UAS Warning Signs – Development and Evaluation

Image of Temporary UAS Warning Signs

Temporary UAS Warning Signs

Unmanned aerial systems (UASs) are an emerging technology being used in many fields, including surveying engineering. When UASs are used for these activities, they may operate in close proximity to active traffic. UASs could be distracting to drivers and increase safety concerns in these situations. Currently, there are no UAS warning signs, or temporary traffic control (TTC) signs approved by the Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices (MUTCD) to specifically inform drivers of roadside UASs.

For this study, new UAS TTC signs were designed and a questionnaire was developed to explore perspectives on UAS specific TTC. Participants drove in a high-fidelity driving simulator, which measured speed reduction, as participants drove past various configurations of TTC elements in advance of a roadside UAS operation. Continue reading

Posted in airborne LiDAR, Civil Engineering, Construction, Drones, Government, Infrastructure, Research, Safety, Standards, UAS, UAVs | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Wounded Eagle UAS Completes Mission for the VA

Logo for Wounded Eagle UAS

Wounded Eagle UAS

Wounded Eagle UAS (WE) unmanned aerial surveillance, with the help of their student UAS operators, completed aerial mapping of VA Greater Los Angeles Healthcare System’s (VAGLAHS) 388-acre VA West Los Angeles Medical Center (WLA) campus. Using a UAS and drone mapping software, WE captured thousands of images of WLA and stitched them together to make a three zone orthomosaic map. WE also created 3D renderings of several historical buildings including the Wadsworth Chapel and Brentwood Theater.

Thanks to Brian Soliday for the heads up.

In co-operation with VAGLAHS Emergency Management Office, WE documented existing facilities and created high-resolution imagery of the entire campus for historical purposes. The image collections were divided into 3 zones with the option to merge all 3 collections together to make 1 large orthomosaic photogrammetric map of the campus. The resolution is .5 cm per pixel, which enables users to zoom in and view fine details of the buildings including individual rooftop tiles. Continue reading

Posted in 3D Modeling, Autonomous vehicles, cultural heritage, Data, Drones, Education, Government, Historic Preservation, Lidar, Mapping, medical, Orgs, Photogrammetry, topography, UAS, UAVs, Young Geospatial Professional | Tagged , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Crowdsourced Database of Street-Level Imagery

Picture of Mapillary crowdsourced database Acquired by Facebook

Mapillary Crowdsourced Database Acquired by Facebook

Mapillary, the Swedish startup that wants to take on Google and others in mapping the world via a crowdsourced database of street-level imagery, has been acquired by Facebook, according to the company’s blog. Terms of the deal aren’t being disclosed.

From an article in Tech Crunch by Steve O’Hear.

The Mapillary team and project will become part of Facebook’s broader open mapping efforts. Mapillary also says its “commitment to OpenStreetMap stays.”

Writes Mapillary co-founder and CEO Jan Erik Solem (who also previously founded Polar Rose, a face recognition solution for mobile and web that Apple bought in 2010): Continue reading

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Google Arts and Culture Program Preserves the Past

Photo of Google Arts and Culture Head of Preservation Chance Coughenour

Google Arts and Culture Head of Preservation Chance Coughenour

The Google Arts and Culture program is providing all of us with an incredible opportunity to experience places we might never see.

From an article in i News by Rhiannon Williams.

Technology, as an industry dedicated to the relentless reinvention of the present, and archaeology’s dedication to studying the past may seem unlikely bedfellows to the casual observer. But new innovations are changing both the way we uncover our past and the ways we build our future.

Digital archaeologist Chance Coughenour is head of preservation at Google Arts & Culture, the technology giant’s online archive of artworks and collections from galleries and museums across the world – allowing visitors to climb the Eiffel Tower, explore the British Library or examine Van Gogh’s Starry Night in detail via their smartphone. He studied Computing Engineering at West Virginia University before majoring in History, attending his first field school in Belize where he “fall in love with archaeology” thanks to its ancient Maya ruins.

Continue reading

Posted in 3D Modeling, 3D Printing, archaeology, art, Consumer, cultural heritage, Historic Preservation, Indoor Mapping, Laser Scanning, Lidar, Photogrammetry, Software, Visualization | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

Positional Accuracy Assessment for NAIP/3DEP Pilot

image of plane Positional Accuracy Assessment Research

Positional Accuracy Assessment Research

The Leica Geosystems CountryMapper hybrid system has the potential to collect data that satisfy the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) National Geospatial Program (NGP) and 3D Elevation Program (3DEP) and the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) National Agriculture Imagery Program (NAIP) requirements in a single collection. This research will help 3DEP determine if this sensor has the potential to meet current and future 3DEP topographic lidar positional accuracy collection requirements.

We performed an accuracy analysis and assessment on the lidar point cloud produced from CountryMapper. The boresighting calibration and co-registration by georeferencing correction based on ground control points are assumed to be performed by the data provider. Continue reading

Posted in 3D Modeling, Agriculture, airborne LiDAR, Data, Government, Lidar, Mapping, Photogrammetry, point clouds, remote sensing, Research, Sensors, The Industry, topography, Young Geospatial Professional | Tagged , , , , , | 2 Comments

Museum of the Future Relies on Laser Scanning

Photo of Museum of the Future

Museum of the Future

In Dubai, where tower blocks seem to pop up almost overnight, residents have grown adept at averting their eyes from building sites. But one construction project has caught everyone’s attention: the Museum of the Future, which has loomed up over the city’s elevated, driverless metro system on the edge of the financial district.

