Carl Pulfrich Award 2011 goes to Dr. Heiko Hirschmüller for Semi-Global Matching Algorithms

(Heerbrugg/Switzerland, Stuttgart, 5 September 2011) - Hexagon Geosystems Geospatial Solutions Division (GSD) is very pleased to announce, that the Carl Pulfrich Award 2011 has been awarded to Dr. Heiko Hirschmüller. His invention of the Semi-Global Matching algorithms has sustainably influenced modern airborne photography, Computer Vision and close-range photogrammetry. The  Carl Pulfrich  Award  is  a  prestigious  award  for  recognizing  cutting-edge  innovations and developments in geodesy, photogrammetry and the earth sciences.

The academic Earth imaging community was encouraged to submit nominations for the biennial award. Nominees were considered on the basis of experience, activities in field of photogrammetry and remote sensing, and contributions to the advancement of all aspects of the earth imaging field. Applied work involving hardware systems, software solutions, or innovative service activities were considered as well.

The ten internationally renowned members of the award committee 2011 had to select the winner of the Carl Pulfrich Award 2011 from 9 incoming nominations. Dr. Heiko Hirschmueller is Computer Scientist and since 2003 Stereo Vision Scientist at the Institute of Robotics and Mechatronics of the German Aerospace Center (DLR), Oberpfaffenhofen, close to Munich. His invention is applied nowadays in all fields of image-based data collection systems (airborne photography, Computer Vision, close-range photogrammetry and industrial inspections). After the announcement of the committee decision Dr. Hirschmüller replied: “Thanks for this prestigious award, this is motivating me strongly further!” The Chairman of the Carl Pulfrich Award Committee 2011, Prof. Dr. Dieter Fritsch, complements: ”The application of Semi-Global Matching (SGM) for the generation of very dense surface models has a positive and sustainable impact on using photogrammetry, Computer Vision today and in future – it is a game changer in the point cloud generation business for the benefits of using photos”.

The eulogy will be given by Prof. Dr. Dieter Fritsch, internationally renowned scientist in the fields of photogrammetry, remote sensing and geoinformatics, Director of the Institute for Photogrammetry, University of Stuttgart and Organizer of The Photogrammetric Week Series; the award as a certificate and a transfer of US$ 7.500,- is given to the laureate by Jack Ickes, Senior Manager of Hexagon Geosystems Geospatial Solutions.
The Carl Pulfrich Award Ceremony 2011 will take place during the Opening Session of the 53th Photogrammetric Week on Monday, Sept. 5th, 2011, University of Stuttgart.

For more detailed information on the 2011 Carl Pulfrich Award visit
Detailed information and the programme of the 53th Photgrammetric Week 2001 at: .

About the Carl  Pulfrich  Award
The  Carl  Pulfrich  Award  is  a  prestigous  award  for  recognizing  cutting-edge  innovations,  hard-  and  software developments and integrated systems design in geodesy, photogrammetry and the Earth sciences. Launched in 1968 it is announced biennially and attracts nowadays nominations and recommendations for candidates from all over the world. Originally launched by Carl Zeiss, Oberkochen, then re-launched by Z/I Imaging and Intergraph it has been adopted by Hexagon  Geosystems  in  2011.  The  donation  of  this  award  to  recognize  and  motivate  scientists  for  more  than  four decades is gratefully acknowledged. 

About Hexagon Geosystems’ Geospatial Solutions Division
Following the acquisition of Intergraph by Hexagon in 2010, Hexagon Geosystems’ newly formed Geospatial Solutions Division has brought together Leica Geosystems Airborne Sensors and Z/I Imaging. Committed to continued innovation on all major product lines, the combined airborne sensor portfolio includes the widest range of medium and large format imaging as well as LiDAR technologies and offers a choice of sensor for every application. A full suite of software from flight planning to post-processing provides end-to-end workflow for high accuracy orthophoto generation, feature extraction and map production. In addition, Hexagon Geosystems operates a global network of customer service and support centers to ensure highest productivity around the clock.


Alessandra Doëll
Director of Communications
Hexagon Geosystems
CH - 9435 Heerbrugg
Phone: +41 71 727 3451
E-Mail: Email Contact

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