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’ newsletters and blogs. She writes on a number of topics, including but not limited to geospatial, architecture, engineering and construction. As many technologies evolve and occasionally merge, Susan finds herself uniquely situated to be able to cover diverse topics with facility. « Less
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 »
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.
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.
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.
GISCafe Voice: Are there comparable products on the market?
All major players in mobile mapping have comparable products. We’ve designed the system to be at the highest data density and accuracy while still being compact and lightweight.
GISCafe Voice: Can you explain how the MX9 captures both dense point cloud data and 360-degree immersive georeferenced imagery at the same time?
All sensors are time synchronized with precise GPS time tags and are linked to the trajectory that is recorded with the GNSS/IMU subsystem. That way, all recorded points and images can be properly aligned in a post-processing step.
GISCafe Voice: What are the Trimble products used to process data and generate deliverables?
Trimble offers various software solutions for data pre- and post-processing of mobile mapping data: POSPac MMS for trajectory corrections, Trimble Business Center for data processing and engineering-type applications, and Trimble MX for asset management, mapping applications and publishing.
GISCafe Voice: In what specific instances would you say mobile mapping solutions are preferable over other solutions?
Mobile mapping solutions allow efficient data acquisition over large areas from 10s to 100s of kilometers at highway speeds. Environments where safety might be an issue (i.e. unclosed roads), survey-grade data can be acquired without endangering ground crews.
GISCafe Voice: Do customers need to purchase other Trimble products in order to use the MX9 and if so, which ones?
To operate the Trimble MX9, customers need a recommended vehicle to operate the system. For post-processing, GNSS correction values are needed, which can be acquired by a base station like the Trimble R10. In order to achieve 1-2 cm accuracy, customers typically use ground control points that are surveyed with a total station, such as the Trimble S7 robotic total station or the new C5 mechanical total station.
Complete integration with Trimble office software allows users to seamlessly process the acquired data and generate deliverables for a wide variety of applications. Tools are available for survey and engineering applications as well as deriving and publishing GIS and asset management deliverables. Users can also easily export their data for use with third-party software.
GISCafe Voice: When you say the MX9 data and imagery can be used by other applications, is there special processing for each application done at the time deliverables are being generated?
Typically, customers export data in standard formats like the ASPRS las-format for point clouds that can be imported into the relevant product.
The Trimble MX9 is designed for applications including transportation infrastructure planning, as-built surveying, GIS mapping and asset management. Survey and engineering professionals can analyze road cross-sections, perform clearance inspections, conduct topographic mapping, and also use the data for machine control. Mapping professionals can utilize the same data for city mapping and planning, inventory mapping and 3D modeling of buildings and linework.
The Trimble MX9 is available for virtual or live demonstrations, depending on customer location, beginning in April 2018. The MX9 system includes a roof rack. Optional accessories such as a GNSS Azimuth Measurement System (GAMS) or a Distance Measurement Instrument (DMI) are available. To learn more, visit: www.trimble.com/MX9.