GISCafe Weekly Review December 14th, 2017

GISCafe Essential Gift Guide 2017
December 14, 2017  by Susan Smith

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

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.

Communications tower inspections typically require the site to be shut down and the tower climbed by an expert rigging team. If the tower is non-climbable, an elevated work platform must be used to allow close-up inspection of the antennas and equipment. Capturing imagery and other information with drones enables significant cost savings, eliminates health and safety risks of tower climbs, and reduces the time required to assess tower conditions. The 2017 Be Inspired Awards submissions included several compelling examples of the use of reality modeling for tower inspections.

SEIKEY S.r.l. is using an innovative method for inspecting the operating parameters of 11,800 radio base stations (RBS) in Italy for risk prevention, compliance, and the maintenance and development of the 3, 4, 4.5, and 5G networks. Inspections are carried out through high definition photography, LiDAR sensors, thermographic cameras, and spectrum analyzers. During the inspection phase, it is possible to view the data that the drone is acquiring in real-time through ProjectWise. Using ContextCapture, MicroStation, and Bentley Map, data is collected, processed, and managed in ProjectWise where, through Bentley Navigator, 3D visualization provides a comprehensive and realistic view of situations requiring intervention. The management of flight schedules, the collection and preparation of the necessary permits, and the management of collected and processed data posed significant challenges. ProjectWise proved to be essential for this operational management. The inspection method led to a reduction in the risk to human life and a reduction in inspection times, where previously it took five days to perform an RBS inspection, it can now be done in six hours.

Teledyne Optech
University of Denver GIS Masters Degree Online


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