Magazine for Sur veying, Mapping & GIS Professionals
December 2010 Volume 13
G Indoor Positioning G Cornwall’s Mining World Heritage Site G Bentley BE INSPIRED 2010 G Airborne Digital Frame Cameras
GeoInformatics is the leading publication for Geospatial Professionals worldwide. Published in both hardcopy and digital, GeoInformatics provides coverage, analysis and commentary with respect to the international surveying, mapping and GIS industry. GeoInformatics is published 8 times a year. Editor-in-chief Eric van Rees firstname.lastname@example.org Copy Editor Frank Artés email@example.com Editors Florian Fischer firstname.lastname@example.org Huibert-Jan Lekkerkerk email@example.com Remco Takken firstname.lastname@example.org Joc Triglav email@example.com Contributing Writers: Joc Triglav, Huibert-Jan Lekkerkerk, Somnath Ghosal, Nan Lin, Iain Cross, Ruud Groothuis, Lawrie Jordan, Adam Spring, Caradoc Peters, Justin Barton, Gordon Petrie, Remco Takken, Wayne Smith Financial Director Yvonne Groenhof firstname.lastname@example.org Advertising Ruud Groothuis email@example.com Subscriptions GeoInformatics is available against a yearly subscription rate (8 issues) of € 89,00. To subscribe, fill in and return the electronic reply card on our website www.geoinformatics.com or contact the subscription department at firstname.lastname@example.org Webstite www.geoinformatics.com Graphic Design Sander van der Kolk email@example.com
On Technology and Market Adaption
The end of the year is always a good a moment to look back and also to look forward. Not only to see how things have changed, but also how they will change. For many, 2010 will be a year that was still a time for financial recovery. In a market where less is invested, there’s not as much need for new products but rather a need to postpone investments until later. Apart from this, trade shows such as Intergeo produced a lot of surprises. Overall, the idea of managing the whole chain of data capture to a finished end product (whether it’s a map or a web mapping service) seems to take flight more and more. The major acquisition of Intergraph by Hexagon is an example of this. In the New Year, I expect that a lot of things that have been discussed this year will happen on a larger scale than in 2010. Although I heard and read a lot about the fusion between imagery and GIS, I am still waiting to see this being adopted by the market. The techniques are there, now it seems it’s time for the market to pick up on them. The same goes for the fusion between GIS and the mobile platform, not just for data capture but the smart phone too. Will ‘location business’, become big business? And who will lead here, the people who really understand geospatial or the telecom industry? Another topic that was discussed everywhere in the geospatial media was cloud computing. Although at the moment its impact isn’t yet that big, it seems it’s a topic that should be noticed in the long run. Maybe this technology is a bit too far ahead when looking at the adoption of the GIS platform that consists of mobile, desktop and server technology. I could be wrong, but I have a feeling that market adaptation of server technology is still a bit slow, and the full potential of Web GIS has not been reached. Here, we are touching on the IT side of GIS, a very interesting but nonetheless technical topic. Lastly, I’d like to say something about the profession and the GIS worker. With the industry changing so fast, it’s obvious that someone who works in this field has to change too. Since it’s not always clear where the road is leading, this can be both challenging and /or tricky, but it seems to me that this is something the industry shares with the job market of today. Keeping oneself informed through media is indispensible and I am sure this magazine gives a broad and informative overview of what’s happening today and tomorrow.
ISSN 13870858 © Copyright 2010. GeoInformatics: no material may be reproduced without written permission.
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Articles Search & Rescue Management SARMAN
LBS on the Inside Indoor Positioning For Handling INSPIRE-compliant Data The Role of Open Source Software The Story continued GIS and Imagery A Re-Evaluation Cornwall’s Mining World Heritage Site
Managing Railway Network with Geospatial Solution Rete Ferroviaria Italiana 32 As Displayed at the Intergeo 2010 Exhibition Current Developments in Airborne Digital Frame Cameras Advanced Spatial Analysis GeoMedia 3D
SARMAN: Search & Rescue Management
The Sarman system provides a search management tool based upon the established search theory rules, asset management and full in-field tracking of assets. This unique software firmly places Mountain Rescue England & Wales at the forefront of Search technology.
Events Converge, Connect and Collaborate Trimble 5th International User Conference
Italy, INSPIRE and Imagery Esri EMEA User Conference 2010 BE INSPIRED 2010 3D to Mobile to Integrated Data Model
Current Developments in Airborne Digital Frame Cameras
The continuous rapid development of digital imaging technology resulted in numerous airborne digital frame cameras being shown at the Intergeo 2010 trade fair. For the airborne photogrammetric and mapping community, the many new or improved frame cameras that were on display in the exhibition formed a real highlight of the event.
Esri EMEA User Conference 2010
With 1500 visitors, the Esri EMEA User Conference is becoming larger and larger. This year's event was held in Rome, Italy. During 26-28th of October, the Ergife Palace Hotel was the stage for three days of keynotes and presentations of Esri users and partners.
On the Cover: James Needham, Faro UK, operating the Faro Photon 120 Phase Shift Scanner. See article on page 28.
BE Inspired 2010
Top users of Bentley software get invited to participate in the BE Inspired Awards 2010. Interesting, innovative and sometimes mindboggling projects fight for their moment of fame.
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Search & Rescue Management
This article presents the development and the basic functionalities of the Sarman system, a Search & Rescue Management Solution designed by Mapyx, a GIS Company, in conjunction with Mountain Rescue England & Wales (MREW). The Sarman system provides a search management tool based upon the established search theory rules, asset management and full in-field tracking of assets. This unique software firmly places Mountain Rescue England & Wales at the forefront of Search technology. By Joc Triglav
When people think of search management, they readily visualise lines of people searching across fields. Well that is all part of it, certainly for searchers, but search theory dates back sixty years to work undertaken by B.O. Koopman for the US Navy to search for enemy ships and submarines. Nowadays this theory has developed and evolved into its modern equivalent that is not only used for missing or lost person search, but by mining and oil companies searching for min-
eral and petroleum deposits and in fact, the principles can be applied across many industries where ‘search’ principles are utilised. The application of search theory assists in finding anything that is lost, missing, hidden or even evasive.
Mountain Rescue England & Wales (“MREW”)
For MREW the essence of the practical application of search management is mapping. Ten years ago paper mapping was prevalent
Overview of the incident information in Sarman. All the critical information is drawn on the map with two tabs on right and left showing additional information about tasks and teams. Underneath there is a log window for inputting any information to be logged for future investigative or decision making purposes.
Peter Bell, President of Mountain Rescue England and Wales:
“Mapyx has worked tirelessly to fine-tune their QUO digital mapping software to encompass the operational demands of a mountain rescue environment and to develop its new Sarman software. Linked to, indeed part of, this advanced facility, they have similarly fine-tuned their Sarman system to operate with various communications platforms, which will provide the integrated, on scene, partner to the Mapyx search and rescue management applications. QUO and Sarman software coupled with approved hand-held devices are not, however, restricted to search and rescue operations. This combination will, I am convinced, provide a most valuable adjunct to safety, whatever the environment.”
Creating an incident where all the first response and planning information is added.
Ewan Thomas, National Water Officer of MREW:
“Mapyx has been an excellent development partner for the project to provide MR teams with class leading search planning and management software. The Sarman application has been developed from first principles to provide an incident management system that is fully integrated into the Quo digital mapping platform. The powerful combination of Quo, the Mapyx tracking system and Sarman will make a significant contribution to search and rescue planning and incident management in England and Wales.”
but as digital mapping became more accessible, MREW transitioned to digital mapping systems. In 2009, MREW identified that their existing digital mapping was limited and sought to find a better mapping solution. After extensive research and analysis, MREW found Mapyx and specifically the digital mapping system branded Mapyx QUO. After testing, MREW was convinced that this was the best product for its needs and rolled it out to all of its 3500 members. However, even with the best mapping solution, there was limited functionality in terms of search management. And that’s where it all started for Sarman; MREW would provide the search know-how, training and information, and Mapyx would provide the technological skills, programme and finance to develop a world leading system. The brief was established in October 2009 and a mere six weeks later the concept had evolved into a very early Alpha working programme. In May 2010, the Sarman system had been fully field tested by MREW and was released to all Teams.
Mark Lewis, the Communications Officer for MREW:
“Digital mapping has been a project we’ve been investigating for some time and the wait has certainly paid off in choosing Mapyx as a partner to supply a solution to our specification at no cost. Since our first meeting with Mapyx I have never looked back. Every recognised team and member of Mountain Rescue England & Wales will benefit from the Quo package receiving a free copy with associated maps. This is a great achievement for MREW to enable a common GIS platform to be available across England & Wales – and without teams having to spend any of their limited funds.”
Ann Ogden, Calder Valley SRT:
“...provides controllers, search managers and mountain rescue in general, with information promptly, accurately and at a standard that is easily used by all.”
Input Hasty Teams information and tasks.
What is Sarman
The Sarman system is a fully integrated solution to search management encompassing software (both desktop and mobile) and hardware elements, such as GPS devices, Data Loggers, Satellite Trackers, etc. The system is not prescriptive, but permits complete flexibility to use the system at various levels from the simple use of digital maps with concentric circles of probability for detecting missing or lost persons to complex search management, scenario analysis, consensus, asset management and live tracking of all assets in the field. Further, the system permits the use of various statistical models to suit the user and geography.
Jon Whiteley, Devon CRO:
“A milestone for mountain and cave rescue teams, both in national issue and partnership working.”
Ian Clemmett, Penrith MRT:
“The Sarman system neatly combines a number of SAR management tools into one place. It will help us monitor our assets and keep clear and consistent records – particularly welcome in the often complex multi-team searches of the North Pennines.”
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The Second stage of planning is drawing the search areas. The Tracker tool enables tracking of all the assets in the field, showing locations on the map and key information.
The system is designed to permit Search Management as a process, including: • Creation of an ‘incident’ whether a missing person, or a casualty evacuation. • Drawing routes and adding waypoints to define specific tasks and information. • Adding content such as photographs, videos, word documents or in fact any type of file. • Drawing of search areas and codification for ease of reporting. • Asset management for the allocation and management of personnel and equipment. • Consensus calculations based on three methods. • Probability tracking and search time calculator to provide typical search times in a variety of terrain and conditions. • Automated and bespoke reporting facilities. • A Communications Module to permit live-tracking of assets via GPRS/GSM, Satellite, GPS Radio Mic and new modules for Tetra, Airwave and APRS can be added. • A Data Log to add key information. • A ‘black’ box’ recorder to ensure that all data is time stamped and can be played back as necessary. The above described Search Management process is visually presented with some screenshot examples in this article.
In the last five months since the initial release of Sarman, word spread rapidly and other organisations jumped on board. Today Mapyx is: • Mountain Rescue England & Wales Official GIS & Digital Mapping Partner. • The Official GIS & Digital Mapping Partner of the British Cave Rescue Council. • The Exclusive Official Digital Mapping Partner of: o Search & Rescue Dog Association of England. o Search & Rescue Dog Association of Wales. o Search & Rescue Dog Association of South Wales. o Search & Rescue Dog Association of the Lakes. o Association of Lowland Search & Rescue. • Official MOD Supplier. o Supplier of Mapyx systems to the Royal Air Force Mountain Rescue Teams. o Supplier to RAF Air Defence & Air Traffic Systems.
3D View Tool Provides 3-D visualisation. Track and Monitor progress and probability of Search Areas, which provides valuable information to the Search Team.
Today, the system is used by all MREW Teams, the Search & Rescue Dog Association, the British Cave Rescue Council, the Royal Air Force Mountain Rescue Teams and Teams in the Association of Lowland Search & Rescue. Nevertheless, Sarman continues to evolve and new modules are being developed as new demands from new users are added. Further, there is a River Tool and Flood Management Tool under development and discussions of Missing Pilot and Missing Aircraft Modules.
In fact, many organisations in the UK involved in ‘search’ practices are looking at the system and international interest has come from as far afield as the US, Canada and New Zealand. More information about the use of Sarman by MREW can be found at:
www.mountain.rescue.org.uk/media-centre/the-oracle/section-4-communications www.youtube.com/watch?v=CvuzDfRT2iA&feature=player_embedded www.mapyx.com/mediarelations/SARMAN.pdf Joc Triglav firstname.lastname@example.org is GeoInformatics editor. Special thanks to Mapyx Ltd. and MREW teams for their help and enthusiasm. Questions can be sent to email@example.com or Mapyx can be contacted on +44 208 972 1556.
LBS on the Inside
Now that everyone is getting accustomed to Location Based Services (LBS) such as Layar, people start to wonder why they need to be outside to make use of these kinds of services. Then again, just about everybody has experienced at some point in time that their GPS devices do not work in tunnels or indoors. So how can we make LBS a success indoors as well as outdoors? An overview of possibilities. By Huibert-Jan Lekkerkerk
Using Navizon iphone app for retrieving a lost cell phone using WiFi positioning (source: www.techhail.com)
Why not GPS?
