Kinesis, the global vehicle tracking solution from Telematics at Radius Payment Solutions in Crewe, UK, recently recorded the milestone of over 2 billion vehicle tracked miles. Since launching in the UK three years ago, Kinesis has installed its state of the art tracking hardware in more than 50,000 vehicles across Europe, Southeast Asia and North America.
Posts Tagged ‘navigation’
Mark Smith, CEO of Geospatial Corporation, spoke this week with GISCafe Voice about the challenges of mapping the underground, which includes mapping underwater. The company’s goal is to create an underground “map of the world,” by doing it “one pipeline at a time.” This is a sensible approach to a project that may seem a bit like trying to eat an elephant (start with the toes!). With the help of sensors and Geospatial’s cloud-based GIS platform, GeoUnderground, it looks like the goal is highly attainable.
- What are specific challenges to mapping underground utilities?
The most obvious challenge is that the pipelines and conduits are underground or underwater and that makes the selection of the data acquisition methodology very important. I like to say that the difference between locating and mapping is pretty straight forward. Locators attempt to “clear” an area for a specific reason, such as in preparation for a construction project. At Geospatial Corporation, we approach a project in a very “holistic” manner. We know there is no “silver bullet” that will allow us to accurately map every type of buried infrastructure within a facility, right of way or municipality. We know that we need to use many types of data acquisition technologies to obtain a complete “picture” or “map” of the underground. In addition, getting this vast amount of data properly into a GIS platform from the field, often with numerous techs collecting below and above ground over large areas is in itself a trick. For this we have developed GeoUnderground, our proprietary cloud-based GIS platform built on Google Maps. GeoUnderground provides an economical, SaaS based, powerful yet very simple to use GIS Platform accessible from any phone. Our goal is to have every data acquisition tool seamlessly integrate into GeoUnderground.
- What solutions do you provide to achieve goals?
At Geospatial we consider our data acquisition technologies to be simply “sensors on a platform”. The platform could be designed to run inside of a pipeline or conduit and have various types of gyroscopic or electromagnetic sensors. These technologies are extremely accurate under most conditions and allow us to accurately map in x,y&z pipelines and conduits as small as 1.5 inches in diameter to 20 feet in diameter. These technologies are often used on projects for telecom, (Such as AT&T, Comcast & Verizon). This is also applicable for sewers, gas lines and numerous other types of infrastructure. We have developed a method of combining technologies to geo-reference the video collected inside a pipeline during periodic inspections. This allows the pipeline owner to locate any defects within the pipeline, providing an exact xy&z location of the defect. This also allows the video data to be stored and viewed, edited and shared on GeoUnderground. We are constantly looking for new types of data acquisition and data management technologies to be added to GeoUnderground. To this end, we are creating strategic alliances with numerous sensor companies.
- Are you creating a map of the world’s underground infrastructure and if so, when do you think that will be completed and how will it be maintained?
Yes, our slogan is that we are creating a map of the world’ underground, one pipeline at a time. In reality we are aggregating data of behalf of our clients that is slowly, but surely creating a map of the underground. As more and more of our clients realize the benefits of mapping and knowing the location of their critical assets, the mitigation of risk and the ROI obtainable from sophisticated analysis, they will accelerate the mapping of their underground and above ground assets. More and more infrastructure stakeholders are beginning to plan to map their entire facility.
- How do Blockchain technologies figure in?
It’s a massive undertaking to attempt to map the underground. Just as we are constantly finding new sensor applications, we are also exploring new software applications utilizing Blockchain, machine learning and artificial intelligence.
- How do you renovate or replace utility structures that are underwater?
Geospatial doesn’t repair or replace pipelines, but we do have several ways to map pipelines underwater involving either our gyroscopic technologies and our electromagnetic technologies. We have successfully mapped a telecom conduit under the East River in New York City, also the Harlem River in NYC, The Savanna River in Georgia, the Inner Coastal Waterway in Charleston, along with many other rivers and lakes across the USA.
