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Do it yourself (DIY) Mobile Mapping?

November 4, 2013 in Randy's Blog

A friend sent me a link (below) about a DIY mobile mapping system by students in Stuttgart, Germany. Mobile mapping is a collection of sensor technologies that combine to create a powerful and productive 3D documentation system. The result is unprecedented access to productive measurement and documentation of spaces and objects.

The number of applications are growing as the technology matures and prices come down. Below are a few examples (references below)

  • Accurate assessment of road or highway conditions for emergency response planning
  • Internet mapping applications incorporate aerial photographs and satellite images to develop online mapping systems and street level views
  • Location aware PDA systems (think applications that alert you when you are approaching your favorite coffee chain)
  • Road mapping and highway facilities management by local and federal governments
  • Military and defense applications that survey changes in landscapes or movement of assets or troops Corporate asset and infrastructure management
  • Truck spotting in mining and quarries
  • Topography of hard to access places such as high walls in mines
  • Vehicle vision systems for semi-autonomous or autonomous positioning

Collecting huge amounts of data is performed by this orchestra of sensors (GNSS RTK, MEMS, LiDar, imagery and more) with software applications doing the heavy lifting. Processing and filtering algorithms are traditionally performed by post processing the data but advancements in both software and hardware are providing near real-time results. (See PR for Neptec click here)

These types of efforts are milestones along the adoption curve and signal what is coming. I applaud the students and the corporate sponsors, Trimble, Applanix and FARO, for providing accessibility to such intelligent young minds.

Read more about the students efforts here

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References
www.novatel.com
www.faro.com/en-GB
http://neptectechnologies.com
www.applanix.com

 


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