The easiest solution to indoor positioning would be GPS, so how come this does not work. The answer is relatively simple and can be divided into two parts. The first is that GPS is 'line of sight'; due to the frequencies used (1100 - 1500 MHz) these systems can only transmit along a visible path between satellite (transmitter) and receiver. The second is that the power involved in GPS transmissions is relatively low and therefore the signal is easily blocked by thicker structures such as buildings, tunnels and even leaf canopies. But, I hear you say, what about the fact that my receiver is capable of receiving the satellites while indoors. The answer to that is manufacturers know this problem, so they make the receivers more sensitive so that they can receive weakened signals. Also, new satellites broadcast at slightly higher power giving more chances of indoor reception. This all sounds very nice, and definitely helps when under a leaf canopy but that only solves the power problem. The main problem is when inside a building the structure itself is still thick enough to block the signals. In short, most signals received indoors
Trials with Leica Locata system using pseudolites / localites in an open mine pit (source: www.leica-geosystems.com)
Now that everyone is getting accustomed to
Location Based Services (LBS) such as Layar, people start to wonder why they need to be outside to make use of these kinds of services. Then again, just about everybody has experienced at some point in time that their GPS devices do not work in tunnels or indoors. So how can we make LBS a success indoors as well as outdoors? An overview of possibilities. Before discussing specific devices and sensors it is good to take a step back and have a look at what positioning really involves. In the positioning industry there are, in general, two
types of measurements that will lead to a position using one of three basic methodologies. The two types of measurement are either angular measurement or distance measurement leading to the techniques called angular positioning, range-range positioning and range-bearing positioning. An example of range-range positioning is GPS which uses distances between satellites and receiver for determining location. A common method of range-bearing positioning is the use of the Total Station in land survey. Angular positioning used to be the most basic form of positioning using theodolite or sextant but is rarely practiced nowadays.
are derived from reflection against the walls etc. As a result the derived position can be off by quite a few meters and as a result is not acceptable for navigation purposes other than very coarse location (inside which building etc).
dreds of meters resulting in downgraded positioning accuracy. As a result, the most accurate frequencies are all high, giving line of sight only. There are a few systems that use acoustics instead of radio waves, but this will however have little impact on the problems described. Requirements for A final requirement that Indoor Positioning should be considered is the Based on the items above, number of people who will be one can conclude that a soluusing the system at the same tion, which has more power time. For surveying it is Skyhook database of WiFi coverage of the central part of the Netherlands (source: and / or operates at a differacceptable to have just a sinwww.skyhookwireless.com) ent frequency, should solve gle user in the system, but for the problem of electronic LBS in general more users positioning. Greater power is possible but should be able to access the system simultaThe problem of frequency can also be solved requires more power available at the transmitneously. GPS for example can sustain an unlimby transmitting in a different frequency band. ter, ruling out satellites that rely on solar panited number of users whilst the Total Station Also going outside the radio magnetic spectrum els for their power. Also, since these are very can only have a single user at a time making it and into the optical spectrum could solve the far away the signal will always be relatively basically unusable for LBS. As a result only the problem. In order for a radio signal to deviate weak compared to the transmitted power. range-range type positioning systems are in from the line of sight (curve around the earth), Systems that are ground based do not have general usable for LBS. A specific problem one has to go into the so-called Medium this problem and can (in theory) output unlimindoors is the third dimension. It is not enough Frequency to High Frequency (MF/HF) band. This ited power. to just locate the position horizontally. The floor means a wavelength of a few meters to hun-
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somebody is on plays an important role, too.
Which Alternatives Do We Have?
As we are limited to range-range systems in the higher frequency bands for indoor LBS with an accuracy capable of locating things indoors, we need to have a look at systems operating in that frequency band. The irony of trying to solve this problem is that only 20 years ago there were tens of systems that were capable of solving this problem and were available on the free market. I'm of course talking about radio positioning systems such as Decca, Loran and their more accurate survey equivalents. But alas, these are no longer with us. Looking to alternative systems broadcasting in the required frequency band and being available commercially we find the following categories of systems: • Dedicated terrestrial positioning systems • GSM / 3G based techniques • WiFi / Bluetooth based techniques • RFID
within say 20 meters. With Bluetooth the ranges are smaller giving more positional accuracy. For both systems the precision could be enhanced locally by adding a model of the environment to make location determination more accurate. This would however mean a specialized implementation at the receiver side with knowledge of the model and will only work for the location for which the model was made. Research has shown that using an accurate model can bring down precision to around a few meters for WiFi.
RFID - Radio Frequency IDentification is a technique using small chips that transmit a signal when close enough to a receiver. Basically all cards that work contactless (such as public transportation cards) use this technology. In most applications the RFID is unpowered and transmits the signal using the power from the magnetic field from the transmitter. There is however no problem in powering these chips by giving them e.g. a small battery. Powering up the RFID chips enhances the range from just a few millimeters / centimeters to meters / tens of meters. By equipping the building with a number of receivers for the RFID signal it is possible to locate the RFID chip very accurately within the room. Two-way communication would then give the location back to the RFID.
Passive RFID chip (source: www.wikimedia.org)
Even though the great age of terrestrial positioning is long gone with the advent of GPS, some alternatives still remain. Probably the one with the least impact on the end-user is the use of pseudolites. These GPS-like terrestrial transmitters mimic the GPS signal and can be received by all GPS receivers. Though normally used to augment existing GPS satellites in areas with poor reception, these could also solve the indoor problem. In the GPS specification there is room for four of these pseudolites that can be operated in addition to the regular GPS satellites. This can solve the problem however only locally and is (at the moment) not a worldwide solution to the problem. Besides a few pilot projects there are very few references to pseudolites actually being used. A newer development is in UltraWideBand positioning where dedicated masts are erected around e.g. a disaster area and specialized receivers are used for signal reception. Again, this technology seems to be mainly in the research stages but is showing promising results.
GSM / 3G
Positioning using your mobile telephone is already possible; using the signals transmitted by your telephone, the provider can locate any telephone to within a few meters to tens of meters depending on the local situation. In urban areas the location determination can be very precise whereas in more rural areas (less GSM transmitters) the determination is to with-
in a few tens to hundreds of meters. What these systems do is essentially triangulate your position using the signals received by at least three GSM stations. If more stations are available the determination is more accurate. The stations determine the time difference between the receptions of the same signal at those stations, which in turn generate a set of hyperbolae, indicating where the receiver is located. Another technique is by measuring the angle of arrival indicating the angle between receiving antenna and handset. When done from the network this technique is relatively easy as the network is already capable of accurate timing or angle determination; knows the location of transmitters and so forth and it is just a matter of software implementation. Implementing this on the telephone side is slightly harder; first of all your telephone needs to be aware of the location of the various stations, or in other words it needs a comprehensive database. It must also be able to track the signal strength from the stations and convert this into a range measurement. So the transmission power of the stations is also needed. Taking into account that the signal strength will vary depending on the signal path (through a building or not for example), the potential errors involved are quite large.
Based on the above there are a number of potential techniques that can be used. Actually all of the techniques mentioned are a reality already. Professional survey companies are using pseudolites and dedicated systems already; emergency services are using GSM / 3G positioning to find where the caller is calling from in an emergency situation. WiFi positioning is already available in some countries from companies such as Skyhook but also Google and Apple. Last but not least, RFID positioning is used to track just about anything from containers to flowers. The main problem is that different manufacturers use different protocols with different software etc., so at the moment there is no single solution available for indoor positioning. From that perspective it seems that currently the WiFi solution is the one that is most commonly supported.
Huibert-Jan Lekkerkerk firstname.lastname@example.org is project manager at IDsW and freelance writer and trainer. This article reflects his personal opinion.
WiFi / Bluetooth
Positioning using your wireless network is also a very viable way of determining ones position. In general the same is needed as when using GSM / 3G techniques. As the system only has a limited range however, it is easier to calculate positions. With WiFi this gives positions to
Esri—Your Partner in SDI
A global network of Esri geographic information system (GIS) professionals and business partners is ready to work with you to build a Spatial Data Infrastructure (SDI). Esri’s ArcGIS® provides the foundation to integrate data and information for modeling the world and analyzing its complex systems and behaviors.
“Our partnership with Esri provides innovative solutions, enabling our stakeholders to access relevant information on
data and services through metadata. open technology. SDI allows better decision making, leading to better governance. Make ArcGIS the platform for your SDI.
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Visit esri.com/sdisolutions to download the white paper Creating and Maintaining a Geoportal—Management Considerations.
For Esri locations worldwide, visit esri.com/distributors.
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Converge, Connect and Collaborate
Trimble 5th International User Conference
Trimble opened its 5th international user conference with more than 2,900 registered attendees from 67 countries around the world. The Trimble Dimensions 2010 conference theme-Converge, Connect and Collaborate-provided insight into how the convergence of technologies can redefine the way professionals connect and collaborate to achieve success. The conference explored the use of technology in a wide range of applications including surveying, engineering, construction, mapping, GIS, geospatial, utilities and mobile resource management. Trimble Dimensions 2010 was held November 8-10th at the Mirage Hotel in Las Vegas. By Ruud Groothuis
A number of other technology providers, who are also Trimble partners, participated to expand the conference as to the range of products available and their application potential.
A Talk with Mr. Steven W. Berglund president and CEO of Trimble
Of course our magazine GeoInformatics was distributed to attendees at the Trimble Dimensions event and we had the opportunity to speak with Steven Berglund. Trimble, strongly decentralized over the past several years has a turnover of approximately 1.3 billion USD. Ten years ago Trimble was primarily a GPS technology company but has since evolved into a productivity company and a provider of efficient integrated solutions. Trimble defines the market in terms of industry and user identity. This can be asset management and/or Geospatial. “We are looking for vertical markets, with the identity of the user in mind. Geospatial is an element of the solution. Trimble’s eager expansion lies more in smaller acquisitions with local content. The company is not looking in traditional locations but more towards places which, in general, have not been on the growth market list. (China, India, Brazil, Eastern Europe and the Middle East) Who are the users and what are the problems they are facing? The key is to add value which
ttendees had the opportunity to network with key industry leaders, build partnerships, develop new contacts, discuss opportunities and discover how to overcome obstacles in today's competitive business environment. With more than 400 sessions across multiple specialty tracks, the conference focused on increasing productivity in the field and the office by revolutionizing work processes.
The conference included an demonstration and training area plus a Partner Pavilion that showcased the complete suite of Trimble solutions
designed for construction, survey, engineering, mining, aerial and mobile mapping, GIS, utilities, infrastructure, mobile computing, forestry and agricultural applications. In addition, there were products from Accubid, Applanix, Meridian Systems, Pacific Crest, QuickPen and Spectra Precision. Highlighted solutions and technologies included GNSS, total stations, field computing and data collection, 3D scanning, predesign construction planning, 3D visualization, Building Information Modeling (BIM), construction project management, aerial mapping, wireless communications, data transfer, field and office software, and smart grid applications.
extends further then being just a provider of, for example, raw data etc. The amount of data that is becoming available is growing. How can you beneficially use that data? Well, this is the general challenge for the geo-industry. One should understand the nature of the use. The boundaries have shifted/faded. It’s a challenging World”, Mr. Berglund concluded.
People are eager for education instead of novelties.
Trimble introduced nine new products at Dimensions of which the Next Generation Nomad Series of Outdoor Rugged Handheld Computers. The Nomad 900 series adds a 5 MP auto-focus camera with flash, enhanced GPS performance, and new Wi-Fi capabilities. These new features, along with the its rugged construction and computing power, make the Trimble Nomad 900 series ideal for mobile workers in forestry, public safety, surveying, construction, mapping, field service, utilities, and other outdoor or service-related fields. Trimble has designed the Nomad handheld to be the ultimate all-in-one computing device for asset management. With the unit’s improved camera and flash, low light and night images are crisp and bright allowing mobile workers to capture and geotag assets with confidenceeven the fine print associated with an asset, such as a fire inspection tag, can be easily read. Tuned to maximize the integrated GPS receiver's performance, the Trimble Nomad 900 series handheld has an enhanced antenna design which provides a rapid Time-to-First Fix (TTF) to improve GPS productivity in difficult GPS conditions. The handhelds ship with the Windows Mobile 6.1 operating system, featuring a redesigned user interface, enhanced security, simpler email and Bluetooth setup, and more. Available in a variety of configurations, the series features multiple language options
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including, English, French, German, Japanese, Chinese (Simplified), and Spanish. For GIS data collection and asset management activities, the 900G series includes 6 GB of Flash storage ideal for field GIS applications with large geospatial datasets. The GPS receiver enhancements allow GPS data to be postprocessed to an accuracy of 1 to 3 meters. In addition, these handhelds are compatible with the entire portfolio of Trimble Mapping & GIS field and office software products. The operat-
ing system downloads are available in English, French, German, Japanese and Spanish, as well as Italian, Korean, Brazilian Portuguese and Russian. As with most conventions, a lot was going on. The booths were showing the latest innovations, magazines from several industries were on-site and thousands of conversations were taking place simultaneously as surveyors, contractors, industry representatives and salesmen exchanged information. There was no doubt Trimble Dimensions certainly succeeded in presenting the Converge, Connect and Collaborate theme, connecting different disciplines and technologies, and presenting superb sessions all with a focus on gaining that competitive edge.
The Role of Open Source Software
Open source software offers freely available source code to the general public, thereby allowing for modifications and redistribution. Freedom to modify source code offers significant opportunities in the establishment of a Europe-wide spatial information infrastructure. The INSPIRE directive provides a legal framework for the establishment of a spatial information infrastructure across the European Union. This article describes a study on open source tools for the handling of INSPIRE-conformant data as carried out by the GIS4EU project. A case study is presented based on extension of the OpenJUMP workbench for downloading and displaying INSPIRE-conformant data. By Somnath Ghosal, Nan Lin and Iain Cross
Open Source Software is increasingly utilised for the management, distribution and analysis of geographic data. Proprietary GIS software is typically costly, and open source alternatives can be significantly more cost effective for organisations to use. Open source software also offers the opportunity for plugins
to be developed which enhance the functionality of the software. This article describes the application of two plugins for obtaining and displaying INSPIRE compliant geographic data. We describe a background to open source GIS, the purpose of the INSPIRE directive and the nature of the developed plugins. We conclude by addressing the potential for open
source plugins for organisations mandated to adopt the INSPIRE directive.
Open Source GIS
Software applications are developed from source code. Developers can choose to make source code publicly available, or to keep it hidden. Software that has its source code
OSM data in OpenJUMP
published for free viewing, redistribution or modification, is referred to as Open Source Software (OSS). Proprietary software is usually 'closed', meaning that its source code is not published. Whereas companies tend to offer closed proprietary software to protect commercial interests, individual developers often publish OSS in order to allow other developers to contribute to the development of the software and build additional features that extend the functionality of the original software programme. OSS is typically free for distribution and modification. However, it is accompanied by a licence that protects the developers from litigation and protects specific intellectual property rights. The geospatial community has established an OSS community offering free and open source GIS (osGIS). osGIS has made it possible for several government agencies and companies to use and manipulate geospatial data without incurring the potentially significant expense of proprietary GIS. Examples of osGIS include
osGIS is already making significant contributions to handling and processing geographic data. For example, local residents in the Surrey Heath Borough Council have been able to access geographic information on tree protection orders using OSS and open-source data (see GIS Professional, 34: 22-24). The online application links information on tree preservation orders, planning applications and conservation zones. Residents are able to easily locate their property and identify nearby trees that may be subject to specific planning restrictions and preservation orders. The council aims to develop systems to deliver geographic data to staff ‘in the field’ using handheld GPS hardware. The council claims that using osGIS has been instrumental for creating high-quality web services and developing a map creation and publishing system.