This building could not have been built without 3D BIM and laser scanning. Incredible.

From an article in the BBC Future by Elizabeth Bains

The museum’s framework, comprising 2,400 diagonally intersecting steel members, was completed in November 2018; the facade panels now are being lifted into place. The museum is due to open in a year – a momentous time for Dubai as it will be hosting the World Expo from 20 October 2020. Continue reading

Posted in 3D Modeling, BIM, Business Development, Civil Engineering, Construction, Data, Laser Scanning, Surveying Engineering, Visualization | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Photogrammetry and Mobile Lidar – A Hybrid Approach

point cloud Photogrammetry and Mobile LidarCombining multiple types of geospatial data collection, such as aerial photogrammetry and mobile lidar, requires a detailed knowledge of sensors, error models, navigation, ground control and data processing. This would be a challenge for any geomatics firm, but the rewards can be a rich data set that can have multiple uses and provide a high return on investment.

As the video below demonstrates Continental Mapping, based in Sun Prairie, WI has developed a set of best practices for combining aerial photogrammetric data with mobile lidar. This hybrid approach addresses and overcomes a number of weaknesses that are inherent with each method. Continue reading

Posted in 3D Modeling, airborne LiDAR, Data, geodetic, Geomatics, GIS, GNSS, GPS, Infrastructure, Laser Scanning, Lidar, Mapping, Mobile LiDAR, Photogrammetry, Sensors, Software, Surveying, Surveying Engineering, topography, UAS, UAVs | Tagged , | Leave a comment

AV Test Initiative Will Encourage Failure Reporting

point cloud AV Test Initiative Encourages Failure Reporting

AV Test Initiative Encourages Failure Reporting

Federal safety regulators on Monday launched an effort to get companies working on autonomous vehicle – AV technology to share more data about the limits of their systems.

From an article in Forbes by Greg Gardner.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration is creating an online source so consumers can see then things go wrong when self-driving cars are tested. The agency is calling it the Automated Vehicle Transparency and Engagement for Safe Testing, or the AV Test Initiative.

While a variety of companies from auto manufacturers to Alphabet’s Waymo unit to ride-hailing services continue developing semi-autonomous technology, widespread commercial deployment lies somewhere in the future. Continue reading

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3DEP Developing a Partnership – Lessons Learned

graphic of Developing a 3DEP Partnerhsip

Developing a 3DEP Partnerhsip

To encourage geospatial data collection and foster information sharing, the United States Geological Survey (USGS) launched the 3D Elevation Program (3DEP) three years ago. 3DEP is a valuable tool, but many state and local agencies may be unaware of the program, unsure of how to build partnerships to meet their needs, or fully understand the process.

The 3DEP initiative is designed to identify elevation data gaps, foster partnerships among groups that have common geospatial needs and project scopes, help minimize costs and improve the impact of a project. It addresses the growing needs for high- quality topographic data and a wide range of other 3-D representations of the country’s natural and constructed features, leveraging high-quality light detection and ranging (LiDAR) data.

This article provides a recap from a real world experience of a Nature Conservancy spatial analyst, Jim DePasquale who put together a successful team that leveraged 3DEP to acquire lidar data for Alaska’s Prince of Wales island. Here are some of the lessons learned: Continue reading

Posted in 3D Modeling, Admin, airborne LiDAR, Data, Environmental, Forestry, Government, Lidar, Mapping, remote sensing, Standards, Young Geospatial Professional | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Toyota Smart Vehicle Strategy Could Be the Winner

Image of Automotive Lidar Toyota Smart Vehicle Tech May be the WInner

Toyota Smart Vehicle Tech May be the Winner

The automobile world is in quiet retreat on the topic of fully autonomous vehicles (AVs). As an excellent article by Steve LeVine in Marker described, vehicle autonomy is closely linked with ride-sharing, and in the pandemic era we’re going through, nobody wants to share cars much anymore. Toyota smart vehicle technology, on the other hand has been quietly positioned as driver assist and support rather than autonomous.

From an article in Forbes by Tom Davenport.

The ever-optimistic Elon Musk, who claimed that a fleet of robotaxi Teslas would be on the road by 2020, still says the technology is ready (though none of us has seen it), but he at least admits that regulatory approval might be a problem. Ford postponed and GM discontinued (Maven—its AV subsidiary Cruise continues, albeit with cutbacks) their shared vehicle robotaxis, and Uber says it’s dismantling its AI Lab. Starsky Robotics, an autonomous truck firm, went out of business. As my favorite car magazine Car & Driver put it in the title of a recent article, “Self-Driving Cars Are Taking Longer to Build Than Everyone Thought.” Continue reading

Posted in AI, artifical perception, artificial intelligence, Autonomous vehicles, Business Development, Consumer, Data, Deep Learning, driverless vehicles, Government, Laser Scanning, Lidar, Mapping, Research, Safety | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment