Mobile Mapping going Underground Big Data Analysis and Location

gvSIG and Quantum GIS Is the Tablet an Enabling Technology?
Magazi ne f or Sur veyi ng, Mappi ng & GI S Pr of essi onal s
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Volume 16
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Are you a data scientist?
In this issue you will find a number of contributions that examine the work of GIS
specialists. First of all, there’s the big data trend, which has significant implica-
tions for GIS. In a short time period, the geospatial industry has embraced the big
data trend and added its forte to big data analysis: location. Since a lot of data
has a locational component, this makes sense. What is interesting for the future is
how geospatial software will be used next to big data analysis frameworks. The
big data era also welcomes a new kind of specialist, namely the data scientists.
These people are the result of a merger between big data analysis and software
development.
Additionally, there’s the changing technology that’s used for current GIS work.
The current GIS type of job is significantly different than those in the early days of
GIS, says Todd Schuble, author of the self-published book ‘Careers in GIS’. In a
conversation with the author, he discusses many topics that are important for the
GIS specialist of today and tomorrow. Learning how to push buttons to produce a
map is not enough: programming skills are also necessary. In addition to this it’s
important to get acquainted with different GIS software packages in an educa-
tional environment, so that students are prepared for a variety of working environ-
ments. And now that budgets are being tightened, it might be possible to work in
an environment that prefers open source software to proprietary software. An
example of this is Intetics, a company who submitted an article on their use of
open source GIS software.
James Fee has made a contribution in this issue about how the scripting language
Python is changing GIS. It’s no coincidence that Schuble writes the
same in his book. The industry is taking notice of a number of
publications for Python and geospatial software packages that
are out in the market now – and there’s more to be expected in
the future.
New hardware is also changing the way work is done. In this
issue, you can find a number of articles on this topic. Not only
is there a review on the latest Panasonic Toughpads, but also
an investigation by Adam Spring about the possibilities
offered by tablets in geospatial workflows. Additionally,
there is an extensive article from the Israeli company
Drakkar describing in detail their homemade LiDAR map-
ping system. This is not all, of course. In the pipeline are
articles on mobile apps and new geospatial software
releases that will generate a lot of discussion during
upcoming user conferences around the globe later
this year. Once again, I invite you to share your
thoughts and submit user stories regarding your
work, so that we can share them in future
issues. Please get in touch and drop me
an email at
evanrees@geoinformatics.com
Enjoy reading,
Eric van Rees
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
evanrees@geoinformatics.com
Copy Editor
Elaine Eisma
Editor
Remco Takken
rtakken@geoinformatics.com
Contributing Writers:
Faith Clark, Adam Spring, Aleksey Borodulin,
Aleksandr Kleshnin, Patrick Collins, Job van Haaften,
Gary Mullaney, Lisa Schoonmaker,
O. A. Ryaboshapko, Evgeny Medvedev,
Valery Gutman, Michael Weitsman, Andrew Myers.
Columnist
Léon van der Poel, James Fee, Matt Sheehan,
Nadine Alameh.
Finance
finance@cmedia.nl
Marketing & Sales
Ruud Groothuis
rgroothuis@geoinformatics.com
Subscriptions
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card on our website www.geoinformatics.com
Webstite
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Graphic Design
Sander van der Kolk
svanderkolk@geoinformatics.com
ISSN 13870858
© Copyright 2013. GeoInformatics: no material may
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magazine.
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Ar t i c l e s
Mobile Mapping Going Underground 6
Open Source GIS Software 10
Geospatial Imagery and Data 14
Rockland County, NY, Streamlines Storm Response 18
Big Data Analysis and Location 22
GeoPDF Based Services 26
From Survey Projects to Media Applications 30
Home-made LiDAR Mapping 34
Controlling Seismic Data in 3D 40
Rugged and Mobile 45
C o l u mn s
Python is GIS’ best friend 16
Offline Mobile GIS 28
Second hand GNSS Network 33
Open Geospatial Standards for Aviation 44
I n t e r v i e w
Thoughts on ‘Careers in GIS’ 42
Ne ws l e t t e r
CLGE newsletter 46
C a l e n d a r / Ad v e r t i s e r s I n d e x 50









On the cover:
High resolution point cloud captured by ZEB1 handheld mapping
system in just eight minutes. Source: 3D Laser Mapping.
See article on page 6.
Prod_GEO213_Prod GEO66 14-02-13 19:29 Pagina 4
34
30
14
The migration of data and
analysis tools to the cloud or
enterprise is well underway.
10
The tablet computer is a versati-
le device that continues to make
an impact in many professional
sectors – survey markets
included. This article focuses on
the latter and examines the va-
rious ways in which consumer
products like tablets are being
used in spatial information
workflows.
Since the mid 2000s open GIS
has gradually been attracting
the attention of businesses and
government agencies around
the world. In this article we
want to share the experience
of our implementation and the
use of open GIS software at
Intetics.
Drakkar is a service industry
company providing Israeli
companies with extensive inter-
national publications on LiDAR
as well as traditional geodetic
methods. Drakkar was the first
in Israel to start applying on-
ground and then airborne la-
ser scanning in 2004.
22
ArcGIS Server Product
Manager Marwa Mabrouk
explains some of these
initiatives and discusses
some recent use cases of
big data analysis and location.
26
This article is dedicated
to successful projects of
geodata dissemination in a
very simple PDF format,
which allows common users
to work intuitively with
geodata without GIS skills
or special software.
42
Todd Schuble, author of the
self-published book ‘Careers in
GIS’, explains his motivation
for writing and publishing the
book.
6
This article takes a look at
what is thought to be the
world’s first, truly mobile, hand
held, rapid laser mapping
system – Zebedee.
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6
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This article takes a look at what is thought to be the world’s first,
truly mobile, hand held, rapid laser mapping system – Zebedee. By Faith Clark
Mobile Mapping Going Underground
I
ntegral to the successful deployment of mobile mapping systems is
the ability to locate the system in real world context. In fact, it is
probably this ability that differentiates ‘mobile mapping´ systems
from simple measurement solutions. In outdoor systems the trajec-
tory of the sensor can usually be determined from GPS / GNSS
measurements. For short periods of time, where there is a limited or
lack of signal, local inertial measurements can be used to interpolate
between satellite determined positions. An example of this can be seen
in the highly accurate mobile mapping system StreetMapper whose
on-board navigation system includes a Global Positioning Satellite
(GPS) receiver, a fibre optic gyro based Inertial Measurement Unit
(IMU) and the latest Direct Inertial Aiding (DIA).
Once you move indoors, underground or into other environments where
there is limited positioning information, such as dense forest and urban
canyons, the ratio of actual to interpolated positions becomes unbalan-
ced. Some research has been undertaken and technologies developed
that use existing Radio Frequency infrastructures such as Bluetooth or
WLAN. However, these typically have poor precision (>1m error),
require significant amounts of additional equipment and tend to be
more suited to asset management, warehousing and logistics applica-
tions. Researchers at CSIRO, Australia’s national science agency, have
therefore been working to overcome this problem and believe they
have achieved this vision with a handheld 3D laser mapping system
called Zebedee.
“The research team, from CSIRO’s Auto nomous Systems Laboratory,
have taken their robotics localisation technology and cleverly adapted
it to enable hand held, real-time laser scanning in full 3D”, said Dr Ian
Oppermann, Director of the Digital Productivity and Services Flagship
at CSIRO. “This technology will open up new areas for scanning such
as difficult to access and complex cultural heritage places.”
Zebedee consists of a lightweight LiDAR scanner with a 30m (100ft)
maximum range together with an industrial grade MEMS (Micro-elec-
trical Mechanical – the technology of very small devices or microma-
chines) inertial measurement unit (IMU). These are both mounted on a
simple spring mechanism that loosely oscillates as the operator moves
around the scanning environment. It is this rotation that converts the
LiDAR’s inherent 2D scanning plane into a local 3D field of view. Using
proprietary software which estimates the six degrees of freedom (6DoF),
these measurements can be projected into a common coordinate frame
to generate an accurate 3D point cloud in real time.
So how does it work?
The challenges of mapping and motion are well understood in the robo-
tics community and it is from this field that the CSIRO team drew much
of their expertise. Zebedee uses the well documented robotic technolo-
gy called Simultaneous Localisation and Mapping (SLAM).
To understand the principles of SLAM, consider a sensor moving
towards a flat surface such as a wall. As the sensor approaches the
Chal l engi ng Sur veyi ng Envi r onment s
March 2013
Zebedee mobile mapping system in
action in the Jenolan Caves, Australia
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7
Latest News? Visit www.geoinformatics.com
wall the measurements decrease in magnitude. The motion towards the
wall can therefore be inferred. By integrating thousands of similar rela-
tive observations of many surfaces over time, and making reasonable
assumptions about platform dynamics, the 6DoF trajectory of the sen-
sor can be estimated with considerable accuracy. The oscillatory natu-
re of the spring mounted equipment ensures surfaces and objects wit-
hin the survey environment are re-observed at sufficient frequency while
moving at a normal walking pace.
Being handheld, Zebedee can access anywhere the operator can. It’s
lightweight and only requires a laptop and small battery for a full day
of surveying. The data capture device can also be mounted on a pole
to extend its view beyond the reach of the operator and unlike wheel-
ed devices Zebedee can be used on rough terrain and staircases.
“For the first time, users can reliably and cost-effectively map spaces in
3D in real-time,” Dr Oppermann added. “SLAM enables a suite of 3D
mapping applications to be developed in wide ranging areas inclu-
ding education, cultural heritage, security, environment, property, emer-
gency services and safety.”
Going underground
Zebedee has already been used explore Aboriginal cave markings in
South Australia. The strange markings, called finger flutings, were
thought to have been left in the Koonalda Cave between about 30,000
and 10,000 years ago. Created by hands being dragged along esta-
blished grooves in the soft limestone walls the markings are extremely
fragile and crumble at the slightest touch. Using Zebedee researchers
have been able to create a highly detailed 3D reconstruction of the
cave that can be analysed by archaeologists from the SA Museum. The
3D model of the caves will be analysed using specialist computer soft-
ware, the data can also be used to create physical reconstructions of
the caves using 3D printers.
“It’s a fantastic research tool, the fact we can use the models in the lab
where we have really good light and good conditions to work under.
Whereas in the cave, because it’s in complete darkness, it’s really hard
to do the research,” said archaeologist Dr Keryn Walshe from the SA
Museum. Dr Walshe says she is keen to determine who made the mar-
kings; men, women or children. “It is really tempting; it’s really hard,
actually, not to touch the soft surface because it’s so inviting. It’s this
beautiful pure white colour, like snow. It looks so lovely and soft you just
want to touch it, but you mustn’t.”
Experts from CSIRO and the Australian Nuclear Science and
Technology Orga nisations are also hoping to unlock details of
Australia’s past climate. By studying the growth of stalagmites and stal-
actites in the Jenolan Caves within the Blue Mountains National Park in
New South Wales they hope to understand what the climate was thou-
sands of years ago. In order to do this the scientists needed to calcula-
te the volume of air and measure CO2 isotopes & CO2 mass balance
in order to understand the inorganic chemical reaction that produced
the mineral deposits, they can then compare the rate of growth against
known records. But first they needed to know the exact size of the caves.
Using Zebedee the research team have been able to create a 3D repre-
sentation of the World Heritage Site caves. Chris Waring, principal
research scientist at ANSTO, is using this cave mapping to better cali-
brate the climate-influenced growth of stalagmites. ‘’We can calibrate
our measuring instruments against weather records going back to the
1930s,’’ he said. “We could be able to assess what the climate was
doing back hundreds of thousands of years.”
Examples of point clouds created using Zebedee
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O



















































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































8
What does the future hold?
The Zebedee technology has been licenced to GeoSLAM, a UK
based start-up company, who have signed an exclusive, worldwide
distribution agreement with 3D Laser Mapping. 3D Laser Mapping
is a global provider of LiDAR hardware and software solutions inclu-
ding mine monitoring system SiteMonitor and mobile mapping sys-
tem StreetMapper. They provide pre and post-sales support for Riegl
LMS and other third party products, including the Terrascan and
Pointools software suites, and offer consultancy services and trai-
ning from experienced technical staff with expertise in surveying,
geo-engineering, programming, project management and 3D model-
ling and visualisation.
By partnering with 3D Laser Mapping, CSIRO and GeoSLAM hope
to benefit from their wealth of experience in the development and
real world application of laser scanning solutions. This partnership
also ensures users of the Zebedee system can utilise 3D Laser
Mapping’s existing data processing facilities including remote ser-
vers, sophisticated software solutions and dedicated support staff.
“Before we simply couldn’t imagine a scenario where you could arri-
ve onsite and within five minutes your equipment is unpacked and is
ready to go,” Dr Graham Hunter, Executive Chairman, founder and
head of the research division of 3D Laser Mapping, commented.
“Now, as you walk around, holding Zebedee in one hand, you can
capture millions of measurements of the environment, whether it be
an office, warehouse, manufacturing facility, mine or even in a forest
or at the beach. All with minimal set up and without the need for
additional equipment or personnel.”
Faith Clark, technology writer. Internet: www.3dlasermapping.com
March 2013
Examples of point clouds created using Zebedee Examples of point clouds created using Zebedee
THE
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Prod_GEO213_Prod GEO66 14-02-13 19:29 Pagina 8
WE ARE UNITED. Whether it’s by desktop, server, web, or
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10
A
r
t
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By Aleksey Borodulin and
Aleksandr Kleshnin
Open Source GIS Software
T
he idea of using open software at
Intetics was first aired in May 2011.
At that time the main working tools
for Intetics’ specialists was propri-
etary software provided by the client.
The volume of manual vectorization projects
was increasing along with the growing num-
ber of employees. We planned to hire approx-
imately 50 new employees; though the time
spent using GIS software did not exceed 5-
16% for a single employee. As an alternative
to purchasing extra proprietary licenses, a
decision to use open software was made.
Briefly about the project
The client provided us with shp-files contain-
ing road graph and building geometry. In the
course of the project, we had to clarify the
client’s road graph and buildings contours
spatial positions data. The first step was to
clarify existing geometry, and then add the
new one. After completing this, we followed
the same procedure with the building poly-
gons.
Choosing and implementing software
After careful evaluation we chose gvSIG and
Quantum GIS, mainly because these products
are widely available as desktop GIS software.
Then we completed several test projects using
both gvSIG and QGIS and compared the
results and the expert reviews. Generally,
gvSIG performed better, although some tools
Us e r E x p e r i e n c e s a t I n t e t i c s
Since the mid 2000s open GIS has gradually been attracting the attention of
businesses and government agencies around the world. Nevertheless, the
introduction of open GIS in business processes is hampered by the fact that at
the moment there is no ready-made method of implementation for open GIS
solutions. In this article we want to share the experience of our implementation
and the use of open GIS software at Intetics.
March 2013
Intetics employees
Prod_GEO213_Prod GEO66 14-02-13 19:30 Pagina 10
11
Latest News? Visit www.geoinformatics.com
were less user-friendly. Among QGIS strengths
are nice and logical GUI, multiframe support,
high pace of development, an active users’
and developers’ community, lots of plug-ins
and rather good documentation. Weaknesses
include slow data panning, slow raster render-
ing and overall low performance and instabili-
ty.
Though QGIS performance was not so good,
it was finally chosen as GUI as ease of mas-
tering played a very important role for us. Due
to the specific features of the project, software
performance did not influence the overall work
flow much. At the same time, software simplic-
ity and GUI consistency is very important dur-
ing the first exposure to open GIS software, as
GUI ease minimizes users’ discomfort.
The difficulties with Quantum GIS began with
the lack of network software installation tools.
Initially users had to install and configure the
software all by themselves. It was time con-
suming and initiated a torrent of questions from
users. Beginning with the 1.7.3 release we
started using the portable QGIS version as its
configuration was set and all the necessary
plug-ins loaded by default. The portable ver-
sion is distributed by copying.
The 1.7.0, 1.7.3, 1.7.4, 1.8.0 QGIS releases
were used in the project. Whilst preparing for
the project, the new releases were tested and
a changes analysis made. The decision to use
it or not was made based on the data collect-
ed; evaluation of all the advantages and dis-
advantages of new releases compared to the
current version. Assuming a positive decision,
we performed pilot works using the new
release of the software.
Issues that appeared during QGIS utilization
and new version releases:
• shp-files merge didn’t work in 1.7.4 (fixed
in 1.8.0);
• snapping to segment didn’t work in 1.7.4
(fixed in 1.8.0);
• Cyrillic symbols weren’t displayed in attribute
table in 1.8.0. We imported layers which
contained Cyrillic attributes in DB using
QGIS version 1.7.4.
According to the requirements specification,
the road graph should not have geometry
gaps and overlaps. During the project our spe-
cialists mainly worked on separate distanced
territories and the amount of geometry situat-
ed on the borders of the neighboring working
areas was minimal. Vectoring data was stored
as shp-files on the network drive. When the
editing was completed, data from separate
shp-files were combined into one, common
geometry on borders was checked and man-
ual editing was performed if needed.
As the project developed, we began vector-
ization of large urbanized territories and
faced the problem of users’ interaction in
working areas which had common geometry.
The solution was to create a common infor-
mation space using DB.
Initially, we considered DB implementation
using SQLite/SpatiaLite or Postgre SQL/
PostGIS. Some tests were done and we dis-
covered SpatiaLite performance is significant-
ly reduced when used by many users simulta-
neously; this was the reason for declining it.
PostGIS performance met our requirements
completely.
During the preparation process, database
engineer imports pre-processed source data
to the DB and editing rights were adjusted
using pgAdmin application and Database
Manager Plug-in. PostGIS allowed us to coor-
dinate the work on borderline areas and per-
form quality control rapidly. It allowed us to
evaluate current progress in particular work-
ing areas and the overall project progress
(SQL queries on the number of polygonal
objects and  the sum of road graph edges
lengths), derive performance index, perform
statistics calculation and stream monitoring
(project manager is able to see any work area
any time). The use of SQL queries allowed us
to perform DB layers merge and copying and
create intersection layer between two layers.
Creating DB layer copies using SQL queries
and DB layer data unload to local drive using
OGR library is also possible.
In the first stages of DB usage we performed
vectorization for several large and geo-
graphically distanced working areas. Two
road layers were created in the DB – for the
new and amended geometry. Problems in
the QGIS work appeared when a large num-
ber of objects were created in one layer
(more than 60 thousand for a linear layer),
for example, long data loading, delays in
panning, layer attributes table opening,
object selection, operation performance
using field calculator, etc. We decided,
therefore, to create several layer pairs for
every working area instead of using two
layers for all the areas. This meant that the
number of records for every table  in the
DB remained supportable even at the end
of the process and did not cause loss of
efficiency.
Implementation process
QGIS Plugins
Prod_GEO213_Prod GEO66 14-02-13 19:30 Pagina 11
12
Our people
For Quantum GIS there is a fairly complete man-
ual in Russian (translation done by gis-lab.info
community). However, for staff training on
QGIS, an internal guide was prepared. This
described basic functionality and the processes
of typical project tasks. A users’ and develop-
er’s community support and official documenta-
tion were used for the internal guide. We want
to express thanks to all who supported us and
special thanks to the GIS-Lab community. Written
instructions were tested by experts and were
amended in the process as a result of experi-
ence gained.
Due to the peculiarities of the technological pro-
cess, vectorization (activity performed with the
help of QGIS) is done at Intetics every quarter.
The time in between was used for analysis and
process changes introduction.
Implementation and maintenance of the new
process was lead by the leading experts (LE).
LE duties included: analysis of the project expe-
rience, working instructions development and
improvement, helping specialists in mastering
software and the whole process and solving any
arising problems.
All the working documentation was uploaded
to the team collaboration software, Confluence.
LE edit and add documentation along with work
instructions to the Confluence. Employees use
Confluence to ask for document clarification, to
add information (improvement suggestions, tips
on dealing with issues) and share experience.
Changes are reviewed and moderated by LE.
Confluence enables the sharing experience on-
line and minimizes the number of meetings.
At first we faced employees’ resistance to the
innovation, which manifested itself as inaction.
Some employees were not motivated enough to
master new, sometimes unstable, software.
Often employees compared QGIS and com-
mercial GIS functionality (in favour of the latter).
The process actively developed, new tools and
instructions were introduced, but a number of
employees continued working “as before.”
These difficulties were not caused by specific
tasks or software, however; all engineering com-
panies face the same problems in the process
of new working tools implementation. In order
to solve such problems, each quarter and prior
to the project start, a list of innovations is creat-
ed and e-mailed to the employees. Additionally,
meetings are held allowing leading experts to
explain the peculiarities of the project. A sepa-
rate section in the project info DB is created to
share experience with open source software,
both positive and negative (such tips often pre-
vent common mistakes being made).
Our internal QGIS training is developed for
employees who have at least some experience
with GIS software and with real-life projects.
Normally, with some experience with GIS soft-
ware, employees master QGIS to an adequate
level in 1-2 hours. This was achieved by assign-
ing a mentor to every junior developer.
Subsequently, the assimilation process for new
employees was optimized.
Technical and organizational specifics of
the project 
The preparation process included initial WMS-
data quality check. If, for some reason WMS
could not be used (slow data loading, bad qual-
ity of the image), then pre-loaded satellite
images in the form of tiles were used. Virtual
rasters are created out of tiles, using module
GDAL.
To reduce time spent by the user on provision-
ing, qgs-project templates were used. Templates
were created at the preparation stage. The tem-
plate contains all the necessary layers from the
PostgreSQL/PostGIS DB (shp-files were supplied
together with templates before the DB was cre-
ated), WMS layer added, styles/group views,
coordinate systems, snapping options and
options for displaying and editing attribute data
configuration set. Templates are distributed by
copying via the network.
In the first stages of the project the topology
errors correction was performed with the QGIS
GRASS module (snapping of the line vertex in
the nodes inside the specified tolerance, lines
breaking upon intersections, removing pseudo-
nodes). We also tried the topology check using
gvSIG, but found it both inconvenient and time
consuming. At the end of the day we decided
to do all the required checks with GRASS, as it
gave us output acceptable to our customer. The
following was done: search for lines not
snapped (dangled nodes), removing pseudo-
nodes, lines self-intersection correction and
removing self-overlapped geometry.
JIRA is a tracking system our company uses for
task tracking and time management. Territory
polygons marked by the client are divided into
small-sized working areas. For each area a
record in JIRA is created by PM. Every record
contains the following information: the name of
the region, estimated time required for vector-
ization, the deadline and name of the employ-
ee assigned. JIRA allows ongoing monitoring
daily (status, readiness percentage and the time
spent) and statistic gathering.
Conclusion
We successfully implemented the execution of
large-scale works using open source software
combined with the proprietary software. We
now have a well-established documented pro-
duction process.
We plan to develop this process by implement-
ing the following steps:
• Develop an efficient bug reporting process;
• Implement topology processing using PostGIS;
• Create local service of raster data on the
Geoserver basis;
• Finalize the transition process to newer soft-
ware releases.
Intetic’s example shows the real possibility of
successful open source GIS software use for
large scale projects. Thanks to very detailed pro-
cess description and precisely defined team
roles, the project was completed on time and
with the quality level required by customer.
Aleksey Borodulin and Aleksandr Kleshnin are Intetics GIS Analysts
with specialization in open source and multiuser database solutions.
For more information please visit www.intetics.com/geo or send an
e-mail to geo@intetics.com.
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Tool suite
Prod_GEO213_Prod GEO66 14-02-13 19:30 Pagina 12
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The migration of data and analysis tools to the cloud or enterprise is well under-
way. And while there are many advantages to moving geospatial imagery, data
and analysis tools to a cloud system or an enterprise-based delivery model, the
most compelling case for doing so is the ability to deliver what people want,
when they want it, and where they need it most. By Patrick Collins
Geospatial Imagery and Data
Location, Location, Location
Historically, geospatial analysis has tied
people to a desk and a desktop computer,
yet the nature of the work is all about loca-
tion. The proliferation of mobile devices has
made providing remote access to all kinds
of information a necessity to keep pace and
stay competitive. While there are unique
challenges for doing this with geospatial
data and analysis tools, there are also dis-
tinct opportunities. What a cloud-based
model does is free up the image analyst to
do their job in the field, rather than at their
desk. In the case of a warfighter, getting
access to crucial GEOINT in theater can be
the difference between a successful mission
or inadvertently walking into a dangerous
situation. For a first responder in a natural
disaster, having real-time access to timely
information about terrain conditions can
save lives. The decision to use a cloud-based
or enterprise-based model is dependent on
the different requirements that different types
of users have. For example, a geologist, war
fighter, and a first responder will have dif-
fering needs and priorities that will inform
that choice.
The Cloud vs. The Enterprise
One key difference between these two deliv-
ery models, enterprise vs. cloud, comes
down to this: A controlled-access enterprise
model can provide vetted , trusted, and con-
figuration-managed image analytics for
enterprise users; an open-access cloud sys-
tem can streamline the process for attaining
the best-in-class services and data for cloud
users.
With the cloud system, an enormous amount
of data is funneled in from disparate
sources. Over time, this high level of inter-
action creates best-in-class options for users.
One drawback with the cloud model is that
initially, the data isn’t necessarily vetted and
can create errant results. An example of this
is what happened recently with Apple Maps
in central Australia. In this case, iPhone
users who were relying on the app to reach
Mildura, a city of 30,000 in northwestern
Victoria, found themselves miles away from
their destination in Murray Sunset National
Park, where there is no water supply and
temperatures regularly reach 115 degrees
Fahrenheit. Some were stranded for 24
...Moving to a Location Near You
March 2013
Above you can see how results from a change detection analysis of the farmer’s field indicate that a crop was indeed planted and large portions of the field have now been ruined by drought, as indicated by the areas in red.
Prod_GEO213_Prod GEO66 14-02-13 19:30 Pagina 14
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Latest News? Visit www.geoinformatics.com
hours without proper food or water. While
this could have resulted in tragedy, luckily
the damage was contained to only being a
black eye for Apple. For a military or intelli-
gence analyst, this sort of misstep isn’t an
option.
That’s where an enterprise system has the
advantage. Within an enterprise implemen-
tation, the data and services are directly
controlled and managed by the organiza-
tion. On an enterprise system of delivery,
users can count on the fact that the compli-
cated processes and analytics methods for
geospatial data analysis will have been vet-
ted by the industry and fine-tuned by subject
matter experts in the organization to ensure
accuracy and maximize intelligence value.
Often with complicated image analytics,
users can come to very different conclusions
based on the approach that was used, but
when you use an enterprise based system,
like ENVI Services Engine, you can ensure
that all enterprise users will get reliable,
repeatable results, regardless of their skill or
understanding of the technology.
It’s Not Heavy, It’s My Data
With the enormous amount of geospatial
data that already exists and more that is
constantly being created, the job of manag-
ing all this data has become an ever-increas-
ing challenge. Along with the very real cost
of buying and maintaining hardware to
manage this volume of data, there is also
inefficiency associated with moving large
amounts of data from system to system in a
timely manner. The need to efficiently and
cost-effectively manage big data has been
a major driver in moving geospatial
imagery to an enterprise or cloud-based
model since this represents the opportunity
to centralize data, manage it from one
place, and bring the analytics to the data.
When data lives on a host server and is
accessed through a thin client like a web
browser or a mobile device, imagery analy-
sis commands are passed to the server
where the processing occurs. This condens-
es processing time dramatically and allows
servers to easily scale to the computational
effort required. The user can quickly search
massive amounts of geospatial and intelli-
gence data and centralized applications
can easily be deployed for data discovery,
dissemination, and fusion of data and prod-
ucts. For example, various hyperspectral
imagery datasets can be spectrally merged
from differing bandpasses providing full-
spectrum, co-registered results, while the
processing burden is placed on a server,
which can be scaled to handle the compu-
tationally intensive processing requirements
in a timely manner.
The output in this scenario is non-literal inter-
pretation products, such as detection and
identification reports. These types of prod-
ucts have less data volume than the input
and intermediate processing products that
go into getting those results, and are there-
fore smaller and easier to transfer. For exam-
ple, complex processing tasks might include
hyperspectral calibration and processing
and the input and intermediate products
could include the raw and calibrated data,
the calibration files and settings, the spec-
tral libraries as well as the metadata prod-
ucts. The non-literal output from this process-
ing would contain only the results, and
because of its relatively small data size,
could then be fused with one of the other
sources from the enterprise or cloud to give
literal context to the decision enabling deci-
sions makers to make better decisions based
upon scientifically proven methods.
Geospatial Analysis -- On the Ground
Following are some scenarios of how the
cloud and enterprise delivery models could
be used for timely, efficient geospatial anal-
ysis.
Protecting Natural Resources
Routine water sampling by a local govern-
ment reveals high concentrations of pollu-
tants in a waterway. Without knowing
where the pollutants were introduced or in
what quantity, there is no way to remedy the
situation. An analyst searches different
sources on the cloud for hyperspectral
imagery taken of the waterway in recent
weeks and also searches spectral libraries
for pollutant signatures. By running a spec-
tral detection and then leveraging ENVI
Services Engine to process the hyperspec-
tral imagery against the spectral the library,
the pollutant is identified and a map show-
ing where illegal pollutants are entering the
waterway is created and handed off to local
enforcement for monitoring and remedia-
tion.
Fighting Crime
When effluent pools are detected outside a
compound, hyperspectral analytics are
employed to identify the liquid. It is deter-
mined through this analysis that the liquid
has significant spectral signature ties to a
compound which is a byproduct of illegal
narcotics manufacturing. Within hours, the
runoff path is located by looking at high res-
olution panchromatic images, and soon the
building where the runoff is originating from
is also identified. By monitoring the location
through full motion video, it is determined
that there is significant activity within the
courtyard of the facility, as well as possible
security positions that are posted along the
parameter. By relying on workflows created
by internal subject matter experts, hyper-
spectral imagery data is processed to gen-
erate a detection map. Using ENVI Services
Engine, this map is then fused with high-con-
fidence detection layers from hyperspectral
imagery to panchromatic imagery. This
fused product of the map of the town, a high
resolution path of runoff and hyperspectral
detection map is handed off to decision
makers with areas of activity and security
called out. This fused product provides deci-
sion makers with information to help deter-
mine how and when to approach the facili-
ty, as well as a good idea what to expect
when they do.
Down on the Farm
After a farmer applies for disaster assistance
with the Farm Services Agency of the U.S.
Department of Agriculture (USDA), a claims
agent visits the drought-stricken field to
assess the situation. The agent notes that the
farmland is, in fact, dry and parched, and
it has no visible vegetation growth. Before
paying the claim, the agent needs to deter-
mine if a crop was actually planted on the
field in question. The agent returns to his or
her office, pulls up imagery of the field, and
performs change detection and vegetation
health analyses for this same field two, four
and six months prior to the date of his or her
visit. Without having the imagery in a cen-
tralized location, the task of locating these
images would’ve been tedious and time con-
suming. In this case, the cloud-computing
model centralizes vast amounts of data for
rapid consumption by those who need it.
By offering a multitude of benefits including
lower capital investment, ease of manage-
ment, quality control and the flexibility to
scale up or down to meet demand, the enter-
prise and cloud is quickly becoming the de
facto model for delivering data and analy-
sis tools to the workforce. This is changing
how and where we work, not to mention the
way we do business.
Patrick Collins, Solutions Engineer. For more information on how ENVI
Services Engine from Exelis Visual Information Solutions can help you
keep pace with the changing times go to www.exelisvis.com.
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The best thing any GIS Professional can do to make themselves more
valuable is learn Python.
Years ago, when I first started in Professional GIS,
there was no shortage of scripting methods for analy-
sis. You had the standards; AML, then MapBasic and
Avenue. I know I used Perl and there was always that
guy sending FORTRAN applications to you that were
glorified scripts. I recall the debates over beers at the
end of the day as to which of us was smartest for their
script choice. Scripting language debates usually
ended up with hurt feeling I recall.
But then GIS moved more consumer friendly, toward
Windows desktops. This meant that VBA and VBScript
were all of a sudden the choice with some .NET throw
in (I guess that meant the FORTRAN guys became
.NET guys). But something was lost, the new scripting
tools were not as powerful. GIS users became button
pushers, clicking the next button on their wizard dia-
log boxes. Productivity went down and everyone
pined for the old days.
While this was all going on, a new (well new to GIS
users) scripting language was taking over the scien-
tific community. Python they called it and it had a little
snake icon. It was dismissed by many but companies
such as Esri saw it as their method to bring back the
old AML days to GIS professionals. It took a couple
releases, but once Arc.py was given to the communi-
ty, Esri users took notice.
But it wasn’t just Esri that got in on the wave. The open
source community immediately used it as their script-
ing tools. QGIS, Mapnik, Mapserver, GRASS, and
GDAL/OGR all embrace Python. Let’s think about this
for a moment. GIS Professionals can learn one script-
ing language, use it with the great Esri ArcGIS plat-
form (Desktop and Server), then move into open source
GIS applications without having to learn anything new.
Thatvs quite the paradigm shift.
As they say on TV, “But wait, there’s more!”. Not only
can you leverage all these great GIS libraries in your
scripts (yes, use Arc.py with GDAL in your analysis),
but you can bring in other libraries to help you. NumPy
which gives you access to high-level mathematical
functions, matplotlib which essentially brings MATLAB
to your analysis, SciPy for great mathematical tools (I
like to use it for plotting) and Beautiful Soup for pars-
ing HTML documents (when you need to scrap data
from a webpage). As I said earlier, this is a huge
change as you can pick and choose what best helps
you get your geospatial analysis done.
But what about turning this around on itself? Rather
than approaching geospatial analysis from the stand-
point of opening ArcGIS Desktop, think about starting
your analysis from your favorite script editor. PyDev
http://pydev.org is an Eclipse www.eclipse.com
based Python IDE that has all the great IDE features
(code completion, syntax highlighting, script debug-
ging) that you’d expect from your development tools,
but lets your work outside of any GIS GUI software.
Just import arcpy and away you go. Now you can
focus on using the best libraries you need to get your
analysis done, rather than trying to figure out how to
do it with the Esri Geoprocessing framework. This
opens up so many doors to users, ArcPy becomes just
another library among thousands. The simplicity of
many Python libraries can be leveraged, only when
you absolutely need ArcPy (working with Esri propri-
etary technology) do you need to bring Esri into the
fold.
The magic of Python becomes clear when you sit back
and think of the implications to GIS Professionals. They
now have some of the best geospatial (ArcPy, PySAL),
mathmatical (NumPy, SciPy), cartography (Mapnik)
and data transformation (Safe FME) available to any
analysis they may have.
At times I feel myself becoming nostalgic for the old
ARC/INFO Workstation days when you had to use
scripting to get anything done. I would tell my friends
those were the good old days of GIS because GIS
Analysts and Technicians knew how to make some of
the most amazing scripting applications I’ve ever seen.
But you know when you think about it, today is prob-
ably the best opportunity for GIS Professionals to do
amazing things with scripting.
Python itself is sparser and less-cluttered than other lan-
guages. To me that makes it an easy language to pick
up and an excellent opportunity for anyone to do more
with the tools they’ve been given. Throw in the huge
expanse of available Python libraries and you’ve got
a solution that will make our jobs that much easier.
The best thing any GIS Professional can do to make
themselves more valuable is learn Python. There is no
discussion about it, start today. Happy coding!
Python is GIS’ best friend
James blogs about geospatial technology
at his blog http://spatiallyadjusted.com
and has a weekly video hangout
http://spatiallyadjusted.com/video
where he talks about what it means to
be a cutting edge GIS Professional.
His current focus is on helping GIS users
learn Python and improve their
productivity and workflows.
March 2013
Prod_GEO213_Prod GEO66 14-02-13 19:30 Pagina 16
Setting the Standard for
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Prod_GEO213_Prod GEO66 14-02-13 19:31 Pagina 17
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Hurricane Sandy made landfall in the US near Atlantic City, New Jersey, on
October 29, 2012. As the storm approached the eastern seaboard, Rockland
County, a Hudson River community 15 miles northwest of New York City,
declared a state of emergency, activating the County Emergency Operations
Center (EOC) and alerting residents to the impending high winds, rain and tidal
surge from the river. At this time, emergency personnel on the ground and in the
EOC readied to test a newly deployed map-based tool that was to streamline
emergency communications and response in the hours and days to come.
By Gary Mullaney and
Lisa Schoonmaker
Rockland County,
NY, Streamlines Storm Response
When Time Is of the Essence
When Hurricane Sandy hit the East Coast, Rockland County relied on
an interactive online mapping tool to expedite emergency response dur-
ing the storm and its aftermath. The tool, a mapped-based common oper-
ating picture (COP), enabled County and State highway, fire, police,
utility, the Red Cross and other emergency personnel to record, share
and view information on road obstructions and closures as events unfold-
ed. The County, hardest hit by tidal surges and winds that downed trees
and power lines, used this information during the storm to organize, pri-
oritize and direct crews in clearing major highways and roads and to
route emergency vehicles and evacuations. After the storm, updated
information on changing road conditions was critical to restoring power,
managing cleanup, and re-opening schools and businesses.
Douglas Schuetz, Rockland County GIS Director, explains, “During an
event of this magnitude, time is of the essence. In the past we focused
our efforts on collecting, compiling and verifying information from the
field. This time, local offices as well as EOC staff entered on the inter-
net map precise, live data from field staff familiar with the situation,
and emergency personnel could view accurate information at other
locations. We were able to provide reports to local and state-level
stakeholders several times a day, to monitor fast changing conditions,
and to direct emergency crews more efficiently and effectively. It’s a
far superior way to do business and opens our eyes to what is possi-
ble.”