Open Geospatial Consortium Standards
The Open Geospatial Consortium (OGC) is an industry consortium of 400 companies, government agencies, and research organizations worldwide participating in a consensus process to develop publicly available interface standards. Prior to its foundation, there was
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lack of extensibility and flexibility of GIS software though GIS had shown great potentials to a variety of business sectors. Users felt frustrated when they were forced to use inefficient, time consuming, and error-prone data transfer methods to share geospatial data between systems. The OGC has developed standards that empower technology developers to make complex geospatial information and services accessible and useful for many different applications. These standards support interoperable solutions on the Web, wireless and location-based services to be location-aware and geospatially-enabled. An example of an OGC standard for web services is the Web Feature Service (WFS) which defines interfaces for data access and manipulation operations on geographic features using HTTP as the distributed computing platform. Through these interfaces, a web user or service can combine, use, and manage geospatial data. WFS offers data encoded in Geography Markup Language (GML), an OGC standard for encoding location-referenced data in eXtensible Markup Language (XML). A typical processing request would proceed as follows (assuming a web server implementing the WFS): 1. A client application initially requests a ‘capabilities document’. This is a description of the operations that that particular WFS supports and a list of datasets that it offers. 2. A client application may then make a request to the WFS to define features that the WFS can handle, using a DescribeFeatureType operation. 3. Based on the definitions of the features, the client application generates a request via a GetFeature operation. 4. The data request sent to web server. 5. The request for data is read, by the WFS which then processes the request to generate a dataset. 6. A status report is generated and sent back to the client. This may also communicate any errors encountered. More details on WFS can be found at http://bit.ly/dvYRku.
Vivid Solutions ended the development of JUMP, the potential advantages of moving the application into the OSS domain became apparent. The application became known as OpenJUMP, which is now developed and maintained by a group of volunteers. OpenJUMP is an OSS application and therefore freely available. It has a number of specific features that are useful for users and developers: • Compatibility with many operating systems (including Windows, Linux, UNIX and Macintosh platforms); • Easily extensible environment for user-specific GIS applications; • A number of existing plugins to enhance functionality; • The ability to read and write shapefiles and simple GML files; • Support for the display of images; • Support for showing data retrieved from WFS and Web Map Services (WMS); • Full geometry and attribute editing; • Support for multiple languages. OpenJUMP, like most OSS, also offers the developer a programming environment in which it is relatively easy to develop tools for specific features without an extensive working knowledge of the entire software architecture. This can assist the rapid development of plugins. OpenJUMP is therefore an attractive proposition for both GIS users and developers for economic, development and usability reasons. This article describes the development of two plugins for the OpenJUMP platform. The plugins were designed to address specific user needs identified during usability testing of INSPIRE compliant datasets.
The GIS4EU Project
The GIS4EU project was commissioned by the EU eContentPlus programme to make base cartographic datasets available by addressing cross scale, cross language, cross border interoperability and accessibility issues following the standards and requirements of the INSPIRE directive. The project involves 23 organisations including national mapping agencies, local authorities, private companies, and universities. Ten of the project partners were local and national mapping agencies. We refer to these agencies collectively as ‘data providers’. GIS4EU has developed common data models based on INSPIRE data specifications for Administrative Units, Transportation Networks, and Hydrography. The project has also developed a common data model for Elevation that is expected to inform the forthcoming INSPIRE data specification for Elevation. GIS4EU has developed processes for data harmonisation and aggregation in order to enable cartographic authorities to publish consistent and homogenous reference data conformant to INSPIRE regulations. In order to test the potential for applying the common data models, more than 50 datasets from the participating data providers were remodelled based on matches between feature types in the supplied datasets and feature types in the common data models. After remodelling the supplied datasets, the data providers specified the transformation rules required to aggregate the supplied datasets. The appropriate transformation rules for a supplied dataset depended on whether the intended scale of the target dataset was at local, regional, national or continental (European) scale. This meant that supplied datasets at very large scales were simplified and the content generalised in order to aggregate them into regional, national or smaller scales. After the aggregation process, data was validated before publication via the GIS4EU web portal (available at www.gis4eu.eu). The GIS4EU portal was developed to serve as a testbed for the distribution of INSPIRE-compliant datasets using WFS technology.
In 2002, Vivid Solutions developed the Java Unified Mapping Platform (JUMP), a vector GIS and programming framework for supporting the matching of roads and rivers from different digital maps in order to produce a single integrated geospatial dataset. JUMP has since been used to process other types of spatial data such as provincial boundaries and remotely sensed images. The package rapidly gained popularity among users and developers who customized it to suit their own needs. After
Historically, European spatial information was characterised by lack of harmonisation between datasets at different geographical scales, different languages, fragmented datasets, gaps in availability and duplication of information. To address such inconsistency of data, the European Union published the INSPIRE directive which aims to establish an infrastructure for the sharing of environmental spatial information among public sector organisations and facilitate public access to spatial information across Europe. To ensure that the spatial data infrastructures of the Member States are well-matched and exploitable in a Community and trans-boundary context, INSPIRE has provided common Implementing Rules (IR) in a number of specific areas (such as Metadata, Data Specifications, Network Services, Data and Service Sharing, and Monitoring and Reporting). These IRs are put into action as Commission Decisions or Regulations.
Defining, Testing and Addressing Issues of Spatial Data Usability
The GIS4EU project aimed to improve the sharing and utilisation of geographic data between many different organisations, resulting in spatial data being accessible to a potentially diverse range of end users. Therefore it was important that the usability of the remodelled and aggregated datasets was assessed to ensure that all potential users could interact with the new datasets. This was done through a specific work packDecember 2010
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age within the GIS4EU project. Currently, assessing data usability is difficult as the features of datasets that determine their usability are vague and poorly defined. This means that there are few established protocols for identifying if datasets are usable. In order to address this, the GIS4EU data providers developed a consensus on the meaning of spatial data usability by drawing iterative spider diagrams. The testing procedure consisted of designing a series of logical (yes / no) questions to be answered about each dataset which addressed the usability elements indentified in the spider diagram. The logical questions were posed in a questionnaire for data providers, which also allowed for the opportunity to make specific comments on individual datasets and issues of usability. The usability evaluation highlighted two issues. First, users found it difficult to read or display data encoded in GML based on the INSPIRE application schemas. GML is a geography-oriented version of eXtensible Markup Language (XML). Although there are several desktop applications for reading various GML application schemas (FME, Geomedia), and an FME-based plugin to enable ArcGIS to handle GML, there is currently no free desktop application that can read and display INSPIRE GML. Secondly, users found it difficult to download data from the WFS. If a WFS-enabled GIS is not available, retrieval of data from a WFS
requires prior knowledge of the parameters accepted by WFS, and also an ability to read the XML-encoded metadata describing the datasets offered by a particular web service. Some users were not familiar with the parameters used or XML coding. Therefore, there was a need to enable users to easily download data from a WFS and display the data encoded using the INSPIRE GML. Currently, organisations that are mandated to adopt the INSPIRE directive (such as National Mapping Agencies and local organisations with cartographic interests) do not receive additional funding to cover the cost of remodelling and aggregating to achieve INSPIRE compliance. Cost-effective solutions to handle and process data in order to meet INSPIRE requirements are therefore a particularly attractive proposition for such organisations. osGIS therefore has the potential to contribute towards achieving INSPIRE compliancy. Furthermore, the availability of free and osGIS with the capability to handle INSPIRE-conformant data could help to standardise fundamental operations such as the loading, writing and viewing of such datasets. INSPIRE-ready osGIS could potentially offer a benchmark for any application that offers support for INSPIREconformant data display and processing. With the benefits of osGIS, specific benefits of OpenJUMP and the usability problems identified in the GIS4EU project in mind, two plug-
ins were developed for the OpenJUMP platform.
GIS4EU plug-ins for OpenJUMP
Plug-ins are designed to answer specific needs identified during the usability testing in the GIS4EU projects: 1. A plug-in to download data from an INSPIREcompliant WFS: this is referred to as the ‘download plug-in’ 2. A plug-in to display downloaded INSPIRE-data within the OpenJUMP workbench: this is referred to as the ‘parse plug-in’. The two plug-ins are designed to be easily accessible within the OpenJUMP graphical user interface (GUI). Both of them are located in the ‘Layers’ menu, ensuring that users will be able to quickly locate and access them in a familiar way. The file size of the plug-ins is also small and so that the plug-in can be distributed quickly and easily and without overloading users’ hardware. Use of the download plug-in comprises two stages. First, a text-field inside the GUI is displayed, allowing users to input the uniform resource locater (URL) of the target data. In order to save users’ effort, only the URL of the WFS implementation is required to be typed in; the other part of the URL which is defined in the WFS standard is automatically added by the plug-in. Next, users click the ‘Get Capabilities’ button which retrieves a list of all available
detailing the errors and missing or redundant information. A plugin developed to perform these operations would not only share the economic and software development advantages of the OpenJUMP platform, but would be highly complementary to the download and parse plugins.
Conclusions and Discussions
We believe that osGIS can play a significant role for organisations that obtain, process and interact with geographic data. The economic advantages of osGIS compared to proprietary solutions are likely to be a key driver of the continued adoption of osGIS solutions, particularly amongst public organisations in the UK facing budgetary constraints. The economic advantage of osGIS is particularly important for organisations that are required to adopt the INSPIRE directive, as implementing INSPIRE is not supported with additional funding. We have demonstrated that plugins developed for osGIS can address specific issues with obtaining and displaying INSPIRE-compliant datasets, in direct response to the findings of the usability testing procedure within the GIS4EU project, by increasing the functionality of the OpenJUMP package. This suggests that organisations may benefit from using osGIS in order to meet the requirements of the INSPIRE directive. Furthermore, a selection of plugins developed for a common osGIS platform to address additional implications of handling INSPIRE-compliant datasets may significantly assist the adoption of the INSPIRE directive.
Dr. Somnath Ghosal – Working as a Research Associate at the Centre for Geospatial Science (CGS), University of Nottingham. Before starting work at the CGS, Dr. Ghosal did his PhD in Environmental Management and Policy from the School of Geography, University of Nottingham. We would like to convey our gratitude to Prof. Mike Jackson, Director of the Centre for Geospatial Science (CGS), University of Nottingham, for his kind guidance during the project. We appreciate the support we have received from Dr Gobe Hobona and Dr Suchith Anand for the writing of this paper. The research presented in this article was funded by the European Commission through the eContent Plus programme.
datasets . Users must select one layer from the drop-down list and then click the ‘Save GML file’ button. As a result, the feature dataset is downloaded to a user-specified location on the local hard drive. During data download, a status bar concurrently displays the downloading progress. After this, users may choose to download another feature dataset or close the GUI. During the whole procedure, OpenJUMP and the portal use the OGC WFS standard to communicate with each other. In the first stage, OpenJUMP sends a WFS GetCapabilites request message to the portal and receives the response. Instantly, the response message is parsed and GIS4EU features available are shown. In the second stage, after selection of a feature dataset, a WFS GetFeature message is sent to the portal to commence the download of the dataset in GML format. The parse plug-in displays a GUI allowing users to locate, select, and upload one INSPIRE-based GML file. When a GML file is selected for upload, it automatically retrieves attribute sets of INSPIRE feature types from a configuration file. The plugin is then able to parse the GML file and create an OpenJUMP layer with the appropriate INSPIRE attributes. This uploaded layer is displayed inside the OpenJUMP workbench allowing users to use standard OpenJUMP tools for spatial analysis of the dataset. Because of its open architecture, we are able to quickly and easily develop plug-ins to extend the OpenJUMP features. However, the plug-in does have some limitations. For example, the
name of the geometry attribute is restricted to ‘geometry’, but INSPIRE introduces other names like ‘centralLineGeometry’ and ‘representativePoint’. Another limitation inherited from OpenJUMP is that a dataset must include geometry features; however, some GIS4EU and INSPIRE feature types do not have geometry attributes so cannot be displayed inside the OpenJUMP workbench. It is envisaged that these minor limitations will be addressed through future developments by the INSPIRE community.
Other Potential Plugins for the GIS4EU Project
There is some considerable scope for additional plugins to be developed for OpenJUMP in order to assist with the remodelling of datasets into an INSPIRE-compliant form. The GIS4EU project has used Intergraph Geomedia Fusion to convert datasets into an INSPIRE-compliant form, but there may be significant potential for an open-source alternative to be developed. The remodelling process principally consists of determining how spatial features in an original dataset compare with those that form the INSPIRE data model for the relevant theme (hydrography, transportation networks etc.). The process requires four pieces of information (the original dataset’s data and structure, the target data model, matching tables and enumerations and code-list mappings). Matching tables may require multiple operations, intermediate variables to be created or filters and rules to be applied in order to remodel the data. The process results in a remodelled dataset and report
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The Story continued
GIS and Imagery
In GeoInformatics issue 4, of June this year, Lawrie Jordan explained how imagery and GIS came together. With the release of ArcGIS 10, which includes a new set of tools for image analysis, the integration of ITT VIS software in the ArcGIS toolbox, it is a good moment to continue this story and discuss into more detail how imagery is integrated in Esri’s new products and services. By Lawrie Jordan
sources of data, along with improved radar collection in all of its different modalities. And, of course, radar has the advantage of being day, night, and all weather. Radar also has some unique properties in terms of ground penetration, as well as the capability to detect minute shifts in location using advanced processing techniques called interferometry. Then there’s thermal imagery and, of course, lidar for terrain mapping with active sensors. At the moment there’s a gigantic expansion of the quantity and quality of imagery of all types, not just one type covering a limited spectrum.
‘Sandwich’ of Image Layers
One of the things that has been done for many years, which is really coming into its own now, is the fusion of multiple sources of imagery into a single “sandwich” of image layers. For example, in one of these synthetic image stacks, you may have multispectral, panchromatic, hyperspectral, radar, and lidar. And by looking at special combinations of these layers you can see things in the combination that you can't see in any one of them by itself. This is also one of the fundamental approaches used in digital cartography, as overlays have historically been used for decades to expand our perception and understanding of geography.
On-the-fly NDVI calculation in ArcGIS.
‘Image shows beta version of ArcGIS 10.’
Imagery: the Next Phase in GIS
The timing of the union of GIS and imagery was fortuitous. The trend is that platforms are becoming more interoperable. Basically mobile, cloud, desktop, and server are all just different implementations of an extensive platform. One of the core benefits of ArcGIS is its unique ability to unify various implementations and access methods. It's one system that runs on everything and can be accessed by everything – from browsers, to smartphones, to desktop applications. It essentially empowers people, from high-end desktop users right down to field workers, to use these tools in tandem to get important work done. Hardware, especially thanks to cloud technology and caching, is no longer a limitation. That's allowing GIS and incorpo-
rated imagery tools to flourish throughout the entire digital realm.
Imagery Types and Datasets Produced Nowadays
GIS not only runs on all platforms, but accepts all forms of geospatial data, including all forms of imagery. So both in the public sense and in the restricted non-public sense, there’s an enormous expansion of new sources of imagery across the entire electromagnetic spectrum. For example, outstanding high-resolution multispectral satellite imagery that's now publicly available, down to half-meter resolution, and soon to be better than that. With airborne imagery, users are routinely working with data that has resolutions on the order of inches. There’s also hyperspectral
Esri has already integrated ITT VIS software in the ArcGIS toolbox, providing imagery analysis tools for ArcGIS users. This means that when the user is in the ArcGIS environment, he or she can literally press a button and open up all these new ITT VIS ENVI tools. And what's exciting about that is it's in the mainstream and goes with the grain of what Esri is doing. Our partners are closely aligned with us, and they work very closely with Esri’s engineering teams to make sure that all the new
Color-infrared imagery. Image analysis window provides a set of powerful tools for processing imagery on the fly. Image courtesy of GeoEye. ‘Image shows beta version of ArcGIS 10.’
Color-infrared imagery with segmentation overlay. Image courtesy of GeoEye.
‘Image shows beta version of ArcGIS 10.’
things that we release are fully compatible and integrated with theirs.
inaccurate or fuzzy or cloudy or hazy and apply some of these image transforms to it to make it the very best that it could be.
Online Access to Imagery Holdings
Esri users are now able to directly connect to online services from ArcGIS Online, ArcGIS.com, and Bing and easily incorporate imagery within their GIS. We’re putting up the Landsat GLS EPOCH datasets, which contain almost 50,000 full Landsat scenes that go back 40 years. These will be full-resolution scenes, with all bands, enabling rich analysis with ArcGIS software, not merely a tile cache. We’ll be adding some additional services to go along with these, and there will be some new announcements soon.
Image Analysis Window and Community Basemap
ArcGIS Desktop 10 has a new set of tools in its main interface called the Image Analysis window. These tools make all the basic things that a person would want to do with imagery much, much easier to use. You don't have to be an expert or have a master's degree. A lot of these tools are just simple point and click, like a point-and-shoot camera. You can essentially get the results back
in real time. That’s the trend of the future: more and more easy-to-use tools. Esri’s also providing a lot of best practices techniques that are rolled up into templates. Users can now pour their data into a template and out comes a finished map. We're doing this worldwide with our Community Basemap. Now imagery templates are built for users in the imagery community to share best practices with them so they can get the best results from their image holdings.
Lawrie Jordan, Director of Imagery Enterprise Solutions, Esri.
Improving the Image
When you have a very good set of tools to fix an image that's not perfect, you can do a tremendous amount to improve the image, especially since that image itself may have unique content that initially may be hidden. Anyone who’s ever used PhotoShop on their home pictures knows this. If you've got a picture of someone that came out blurry or was taken in low light, you can apply similar tools to save the image and unlock the value contained within it. Modern sensors, by and large, capture excellent quality images. When they don’t, the integrated image analysis tools in ArcGIS can fix them. Those capabilities are being complemented by integrating the sensor models into the software. The sensor model's a math model that helps us precisely locate that image on the ground. That's what GIS users want. We want our imagery to accurately fit the map. With older imagery that may not have all the necessary information, there are a lot of tools that allow one to take an image that may be
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Overlay of basemaps in ArcGIS. Image courtesy of GeoEye, DigitalGlobe, and MDA Federal.
Image shows beta version of ArcGIS 10.’
Cornwall’s Mining World Heritage Site
Continued fieldwork and research focused on the Cornwall and West Devon Mining Landscapes World Heritage Site, UK - and the 175 sites known to be associated with the worldwide migration patterns of its associated workforce in the 19th and early 20th centuries – represents the application and use of tools born from the Information Age in order to understand the Industrial past. The examples shown in this article are taken from fieldwork conducted at the Grass Valley in California, USA, and Wheal Coates, Cornwall, UK. All work would not have been possible without the help and support of CyArk (a California non profit founded by Ben Kacyra), Adam Technologies, Canon UK, Leica Geosystem’s USA, Faro UK and Point Tools. By Adam P. Spring, Caradoc Peters and Justin Barton
Recording the Industrial Age in the Information Age
Using mid range scanning or photogrammetry to record relic mine workings present engineering solutions to past industrial problems. Engine houses and associated mine workings are perfectly designed for the application of such digital high definition survey tools, with their distinctive geometric and uniform shape presenting ease of capture (depending on environment) at an acquisition stage, and rapid and easy registration at an initial processing phase. In a climate where hackneyed catchphrases like ‘end user requirements’ and ‘moving beyond the point cloud’ are used in commercial and research environments in broad and liberal fashion, the use of an engineering tool to address questions pertaining to Industrial heritage gives key information even before modelling off the point cloud (see Spring, Peters et al IEEE Computer Graphics and Applications, May/June 2010, pp. 15-19). Accurate measurements and detailed 3D recordings provide vital
Adam Technology’s Powerful 3DM Analyst photogrammetric package being used to map an open cast mine in the present. Mapping a large pit. The area being captured is nearly 3 km long and ranging from 300–600 m deep. The two camera stations on the left are using a 100 mm lens at a distance of 450–700 m; the three on the right are using a 200 mm lens at a distance of 1000–1400 m from the opposite wall.
he iconic Cornish Engine House with its simple yet distinctive engineered shape made its way all over the world. With its design went workforces of highly skilled miners and engineers whose influences on landscapes in Mexico, Africa, Australia, New Zealand and North and South America (to name but a few) still survive today. Websites like cousinjack.org provide links to societies made up of the genetic remnant of these work forces. In Grass Valley, a large community of Cornish workers made their way from the Upper Mid West lead mining regions, Mexico (where they introduced football to the country also), from Cornwall and from further afield in 1854 to take advantage of the Gold Rush. Annual celebrations held in July, traditional Cornish pasties, place and family name evidence provide insight into the cultural impact mining had on the area. Such cultural ties are intrinsically intertwined with the physical impact
of mining in the area, now fossilised in the landscape by features like the Holbrooke Hotel, volunteer-run organisations like the North Star Mining Museum and Cousin Jack’s Pasty Shop.
Triangulation and contours generated by 3DM Analyst of one of the stockpiles in the earlier images. Note the inverted cone in the top of the stockpile has been successfully captured.
Heritage Work Flows
End user requirements for cultural heritage extend beyond 2D or 3D work flows (see GeoInformatics Issue 8 2008, pp. 50-54). Long term data acquisition and preservation strategies are paramount, with data use and reuse key to generating information that does not fall into a short term mentality of capture it, use it and effectively bin it. Applications are, to an extent, idiosyncratic to each site, with no single manufacturer’s work flow or ethos offering a complete solution to conservation, restoration or preservation requirements. No one solution or data capture system provide all the answers at this time, with data validation processes crossing quantitative and qualitative boundaries (see Spring, Peters et al IEEE Computer Graphics and Applications, May /June 2010, pp. 15-19).
sub-centimetre coordinated, measurable information. It is the latter that is of interest to the archaeologist or heritage specialist and, in this example, provides an engineering solution used to digitally preserve relic structures developed for engineering needs. As Shakespeare aptly wrote, it is almost as if: “The wheel is come full circle”. Incidentally ‘Wheal’ is the Cornish word for ‘a shaft mine’.
Scanning Wheal Coates
On August 16th 2010 a Faro Photon 120 was used to capture part of the tin mine workings at Wheal Coates, Cornwall, UK. Towanroath Pumping Engine House (1872) was used to pump water from its associated shaft, which was incorporated into a naturally occurring sea cave. From two hours in the field a texture rich point cloud was generated using a phase based laser system, which in itself has implications at a data processing and archiving phase. It also provided complimentary information to data captured in Grass Valley in July 2009 using the time of flight based system housed in the Leica Scanstation 2. Much like the Grass Valley scan sessions, fieldwork addressed questions pertaining to structural development and use, as well as the life of the pump engine, its location on the now picturesque coastline and everyday workings. In both instances water was key to the running of the site, and the driving force behind engineered approaches applied. Utilisation of natural features on the landscape in relation to its water driven power source mir-
3D model of an underground heading, seen from the "outside" generated using 3DM Analyst. 16 images are captured from four different locations in about ten minutes to capture the entire surface; processing takes 5–10 minutes to generate between about 400,000 and 2 million points, depending on settings.
information towards overall structural analysis like load and stress capabilities for internal workings; the ability to produce detailed plans and specifications (which have not survived or are yet to be rediscovered); accurately reconstruct the internal workings that have been removed; and create a corpus of detailed 3D time slices that can be used to chart their development and modification on an international scale. The value of such data sets are championed further by online archives like CyArk, where with a mouse click, complementary information like site plans, videos and HDR panoramas give better impressions of context and details like surface texture.
Marrying Past and Present Engineering Solutions
There is a sense of irony when applying midrange scanning solutions to the Cornwall and West Devon Mining Landscapes World Heritage Site. This is especially apparent when looking back to California based companies like Cyra Technologies and Riegl in Austria in the mid 1990’s, where the underlying paradigm driving technological development was industrial and engineering applications. In addition to the creation and rapid development of a commercial market, such companies also produced a readily accessible rapid capture method generating
James Needham, Faro UK, operating the Faro Photon 120 Phase Shift Scanner..
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Towanroath point cloud with targets and scan positions included.
Complete registered point cloud of Towanroath Pumping Engine House in context. This information has been used to recreate plans of the structure and its workings.
Aerial view of the inner workings of the mine. Even working off of the point cloud in such a basic way provides greater understanding of how the mine worked.
rored that of Grass Valley, providing evidence of and remaining testament to the highly skilled work forces that followed work all over the world. So far the scan data has started to shed light on the technological thought processes spreading out from Cornwall in the 19th and 20th centuries, as well as retracing the footsteps of a highly skilled artisan class. The latter of which have left far more physical evidence than written evidence.
Digital high definition survey tools are making Industrial heritage more accessible, not only in terms of the knowledge extracted from data
sets but also in the experiential sense. Entire sites can now be accessed at a click of a button in one environment, presenting rapid access to multiple data sets that are a direct product of the Information Age and the rise of user creators. In the case of Cornwall’s mining heritage, digital survey is making cross-comparisons not just within Cornwall, but wherever Cornish mining sites are found in the world. The rise of user creators empowered by easy-to-use digital techniques is relevant to sites like Towanroath where independent of the project outlined in this article programs like Google SketchUp have been used to build and represent the site in Google Earth also. Digital photogrammetry and
close relatives like Terrestrial Laser Scanning are part of a wide range suite of tools designed to tackle the most difficult thing of all - recreating and modelling the real world. In doing so their use by design throws up more questions than answers, and that is where the excitement begins. Websites: www.adamtech.com.au www.canon.co.uk http://archive.cyark.org www.faro.com/uk.aspx www.leica-geosystems.us/en/index.htm www.cornish-mining.org.uk
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Managing Railway Network with Geospatial Solution
Rete Ferroviaria Italiana
Rete Ferroviaria Italiana (RFI), Italy’s national rail infrastructure operator, made geospatial integration a fundamental component of its corporate information and communication technology strategy. Careful planning and implementation has enabled RFI to integrate spatial data and technology with core business workflows and systems (like SAP), which ensures data are accurate and current. The geospatial solution supports and enhances critical, high-value business functions. By Claudio Mingrino
development. One notable feature is how the Intergraph platform has guaranteed all the upgrades. This article spotlights the particular vision Intergraph uses to provide the appropriate platforms aimed at supporting the typical mission of a solution provider. Rather than relying on a single technology or product-based vision, RFI harmonizes technologies that can benefit other companies who have specific needs and ambitious objectives.
The Value of Geospatial Information
Geospatial information adds value to the development of both current and future processes. The step required to implement decision-support systems “integrated” with geospatial information is a short and immediate one. In fact, you only need to consider how the geographical location and the definition of a territorial context can significantly speed up and enrich any analysis related to railway processes. For example, you can use the operational rooms (central and/or local) for effectively monitoring the infrastructure (technical control, maintenance, and diagnostics) planning for the railway line. Intergraph’s solution is based on standard technology that complies with RFI’s instructions and requirements – a three-level architecture with an exclusively Web-based platform using service-oriented architecture (SOA) and Web services in accordance with the Open Geospatial Consortium (OGC) standard for achieving maximum interoperability and modularity.
Figure 1: This screen image illustrates RFI’s plans database
RFI was established in 2001 to manage infrastructure for the Group
Ferrovie della Stato and meet Italian Government directives for the separation between the system operator and the producer of transport services. RFI is responsible for maintaining and renewing the conventional rail network, according to the latest technological and safety standards, in accordance with passenger and freight traffic growth needs and for the design and the implementation of the high-speed/high-capacity network (1,000 km). RFI employs more than 32,000 people and manages more than 16,500 km of lines and 2,300 stations. The system serves in excess of 9,000 trains daily. RFI’s main activities include: • Management of the railway capacity allocation processes • Application and collection of charges for the use of the rail infrastructure • Maintenance and development of railroads and rail infrastructure, based on a contract with the Italian Government (Minister of Infrastructure) • Railway traffic-control management on the network According to Intergraph’s Claudio Mingrino, RFI wanted to implement a geospatial system to manage the maintenance of its railway stations and ensure high-level service to clients. It successfully integrated Intergraph and SAP ERP platforms and continues to gain benefits in its daily operations. These benefits include saving time and money by using friendly and intuitive applications that merge master data with geospatial data. Because the project was implemented over several years means that RFI used a number of different integration methods in the SAP platform’s
Geospatial Database Management
Mingrino explains that the process of integrating/updating and the consequent maintenance of the database are very important and basic for any
Figure 2: This screen image illustrates the bi-directional link with SAP and GeoMedia.
system that deals with information, especially geospatial data. “RFI makes this process a priority,” says Mingrino. “For five years, RFI defined and implemented a set of rules and procedures for integrating and updating its geospatial database in a wellmanaged process.”
