Feb 2012 | No Comment


Trimble finds mapping and GIS partner in Qatar

Trimble selected Mannai Corp. (software division) as a mapping & GIS business partner in Qatar. Combining positioning, communications and software to equip the mobile workforce, Trimble’s mapping & GIS products improve productivity in a broad range of industries by geo-enabling field workforces with high accuracy, easy-to-use GNSS handhelds and rugged computing devices. In addition to the new offering of Mapping and GIS devices from Trimble, Mannai is also a strategic business partner and sole distributor for Esri in Qatar. These relationships further strengthen Mannai’s ability to introduce latest GIS developments in the region with the goal of helping customers realize optimal returns from their IT investments.

Hexagon acquires mapping software development firm

Hexagon entered into an agreement to acquire all outstanding shares of MicroSurvey Software Inc., a Canadian-based developer of surveying and mapping software for the land surveying, construction and forensic markets. “MicroSurvey has grown very rapidly in the last two years, and the acquisition by Hexagon gives us the means to grow even faster and keep pace with the ever-growing customer demand. Our team is extremely excited about this acquisition as it provides us the vehicle for further investment in innovation and greater access to the market,” said Darcy Detlor, president of MicroSurvey Software. Detlor will continue as president of MicroSurvey.
Ola Rollen, CEO and president of Hexagon AB, said, “The acquisition of MicroSurvey notably expands Hexagon’s product offerings and software development capabilities for several of our key markets including land surveying, construction and public safety. Additionally, both MicroSurvey’s software products and Hexagon’s instrument products enjoy strong leadership positions in these markets. The ability to offer such comprehensive, market-leading and innovative solutions will undoubtedly benefit both current and future customers of Hexagon.”

ORTHOSHOP selects Leica ALS70 and RCD30 sensors

Leica Geosystems Inc. has announced that Canada-based ORTHOSHOP Geomatics Ltd. purchased Leica ALS70 LiDAR and Leica RCD30 imaging camera as its first digital airborne sensors. ORTHOSHOP plans to use the sensors in their integrated and stand-alone configurations to serve its existing clients more effectively and expand its business into new markets. One of the application areas that ORTHOSHOP plans to service with the Leica ALS70 and Leica RCD30 is vegetation monitoring in utility power line corridors. The firm will integrate the two sensors into a single aircraft for simultaneous collection of LiDAR point cloud data and metric quality RGB/NIR imagery. The Leica ALS70’s waveform digitisation option adds yet another valuable data dimension for vegetation analysis. The combined data sets will provide utilities with all of the information they need to ensure that tree canopies are not encroaching on high-voltage electric lines, in accordance with increasingly stringent North American utility regulations.

Leica GeoMoS Web v2.1 enhances online visualisation of data

Leica Geosystems released an update of Leica GeoMoS Web, a web-based service for visualisation and analysis of monitoring data via the Internet. Leica GeoMoS Web v2.1 provides advanced visualisation capabilities and can be accessed by using a web browser, PDA, or mobile phone. In Leica GeoMoS Web v2.1, contour graphs have been implemented to the graph type management. Such contour graphs deliver status information regarding the monitoring project and are for example, very helpful for subsidence monitoring. Contour graphs are based on the real 2D positions of points and sensors and can represent any series of measurements with colours proportional to the movement.

Fastrax IT530: An ultra-low power consuming & tiny form factor OEM GPS module

Fastrax Ltd., has introduced the Fastrax IT530, an ultra-low power consuming and super-sensitive OEM GPS module in a tiny form factor. Advanced power-saving features ensure very fast time to first fix (TTFF) without sacrificing battery life – a critically important issue in location-aware, battery-powered consumer devices. Building on Fastrax’s legacy of designing the smallest, most sensitive and lowest-power consuming GNSS receivers in the industry, the Fastrax IT530 marks yet another achievement. The sensitivity of -148 dBm in acquisition, -165 dBm in navigation and power consumption of just 35 mW at 3.3 V are ideally suited to battery-operated devices.

French provinces select Fugro for airborne surveys

Fugro bagged a contract to conduct an airborne LiDAR bathymetry (ALB) survey of the Finistère and the Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur (PACA) regions of France. It will be conducted during February to May 2012. The surveys will be conducted with the Fugro LADS Mk 3 ALB system. Covering a total survey area 2,200 km², the joint contracts have been awarded to optimise survey conditions in two very different environments. The project is being conducted as part of the Litto3D programme and is important for the protection of the coast from erosion and potential loss of habitat, risk prevention from pollution, inundation and other natural events as well as planning and management of development activities in the coastal zone.

Trimble handhelds help Latvian Rural Support Service Manage EU Agricultural Program

The Latvian Rural Support Service (RSS) is responsible for implementing European Union (EU) policy in the sectors of agriculture, forestry, fisheries, and rural development across the Eastern European country that is home to more than 2.2 million people. One of the organization’s primary tasks is to oversee the EU’s Single Area Payment Scheme, a subsidy program designed to provide direct payments to farmers who cultivate crops and maintain farmland in an environmentally friendly way. For the Latvian Rural Support Service, this means carefully and continually monitoring land parcels throughout the country, including identifying land borders and keeping track of precisely how much area is farmed on a parcel of land. To do so, inspectors rely on GNSS technology to make on-the-spot checks (OTS) for claimant farms.

“We have been using Trimble® GeoExplorer® handhelds since 2003, and it simplified our data collection and management work,” said Edgar Bordāns from Rural Support Service. “This summer, we upgraded again, purchasing 35 of the new Trimble GeoExplorer 6000 series GeoXT™ handhelds, with a larger screen size, longer battery life, and built-in camera.”

The Trimble GeoXT 6000 series is a rugged GNSS handheld receiver with Trimble FloodlightTM technology for satellite shadow reduction that dramatically improves position availability and accuracy in difficult GNSS environments, which is particularly important for Latvian RSS inspectors. Each field inspector has a Trimble GeoXT 6000 series handheld, loaded with Esri® Shapefiles, reference parcel data from the Land Parcel Identification System (LPIS), and land property boundary data (cadastre). Once they reach the farm in question, the field inspectors record the GNSS position, area, perimeter, shape, and size of the different agricultural crops. As they move through the forms loaded on the handheld, they record attributes such as parcel number, crop type, and remarks as necessary.

AllTrails partners with NatGeo Maps

National Geographic (NatGeo) Maps partnered with AllTrails, an online network for outdoor enthusiasts, to launch a co-branded service at The site aims to be a comprehensive destination for people planning hikes or other backcountry outings. Its 200,000 users can browse nearby or search for trails, post reviews and photos and share trails with friends. Users who have completed a trail are listed on its page. Trail profiles give time and distance measurements, weather forecasts and routes overlaid on topographic maps. AllTrails initially used Google Maps data but found it to be too inaccurate for safe planning of wilderness trips. After Google began to charge for access to the Google Maps SDK, AllTrails began to explore other partnerships. Today’s announcement with National Geographic is the beginning of an integration that will move AllTrails away from Google.

Turkish government selects UltraCam Eagle

Turkey’s General Directorate of National Property contracted with Microsoft’s UltraCam business unit and subsidiary, Vexcel Imaging GmbH, to purchase an UltraCam Eagle, the most recent offering in the line of award-winning UltraCam digital aerial camera systems. The deal was brokered by Atay Engineering Co., Vexcel Imaging GmbH’s partner in Turkey.

The General Directorate of National Property, an agency within the Turkish Ministry of Finance, manages government-owned real estate throughout the country. The UltraCam Eagle will be used to support national mapping and development of new GIS applications. The new camera system will be operated by General Command of Mapping (GCOM), along with the UltraCamX purchased in 2008.

USAF awards USD 179.5 mn contract to Raytheon

Raytheon Company bagged USD 179.5 million follow-on contract by the US Air Force to provide Contractor Field Service (CFS) support for U-2 sensors, data links and the Air Force Distributed Common Ground System (DCGS). According to the company’s press statement, it has been prime on the CFS programme providing support to the warfighter since the original contract was awarded in 1999.

Under the terms of the contract, Raytheon will provide support at the Air National Guard and Predator Operations Center, Air Force Flight Test Facility, Consolidated Remote Operations-Facility Airborne and DGS-X Test-bed Facility. The U-2 CFS contract also calls for Raytheon engineers and technicians to perform other services, such as training.

USAF awards USD 21.5 mn contract to Lockheed Martin

The US Air Force awarded USD 21.5 million contract to Lockheed Martin to provide a Launch and Checkout Capability (LCC) to command and control all GPS III satellites from launch through early on-orbit testing. The LCC, which will be integrated into the Raytheon-developed Next Generation Operational Control System (OCX), will ensure launch availability for the first GPS III satellite in 2014. The LCC includes trained satellite operators and engineering solutions in partnership with OCX to support launch, early orbit operations and checkout of all GPS III satellites before the spacecraft are turned over to Air Force Space Command for operations.

3D Laser Mapping bags GBP 2.7 mn contract from UK’s DOT

3D Laser Mapping is set to revolutionize the investigation of motorway collisions following the award of GBP 2.7 million (USD 4.2 million) by the Department of Transport. The funding will enable 27 police forces across the UK to purchase 3D laser scanners – used to collect highly detailed, 3D images of crash sites up to 50 percent faster than traditional survey techniques. Equipment supplied by 3D Laser Mapping is already being used to drive down the GBP 1 billion annual cost of congestion caused by collisions on motorways. Its RIEGL scanners have reduced the time spent collecting evidence at the scene, in turn reducing road closure times by an average of 90 minutes. Data from the scanners is used to produce high quality graphics and detailed plans of collision scenes for use in subsequent enquiries and court cases.

Nis Glonass signs agreement with Landsmiths Pojects Pvt. Ltd.