Hu r r i c a n e S a n d y Te s t s Ne w G e o s p a t i a l To o l i n R e a l T i me
March 2013
Obstructions on one road segment in Rockland County
Prod_GEO213_Prod GEO66 14-02-13 19:31 Pagina 18
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Latest News? Visit www.geoinformatics.com
Proactive Preparedness
The County took proactive steps to improve their emergency pre-
paredness last year. In the wake of Hurricane Irene and a rare
October snowstorm, County officials recognized they needed an effi-
cient way to manage, share, analyze and respond to information
on road blockages and closures in real time. With funding from the
US Department of Homeland Security, the County commissioned
Sewall, an international GIS, engineering and forestry consulting
firm, to assess the County’s needs and develop a solution. After meet-
ing with County representatives and other stakeholders, Sewall pro-
posed developing a web-based, distributed data entry module as
an enhancement to the County’s existing online emergency GIS appli-
cation.
Live Data Collection and Sharing
The tool, a COP with a detailed County-developed base map, allows
a network of emergency personnel, volunteers, and other contribu-
tors in the field to enter specific information on road obstructions—
fallen trees, downed wires, downed poles/transformers, severe ero-
sion or cave-ins, and flood waters—on an interactive online map as
events occur. “The tool distributes responsibility to local contributors,
who are most familiar with the situation and the road network,”
Schuetz says. “As a result, the information is more accurate and pre-
cise, and entered sooner.”
This information is then accessible to emergency managers at other
locations, enabling them to make critical decisions on the fly—where
to route resources, repair crews and people out of harm’s way. “With
more accurate road obstruction data, we could more effectively deliv-
er a generator to the nursing home, to bus people from a flooded
location, to dispatch fire and police to an incident,” says Schuetz.
When a road is reported cleared, the map can be cleared quickly,
providing updates to all users, who can view, print or download the
current status of road conditions in real time.
Data Entry for Road Obstructions (Points). The objectives of
the data entry design are speed, simplicity and accuracy. Using one
of three search options (street address/road name, intersection, or
lat/long), the user navigates quickly to the location of the obstruc-
tion, selects the appropriate tool to click on the location (point) and
assigns attribute information in one of seven types (trees down, wires
down, trees and wires down, pole/transformer down, flood, col-
lapse/erosion, other). The user receives prompt feedback on the
desired road segment, its name and other properties, and a pre-
populated road obstruction form for editing information on hazard
type, time of report, name of user, road status, and assigned priori-
ty. With training, this process takes 30 seconds or less.
Editing or Deleting Road Obstructions. With the editing tool,
the user can click on any road obstruction point feature and option-
ally drag or move it to a new location, and access a pop-up form
with editable attributes and a control for deleting the obstruction.
Printing a Road Obstruction. In a single click with the print
tool, the user can highlight any road obstruction point feature and
create a single-page, letter-sized pdf with a map focused on the
vicinity of the obstruction, plus a separate table showing complete
attribute data for the focused obstruction. This printable file is
designed to hand to field crews and emergency responders.
Clearing a Road Obstruction. With the clear tool, the user can
click on any road obstruction to activate a pop-up form for entering
information on when the obstruction was cleared. Once the popup
is closed, the feature disappears from the active road obstructions
map layer.
GIS Director Douglas Schuetz working out of the EOC
GIS Analyst Scott Lounsbury testing the tool
Clustered view of active road obstructions in Rockland County
Prod_GEO213_Prod GEO66 14-02-13 19:31 Pagina 19
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Data Entry for Administrative Road Closures (Lines).
Authorized GIS analysts are equipped to enter data on administra-
tive road closures, identifying an entire road or linear road segments
as necessary. Administrative road closure reports, normally fewer in
number than road obstruction reports, are entered using ArcGIS for
Desktop, which enables the skilled editor to select a closed road
segment on the map and enter a brief narrative summary of the clo-
sure (which segment is closed, why, since when, and when it is
expected to re-open). Other users of the COP can see the current
administrative road closures as highlighted line segments.
Map Services and Downloads. The map data showing current
road obstructions and closures can be incorporated into other interac-
tive maps and exported to shapefile, geodatabase, KML, and spread-
sheet formats. The County has incorporated the live obstruction map
service into its Disaster LAN (DLAN) emergency management system.
Recruiting and Training
According to Schuetz, recruiting and training the field network, includ-
ing highway, police, fire, and public works departments; and elec-
tric, gas and water utilities are critical steps to success. As it hap-
pened, Sewall delivered a beta version for testing to the County in
time to train a few key staff in advance of Sandy. Designed to be effi-
cient to use and easy to learn, the application was tested before the
storm hit and used successfully during the storm and its aftermath.
“The interactive website was a tremendous tool that assisted emer-
gency response agencies, including utility companies, in responding
to incidents throughout Hurricane Sandy,” says Christopher Jensen,
Program Coordinator for the Rockland County Office of Fire &
Emergency Services. “The information collected also played a signifi-
cant role in implementing recovery efforts by local, county, state, and
federal agencies.”
The Aftermath
For two weeks after the storm, the County updated the system, entering
information as obstructed and partially obstructed roads were cleared.
“Real-time mapping proved invaluable as the County Highway
Department worked to clear the downed trees after the storm,” says
Andrew M. Connors, PE, Deputy Superintendent of Highways. “We
were able to locate all work sites quickly, allowing for immediate dis-
patch of labor and equipment to open our roads to traffic. With situa-
tional awareness of the County’s road network, we were able to direct
our efforts to restore our infrastructure in a safe, timely and cost-effec-
tive way.”
Months later, high-quality data of road obstructions is proving to be
very valuable, according to Schuetz. “Since each record has a date
and time stamp, we have been able to create a video time series of
road obstructions and clearings for use in analyzing the timeliness and
effectiveness of our response. The goal here is to learn what we can
and see where we can make improvements.”
Next Steps
Again proactive in approach, County officials are now considering
ways in which to expand upon their use of geospatial technology in
extreme weather events. “Our next steps,” says Schuetz, “will be to
develop a mobile version, so data and pictures can be recorded direct-
ly from the field to emergency managers and other decision makers.”
Gary Mullaney has over 30 years’ experience in developing technology and information systems for a wide
range of government and forestry applications. As Senior GIS Consultant at Sewall, he leads a team of
software engineers in software development, web services, database administration and systems integration.
Lisa Schoonmaker is Sewall Director of Marketing and Communications.
For more information, see: www.sewall.com and https://rocklandgov.com.
Creating a road obstruction
Closing a road
Clearing a road obstruction
Exported KML file integrated with Google Earth
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Esri is currently investigating the big data analysis field with new initiatives and
its own resources. ArcGIS Server Product Manager Marwa Mabrouk explains
some of these initiatives and discusses some recent use cases of big data
analysis and location. By Eric van Rees
Big Data Analysis and Location
D
ata growth has been a trend for
a number of years now. With
cloud technologies becoming
more pervasive, data no longer
needs to be thrown away as
there are infinite storage capabilities. This
development, combined with data growth,
has fueled the big data trend, where com-
plex and very large datasets are being ana-
lyzed to search for correlation within many
different applications and industries.
Software companies that have the capacity
to handle such complex and very large
datasets are currently investigating how to
approach these datasets for analysis. The
geospatial industry has a special role in all
of this, since location is a very important
aspect of the data itself and can be an
important part of big data analysis.
There’s a lot of exploration going on right
now within Esri with regards to big data,
says Marwa Mabrouk: “big data is about
how to get intelligence out of your data
through visualization, identifying patterns
and analyzing the data. From that perspec-
tive, what Esri is doing lies more on the ana-
lytics side, where you can explore more of
the capabilities that can enrich GIS or the
other way round.”
Bringing GIS and big data together
Although at the moment there’s no current
product that could be called ‘Esri’s big data
product’, there are some areas where Esri
is starting to highlight that it can handle very
large datasets. For example, with the
release of ArcGIS 10.1, ArcGIS Server now
supports IBM PureData System for Analytics,
powered by Netezza. There’s also Esri
Maps for IBM Cognos for doing business
analysis and Terradata. Mabrouk: “At Esri,
we have been doing complex analysis with
this type of very large dataset for a long
time. What we’re trying to get increasingly
familiar with is how technologies like
NoSQL and the Apache Hadoop Big Data
L e v e r a g i n g B i g D a t a a t E s r i
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platform are coming into play in that area
and how GIS can leverage that and inte-
grate with that.”
Hadoop is a really large framework and
looks at data that is non-structured and basi-
cally consists of a lot of text, without any pat-
terns identified within that text. Mabrouk:
“this is the most challenging type of data to
analyze. You have to understand what to
extract out of it and identify patterns that did-
n’t exist beforehand.” As for NoSQL, this
refers to broad database management sys-
tems that are useful when working with a
huge quantity of data. Mabrouk: “NoSQL
might be a misnamed term. It supports SQL,
but the definition of the relations between
the tables is where things are different.”
By becoming more familiar with these tech-
nologies, Esri can start to see what the best
way to bring GIS and big data together
would be. This is not something that is very
well-defined right now, says Mabrouk:
“there is a question mark in the market at
the moment over big data itself; namely how
it can play into different areas and there’s
always a lot to learn and always new things
coming up, especially in the GIS area.
There’s a kind of merging of all the big data
aspects and the location, as well as how the
analysis will emerge which will enable us to
put these things together. This means that
there’s a lot to discover in that area right
now.”
There are multiple efforts going on within
Esri to investigate what is the best way to
leverage the technologies that are available
for NoSQL, Hadoop in conjunction with GIS
and how big data could be migrated along
these different technologies. Additionally,
they are investigating the kind of analysis
that is feasible – for example, performing
geospatial analysis inside Hadoop or spa-
tially enabling it there, or performing analy-
sis inside ArcGIS, with Hadoop just being
the data source. Another example is a free
plug-in for ArcGIS Desktop, developed by
the Esri resource center, which lets ArcGIS
Desktop users search the Mongo database,
an open source document-oriented database
system that is part of the NoSQL family of
database systems. At the moment, Esri is
investigating how to leverage social media
for analysis in big data (more on this below).