This operation also works in the opposite direction; when navigating using the SAP GUI, it is possible to switch to a view displayed on the GeoMedia GIS client (Figure 2). The implemented solution provides three software components required to achieve this two-way communication between the SAP and GIS systems. The The rules, focused for example components include two “server on topology and geometry valilogics” in the direction SAP to GIS, dation or metadata management and one “client logic” in the direcFigure 3: RFI uses the system to monitor and locate vehicles in real time. (FGDC appropriately simplified tion GIS to SAP. These compoand directly related to the standard ISO19115), concern both the availabilnents provide the architecture’s middle level and are located on the client. ity of other cartographic data sources (CAD files related to the plan of Railway Line Faults Management new railway lines; CAD files related to the plan of future railway lines; These projects address the corrected positioning of fleet maintenance raster files; and GPS file tracking) and data integration of other entervehicles and of work teams in real time (Figure 3). This process becomes prise systems. “critical” when the same vehicles and related teams are used in activiBusiness Process Support Based on ERP Integration ties such as emergencies or programmed maintenance. Critical elements The following are some of the processes, including those regarded as “critinclude the correct choice of the tracking device for the vehicles and ical,” which are managed on an integrated basis by SAP and GIS, with the various procedures for the registration, retrieving, and onboard data Intergraph Italy involved in the implementation. analysis – with particular attention to the efficacy, availability, and activation characteristics. Terminal Cleaning Management The main goal was to manage contracts for cleaning and maintenance of Geospatial Framework for Transportation Claudio Mingrino explains that RFI maps is a Web-based application, such the railway stations RFI owned to maintain a high level of service to clients. as Google maps and this solution can be considered as the new portal for To reach this goal, the project was divided into three parts and assigned all applications; it will be a consultation application and will also repreto specific working groups: plans database (Figure 1), contracts managesent the entry point for all vertical systems. ment for cleaning/maintenance, and ordinary maintenance. Intergraph’s efforts have focused on the first item, building an architecture to integrate The application consists of three levels or workflows: CAD, GIS, and SAP data. The reference architecture complies as closely as • Level one – The user wants essentially to locate a position or visualize possible with the standards of an “enterprise SOA.” a territorial context: the user performs a consultation. Thematic Analyses on Infrastructure Assets • Level two – The user adds a specific request at the consultation that This project involves integration at application and technology levels to requires the activation of the other system; these systems work this allow the use of data from both the cartographic database and the master request inside and return the information at the portal for visualizainfrastructure database. The key aspect of this integration is that the two tion/consultation. sources of information are held in both SAP’s and Intergraph’s GIS plat• Level three – The user requests a specific elaboration that requires actiforms, which could not be more different from each other technically. The vation of vertical and specific systems based on “specific and vertical” solution core is software middleware – based on clients – which contains logics on geospatial information, and in particular with the technology the application logic to establish the communication. It is also possible to and products Intergraph provides. switch the communication itself toward GIS-client application or Web-GIS application. These systems work inside their environment and both return the informaIn addition, an authorization policy was established to manage: tion to the portal and generate data as thematic analysis available for • The GIS access for a certain user and the area they can visualize. future consultations. • The choice to activate a GIS-client session vs. a Web-GIS session. These systems concern, for example, data interaction produced by the Intergraph delivered the integration process on two different levels in terms “noise pollution” software module in an integrated geographic view, or of the logic and implementation methodology used. This provides a unique the management of geospatial data with Intergraph technology, as well as architecture that not only facilitates the integration of data from both alphanumeric data in the SAP R/3 environment arising from the survey of databases, but also makes it possible to “navigate” in one database while protection infrastructure carried out to defend the territory along the rail. “experiencing” the results of this navigation in the other. This was achieved Another example of a “vertical” system concerns the analysis and thematby integrating both the data and the relevant navigation consoles. ic reports about cadastre data overlapping vectors and raster layers belonging to the RFI cartographic databases. As a result, users can navigate within the cartographic database via Intergraph’s GeoMedia client. For example, users can position themselves Internet: www.intergraph.com on a railway bridge and using a custom command, activate the SAP graphical user interface (GUI), which, when connected online to the master infrastructure data database, displays the relevant view of the master data corresponding to the bridge selected in the cartographic database.
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Current Developments in Airborne Digital Frame Cameras
As Displayed in the Intergeo 2010 Exhibition
The continuous rapid development of digital imaging technology resulted in numerous airborne digital frame cameras being shown at the Intergeo 2010 trade fair. For the airborne photogrammetric and mapping community, the many new or improved frame cameras that were on display in the exhibition formed a real highlight of the event. By Gordon Petrie
Fig. 1 – A Geoniss system with the digital SLR camera supported on its rotatable azimuth mount at right and with the display screen of the control computer at left. (Source: Geoniss)
While the editor-in-chief (Eric van Rees) has already provided readers with his overall impressions of Intergeo 2010 in the previous issue of GEOInformatics, I have been asked by him to focus attention on a particular subject area within which considerable technical development has taken place and a substantial number of new or improved products have been introduced and displayed in the exhibition. The area of airborne digital frame cameras was an obvious choice for me to make, since it quite definitely meets these criteria. This review of the activity that is taking place in this particular area, as seen at Intergeo 2010, will be conducted under the now widely accepted classification of airborne digital frame cameras on the basis of the format size of the image that is being generated in the camera’s focal plane at a single exposure station in the air – with the individual cameras having small, medium or large formats respectively.
I - Small-Format Frame Cameras
Single Camera Systems
Two representative examples of the small-format digital frame camera systems that are commercially available and are in current use for the acquisition of near-vertical airborne images are those produced by MosaicMill Ltd. and Geoniss. The Finnish-based MosaicMill company acquired the well-established EnsoMosaic business from the large Stora Enso forestry, paper manufacturing, packaging and wood products group in October 2009. Besides its photogrammetric and image processing soft-
When I first wrote about this topic in GEOInformatics in 2003, small-format cameras generated frame images that were between 1 and 6 Megapixels in size; a medium-format camera produced frame images that were typically 16 Megapixels in size; while a large-format camera delivered frame images that were larger than 25 to 30 Megapixels in terms of their format size. Now, in 2010, small-format cameras include digital SLR cameras producing frame images that are 25 Megapixels in size (and are going up rapidly). Medium-format cameras currently produce frame images in the range 39 to 60 Megapixels (and are set to increase to 80 Megapixels by the end of this year). While a large-format frame image is now regarded as being in the range Fig. 2 - Diagram showing the 100 to 250 Megapixels. What a principle of operation of a change has taken place during this stepping frame camera. seven year period! (Source: Goodrich)
ware, EnsoMosaic is also offered as a complete turnkey system for airborne imaging, including the possibility of such an operation being conducted on UAVs. The standard camera that is offered as part of the overall EnsoMosaic system is the Canon EOS 1Ds Mark III digital SLR camera with its 21 Megapixel image format. However the Nikon D3x SLR camera with its 24.5 Megapixel format and the compact Sony Alpha camera with its smaller 14.2 Megapixel image have also been supplied to certain customers as part of their system. Besides these small-format cameras, the EnsoMosaic aerial imaging system can also utilize Hasselblad
[b] [a] ital frame photos during a single rapid rotation of these cameras in a series of steps in the cross-track direction relative to the flight line – a technique that is called “stepand-stare” or “sweepframing” by the reconnaissance community Fig. 4 – The VisionMap MIST stepping frame camera for use in small UAV aircraft [Fig. 2]. This technique with its single camera shown uncovered at (a) and encased at (b). (Source: VisionMap} has been used for the last decade or more the cameras can be supplied with a CIR (colour on military reconnaissance aircraft – for examinfra-red) capability. The twin cameras that are ple on Tornado aircraft of the U.K.’s Royal Air used in the A3 system are equipped with folded Force; on F-16 aircraft of the Polish Air Force; reflective mirror optics having a focal length (f) and on Predator-B UAVs operated by the U.S. of 300 mm and a maximum scan or sweep angle Air Force – in each case, using purpose-built of 104 degrees. A single cross-track scan or camera systems that have been supplied by the sweep takes 4 seconds and generates up to 29 Goodrich Corporation in the U.S.A. The same pairs of photographs. The twin-camera A3 unit basic configuration of stepping frame cameras weighs 15 kg, while the accompanying on-board has been adopted, albeit in a more compact control computer unit – which includes an form, by two Israeli companies that are producOmniSTAR-supported GNSS receiver; a soliding camera systems for use in commercial aeristate memory; and an on-board JPEG 2000 proal survey and mapping operations. cessing capability – weighs a further 10 kg. A The first of these is the A3 system that has been complementary digital photogrammetric processproduced by the VisionMap company from Tel ing system accompanies the A3 camera system. Aviv in Israel. This system employs twin digital Several of these A3 camera systems are already stepping frame cameras to generate pairs of 11 in commercial operation, including two operated Megapixel panchromatic or RGB photographs by Fugro EarthData in the U.S.A.; a further two side-by-side during its cross-track scan or sweep that are in use with Aerodata International over the ground [Fig. 3]. At Intergeo 2010, Surveys from Belgium (which is now controlled VisionMap announced that, if required, one of
medium-format cameras. Along with the camera, MosaicMill also supplies the flight control and camera electronics, including a GPS receiver for flight navigation purposes, together with the required planning, calibration, navigation and imaging software. Similarly the Geoniss airborne digital imaging system – which comes from the Geodetska Druzba company in Slovenia – is designed specifically for use on small and ultra-light aircraft. It comprises a camera base plate incorporating a circular yaw (heading) movement, together with appropriate electronics and software to control the camera exposures [Fig. 1]. The Nikon D3x digital SLR camera is used as standard. However, like the EnsoMosaic system from MosaicMill, the Geoniss system can also utilize Hasselblad medium-format frame cameras.
Multiple Camera Systems
The increasing use of multiple small-format frame cameras and images to provide greater area coverage of the ground is a feature of the current airborne imaging scene. One approach is to generate a fan of vertical and oblique dig[a]
Fig. 5 – (a) Showing the ground coverage of the forward and backward looking scans or sweeps of the twin cameras forming part of the Airborne Mapping Unit (AMU). (b) The twin camera system of the AMU. (Source: Tiltan Systems Engineering Ltd.)
Fig. 3 – (a) The VisionMap A3 twin stepping frame camera system. (b) A diagram showing the patterns of ground coverage that are generated by the A3 camera system. The “Single Frames” are those acquired by a single camera; the “Double Frames” are those acquired simultaneously by the twin cameras of the A3 system. The “Super Large Frame” (SLF) comprises all the single and double frames acquired during one specific sweep over the ground. The SLF is a synthetic image formed from the multiple A3 frame images covering a large area and is intended for use in stereo-interpretation and stereo-photogrammetric mapping. (Source: VisionMap)
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Fig. 6 – Diagram showing the distinctive “Maltese Cross” ground coverage of a five camera system that produces a single near-vertical photo and four oblique photos. (Drawn by Mike Shand)
tioned above. Each of the five cameras is fitted with a Zeiss lens. In order to ensure the complete rigidity and stability of the lens and camera body, as required for photogrammetric work, each of the Canon cameras is fitted into an exoskeleton frame that ensures that no movement can take place between these major components [Fig. 7 (a)]. Each camera is then calibrated by Applanix, which also supplies the POS-AV position and orientation system – if this is required by the customer. Track’Air has sold 35 MIDAS systems to date [Fig. 7 (b)]. The Track’Air company has also designed a nine-camera system with one vertical and eight oblique pointing frame cameras [Fig. 8]. The four additional cameras have the same alignment as the four oblique cameras of the existing five-camera MIDAS system, but each will have a different oblique angular pointing. This arrangement will extend the ground coverage along the arms of the “Maltese Cross”. Besides the established five-camera MIDAS system, it is worth noting that Track’Air is also introducing a compact small-format frame camera system for use in light aircraft. This utilizes a special mount that can be controlled either manually or automatically. This mount allows the installation of various camera configurations – such as single or dual vertical digital SLR cameras; or a combination of a vertical and an oblique camera; or a triple camera installation comprising forward, vertical and backward
by the Pasco Corporation from Japan); a single example by GetMapping in the U.K.; and another by the Ofek mapping company in Israel. A further development of this technology by VisionMap is the MIST system. This is based on the same stepping frame camera principle, but employs only a single small-format camera generating colour RGB imagery, instead of the twin camera unit of the A3 [Fig. 4]. With its light weight of 10 kg, the MIST system is intended principally for use in small tactical UAVs. The second stepping frame camera system – called the Airborne Mapping Unit (AMU) – was introduced at Intergeo 2010. The system is produced by the Tiltan Systems Engineering Ltd. company, which is based in Petach Tikva in Israel. Its development has been carried out in partnership with Diamond Airborne Sensing, a subsidiary of the Diamond aircraft manufacturing company which is based in Austria. Again twin frame cameras with 11 Megapixel CCD arrays are used in conjunction with f = 300 mm optics. However the configuration is somewhat different to that of the VisionMap A3. With the AMU system, one camera points in the forward direction at slant angles of +160 to +450, while the other points in the backward direction at slant angles of -160 to -450 [Fig. 5 (a)]. Each of the two cameras steps to expose a fan or strip of four frame photographs in the cross-track direction sequentially. This sweep gives an angular coverage of 19 degrees for each of the two strips in the cross-track direction. The overall system includes a scanning, pointing and stabilization (SPS) unit, which stabilizes the two cameras around their pitch and roll axes and controls the scanning angles of the rotatable mirrors that are placed in front of the cameras [Fig. 5 (b)]. A GPS receiver provides positional information for geo-referencing purposes, with the overall system being controlled via the sys-
tem PC. As with the VisionMap system, the Tiltan system is supplied together with its so-called Ground Processing Unit (GPU), which comprises photogrammetric software that converts the acquired image data into mapping and modelling products, including the automated production of DTM data leading to the generation of true orthophotos and 3D urban models.