- What do you think will be the result of mapping the outdated infrastructure, and how might it be maintained or retrofit using your data?
A few years back, no one would have guessed that all of the above ground infrastructure would have been digitally mapped, from the air, from un-manned drones or from the streets. The underground infrastructure is the last unmapped frontier. We can only begin to speculate the many uses and benefits derived from having an accurate 3D map of the underground. Smart City initiatives, increasing Federal and state requirements for gas & oil pipelines, an abundance of new sensors creating the Internet of Things and the ability to run risk analysis on critical pipelines all require management to know the exact position and depth of our critical infrastructure.
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.
This questionnaire is aimed at those who do research and development on “smallsats,” as well as those customers of small sats, and companies providing third party solutions for them.
Happy New Year!
As mentioned in our year-end wrap-up, a great number of events that shaped technology in 2017 were natural disasters. Scientists and experts predict that we will see more of these natural events and will continue R&D efforts to prepare for them.
Smart city technology will become more important as geospatial professionals seek to find better ways to predict, analyze and prepare communities for the onslaught of weather events. Actual Smart Cities are being built in some parts of the world. And to make those smart cities and countries, in some cases, viable, we will grow greater confidence in artificial intelligence, vehicle technology, Cloud, Internet of Things (IoT), drones, high resolution satellites and small satellites, augmented, virtual and mixed realities and data and sensors.
These technologies have become or will become a part of the fabric of geospatial interaction as the demand for them increases.
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 GISCafe 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 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.
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.
Tags: ArcGIS, climate change, cloud, crowdsourcing, data, ESRI, geospatial, GIS, GIS Day, Google, imagery, Infrastructure, intelligence, LiDAR, location, mapping, maps, National Geospatial Intelligence Agency, navigation, social media
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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.
Xavier Garcia, vice president and general manager, global head Workstations, HP Inc. and Josh Peterson, vice president product management, Workstations, HP Inc. recently presented a webinar on the new HP Desktop Z workstation family.
HP’s focus is on looking into the future trends and workflows for customers. Approach as far as design is performance, reliability and intentional design.
Staying true to its goal, HP has totally redesigned its desktop workstation line, with performance, reliability and what they call intentional design. “We are dedicated to getting the workflows of the future to deliver simulations as soon as possible,” says Garcia. The versatility of the products allow the customer to customize to their workflow needs.
Today’s family of workstations require features such as simulations, rendering, visual effects and video editing.
Simulations Engineers import data, prepare models, set parameters, and use core counts to process complex algorithms to improve product safety, quality and time-to-market.
Rendering After design and engineering is perfected, high resolution 3D models undergo processor and graphics-intensive rendering in applications from professional providers like Autodesk.
VFX artists use powerful applications like Autodesk Flame to create effects for audiences worldwide and that takes a serious power budget found only in workstations.
Video editing As video editing moves from 4K to 6k to 8k, each increment in pixel rate actually squares, creating massive data sets that require powerful graphics and large amounts of memory to playback in real time.
Peter Bonne, OrbitGT Geospatial Technologies, CEO, spoke with GISCafe CEO Sanjay Gangal at SPAR3D, about Orbit GT’s new SaaS platform www.3dmapping.cloud Bonne shared more about the product line with GISCafe Voice after the conference.
“Sharing your data with anyone in the world just by a single click, that’s what we’ve been promising and what we are delivering,” says Bonne. “Owners of a 3D mapping dataset, such as Mobile Mapping coverage, can now share with a single person or with many users within an organization in one quick action. This simple concept will open up vast business opportunities for every data owner.”
Still a major challenge for people in many firms is sharing access to complex datasets such as Mobile Mapping data containing multiple imagery and LiDAR point clouds amongst co-workers. This capability has been available from day one in www.3dmapping.cloud. Now you can make the same data accessible for anyone outside your organization as well as those within it. Whatever users could do on the desktop they can now do on the cloud. Transportation, telecommunications, and some government agencies are eager to use this technology, so that they can utilize it within many departments within one organization.