A growing interest in big data
What is happening now and goes some
way to explaining the hype around big
data, is that more and more sectors are
becoming interested in big data problems
and how this issue can be solved. These
organizations are pouring a variety of
resources and skills into this so they can
solve these types of questions. Mabrouk:
“now there’s a merge going on between the
developer talent and the talent how to under-
stand and administer a framework like
Hadoop and to the data analysis. They’re
now being referred to as data scientists.”
Discussing data itself, one thing is clear:
data growth is definitely not going to slow
down. Mabrouk: “we’re seeing it’s just
growing exponentially. The technologies to
handle that will continue to see a demand,
because otherwise how are we going to
handle all this data? Data doesn’t get
thrown away like it did in the past. I think
that’s the part where we’ll continue to see
the problem just get bigger and bigger.
We’re going to see more growth around
how it will be handled.”
Consequently, the question as to whether all
data is relevant for big data analysis pops
up. And, also: is more data always better
than less data? Mabrouk: “for big data anal-
ysis, the same applies as with statistics: the
more samples you have, the more accurate
the results are. Similarly, as the data grows,
you will probably get more accurate results,
and then the challenge to compute, handle,
manage and make sense of it all also grows.
The more data you have, the more the pat-
terns will appear and become more appar-
ent.”
And, now that people are starting to realize
data can be used in so many ways, this is
only the beginning. Mabrouk: “the question
as to how this will be done and how effec-
tively we will be in handling this data needs
to be closely monitored. In the future, we
need to ensure that we will be using the data
the right way, protecting people’s privacy
and making sure it is handled in a way that
is morally correct.“
Location as part of big data analysis
There are certain problems that are emerg-
ing that tend to define themselves well-
known use cases where big data analysis
can make a lot of difference. For example,
information collected from sensors.
Mabrouk: “there are certain devices and
sensors that collect a lot of data. This is an
area where big data can offer a lot of solu-
tions. Location is very critical to work with
those sensors, especially if these sensors are
moving around in vehicles, or monitoring
some kind of changing condition.”
Another example is social media analysis
and understanding the correlation between
location and events that take place and how
people feel about it online. Mabrouk:
“we’ve done some analysis using social
media to highlight the correlation between
the impact of hurricane Sandy and certain
areas that were affected the most by collect-
ing information from social media.”
Cloud analysis with social media as well is
another example, which was done in coop-
eration with Gnip, who provides Twitter
data. Mabrouk: “for a hotel chain, we
checked the influence to social media when
a person would put a specific negative
review of a hotel and checked what is the
range of impact of that one person. We’ve
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provided heat maps to demonstrate the
impact of these mixed reviews based on
what people are posting in social media.”
There’s also some information around crime
analysis, for example in San Francisco,
based on the data provided by the city: “we
used big data analysis to understand pat-
terns across time and location. We’re able
to determine that there are certain days in
the week where crime is the highest and cer-
tain times in the day. We’ll talk more about
the components that we’re working on dur-
ing the Esri Developer Summit in April, and
demonstrate and talk heavily about the
better integration between Hadoop and
ArcGIS.”
Marwa Mabrouk is Product Manager ArcGIS Server.
Hurricane Sandy and social media
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Use of geoinformation is growing rapidly. This article is dedicated to successful
projects of geodata dissemination in a very simple PDF format, which allows
common users to work intuitively with geodata without GIS skills or special
software. By O. A. Ryaboshapko
GeoPDF Based Services
U
se of geoinformation is grow-
ing rapidly: nowadays real-
ization of the fact that infor-
mation in space is a vital
component for efficient deci-
sion-making be comes obvious to many
and not just GIS pros. Geospatial infor-
mation is released to public access
despite remaining restrictions. One can
already receive information on land lots
from a public cadaster map as well as
that of the unified cartographic base in
the form of maps of the RF territory via the
State Register portal. The Ministry of
Economic Development prepares to
launch the spatial data infrastructure por-
tal. There are available online mapping
services.
Citizens want to use geodata for efficient
solutions to everyday applications. No
doubt they are individual for each user,
however conventionally one could divide
users into GIS pros and users that require
geodata for finding solutions to everyday
business applications.
For the other group of users geodata
usage is connected with difficulty in per-
ceiving GIS information and learning
tools for working with it. Working in GIS
on a daily basis, using imagery analysis
and processing tools everything seems
obvious. But how hard is this for a user
that doesn’t do it every day? Many will
refuse using geodata just due to complex-
ity of the tools and fear of novelty.
However, since professionals managed to
create complex data analysis and pro-
cessing tools, they could provide users
with results of their efforts in an easy and
simple way. The idea of comprehensible
and simple in perception geodata was
realized in GeoPDF: a result of profes-
sionals’ work could be made comprehen-
sible for all; one would be able to share,
add new georeferenced user information
and return data to GIS.
The US Geological Survey Online
Mapping Service
In December 2009 the US Geological
Survey launched the next generation
online service providing maps for the
entire territory of the USA in GeoPDF for-
mat: each map board in GeoPDF format
contain base layers of geographic data:
orthoimages, maps, geographic names,
topography, and hydrographic specific
features, which originate from the
National Map – the national collection of
data from local, state, federal and other
sources.
The initial set of GeoPDF files was creat-
ed by specialists of the Topographic
Center of the US Army Corps of Engineers
with the use of the existing digital raster
graphics (DRG) of the US Geological
Survey (250 pixels per inch scanning)
being the source. In future the US
Geological Survey plan to update all map
boards with 250 dpi resolution to greater
resolution files (from 400 to 508 dpi),
which will allow using the same data for
creating high quality printing product.
When Geodat a Bec ome Avai l abl e t o Us er s
March 2013
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Depending on detail and complexity of a
source map individual size of GeoPDF
files could vary from 3 to 30Mb, the
majority being in the range from 10 to
17mB. In most cases files in GeoPDF for-
mat contain the latest version of a pub-
lished map, and those that are not updat-
ed regularly contain scanned in high
resolution (508 dpi) archived hardcopy
map. In essence each GeoPDF file is a
georeferenced scanned topographic map.
GeoPDF files are not replacements of the
source GIS data. GIS specialists still
require original files for editing and updat-
ing spatial data. Files in GeoPDF format
allow non-GIS specialists, technicians,
enterprise managers and their counter-
parts using spatial information.
On the Map Locator and Downloader
webpage of the US Geological Survey,
users are prompted to locate, download
or buy maps. By specifying an area of
interest user will view all maps available
for this territory: some of them could be
bought, and the rest could be received
free-of-charge via e-mail in GeoPDF for-
mat.
Users can view and print GeoPDF files
using free and fully accessible Adobe
Reader. If using the free plugin TerraGo
Toolbar additional options become avail-
able: to look up geographical coordi-
nates, measure distances and areas, with
GPS-receiver on – to find one’s location
on the map and add georeferenced
entries on the map with description of
objects.
Before the GeoPDF service was implement-
ed about 4,000 maps had been download-
ed monthly. Once the GeoPDF service was
launched the number of downloads grew on
average to 75,000 GeoPDF files each
month, thus the information became more
accessible and popular for a greater num-
ber of interested users.
The Geoatlas of Carbon, Montana for
Public Safety
Carbon County (Montana) is located in the
center of the southern part of the state and
covers more than 2,000 square kilometers,
which is twice as large as Rhode Island. The
county includes the National Forest Custer
and the north-eastern part of the Yellowstone
National Park, which along with picturesque
rural areas are home to about 10,000
inhabitants.
In 2004 a new standardized address sys-
tem was introduced in Carbon for faster
response to emergencies and in preparation
for launching the extended 911 service (E-
911). Nevertheless, initially the new system
caused confusion. The county turned out to
be too big for dispatchers to learn all dis-
tricts by heart. Besides, not all parties had
enough PC resources or skills. In addition a
single location had several addresses and
the new system faced the problem of pro-
viding public safety personnel and popula-
tion with such data to ensure cost-effective-
ness: both hardcopy and digital versions
were required.
A firewatcher of the Red Lodge Fire Brigade
and GIS consultant Tom Coughly working
with Department of Emergency Services
(DES) and the fire brigade helped receiving
the grant for GeoAtlas project implementa-
tion in Carbon. T. Coughly and DES started
with base map files of the US Geological
Survey (USGS).
For preparation of base maps the team used
the Esri ArcGIS 10 software. Then using
TerraGo Publisher for ArcGIS, the team
produced interactive, portable and intel-
lectual GeoPDF maps and images, which
allow users that do not have access to
modern GIS or special skills, to receive
access, dynamically update and share
geospatial compact-view information.
After that maps in GeoPDF were integrat-
ed in GeoAtlas – a detailed 400-page
road and address atlas covering the
entire Carbon County. GeoAtlas was
uploaded on www.carbogeoatlas.com,
where atlas pages could be viewed and
downloaded by public safety specialists
like anybody else that have interest in it.
GeoPDF maps from GeoAtlas could also
be used for printing hardcopies, and
working offline with by field workers
using USB drives or DVD.
Viewing of GeoAtlas electronic maps sim-
ply require users to download the free
TerraGo Toolbar, which enables any user
at any location getting access and work-
ing with maps and images in GeoPDF,
created in the TerraGo Publisher and
TerraGo Composer software applications.
The toolbar also allows onsite users updat-
ing maps in GeoPDF using georeferenced
entries, pictures, videos and other infor-
mation and then return updated data to
the ArcGIS database. Also this informa-
tion turned to be in demand by other
organizations as well: there are inquiries
from power companies, post offices and
realtors. TerraGo solutions used by
Carbon County, Montana:
• TerraGoPublisher for ArcGIS;
• TerraGo GeoPDF maps and images;
• Survey results.