“Maltese Cross” Systems
This type of imaging system comprises a single nadir (near-vertical) pointing frame camera and four oblique pointing frame cameras, all of which are mounted rigidly together in a specially built frame. Two of the oblique cameras point in opposite directions cross-track, while the remaining pair of oblique cameras point in opposite directions along-track [Fig. 6]. The resulting ground coverage of the five cameras takes the distinctive form of a “Maltese Cross”. The principal independent supplier of this type of system is Track’Air, which is based both in Oldenzaal in The Netherlands and in Orlando, Florida. The Track’Air implementation of this imaging scheme is its MIDAS system, which utilizes five of the small-format Canon EOS 1Ds Mark III cameras that have already been men-
Fig. 7 – (a) Showing a Canon EOS 1Ds Mark III at left; the exoskeleton frame in the middle; and the camera enclosed in its exoskeleton frame at right. (b) A complete MIDAS system as fitted in a photographic aircraft. (Source: Track’Air)
Fig. 8 – CAD drawings of the proposed nine camera system comprising one vertical pointing camera and eight oblique pointing cameras - (a) a side view showing the stacked cameras; and (b) a view of the system as seen from below. (Source: Track’Air)
pointing cameras. A further possible development is the use of the larger-format (37.5 Megapixel) Leica S2 digital SLR camera, which is under test by Track’Air at the present time.
II – Medium-Format Frame Cameras
By far the largest suppliers of medium-format airborne digital frame cameras have been Applanix (with its DSS camera systems) and RolleiMetric (with its AIC metric cameras). Both companies have been bought by Trimble which, as a result, is now the largest supplier within this category. So it was especially interesting to see and hear about the new airborne camera products from Trimble GeoSpatial that were being introduced at Intergeo 2010. On the one hand, the company introduced its Trimble DSS WideAngle camera system which generates a 60 Megapixel frame image and can be equipped with either f = 35 or 50 mm lenses that can be interchanged by the user [Fig. 9 (a)]. The body of the actual camera, which was formerly supplied by Contax (which has gone out of business), is now manufactured in-house by Applanix. It includes a user-replaceable focalplane shutter cartridge. The overall DSS WideAngle system is integrated with a POS-AV (GPS/IMU) unit for direct geo-referencing and
also includes the Applanix POSTrack flight management system. The second product release concerned the Trimble Aerial Camera (formerly the AIC metric camera), which is available in both 39 and 60 Megapixel versions for the acquisition of RGB or CIR frame images [Fig. 9 (b)]. A forward motion compensation (FMC) capability for this camera was announced at Intergeo. This allows a 2x increase in the maximum flight speed of the airborne platform and a decrease of up to three stops in shutter speed for typical flight altitudes. Existing examples of the AIC camera can be upgraded to have this FMC capability too. Trimble is also offering its four-coupled Trimble Aerial Camera x4 with the four medium-format cameras set in an oblique but slightly overlapping block configuration and encased in a rigid mount [Fig. 9 (c)]. After rectification and stitching, the resulting four merged images constitute a single large-format frame image. Another much smaller supplier of medium-format airborne cameras has been DiMAC Systems, which is based at Charleroi Airport in the southern part of Belgium. Its range of cameras was described in my article that was published in the June 2009 issue of GEOInformatics. Three months before Intergeo (in June 2010), the DiMAC company, including its technology and
patents, was acquired by Optech from Canada, which is well known as a major supplier of both airborne and ground-based laser scanning systems. A large proportion of the Optech company’s ALTM range of airborne laser scanners have been sold integrated with medium-format digital frame cameras. Previously these cameras had been supplied to Optech by RolleiMetric and Applanix. However, in September 2008, Trimble bought the TopoSys company and started to compete in the airborne laser scanning market with the Harrier scanner product that had been developed by TopoSys. Besides which, Trimble also acquired the RolleiMetric company in September 2008 and it already owned Applanix. Thus it was not unexpected that Optech would seek a new camera supplier that was not owned by a competitor. Through its acquisition of DiMAC, Optech is now able to offer a varied range of airborne digital cameras – comprising the twin-camera DiMAC Wide+; the DiMAC Light+; and the DiMAC UltraLight+ models – all of which it can now produce and support inhouse. All three camera models are available with 60 Megapixel digital backs generating RGB images and they all utilize the DiMAC forward motion compensation (FMC) technology. The production of the DiMAC cameras is now being undertaken in Optech’s main facility in Vaughan, Ontario, while the camera research and development department will remain in Belgium. Already the first fruits of this merger were to be seen with a fully integrated ALTM scanner and DiMAC UltraLight+ camera package that utilizes a custom-built mount [Fig. 10]. In the article published in the June 2009 issue of GEOInformatics, in which I reviewed the range of DiMAC cameras that were available at that time, the design of the six-camera DiMACoblique system was included. Since then, a completely new design of this system has been developed by DiMAC for the sole use of the Cicade mapping company [Fig. 11]. At present, there are no plans to market the system commercially, neither by Cicade, nor by DiMAC. As described in a previous article of mine that was published in the September 2009 issue of GEOInformatics, Leica Geosystems first entered the medium-format airborne frame camera market in 2007 with its RCD105 model that was designed specifically for integration and concurrent operation with Leica’s ALS series of airborne laser scanners. This product was followed by the “stand-alone” RCD100 system in which the camera was fully integrated with a control electronics unit; with the company’s IPAS (Inertial Position & Attitude System); and with the PAV80 gyro-stabilized mount. The actual CH39 frame camera unit that was used in both the RCD100 and RCD105 systems was sourced
Fig. 9 – (a) At right is the Trimble DSS WideAngle camera system with its accompanying IMU, both of which have been mounted on the system’s base plate that can be rotated in azimuth. At left is the control cabinet with its stack of drawers containing the integrated POS-AV direct geo-referencing system and the system control electronics, with the system display monitor placed on top of the cabinet. (b) The ruggedized Trimble Aerial Camera with its control electronics box placed on top of the camera. (c) The Trimble Aerial Camera x4 comprising four medium-format frame cameras that are set in an oblique pointing block configuration within a rigid cylindrical box. (Source: Trimble GeoSpatial Division)
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Fig.10 – This illustration shows an integrated ALTM scanner & DiMAC camera package from Optech. At left are an Orion ALTM laser scanner and a DiMAC UltraLight+ medium-format frame camera, which are mounted together on a custombuilt tiltable mount; in the middle are a laptop computer and a small system display monitor; while at right is the “IT Cube” with its control and data acquisition electronics and computers and its removable data storage units. (Source: Optech)
simultaneously. When the two images are coregistered, a colour infra-red (CIR) image will result. The CH61 variant of the camera is not fitted with the beam splitter and has only a single CCD array, so it produces only the RGB colour image. The camera system control box can handle up to five CH-6x cameras simultaneously. This allows single, dual, triple, quadruple and quintuple configurations to be implemented for image data acquisition. The Duo pod and mount for dual camera operation is shown in Figs. 12 (b) and (c). The IGI DigiCAM range of modular medium–format frame cameras were also reviewed in another (separate) article of mine that also appeared in the September 2009 issue of GEOInformatics. This highlighted the large range of camera configurations that are offered by IGI – using between one and five cameras in every possible configuration to acquire both vertical and oblique aerial photography, either in combination or separately. These different configurations can be implemented in combination with a wide range of lenses with focal lengths varying from 28 to 300 mm. Yet another variation is possible in terms of the format size; currently three different sizes – 39, 50 and 60 Megapixels – are being offered. As with those other suppliers who offer airborne laser scanning systems, many of the single DigiCAM cameras are being supplied fully integrated with IGI’s LiteMapper laser scanner products. At Intergeo 2010, IGI displayed the latest version of its Quattro-DigiCAM camera fitted into a new outer case [Fig. 13 (a)], which in turn fits directly into modern gyro-stabilized mounts such as the Somag GSM 3000 or the Leica PAV30 and PAV80 models. The Quattro-DigiCAM has its four medium-format frame cameras closely coupled together, with each tilted in an oblique but overlapping block configuration [Fig. 13 (b)]. The shutters in each of the four cameras expose their low oblique images simultaneously and with a very high degree of synchronization. After rectification and stitching, the four merged images produce a final large-format frame image that is either 145, 191 or 235 Megapixels in size – depending on which digital backs (either 39, 50 or 60 Megapixels) have been fitted to the individual DigiCAM cameras.
IGI is also offering its DigiTHERM airborne thermal-IR frame camera system which operates in the 8 to 14 ɥm wavelength range. The actual camera is based on the Jenoptik unit which uses an uncooled micro-bolometer focal plane array (FPA) to produce a frame image that is 640 x 480 pixels in size. The camera is linked to IGI’s own DigiControl control unit with its TFT touchscreen display [Fig. 14]. IGI has also partnered with the Dutch Geocopter company to offer a complete UAV system that uses IGI’s DigiCAM or DigiTHERM cameras in combination with its AEROcontrol (GPS/IMU) system to acquire georeferenced imagery [Fig. 15]. The Icaros Geoystems company is incorporated in the U.S.A., but has its research and development facility in Israel. It is yet another company that is offering a complete package comprising an airborne digital photographic imaging system and an accompanying highly automated photogrammetric system (called IPS2.OT) that produces mapping and modelling products from the acquired airborne imagery. The Icaros Digital Mapper (IDM) digital photographic system comprises three major components or units. (i) The first of these consists of the actual camera and its mount [Fig. 16 (a)]. These are placed in a protective box that can be moved out on slides externally into the airstream when the aircraft reaches the target area that is to be photographed from the air. The camera mount is stabilized in roll and pitch using the signals from a two-axes gyro, while the signals from a GPS receiver equipped with two antennas are used to correct the heading or yaw movement in azimuth. The camera can either be a single unit, as in the IDM 200 system, or the system can utilize three cameras, as in the IDM 600 system. A medium-format digital SLR camera producing 60 Megapixel RGB colour images is the current standard with the IDM 200 system. An 80 Megapixel digital back will be available soon. As for the IDM 600 system, a typical installation comprises two medium-format digital frame cameras exposing 60 Megapixel RGB and CIR images respectively, with the third camera being a thermal-IR unit exposing frame images that are 640 x 480 pixels in size [Fig. 16 (b)]. Several other combinations of cameras are possible with the IDM 600 – for example, three RGB cameras for wide swath coverage or a combination of RGB + NIR + thermal-IR cameras. (ii) The second major component of the system consists of a box that contains the control electronics, storage media, etc. – which remains inside the body of the aircraft at all times. (iii) The overall control of the system, including the flight management, navigation and camera exposure control operations, is carried out by the camera operator using a suitably programmed laptop computer, which forms the third major component of the system.
from Geospatial Systems in the U.S.A. However, at Intergeo 2010, came the announcement of a completely new series of RCD30 medium-format frame cameras. These new cameras are being made in-house by Leica and are very substantially different in their design and construction to the earlier RCD100/105 models. Each RCD30 frame camera [Fig. 12 (a)] features (i) a 60 Megapixel CCD array (instead of the 39 Megapixel arrays that were used in the previous RCD100/105 models); (ii) a between-thelens shutter (instead of a focal plane shutter); and (iii) a forward motion compensation (FMC) capability that operates along two axes (lineof-flight and cross-track). The CH62 variant of the camera features twin CCD arrays that receive their respective images via a beam splitter to generate (i) an RGB colour image (using a Bayer mosaic pattern filter), and (ii) an NIR image
Fig. 11 – (a) This CAD drawing shows the arrangement of the new DiMACoblique camera system - with its twin vertically pointing cameras and four oblique pointing cameras. (b) This diagram shows the ground coverage of the DiMACoblique camera system – the green box showing the combined coverage of the twin vertical frame cameras, while the red boxes (linked to the angular cones of coverage) show the ground coverage of the four oblique frame cameras. (Source: Cicade)
Fig. 12 – (a) The new Leica Geosystems RCD30 medium-format airborne digital frame camera. (b) & (c) - CAD drawings showing the mount for the dual camera version of the Leica RCD30 as seen from above in (b); and as seen from below in (c). (Source: Leica Geosystems)
On show on the Vexcel Imaging stand was the latest version of the company’s UltraCam L medium-format airborne digital camera. This has a rather unique design utilizing four frame cameras [Fig. 17]. Two of these cameras operate side-by-side to generate an image that is 9.5k x 6.6k pixels = 64 Megapixels in size. Forward motion compensation to ensure blurfree images is achieved using CCD arrays incorporating Time Delayed Integration (TDI) technology. A further pair of frame cameras expose smaller-format colour (RGB) and NIR images
respectively, each of which is 5.4k x 3.8k pixels = 20 Megapixels in size. The data from these smaller-format images may be used to colourize the pan image, for instance to generate false-colour (CIR) images. A new version of this camera – called the UltraCam Lp – was announced at Intergeo 2010. In this improved model, the main panchromatic image produced by the twin cameras will be increased in size to 11.7k x 7.9k pixels = 92 Megapixels, while the two smaller-format RGB and NIR images are 5.3k x 3.6k pixels = 19 Megapixels in size.
Information about yet another system comprising multiple medium-format frame cameras – called the SWDC system – was given in posters and a brochure that were available on the stand of the Beijing Geo-Vision Technology company, which is an offshoot of the Chinese Academy of Surveying & Mapping. The SWDC is an integrated system with four oblique-pointing frame cameras arranged in an overlapping block configuration and firing simultaneously from a single station in the air – which is similar in its basic concept to that of the IGI Quattro-DigiCAM and the Trimble Aerial Camera x4 that have already been discussed above. The final rectified, stitched and merged large-format frame image – which is produced from the set of four 39 Megapixel medium-format images that have been exposed simultaneously by the SWDC camera – is 145 Megapixels in size.