NIS GLONASS Pvt. Ltd. has signed an agreement in December 2011 appointing Landsmiths Projects Pvt. Ltd. as its exclusive marketing agent for the territories of Punjab, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh and J&K.Landsmiths Projects Pvt. Ltd. based in Chandigarh is promoted by Mr Ajaypal Singh Randhawa.

High-fidelity digital archives created for Wenchuan Earthquake Memorial

While this is but one of the many physical reminders of the adversity the Chinese people have endured after the Great Sichuan Earthquake took the globe by surprise when it happened in the early afternoon on May 12, 2008, what sets the Wenchuan Earthquake Memorial Park apart from the rest is its high-technology focus. Right from the beginning, the project initiators, Beijing Institute of Surveying & Mapping, had planned to acquire and use three-dimensional (3D) images for various parts of the memorial. The project is also particularly significant because it is the largest life-sized 3D virtual reality scan of any subject matter, both domestically and globally.
The team behind the memorial designed a comprehensive study using a multi-pronged approach, involving high-technology equipment in many areas. Mr Yin Wenguang, Project Leader from Beijing Hao Yu World Mapping Technology Development Co., Ltd. shared, “We used an unmanned aerial vehicle to collect data from a bird’s eye view. And on the ground, we employed laser scanning technology, precision control measurement technology, and close range photography to gather a wide variety of images for full digital reconstruction of the site.”

Image of affected area taken by an Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV)

FARO Laser Scanner Photon 120 offers high-speed and high-accuracy scanning for the memorial park in Chuanxindian, Wenchuan

When portable 3D measurement company FARO first heard about the project scope, it was immediately keen to support. After a live demonstration of the product, the company was enlisted to be part of the nearly year-long project. “We were thoroughly convinced that FARO’s Laser Scanner was what we needed to complete the ground scans,” said Yin. After seven months of data collection and processing, the team reconstructed a comprehensive digital archive of the core zone that totaled an impressive area of approximately 0.3km2. This included both the Wenchuan Earthquake Memorial Park, as well as the Earthquake Relief Memorial Square. Using multi-source data processing, the team managed to corroborate the various sets of images to produce point cloud models and 3D coloured models that have had coordinates registered and transformed.

Spectracom assures GPS integrity with leap second testing tools

Spectracom is a provider of practical test solutions for GPS and GNSS devices and systems, has published its Application Note: Leap Second Testing Made Easy in response to the recent announcement of a pending leap second. The last leap second occurred at the end of 2008. This will be the first mid-year leap second in 16 years. Spectracom’s GPS/GNSS constellation simulators offer the easiest way to test a leap second. Simply set the leap second parameter “on” through any of the user interfaces (front panel, web interface, scenario configuration software) and run a scenario through UTC midnight on June 30, 2012. The application note describes the test protocol. It also offers its customers a sample test scenario as download from its web site.

Supervisor+GPS Tablet Computer by Carlson

The “SuperG,” the Carlson Supervisor+ GPS Tablet, is here. It is Carlson’s popular Supervisor tablet computer, a super rugged tablet PC that can be used anywhere, upgraded to include an integrated high-precision GNSS receiver and providing wireless support for Bluetooth, 802.11, GSM and CDMA.

It is designed to work with more total stations, robots, GPS systems than any other solution. Both the Carlson Supervisor tablet and the new SuperG offer the industry’s largest data collector screen – a full seven inches – that is sunlight viewable. They also supply the industry’s fastest data collector processor with 64 Gb of memory and 2 Gb of RAM. This is all on a PC that weighs just 1.1kg.

3D Modelling Using Georeferenced Photography

The software suite tridicon® 3D LANDMARK provides the necessary tools for modelling buildings from digital photography. One component of the package is a calibrated camera with geotagger for taking high-resolution close-range photographs of the buildings. In a further step the facades receive photorealistic textures. The automatic georeferencing of the 3D models as well as export options into all common data formats make sure that the landmarks can be integrated into any existing 3D city model without problems.

Esri to Strengthen Panama National Geospatial Capabilities

The government of Panama signed a MoU with Esri to leverage geospatial technology in support of national development. The agreement affirms Panama’s recognition of the value of GIS in improving decision making and infrastructure management throughout the country.

RIEGL bags “Inventum 2011″ Award

The Austrian Department for Traffic, Innovation and Technology, the Austrian Patent Office, and the publishing company Bohmann honored the 10 best Austrian patents in the context of a ceremonial act in Vienna.
“Inventum 2011”, the award for the “Patent of the Year” went to RIEGL.

UK Police Forces Embrace Leica ScanStation C10’s

Leica Geosystems bagged the largest ever order of Leica ScanStation C10’s as UK Police Forces embrace High Definition SurveyingTM (HDS). The scanners will be supplied as part of a £2.7 million investment from the Department of Transport. Delivery of the instruments, full onsite training and support will commence soon in readiness to help ease the potential traffic congestion caused by major collisions, especially in light of the forthcoming 2012 Olympics.

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