Utilizing maps and images in GeoPDF for-
mat the following achievements were
accomplished in Carbon County:
• E-911 county system introduction was
completed;
• GeoAtlas was launched – a free web
resource for public and safety officers;
• 150 essential maps containing over 400
pages of accurate maps for the entire
county territory were produced at mini-
mum cost;
• The product was released that could be
further updated, georeferenced informa-
tion stopped being static and became eas-
ily accessible to both officers and county
public.
O. A. Ryaboshapko, Moscow Regional Marketing Manager of Hitachi;
www.hitachi-solutions.com/ru/geopdf/sp
GeoAtlas of Carbon County could be accessed via the Internet by
following the link www.carbongeoatlas.com.
GeoAtlas of Carbon County, Montana, USA
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One of the more common requests we receive, as a mobile GIS software
development company, is offline. In this month’s column, the use of GIS
mobile apps in a disconnected environment is discussed.
The Basics
One of the advantages mobile devices bring is
the ability to work in the field, and to no longer
be dependent on pen and paper. Directly updat-
ing a server is now possible using mobile GIS
apps. But field workers are often active in poorly
connected or disconnected areas. That throws a
degree of complexity to viewing and working with
GIS data. Many GIS vendors are looking into this
problem. Offline is apparently the second most
popular question asked of Jack Dangermond at
Esri. An integrated solution has its challenges, one
we know Esri are feverishly working on as part
of ArcGIS.
Cloud Computing & Online Data Access
While online, mobile apps simply access GIS
servers directly; so basemap tiles, layers,
geocoders, identify requests, edits. In offline mode
data needs to reside locally on the device. We’ve
been building an online-offline editing mobile app
against ArcGIS Online. This new cloud based
mapping platform has simplified both the consum-
ing and updating of GIS data from mobiles. Web
maps are at the heart of ArcGIS Online. These
are in essence mash ups of geo-data, so ArcGIS
server endpoints, hosted ArcGIS Online services,
KML, WMS, shapefiles etc. While online GIS data
is directly accessed via ArcGIS Online.
Offline Data Access
The use of local storage is required for offline
mobile access to GIS data. ArcMap 10.1 now
provides the ability to generate tile packages
(tpk); or a package of basemap tiles which can
be loaded on a mobile device. In the ArcGIS
world, feature editing is done with the use of
Feature Layers. These are similar to WFS layers
in the open source world. Feature layers are dif-
ferent to tiled or dynamic layers. They provide in
essence the raw data which makes up a layer. So
nothing is pre-generated by the server, the appli-
cation itself draws these layers. The key to offline
editing is to store these feature layers (or WFS
layers) on the mobile device itself. Once offline,
the applications loads the stored tpk, and feature
layers. Edits are then updates to the local (stored)
features layers. When back online, these edits can
then be pushed to the server directly.
Multimedia Attachments
One area we saw as essential to a robust online-
offline editing solution was the ability to add mul-
timedia attachments. Mobiles come equipped with
still and video cameras, and audio recording
devices. Attaching images, video, text or audio
files to a feature is part of the ArcGIS Feature ser-
vice. The process required to attach multimedia
elements to features while offline was similar to
feature editing; attachments were tied to the fea-
tures id. When back online the data and feature
id are pushed back to the server.
Simplified Workflows
Traditionally online-offline GIS data collection and
editing has often been provided by a combina-
tion of Trimble mobile hardware and ArcPad soft-
ware. Though both excellent products, these solu-
tions are both expensive and are targeted at users
trained in GIS. Often field workers do not have
this training. They want mobile apps which pro-
vide simple workflows to get their jobs done, with
no need for specialised skills. Similarly, organiza-
tions would also like to avoid staff training, and
the expense of purchasing these solutions. The
popularity of iOS and Android devices, and abil-
ity of companies such as ours to build simple
mobile apps, using the cloud and local storage
opens new possibilities.
We will integrate our online-offline work with Esri’s
integrated solution once released. But with online-
offline functionality now fully realised, mobile GIS
may finally have come of age.
Offline Mobile GIS
Matt Sheehan is Principal and Senior
Developer at WebmapSolutions. The com-
pany build location focused mobile applica-
tions for GIS, mapping and location based
services (LBS). Matt can be reached at
matt@webmapsolutions.com.
March 2013

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T
he number of sensors included in
products like tablet computers,
along with the accuracy at which
data can be collected, continue to
increase. Companies like Broad -
com, for instance, have produced a GNSS
chip for consumer technologies - the
BCM4752 – 10x more accurate than its pre-
decessors. Given the role such devices con-
tinue to play in spatial information work-
flows this article explores smart technologies
and their use as tools on and off site.
The iPad
The launch of the iPad kick started the tablet
market in 2010. A driving force of develop-
ment for both Apple and Android – who had
been working on their OS system around a
similar timeframe -was the integration of
existing technology into emerging consumer
products. Based on ideas considered by
Alan Kay in 1968 the iPad and other tablets
represented a slight departure from the
vision he would outline later in A Personal
Computer for Children of All Ages. Released
after the iPod Touch, the iPad was the third
Apple product to feature the iOS operating
system designed for the iPhone.
An active learning tool
The concept for the “Dynabook” was explored
in more detail in a paper written by Alan Kay
in 1972. Described as an active learning tool
for children its design was somewhere between
a laptop and a tablet, though the latter was
more in line with his ideas. Thirty eight years
later, the development of a lucrative mobile
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The tablet computer is a versatile device that continues to make an impact in
many professional sectors – survey markets included. This article focuses on the
latter and examines the various ways in which consumer products like tablets
are being used in spatial information workflows. Initially proposed as a learning
aid for children by Alan Kay in 1968, its development actually came about due
to the growing number of uses for mobile phones and a more considered approach
to the integration of technologies across consumer product lines. Examples were
generated using a Google Nexus 10 and free applications. By Adam Spring
From Survey Projects
to Media Applications
I s t he Tabl et an E nabl i ng Tec hnol ogy?
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phone market and the miniaturisation of tech-
nologies like touch screens made tablet com-
puters a viable product to bring to market. By
that time Kay’s ideas had made their way into
precision measurement marketplaces too. For
instance, a quote often used by the President
of Hexagon Geosystems, Juergen Dold, actual-
ly came from Kay (see Geo matics World,
January/February 2011: pp. 32-34): ‘The best
way to predict the future is to invent it!’
Enabling technology
Whether used on its own or in line with other
solutions the tablet has become an enabling
technology - an innovation that brings dynam-
ic change to a workflow or user community.
The emergence of hybrid ‘laplets’ like the
Microsoft Surface Pro on the one hand and
Linux based operating systems like Tizen on
the other continue to broaden the concept of
the tablet.
In fact, the developers of Tizen are currently
looking at technology integration. Firstly, they
are integrating technologies centred on ubiq-
uitous platforms like the markup language
HTML5, which provides the instructions for
how text and media are displayed. Designed
to accommodate for other developments like
cloud computing and an increased shared
experience through the Web, HTML5 is look-
ing to standardise the way information is pre-
sented to browsers.
Secondly, Tizen is able to integrate itself
through hardware. Companies like Sam sung
are looking to include it in devices like TVs as
well as tablets and mobile phones. The appli-
cations or “apps” that continue to be shaped
by such processes unlock the potential of the
increased number of sensors incorporated into
hardware. There are even free system diag-
nostics tools like Sensor Kinetics that give
direct access to the sensors inside a device,
as discussed later in this article.
Combined technologies
Bringing together components, such as GNSS
chips and motion sensors, into one affordable
system has led to intuitive developments like
the app. It is the app that makes the tablet
more than a tool for ‘old’ media consumption,
such as books, and gives users an opportuni-
ty to be creators. They provide a level of
accessibility to and interaction with hardware
that is reminiscent of the Homebrew computer
movement of the 1970s. Such movements
were integral to the personal computing revo-
lution, as well as the consumer markets creat-
ed off the back of it.
Flexible user interfaces
Such developments have created flexible user
interfaces, which take into account the advan-
tages and limitations of using consumer prod-
ucts for tasks otherwise specialist in nature.
For instance, there is an active learning expe-
rience for general users working with apps
like Geo Cam and Image Meter. In order to
use the information collected to its fullest, they
are encouraged to understand basic princi-
ples of survey like triangulation or that pho-
tographs contain x, y coordinates and can
make vector modelling more accessible and
easier. The iOS app Hunter Theodolite Pro
even provides easy to follow instructions that
outline basic principles of survey.
The apps created to permit wide scale flexi-
bility at application stages turn tablets into a
digital prospection tool - one that can be used
in most workflows to perform numerous tasks.
The Google Nexus 10, for instance, is pre-
packaged with its own suit of tools that are
designed with spatial information sharing in
mind . This is to the point where the photo and
video interface allows for longitude and lati-
tude information to be added to file property
tags. Otherwise separate entities like Google
Earth, Google + and Photo Sphere are clear-
ly interlinked and can be used to augment and
share experiences with anyone around the
world even before the first app is download-
ed. Google’s strategy includes the experien-
tial side of mapping - it accommodates for
what Aristotle saw as the five senses of vision,
sound, touch, smell and taste. Much like the
AutoCAD WS app where plan drawing can
be infused with videos, images or commen-
tary, social media like Facebook can feed into
free GIS systems like Google Earth too.
Information flows that otherwise seem set
apart from one another in analogue work-
flows fit seamlessly together through digital
media and easy to use devices like the tablet.
Hexagon 2012
At the Hexagon 2012 conference tablets and
smartphones were used to explore the social
interactions of its user community. Apps
formed part of the social experience and rein-
forced ideas pertaining to non-linear work-
flows. Attendees were given the opportunity
to build their own event using the Hexagon
2012 app while QR coded name tags pro-
moted networking opportunities and peer to
peer learning (see Geomatics World,
July/August 2012 : pp. 26-28). For the same
devices used to do this a photo dehazing app
for iPhone and iPad was introduced too.