III – Large-Format Frame Cameras
With regard to large-format digital frame cameras, there is a very simple choice. On the one hand, there is the new Intergraph (Z/I) DMC II camera with its single monolithic CCD array gen-
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Fig. 13 –The IGI Quattro-DigiCAM as displayed at Intergeo 2010, with (a) the view of the newly designed case containing the four cameras and the accompanying AEROcontrol GPS/IMU system, as seen from above, and (b) the view from beneath the multiple camera system, showing the four oblique pointing camera lenses in their block configuration. (Source:IGI)
Fig. 17 – (a) The Vexcel UltraCam L camera showing the arrangement of its four lenses capturing twin pan and single RGB and NIR images respectively. (b) Showing the drawer of electronics cards in the upper part of the camera that control the camera’s operations. (Source: Vexcel Imaging)
erating large-format pan frame images. The camera’s pan imager is supplemented by four medium-format (42 Megapixel) CCD arrays that produce separate multi-spectral frame images in the red, green, blue (RGB) and NIR parts of the spectrum. These images can be used to colourize the large-format pan frame images to produce colour and false-colour images – if this is required. As described in my recent article on the DMC II camera that was published in the July/August 2010 issue of GEOInformatics, the current DMC II140 model generates a 140 Megapixel pan frame image. Already ten of these cameras have been delivered, supplementing the 100+ examples of the previous DMC model that had already been supplied to users. Apparently the first deliveries of the newest and still larger-format DMC II230 and DMC II250 models with their 230 and 250 Megapixel frame images will start soon. For most visitors, Intergeo 2010 was the first opportunity to see the new DMC II camera at first hand. It should be noted that, if the camera is supplied without the large-format pan imager, it then becomes the RMK D product, which is purely a medium-format four-channel multispectral frame camera.
Fig. 15 – (a) A Geocopter UAV. (b) The view from beneath the UAV showing an IGI DigiCAM camera and the storage box for the controller and data storage units. (c) The view of the camera compartment from above, showing the DigiCAM camera (lower) and the IMU of the AEROcontrol system (upper) on their shared mount. (Source: IGI)
The alternative product to the DMC II is the Vexcel UltraCam Xp large-format frame camera. This utilizes an array of small- and medium-format CCDs to expose their images in a very rapid time series from a single position in the air to produce (after processing and merging) its final pan frame image which is 17.3k x 11.3k pixels = 196 Megapixels in size. Again this large-for[a]
mat pan imaging capability is supplemented by four small-format multi-spectral (RGB + NIR) cameras, each of which generates frame images that are 5.7k x 3.8k pixels = 22 Megapixels in size and can be used to colourize the large-format pan image. The UltraCam Xp is available in two flavours – (i) the standard model, which is equipped with lenses having focal lengths of 100 mm (for its pan imager) and 33 mm (for each of the multi-spectral channels) respectively; and (ii) the wide-angle model with lenses having focal length values of 70 mm (pan) and 23 mm (multi-spectral) respectively. Various models (UC-D, UC-X & UC-Xp) in the UltraCam large-format frame camera series have been released successively since 2003. Reportedly a total of over 150 units have been sold to date. Thus it has proven to be very popular with aerial photographic companies and with commercial and national mapping agencies. Other than the DMC II and the UltraCam Xp cameras, then, as discussed above, the alternative route to the acquisition of large-format frame images is to utilize the integrated fourcoupled medium-format camera systems such as the IGI Quattro-DigiCAM; the Trimble Aerial Camera x4; and the Chinese SWDC camera and then rectify, stitch together and merge the resulting images.
The Intergeo 2010 exhibition showcased the rich variety of airborne digital frame cameras that are currently available on the market – with a huge range of format sizes, focal lengths, camera configurations and supporting systems. Even the most discerning and demanding customer might (or should) be satisfied with the choice that is currently being offered.
Gordon Petrie is Emeritus Professor of Topographic Science in the School of Geographical & Earth Sciences of the University of Glasgow, Scotland, U.K. E-mail - Gordon.Petrie@ges.gla.ac.uk; Web Site http://web2.ges.gla.ac.uk/~gpetrie
Fig. 14 – (a) At the left side of this photo is the TFT touch-screen display; in the middle is the DigiControl control unit; while at right is the DigiTHERM thermal-IR frame camera. (b) This Dual-DigiTHERM system, with its twin cameras pointing obliquely on either side of the flight line, has been placed in a cylindrical adapter box that fits into a Somag GSM 3000 gyro-stabilized mount. The IMU from an AEROcontrol system (which is contained in the red box) has been placed on a shelf directly above the two DigiTHERM cameras. (Source: IGI)
Fig. 16 – (a) An overall view of an Icaros Digital Mapper (IDM) system showing the controller unit mounted inside the aircraft, while the unit containing the camera and its mount has been moved out into the shooting or exposing position which is located external to the aircraft. (b) This illustration shows the three major components of an Icaros IDM 600 system. At left is the laptop computer; in the middle is the electonics control unit; while at right is the camera unit containing the three cameras – two of them are Phase One medium-format digital SLR cameras, while the third is a thermal-IR frame camera. (Souce: Icaros Geosystems)
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Esri EMEA User Conference 2010
With 1500 visitors, the Esri EMEA User Conference is becoming larger and larger. This year's event was held in Rome, Italy. During 26-28th of October, the Ergife Palace Hotel was the stage for three days of keynotes and presentations by Esri users and partners. by Eric van Rees
Before his keynote speech, Esri President Jack Dangermond was presented with a lifetime achievement award by Esri Italia.
o less than 1500 visitors were welcomed at the Esri EMEA User Conference 2010. The main topics were the major new release of ArcGIS 10, the INSPIRE directive and the fusion between imagery and GIS, all of which were discussed several times during the event. Although these topics were expected to be high on the agenda, others such as mobile GIS were slowly emerging. For instance, location-aware devices promise to be very interesting for the GIS market in the coming years, not only in terms of using citizens as data collectors and sharers through different types of social media, but also for business GIS (location based advertising for example). The first conference day featured a keynote speech by Jack Dangermond, as well as several European keynotes and a number of technical presentations and demonstrations of ArcGIS 10. The following two days highlight-
ed a series of user presentations (or paper sessions), in no less than ten different tracks.
Before his keynote speech, Dangermond was presented with a lifetime achievement award by Esri Italia, which celebrated its 20th anniversary this year. The following keynote, named 'GIS for Everyone', stressed that ArcGIS 10 was a major release, because it includes not only desktop, but also mobile and server platforms, which together form one integrated GIS platform. Apart from the desktop, server and federated approach, a pervasive approach through cloud/web GIS and the mobile device can be seen. A great deal of the keynote was about ArcGIS Online and the basemap initiative, where authoritative cartographic data is provided by cartographic organizations worldwide to produce a basemap of
the whole world. It was interesting to see that an Open Street Map template is used for hard to reach locations, such as the city of Algiers. The following three keynotes showed a glimpse of what to expect for the coming two days: topics discussed were GIS and humanitarian aid, environmental information in Europe and intergovernmental geo-intelligence. Apart from user presentations such as these, various technical presentations and demonstrations could be followed, given by Esri staff worldwide.
Michelle Frey and Lee Braybrooke from Trimble presented different GPS and GIS applications used for rail infrastructure management in Canada and the U.S. One of the tasks was to create a database that describes the network and wayside assets (tracks, mileDecember 2010
posts, switches etc.) of the railway company and to keep the track database updated as changes occur in the field. To facilitate field and office use, a combination of four components was created: Esri ArcGIS mobile, Esri ArcGIS Server, Trimble post processing and Trimble devices for use in the field. The field users include mobile staff as well as inspectors, maintenance crews and construction workers. The office users are GIS analysts. Since there are a lot of assets to be maintained and mapped, the system requires rapid data collection, via simple data entry forms. Although not as accurate as employing surveying instruments, the end solution guarantees highly accurate data capture of assets and precise positional information for each. It also enables a seamless transfer of data direct from the field, travel time savings, and an almost real-time review of project progress.
ITT announced ENVI 4.8 and ENVI for ArcGIS Server. ENVI 4.8 now includes full integration with ArcGIS, making image analysis tools accessible directly from within the ArcGIS interface (accessible through the ArcGIS toolbox). The release also includes functionality for viewing LiDAR data in a display as well as a new automated process for viewshed analysis, giving users situational awareness from fixed vantage points.
ITT Visual Information Solutions was in attendance with a presentation called 'Image Analysis Techniques for Disaster Management and Monitoring'. Cherie Darnel presented a number of case studies in which image analysis techniques were used for disaster management. First, she showed how remote sensing was used for damage analysis after Hurricane Katrina. She then went on to explain how change detection, as well as assessments, was done on a regional, neighborhood and per-building level. Qualitative analysis was done with ArcGIS for the assessment of flooded areas. For this, available Quickbird and LiDAR data were used. Quantitative and qualitative analyses were combined for a case study of the Indian Ocean tsunami. Here, extracted building outlines and locations were viewed, evacuation routes were planned and the most distressed or flooded areas requiring immediate assistance were identified. In Western North America, mountain pine beetle outbreaks can result in the loss of millions of pine trees. Through forestry analysis, the damage to the forest can be analyzed. The steps required are as follows: calculate the NDVI (Normalized Difference Vegetation Index), calculate the vegetation difference and, the last step, perform post classification clean up. In her conclusion, Darnel made clear that image analysis and GIS, when used together, can have powerful results, such as the ability to perform advanced analytics using imageryderived data, and geodatabases that are easily updated with the availability of current imagery.
Latest News? Visit www.geoinformatics.com
was a central theme for this conference, not just because of the location of the event (Europe) but because the INSPIRE deadline is getting closer and closer. This is causing software companies and government agencies to get their acts together and work hard to offer software solutions, and get the data right. Announced during Intergeo, but discussed in detail during this event, the ArcGIS for INSPIRE product was showcased during a presentation from con terra GmbH, which developed the product. ArcGIS for INSPIRE includes a commercial extension to ArcGIS Server as well as Esri's open source solutions for geoportals. With this, it is possible to manage and publish metadata, manage and publish geospatial data and consume INSPIRE data and services. On top of this, there are also a number of add-ons from the sdi.suite from con terra. These enable extended data sharing and monitoring, and reporting of quality control, usage accounting and the like. To make things a little more clear, Christian Elfers from con terra outlined a scenario for applying ArcGIS for INSPIRE for a public agency that owns and manages a dataset of the administrative boundaries of Europe. Elfers identified three tasks for the product: first, the use of data models for spatial data sets that are compliant with INSPIRE data specifications. Second, the integration of business processes and the transformation of data, into INSPIRE. Third, access via INSPIRE network from UML models to enterprise geodatabase schema (in other words, publish an INSPIRE Network Service, a web services extension to ArcGIS Server). For performing the second task, an add-on from FME is available, called the FME INSPIRE Solution Pack, which can be used to simplify the complex INSPIRE schema mapping.
presentation on the Eagle product was given by Frits van der Schaaf (Esri The Netherlands). He focused on how a netcentric and mapcentric approach for crisis management and emergency response could serve as a 'common operational picture' where different parties share the same information rather than just a piece of the puzzle. The system combines GIS, the web and general IT to share and update information when managing disasters. Making this 'common operational picture' happen requires a steady technological infrastructure (internet connection, a lot of bandwidth, etc.) and audience members asked if this was actually the case in disaster areas such as Pakistan, where Eagle was applied successfully.
GIS and Humanitarian Response
The Humanitarian Response track concluded with three strong presentations. Inna Cruz from the Geneva International Centre for Humanitarian Demining presented a project called SERWIS, a server for the global contamination from the explosive remnants of war (SERWIS is short for Server for Explosive Remnants of War Information Systems). With the project, overview maps are created of areas where mines are located but have not yet been disarmed. Not only is the location mapped, but also the population density in the contaminated areas, which enable the potential dangers to be estimated. The aim of the project is to display data on a global scale, which is badly needed, because collected vector data is unable to show the real contamination problem on such a scale. Output maps have four different layers: the first layer shows the ERW (explosive remnants of war) contamination, the second layer illustrates the field activity, layer three shows the impact and layer four the operational difficulties for demining. Critical points for this project are data accuracy and sensitivity of the data (if the data is available at all). Next year, the Esri EMEA User Conference will be hosted in Madrid, Spain (26-28 October 2011), followed by the Esri Middle East and Africa Conference in Lebanon (1-3 November 2011).
Internet: www.esri.com/events/EMEA www.ittvis.com www.sdi-suite.com www.esri.com/INSPIRE www.isma.org
GIS and Disaster Management
There were also a number of Dutch presentations: the Railways Management track featured a presentation on the integration of three databases of the Dutch Railway Network (GIS, SAP, Infra Atlas Triangle), by Juliette van Driel from ProRail. During the 'Techniques and Methods for Disaster Management' track, a
Be Inspired 2010
3D to Mobile to Integrated Data Model
Top users of Bentley software get invited to participate in the Be INSPIRED Awards 2010. Interesting, innovative and sometimes mindboggling projects fight for their moment of fame. By Remco Takken
many aspects of spatial information were seen in other categories. An interesting observation was that all nominees in the ‘Government category’ were Danish. This might be due to the firm legislation and forwardlooking attitude of the geospatial community in that country.
The winner was the on-the-Fly 3D City and Urban Modeling of Odense Kommune. This Danish municipality devised a method for dynamically updating their 3D models so they can be used in future workflows. The process retrieves existing GIS data and generates objects on the fly. These objects automatically update when changes are made in the data register or base map. Using the GenerativeComponents element sensor, any object with a geographical representation can be generated, such as buildings, roads and street furniture like benches and lamp posts. The 3D objects inherit the attribute links or semantic data, so they can be used for GIS enquiries and analysis. This produces a simplified 3D city model which can be generated quickly for large areas.
Bentley’s Bhupinder Singh during his overview of current Bentley products like Asset Wise and Project Wise.
ow file). Modified elements are detected automatically using checksum.
The third Danish nominee, geodetic company Tvilum Landinspektørfirma, showed its solution for mapping using Web Feature Services (WFS). This Danish surveyor routinely checks cadastral and construction drawings to ensure they conform to restrictions. The challenge is to retrieve these restrictions from multiple servers, which requires manual retrieval and tracking when the data is updated. Tvilum uses national vector base maps with attributes from different map providers: cadastral, topographic, nature and environmental, municipality and local area plans, and administrative boundaries. The goal of this $100,000 project was to develop a workflow that saves time and ensures that official and up-to-date data is used. Typical problems that arose in the existing workflow were based around outdated maps. End users typically worked from locally stored copies, and no one knew whether the map was up to date or not. Now all map providers in Denmark are able to deliver maps through WFS and a map area can be requested by bounding box. The preferred Microstation application of use here is WFS Booster. Multiple maps from different providers can now be downloaded simultaneously in just a few seconds, and with a single click.
