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   PSM  |  Red Pages  |  Aerial Mapping  | Field Notes  |  Connect                                     May 7, 2013—No. 88

SPAR International 2013: An exciting year of industry insight

By Tate Jones
Once again, the annual Spar International Conference, which was held at the Broadmoor in Colorado Springs this year, lived up to all my expectations. Each year, I take a different person from my company, and each year, we both learn tons of new information. I say this every year, but if you are in the laser scanning, lidar or photogrammetric mapping industry—or plan on entering this field—this conference is a must.

Opening Session
This is always one of the conference highlights, and this year was no different. Michael Jones, chief technology advocate with Google, did an excellent job of broadening the outlook of how to collect data by alternative means, now called “crowdsourcing.” He related how Google could take photographs posted on Flickr and generate point clouds of cities and places and even topography.

Google has been able to download information from ship location satellites and not only graphically display most of the ships in the ocean, but also paint the shipping lanes to show which are the most used in the world. Fascinating.  

He related how Descartes mapped the Mediterranean Ocean in the 16th century using course and direction information from all the ships in the ocean. Each captain was required to turn in data and notes when he hit land. From this data, Descartes was able to create an accurate map of the Mediterranean.  

Jones’ point was that, like all data collected with cell phones today, this data was basically free and there was a great need and use for it—just like the maps of the shipping lanes or the data for 3D models of cities collected from free photographs. This very same crowdsourcing technique was used the same week as the conference to catch the Boston Marathon bombers.

Greg Bentley with Bentley Systems talked about some of new products they are building into their forward-looking program Descartes. One of the most intriguing features is its process of streaming point cloud data into a design file. In a transportation application, if a designer were redesigning a section of road or bridge, for example, he or she could hit a command button, and the point cloud would stream into that section of the design open at the time. This way, the designer would not have to work through the entire point cloud continuously. This new tool also provides access to the point cloud data throughout the entire process, which will prove to be invaluable on future projects. Continues online.


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NEWS

AEROmetrex Collects 1,000,000th UltraCam Frame
Microsoft customer, AEROmetrex, has achieved the impressive milestone of collecting 1,000,000 frames of UltraCam aerial imagery. As an early adopter of digital mapping technology, AEROmetrex has owned and operated UltraCam digital systems for eight years. Read more online.
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ClearEdge3D Announces Free Beta Program for EdgeWise Building 3.0
ClearEdge3D today announced the launch of a free open beta program for its newest software EdgeWise Building 3.0, which can create Revit building models using a combination of Automated Feature Extraction, Object Recognition and innovative finishing tools. The open beta program, which will begin this summer, will allow users to test EdgeWise Building on live projects at no cost. Check out the spec sheet (opens to PDF).
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Maptek Donates Laser Scanner to University of California Berkeley
Technology provider Maptek has donated an I-Site laser scanning instrument to the University of California Berkeley. After years of renting I-Site scanners, the university can now use the technology for graduate and undergraduate research. Educational licenses of Maptek I-Site Studio, intuitive 3D point cloud processing and modelling software, have also been provided.
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Upcoming Events

Hexagon 2013
6/3 - 6/6
Las Vegas, NV


Canadian National Surveyor's Conference
6/18 - 6/21
Niagara Falls, Ontario, Canada


RIEGL International Airborne and Mobile User Conference
6/25 - 6/27
Vienna, Austria


Esri Survey Summit
7/6 - 7/9
San Diego, CA


2013 Esri International User Conference
7/8 - 7/12
San Diego, CA


MAPPS Summer Conference
7/22 - 7/26
Rockport, ME


LiDAR Technologies 2013
8/22 - 8/23
Cairns, Australia


View more events at
PSM's online calendar.


HELP WANTED

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