GIS News


Apr 2021 | No Comment

18th century fort brought to Life with LiDAR and 3D Modeling

A Canadian archaeologist has used advanced mapping and visualization technologies to bring one of the earliest European settlements in North America back to life. Dr. Jonathan Fowler combined a centuries-old map with a modern 3D terrain model to portray Fort Anne and its surrounding in stunning detail – just as the Nova Scotia site looked in 1706. Fowler created the 3D representation of Fort Anne using the Surfer surface mapping package from Golden Software of Golden, Colo.

Fort Anne is remarkably well preserved considering its age and violent history. In 1605, French explorers set up a fur trading post on the Annapolis River in an area they named Acadia, now part of present-day Nova Scotia. France began building a “Vauban-style” star fort there in 1702. The area experienced numerous attacks and sieges from different enemies – including pirates – and changed hands several times. Fort Anne fell to the British in 1710 and later played an important role in the Acadian Deportation.

To create the 3D map of Fort Anne, Fowler loaded airborne LiDAR data into the Surfer package to generate a ‘bare Earth’ terrain model depicting the topography of the area as it exists today, minus vegetation and buildings. Fowler exaggerated the LiDAR elevation values slightly in Surfer to emphasize relief.

Next, the archaeologist obtained a digitized version of a 1706 military map from France’s National Archives showing the fort and nearby town. He overlaid the digital map on the terrain model in Surfer to create a realistic 3D view of Fort Anne shortly after its construction. Fowler repeated the process using a 1753 map from the Library of Congress to depict the site under British rule. Detailed interpretation of the 3D model has just begun, and Fowler believes previously unknown facts about Fort Anne and the surrounding landscape may soon be revealed.

Port of Antwerp appoints Unifly as UTM technology partner

Port of Antwerp has become the first seaport to initiate unmanned air traffic management in a busy and complex port environment. In doing so, they are the first non-aviation authority to become a fully-fledged geozone manager. As geozone manager, the port will be responsible for managing ground risk related to above-the-ground activity, with respects to operational and working drones, overall safety and seamless integration of processes required; all of which are intended to amp up productivity and efficiency of port operations.

Unifly has been appointed as technology partner to develop the Port’s Unmanned Traffic Management (UTM) platform. It has a proven track record rolling out UTM systems at a national level in Belgium, Canada and Germany among others. The Belgian company also collaborated closely with Port of Antwerp over the past few years to initiate research, tests and demonstrations relating to drone traffic management in urban airspaces.

Extensis offers GeoViewer Pro

Extensis® has announced its GeoViewer Pro for Desktop application will now be offered at no charge. GeoViewer Pro is a standalone GIS image viewer for compressed MrSID files, raster imagery, LiDAR point clouds, and vector layers.

GeoViewer Pro was developed by LizardTech, now Extensis, as a paid multi-feature upgrade to the free GeoViewer application. It allows end users to view satellite, aerial and drone image files, as well as LiDAR data and GIS vectors.

Update to the Global Mapper now available

Blue Marble Geographics® has announced the release of version 22.1 of the Global Mapper and Lidar Module Software Development Kits® (SDKs). It enable developers to incorporate much of the functionality of the standard versions of Global Mapper and the accompanying Lidar Module into their own applications. They also offer the means to create extensions within the desktop application to provide customized tools for project-specific functionality. Administered using a simple Windows DLL, the Global Mapper SDK can be used in a variety of programming languages and supports an extensive list of file formats. The Lidar Module SDK provides developers access to advanced point cloud processing functionality, including the Pixels to Points® tool and much more.

Bentley Systems enters into ~ $1.05 Billion Agreement to Acquire Seequent

Bentley Systems has entered into a definitive agreement with investors led by Accel-KKR to acquire Seequent—a leader in software for geological and geophysical modeling, geotechnical stability, and cloud services for geodata management, visibility, and collaboration—for $900 million in cash, subject to adjustment, plus 3,141,361 BSY Class B shares. The acquisition of Seequent is expected to initially add approximately 10% to each of Bentley Systems’ key financial metrics (ARR, annual revenue, and EBITDA) and is expected to be measurably accretive to Bentley’s organic growth rate. Most significantly, the combination will deepen the potential of infrastructure digital twins to help understand and mitigate environmental risks, advancing resilience and sustainability.

University of Birmingham teams up with ARAI

University of Birmingham and The Automotive Research Association of India (ARAI) based in Pune, India, have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) agreeing to identify joint research interests in the fields of air quality management, alternative fuels, power train and electric vehicle technology. The Vehicle and Engine Technology Research Centre in the University’s School of Mechanical Engineering has a worldleading research profile in combustion engines and low carbon vehicle technology. The University works closely with UK industry in engine architecture and advanced engine technologies, helping to design the engines and fuels for the future; including hybrid powertrains.

ARAI is India’s premier automotive research and development institute set up by the automotive industry with the Government of India. ARAI is an autonomous body affiliated to the Ministry of Heavy Industries and Public Enterprises, Government of India and is recognized by the Department of Scientific and Industrial Research, Government of India.

The partnership will also see British and Indian air pollution experts working together to create a blueprint to tackle the challenge of particulate emissions in India – looking to develop and deliver solutions identified in the plan. The partners also plan to support the development of education programmes that will help produce future transport leaders and world-leading research.

NOAA begins transition exclusively to electronic navigation charts NOAA will begin to implement its sunset plan for paper nautical charts this month, starting with the current paper chart 18665 of Lake Tahoe. After August, NOAA’s electronic navigational chart will be the only NOAA nautical chart of the area.

This is the first traditional paper chart to be fully supplanted by an electronic chart as part of NOAA’s Office of Coast Survey Raster Sunset Plan, which includes a new process to notify mariners of the transition of individual paper charts to electronic charts. These charts are easier to update and maintain, keeping mariners safer with up-to-date information on marine hazards.

As part of the sunset plan, released in 2019, mariners will be officially notified of this chart’s cancellation in the U.S. Coast Guard Local Notice to Mariners. A note in the lower left corner of the chart will state that it is the last paper edition and it will be canceled six months later on August 26.

NOAA will continue to announce the cancellation of additional paper charts as the sunset plan progresses, initially based on volume of sales or downloads, and in regions with improved NOAA electronic navigational chart coverage. Cancellation of all traditional paper and associated raster chart products will be completed by January 2025. Source: NOAA

Fully digitised cadastral survey data model and exchange

The Intergovernmental Committee on Surveying and Mapping (ICSM) and Land Information New Zealand (LINZ) have announced that SURROUND NZ Ltd will lead the development of an Australian/New Zealand 3D Cadastral Survey Data Model and Exchange (3D CSDM) programme. It aims to create a widely adopted standard across Australia and New Zealand for exchanging digital cadastral survey data between the survey industry and government land administration agencies. New Zealand Surveyor-General and ICSM representative Anselm Haanen says the appointment of SURROUND is an important step in developing a consistent model for exchanging digital cadastral survey information between the survey industry and government land administration agencies.

A crucial component of the work will be engaging with survey software suppliers. Their contribution will help ensure that their products can meet the needs of the surveyors producing the cadastral survey datasets for lodgement as well as the needs of jurisdictions, as defined by the harmonised data model.

LINZ is leading the programme in partnership with Australian Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning (Victoria), the Department of Customer Service (New South Wales), Landgate (Western Australia), and the Department of Natural Resources, Mines and Energy (Queensland).

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