Of the finalists, the GIS4Mobile project was deceptively simple, and thereby the one with the broadest appeal. The solution, presented by GeoSite, connected an online mobile GPSenabled device to MicroStation allowing users to send and receive data wirelessly. This can be any smartphone, tablet PC or handheld (like the Trimble Juno they showed in their example). The system can be dissected in three parts: Mobile (cellphone, handheld GPS), webserver (Geobox using GML) and GIS, synchronizing the service and application. Using a spatial Web service developed for this project, municipal work crews can use mobile phones to capture and submit photos and attributes from the field. The background default when working online is Google aerial photo material. However, the live demo fell flat because only Danish data had been uploaded, which was invisible during the conference. A nice feature was the manual map adjustment tool. When registering dangerous regions where surveyors typically don’t want to go, registration is still possible by shuffling the map around. Managers can transmit design file data from MicroStation to mobile phones to indicate locations for inspection. The MicroStation application GeoSync, imports and exports data from the GIS4Mobile spatial server, such as position, attributes and images. It synchronizes deleted items and adds time stamps, while maintaining a local link (shad-
CEO Greg Bentley and Resilience, the recurring theme from his assessment of everything Bentley.
Approximately four hundred invitees from all
over the world gathered around the fifty five finalists for the Be INSPIRED Awards 2010, held in Amsterdam. It soon became apparent that this was not some cooked-up awards meeting. According to Bentley, the quality of the live presentations of top Bentley users was to be judged by a panel of former winners, journalists and skilled users. However, at least one of the winners, Odense Kommune, had not been presenting. While the track ‘Innovation in Government’, hosted by Bentley’s Richard Zambuni, focused mainly on geospatial issues during the two-day event,
Latest News? Visit www.geoinformatics.com
XFM Moves Maps to Integrated GIS
Telefónica O2, a major operator of voice and data services in the Czech Republic, talked about its implementation of Oracle Spatial and MicroStation V8i plus XFM. The operator consistently maintains accurate and complex documentation for its network. The goal of the project was to provide more efficient documentation. Therefore, the geodetic style of data capture was abandoned in favour of a data model based on the description of real objects. Also, there was a very strong wish to be able to handle mass data updates and to allow offline data updates done by external suppliers.
On-the-Fly 3D City and Urban Modeling of Odense Kommune, Danmark, BE INSPIRED winner in the category Innovation In Government. Bentley’s GenerativeComponents product offers a parametric modeling capability that leverages GIS data to swiftly create 3D City models. Image courtesy of Bentley.
Cable tracks, schematics and information from other OSS systems were to be integrated. As for the storage of the data, duplication was to be avoided, so an open standard had to be applied for all users to access the data. The open data model was built around Bentley’s own XFM schema, itself based on XML. The new data model was dramatically simplified from 3000 to 189 features. The data is now stored in SDO DB instead of DGN files, complete with XFM feature (SDO_Geometry plus XML Fragment) and history tracking. Data migration was pulled off automatically from DGN V7 to SDO_XFM. In this way, more than 140,000 DGN files were scattered into 250,000,000 features.
The grand total of more than 50 finalists, representing 21 countries, is one of the more overwhelming facts surrounding the Be INSPIRED Awards 2010 event. Over the course of 2011, many best practices, case studies and examples from those finalists will appear in the media. Because not all participants seemed to welcome huge press coverage, and because none of the presentations is available online, the Award event itself will maintain its position as a unique gathering of exceptional minds, all Bentley users. In the near future, Bentley will publish its 2010 edition of the book ‘The Year in Infrastructure’. This will no doubt be a valuable handbook for those who were unfortunate enough not to be there. With so many presentations going on in two days, one easily misses a vast amount of them. That is exactly what happens if you choose to showcase only four examples for an article like this. So stay tuned for more detailed, in-depth reports on some of the other exceptional finalists of Be INSPIRED 2010.
Internet: www.bentley.com/enUS/Community/ BE+Awards/2010
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Advanced Spatial Analysis
Intergraph GeoMedia 3D
GeoMedia 3D is the latest addition to the Intergraph GeoMedia product suite, a set of integrated applications that offers a wide range of geospatial processing capabilities across multiple industries, including defense, intelligence, government, transportation, utilities, communications, public safety, and security applications. By Wayne Smith
eoMedia 3D fully integrates the advanced spatial analysis and data capture of GeoMedia with the 3D “virtual earth” style of presentation popular in today’s mainstream consumer mapping applications. This combination delivers more precise visualization of surface and environmental characteristics for increased insight, data accuracy, and user productivity. Intergraph included 3D visualization with GeoMedia products in recent years. However, the 3D visualization was a separate application outside of GeoMedia. Users could export a surface to view in 3D, but had to leave the application and return to GeoMedia to make any adjustments to the geospatial data.
The new functionality will enhance infrastructure management, land information management, geospatial intelligence exploitation and production, cartographic production, and public safety and security solutions, and provide more realistic reporting and analysis across all solutions where GeoMedia is deployed. Examples of specific vertical applications include, among many others: strengthening security and military assessment through realistic 3D simulations; evaluating sub-terrain interference for utility lines; Creating hotspot maps for crimes and representing other statistical data in 3D; providing visuals of a destination to assist dispatchers in communication with first responders; capturing elevation data in realistic 3D views; Assessing the community and environmental impact of government and transportation development projects; providing the public with project visualization. Users can also dynamically integrate surfaces, imagery, feature data, and vector data to create a 3D view of all data sources in a GeoMedia 3D map window, enabling rapid assessment of fast-changing conditions. GeoMedia 3D also allows users to import pre-built city models and other readily available 3D files from organizations such as Google into their projects, as well as perform fly-throughs of areas of interest and save them as video files for viewing and distribution.
Rouge, La., -- expects to realize immediate benefits from GeoMedia 3D. “We’ve been using GeoMedia Grid and we can bring GeoMedia 3D into that realm where we’re looking at the land form and bringing in data in three dimensions rather than always just looking at something in plan view,” said Warren Kron Jr., the coordinator of the planning commission’s GIS division. “If it’s at a public hearing or a meeting outside the office, we can show what a development will look like within the context of the city.” The ability to locate targets with subterranean views of underground infrastructure can prove valuable for utilities. For instance, if a utility needs to replace an underground line in a historic district and wants to minimize the impact of drilling, 3D views could help pinpoint infrastructure locations and minimize disruption. For public safety dispatchers, a 3D view enables them to tell emergency first responders what to expect when they arrive. The integrated technology helps users better understand the environment in which they are working. Whether it’s crime statistics or the number of accidents along a highway, GeoMedia 3D users can easily distinguish the location of peak areas. For example, utilities wanting to gauge pressure readings of fire hydrants can extrude the hydrants and rapidly identify those with low pressure. Another benefit of GeoMedia 3D is it leverages the attribute-based symbology (ABS) of GeoMedia to control 3D symbolization. You can use different 3D symbols as a means to communicate more effectively. Instead of just using push pins to highlight high-crime areas, for example, a gun symbol could indicate that an area needs a more serious response.
Supporting Different Workflows
When Intergraph researched how users would want to use GeoMedia 3D, two workflows emerged. One workflow is characterized by performing all tasks in the 3D map window (convert to 3D and go) and the other by using the 3D map window as a supplement to a 2D map window. GeoMedia 3D can support both workflows. It coordinates between the 2D and 3D map windows for selection and location to keep the two map windows in synchronization. You can also use just one map window for all of the work. You can choose to work one way and then change at any point through the use of a 2D/3D map window conversion. This allows you to select the most appropriate workflow for the task at hand, while providing optimal productivity.
One of the benefits that GeoMedia 3D offers is project visualization. For example, a government organization planning a downtown development can fly through an area in 3D during a public hearing and show citizens exactly what the completed project will look like. Instead of relying on maps and artist renderings, the 3D view helps eliminate confusion and provides a clearer understanding of the impact of the development project. One GeoMedia customer – the City-Parish Planning Commission in Baton
The european 3D simulation and visualization event
+ Urbanism and Landscape conference track: + Architecture conference track:
How can 3D improve the prospects of an urban area, town or city? How is georeferenced 3D adopted by engineering firms? Natural environments – can 3D help us to preserve them more effectively?
Digital modeling – in all its forms What BIM could and should be – and what it will be in the future
January 05-07 January GeoDesign Summit Redlands, CA, U.S.A. Internet: www.geodesignsummit.com 18-21 January Geospatial World Forum 2011 Hyderabad, India Tel: +91 9313292284 Fax: +91 120 4612555/666 E-mail: email@example.com Internet: www.geospatialworldforum.org 19-21 January Esri Federal User Conference Washington, DC, U.S.A. Internet: www.esri.com/events/feduc/index.html 24-27 January DGI Europe 2011 QE II Centre London, London, U.K. E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org Internet: www.wbresearch.com/dgieurope/home.aspx 15-18 March GEOFORM+ 2011 - Geodesy, Cartography, Navigation EcoCenter Sokolniki, Moscow, Russia Tel: +7 (495) 925-34-97 Fax: +7 (495) 925-34-97 E-mail: dnJ@mvk.ru Internet: www.geoexpo.ru 21-24 March SPAR US 2011 Conference Houston, TX, U.S.A Tel: +1 (207) 842 5671 E-mail: email@example.com Internet: www.sparllc.com 23-25 March 1st Conference on Spatial Statistics 2011 Mapping Global Change University of Twente, Enschede, The Netherlands Internet: www.spatialstatisticsconference.com 28-31 March CalGIS 2011 - 17th Annual California GIS Conference Fresno, CA, U.S.A. Internet: www.calgis.org May 01-05 May ASPRS 2011 Annual Conference Midwest Airlines Center/Hyatt Hotel, Milwaukee, WI, U.S.A. Internet: www.asprs.org 10-11 May IF&GIS 2011 5th International Workshop on Information Fusion and Geographical Information Systems: Towards the Digital Ocean Brest, France E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org Internet: http://if-gis.com 18-22 May FIG Working Week 'Bridging the Gap between Cultures' Marrakech, Morocco Internet: www.fig.net/fig2011 31 May-01 June 3rd EARSeL Workshop on Remote Sensing in Education and Training Czech Technical University in Prague, Czech Republic Internet: www.earsel.org/SIG/ET/3rd-workshop/index.php 30 May-02 June 31st EARSeL Symposium “Remote Sensing and Geoinformation not only for Scientific Cooperation” Czech Technical University, Prague, Czech Republic Internet: www.earsel.org/symposia/2011-symposium-Prague 31 May-02 June AfricaGEO 2011 Capetown International Convention Center, Capetown, South Africa E-mail: email@example.com Internet: http://africageo.org
February 01-03 February Imagina Monaco Internet: www.imagina.mc/2011/content/Home/homeUK.php 07-09 February 11th International LiDAR Mapping Forum Astor Crowne Plaza, New Orleans, LA, U.S.A. Internet: www.lidarmap.org 07-09 February 6th EARSeL Workshop Remote Sensing of Snow and Glaciers: Cryosphere, Hydrology and Climate Interactions University of Bern, Switzerland Internet: www.earsel.org/SIG/Snow-Ice/workshops.php 07-18 February Water Scarcity Winter School "Analysing, mapping and evaluating spatio-temporal water scarcity problems" Salzburg, Austria E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org Internet: www.edu-zgis.net/ss/waterscarcity2011 13-19 February 16. Internationale Geodätische Woche Obergurgl, Tirol, Austria Info: Dr. Thomas Weinold Tel.: +43 (0)512 507 6755 or 6757 Fax: +43 (0)512 507 2910 E-mail: email@example.com Internet: http://geodaesie.uibk.ac.at/obergurg.html April 05-07 April Ocean Business 2011 - The ocean technology training and procurement forum Southampton, U.K. Internet: www.oceanbusiness.com or www.lidarmap.or 06-07 April Offshore Survey 2011 - Technical Conference Southampton, U.K. Internet: www.offshoresurvey.co.uk 06-07 April GEO-11 A World of Geomatics With GIS Innovations Holiday Inn, London Elstree, U.K. E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org 11-13 April JURSE 2011 - Joint Urban Remote Sensing Event Munich, Germany E-mail: email@example.com Internet: www.jurse2011.tum.de 11-13 April EARSeL 7th Workshop of EARSeL Special Interest Group “Imaging Spectroscopy” University of Edinburgh, U.K. Internet: www.earsel2011.com/Welcome 10-15 April 34th International Symposium on Remote Sensing of Environment Sydney Convention and Exhibition Centre, Sydney, Australia Internet: www.isrse34.org 18-21 April 14th AGILE International Conference on Geographic Information Science Utrecht, The Netherlands Internet: www.uu.nl/faculty/geosciences/EN/agile2011/agile2011welcome /Pages/default.aspx 25-29 April SPIE Defense, Security, and Sensing Orlando, FL, U.S.A. E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com Internet: www.spie.org
June 01-03 June 4th EARSeL Workshop on Remote Sensing for Land Use & Land Cover Czech Technical University, Prague, Czech Republic Internet: www.earsel.org/SIG/LULC/index.php 01-03 June 5th EARSeL Workshop on Remote Sensing of the Coastal Zone Czech Technical University, Prague, Czech Republic Internet: www.earsel.org/SIG/CZ/5th-workshop/index.php 02-03 June 1st EARSeL SIG Forestry workshop: Operational remote sensing in forest management Czech Technical University, Prague, Czech Republic Internet: www.earsel.org/SIG/Forestry/call.php 19-25 June 11th International Multidisciplinary Scientific GeoConference and Expo - SGEM 2011 Albena sea-side and SPA resort, Bulgaria Internet: www.sgem.org
March 03-04 March W2GIS 2011 Web & Wireless Geographical Information Systems Kyoto, Japan E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org Internet: www.w2gis.org 07-10 March Esri Developer Summit Palm Springs, CA, U.S.A. Internet: www.esri.com/events/devsummit/index.html 10-11 March GeoViz Hamburg 2011: Linking Geovisualization with Spatial Analysis and Modeling HafenCity University Hamburg, Hamburg, Germany E-mail: email@example.com Internet: www.geomatik-hamburg.de/geoviz
July 03-08 July ICC 2011 - 25th International Cartographic Conference Palais des Congrès, Paris, France E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org Internet: www.icc2011.fr 09-12 July Survey Summit Internet: www.esri.com 11-15 July Esri UC San Diego Convention Center, San Diego, CA, U.S.A. Internet: www.esri.com/events/user-conference/index.html
Please feel free to e-mail your calendar notices to:email@example.com
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