photos, or helping authorities prosecute “rioters” by taking video and pictures with their phones – the trend is clear.  Citizens are going to be more engaged than ever before.


The cloud is everywhere in 2012. At Safe for example, we do almost everything in the cloud.  We run our demo machines in the cloud. We train in the cloud. Our website is in the cloud. Our customers can evaluate using the cloud.  From a technology perspective cloud technology is ready to host everything.


We are also going to continue to see more and increasingly powerful cloud-based systems out there.  Take Google Fusion Tables for example.   This technology makes it trivial for anyone to publish and share any kind of data, including spatial data, and share it with the world instantly!   It’s amazing, and the cloud makes it possible.

The cloud is also a great equalizer.  It used to be that organizations that wanted to create world class web-based solutions had to spend huge amounts of capital to purchase their own server farms to host these applications.  With cloud services now, such as Amazon’s AWS, anyone can now create web-based solutions and simply leverage the scalability it inherently provides and only pay for what they use when they use it.    This moves CPU usage for these organizations from the “highway” model; (build and pay for infrastructure to handle peak loads), to the electricity model in which you only pay for what you use.  The cloud and its impact are still in early days.


The integration challenge is bigger than ever.  For us at Safe we are seeing demands for data to be moved between more different kinds of systems than ever before.  For the first decade of Safe it was all about CAD<->GIS.  Now we have Raster, LiDAR, XML, Big Data, and Web-based data sources such as Google Fusion Tables.   Users don’t want to just move it either way; they want to combine it and then send it to new applications.   Over this period the “data freshness” dates are getting shorter and shorter.   In 2012 we believe we are going to see organizations want to leverage “real-time” data.  We also are seeing an explosion of sensors and expect organizations to need to integrate this entirely new type of data into their workflows so that they can react quicker and more effectively to events.    This belief was a driving force behind the “Event Driven” architecture which we have added to FME Server.  With this we are ready to handle a whole new class of data integration challenge.

Safe Software responses by:

Don Murray,

President and Co-founder of Safe Software

Speed, notification, more file formats in the new FME 2012

Friday, January 27th, 2012


Vice President of Software Development and Co-founder of Safe Software, Dale Lutz, spoke about the latest release of FME, FME 2012, which has just been released. Safe’s releases of FME are annual, and are designed to always be faster than the previous release and incorporate more file formats than they did before.

What is the most significant feature of the 2012 release, Dale?

The point cloud or lidar support changes that we made in the last year are very significant. W e came out of the gate last year with our lidar support point cloud and I was impressed how well received that was. What we realized was that the volumes of data were even in an order of magnitude greater than what we thought a year ago. We spent the last year really addressing and optimizing for data volume and we’re very please with how the FME 2012 point handling support can gobble up billions of point clouds and put them into Oracle and chop them into little pieces in very timely ways. Don [Murray] has said that every release of FME has to be faster than the previous one and we did meet that with more than ten percent overall across 5,000 tests, we are more than 10% faster. Even if existing users don’t do anything else they just put on the new release they’re going to be getting their jobs done faster than before. In terms of our overall offering, as you know we have FME Server, and there we’re doing a thing we call notification server which has to do with the notification idea –  that not only can we centralize data moving on a server, we can now react and cause it to move when an event happens outside. Kinds of events can be, for example – a file arrives in a folder and that’s a stimulus that can cause a response by our server to upload that file into a database or into a Quality Assurance check on that thing. These are event driven actions, as opposed to the user having to poke the server and saying please do this.

One example is a file arriving causing an event – an email arrives and it causes something to happen. A web sensor of some kind posts results – we’ve been doing some demos and playing with web sensors and that data can come in and our server can do something. Now there is a field called complex event processing or CEP and what we really think we’ve got here is spatial complex event processing where an event happens and a transformation process starts.  Not only can it move data around but can also take advantage of where that event happened.

So that’s the notification addition into our FME Server product family.

How many of these new features did customers request?

Parts of the new features were requested by people but we generalized their requests into something greater. We know that many of the use cases I mentioned to you are futuristic — they’re ready for the internet of things or the sensor web that people talk about. Practically what people ask for is the first one I mentioned, if the file arrives the folder does something because that’s closer to our traditional space. When I talk about sensor web that flirts with the user space that we’re confident that we’re able to address but we might be ahead of our user base there.

You mentioned more file formats in the new FME 2012.

The world is always creating more formats – I believe the number is 285 now with FME 2012. Existing formats don’t stay still either, they’re always changing and growing. CityGML had a new version this year, GML is looking at another version, there’s always more happening. The development team has to juggle all this and it’s not getting easier each year.

The other half of this is the world of the cloud. Although it’s not a file format, it’s a new place where data can reside. And so in FME another key feature is the fact that we can read and write Google Fusion tables and so there you have a new “format” but it’s not a file, it’s a mystical call out to the cloud.  You use FME to put data up there and then you permit it, then instantly the whole universe can share in it. It’s a way of publishing data that can be used by anybody instantly so it’s quite interesting what this opens up for collaboration.

How do you address private clouds, which we hear a lot about these days?

Private clouds are not on the data format side, but rather on the deployment side. People ask can we install your software and get our own private cloud can we install it on an Amazon system? We do have an answer on all those cases. We have many customers already doing cloud based deployment using our software in the cloud, running in the cloud in a variety of ways.

That’s an area that continues to explode. We have moved to using cloud hosted FME for all our training. If you take an FME training class, no matter where you take it, whether it’s online or in person, you’ll be using an FME installation in the cloud. The reason is it’s way easier for us to administer it. But even if you come to our office to do training in our Training Center you’ll be connected to FME in the cloud even though it’s in our own office.

We’re doing a soft launch of what we call the FME Store, which is a way for certain parties who belong to the FME ecosystem  that build plug ins or extensions for FME to be able to make the rest of the FME community aware of what they’ve created.




Safe Software demoes FME 2012

Wednesday, December 14th, 2011

GISCafe’s Sanjay Gangal conducted an interview with Dale Lutz, co-founder of Safe Software, at Autodesk University 2011 in Las Vegas, Nevada recently.

Sanjay: Tell us about Safe Software.

Dale: We have been in existence since 1993. We make a product called FME that moves data from where it is to where we want it to be. It now supports  around 275 different formats.


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