Derived from Geomedia based technology
this example was described by the President
and CEO of Hexagon AB, Ola Rollen, as a
product born out of specific applications that
is now being used in everyday life.
Free applications
The free Android apps selected have been
chosen as examples that feed into different
aspects of documenting a scene digitally.
Included are apps designed for connectivity
to the Web, surface mapping, 3D imaging
workflows and augmented reality.
ImageMeter
ImageMeter was designed as an easy to use
vector modelling tool by the Technical
University of Eindhoven based programmer
Dr Dirk Farin. The app lets users add horizon-
tal and vertical values to x and y pixels. Once
a reference plane has been created dimen-
Alan Kay imagined the Dynabook as a cross between a laptop
and tablet in 1972
ImageMeter takes the x and y coordinates in a photograph and uses
them for vector modelling
Hotspotting means you can find an internet connection anywhere on
the map
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sions and angles can then be placed in the
scene automatically. Thus making plan draw-
ings and scene analysis much easier. Greater
accuracies can be achieved by importing high
resolution images into Image Meter.
TopoPLANNER
Developed by Certainty 3D, TopoPLANNER
uses Bing, Yahoo and Google maps to help
users plan mid-range laser scanning work-
flows. Primarily for tripod based scanning
units the Florida based company also
designed TopoTRANSMISSION for mobile
mapping systems. TopoPLANNER is particu-
larly useful for projects carried out in built up
urban areas.
The Reader AR
The Reader AR is available for iOS and
Android. It was developed for the phase shift
laser scanner manufacturer Zoller and
Froehlich by the Italian company G-maps. An
augmented reality viewer, the app demon-
strates the way in which tablet and smart-
phone technologies can used an alternative
media for viewing 3D models. Similar to the
US company Zebra Imaging - who turn point
clouds or meshes into holograms - G-maps is
using augmented reality to give data an
added sense of dimensionality. Something still
overlooked in workflows where a reduction to
2D is required.
Meshlab
Meshlab is an open sourced 3D modelling
package that stemmed from a course assign-
ment at the University of Pisa in 2005. Ideal
for small 3D imaging data sets and decimat-
ed point clouds in terms of larger files, it has
been repackaged for iOS and Android sys-
tems as a free viewer. The viewer can be used
to support work flows derived from the com-
plete package which is available as a free
download also.
The easy to use app is deceptively versatile -
especially in markets currently driven by the
Internet of Things and Third Industrial
Revolution. With the desktop versions of
Meshlab supporting export formats for 3D
pdf, rapid prototyping and standard CAD for-
mats like .dxf the app can be used as a sim-
ple and effective way of showing off point
clouds, as well as flat and meshed surfaces.
The interactive light functionality accentuates
this further.
3D Camera
Though current 3D capture apps for Android
and iOS have some way to go to be of value
in professional workflows, ease of use and the
ubiquitous nature of the product make 3D
Camera a useful tool for teaching basic prin-
ciples like projective geometry. One of the bet-
ter depth camera apps available 3D camera
uses stereo pair images to generate the miss-
ing z coordinate from standard photos. This z
axis can be turned off or extended in the view-
er, which enables users to share results
through Picasa too. Photos can be imported
or taken by the device running 3D Camera.
The app does, however, require an internet
connection to process results through its
servers.
AutoCAD WS and AndCAD
Both these apps can be used to work with
CAD files. An extension of its desktop equiva-
lent AutoCAD WS enables users to work with
2D and 3D files anywhere as well as incor-
porate social media functions designed to pro-
vide commentary and feedback. AndCAD is
a standalone CAD package that retains func-
tionality in its demo version at the expense of
not being able to save data.
Sensor Kinectics
Sensor Kinectics lets users monitor all sensors
inside an Android device. This includes GPS,
accelerometer, gyroscope, proximity sensor, dig-
ital compass, magnetometer and barometer.
With a series of help files it also provides infor-
mation that encourages users to perform their
own tests, as well as turn sensors off and on.
Hotspotting
Hotspotting is an app that scans for free wifi
all over the world. With a growing communi-
ty and database, users are encouraged to
share new finds in order to make Hotspotting
self-sustaining.
Photo Sphere
Google’s Photo Sphere falls somewhere
between the idea of an Internet of Things and
augmented reality mapping. In the same way
PTgui can be used to generate 360º panora-
mas, Photo Sphere gives users the opportuni-
ty to add their own Street View to Google
Earth and Maps. Google + and Hang Out
members can geotag these panoramas (this
includes an external camera workflow for
Nexus devices). Another advantage of using
Nexus running Android 4.2 is the camera
operating software. It is easy to use and is
designed to optimise what can be achieved
with the internal camera.
Geo Cam and Theodolite Droid
Geo Cam and Theodolite Droid turn Android
devices into a Theodolite by using the sensors
available (see Geoinformatics 7, Vol. 15: pp.
32-34). Similar in function and design both
apps can be used as range finders, GNSS
loggers and to perform functions like eleva-
tion measurement and landscape mapping.
Geo Cam can be used in North America and
the NAFTA region, while Theodolite Droid can
be used in Europe and surrounding countries.
Conclusion
It is impossible to separate out the discussion
of tablet computers from that of mobile phone
technologies. The size of the tablet, however,
is what separates it out in terms of application
and use. Based on an ancient format - i.e. the
book - it has stood the test of time because it
is the right size for human interaction and
engagement. Whilst the tablet itself has gone
and will continue to go through a series of iter-
ations and changes, its role as a receptacle
and communicator of knowledge will not.
For more information, have a look at:
www.broadcom.com/products/features/GNSS.php
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Photo Sphere creates 360° panoramas that can be used in Street View and Google +
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Surveyor and trainer Léon van der Poel discusses the price, use and
necessity of additional GNSS networks.
W
orking in the Netherlands as a survey-
or means that when I need a GNSS
correction signal, I can choose from a
number of networks.
The first network was established around 2002.
This was a commercial network, which was soon
followed by a second commercial national net-
work.
Some time later, the Dutch government also estab-
lished a national network. So how many RTK net-
works do we have nowadays in the Netherlands?
This depends on how you count them, because
some networks have different names for different
users, whilst using the same base stations. The
agricultural users not only get a different name for
their network, but sometimes also pay a different
(lower) price.
Currently we have around six national GNSS cor-
rection signal networks. Most GNSS suppliers
have their own network, the government has their
own network and two commercial companies also
have their own network, so there are plenty to
choose from. In Belgium the government, rather
than a commercial company, was the first to estab-
lish a network. Belgium still only has one network
(actually divided into two areas; one for the north-
ern part of the country and one for the southern
part). As the government supplies the correction
free of charge it isn’t of interest from a commer-
cial point of view to build another correction net-
work.
Additional Networks?
Is it likely that we will create additional networks
in the Netherlands? In the agricultural business,
the use of GNSS is still growing and suppliers of
machines like to have their own network, and
since there is no free of charge network available,
they build their own. However, they realise nowa-
days that making a deal with an already existing
network can be easier and cheaper.
So yes, the number may still increase, but suppli-
ers may also fall by the wayside. I should men-
tion at this point that one of the suppliers will
cease broadcasting the correction signal next
month. According to their website they are stop-
ping due to changes in their business objectives.
Last week I was giving training in the Caribbean.
The training included many aspects of surveying,
including GNSS. It is sensible before starting train-
ing such as this to be aware of the current local
situation. So, for example, investigate the network
layout. On arrival at the airport there were lots of
advertisements for 4g mobile phone coverage
around the island, but when you ask about a net-
work for GNSS correction, you find out that this
does not exist.
A single base has to do most of the work and, if
the baseline gets too big, a mobile base must be
used. Is the island too small for a network? The
island is not as big as the Netherlands, but with
a distance of almost 70 km to travel from one side
of the island to the other, I think it is too big for a
single base. Around seven base stations would
give good coverage all over the island.
So let’s make the governmental correction signal
in the Netherlands free of charge, and ship the
obsolete networks to areas which do not have any
network at all.
Second hand GNSS Network
Ing. Léon van der Poel is director at
LEOP, a company which combines
surveying and training of surveyors
www.leop-bv.nl.
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Drakkar is a service industry company providing Israeli companies with
extensive international publications on LiDAR as well as traditional geodetic
methods. Drakkar was the first in Israel to start applying on-ground and then
airborne laser scanning in 2004. The company has done a lot to encourage the
popularization of the LiDAR survey technologies and in persuading governmental
agencies and private companies of their applicability. Now Drakkar
has developed a mobile lidar mapper of its own for mobile on-ground, marine
and airborne applications. The company believes its experience in this field
could be of interest for other service- providing companies working in the
geoinformatics arena.
By Evgeny Medvedev,
Valery Gutman and
Michael Weitsman
Home-made LiDAR Mapping
T
he current technological situation in the geoinformatics mar-
ket makes it possible even for small, but pro-active compa-
nies (like Drakkar) to start designing and then producing
their own mobile LiDAR device. This article details Drakkar’s
experience as it developed its own system, which can be
used as an on-ground mobile, as an aerial survey or a combined
tool.
Case study
There are a number of reasons that would cause a geodesy compa-
ny to start developing their own laser scanner, rather than buying
an ‘off-the-peg’ one from one of the known producers:
• Economical factor. In some cases, it is significantly cheaper to
go down this route rather than investing in a universal mobile
scanner. This is even more the case if the company already pos-
sesses one or, at least, a few of the components which could be
suitable for a new device. For example, in Drakkar’s case it
looked like a good idea to use its “classical” static laser scanner
RIEGL LMS Z420i, which has been in use for many years and
demonstrated perfect functionality. After limited additional
improvements were carried out and implemented at the manufac-
turer’s factory (relatively inexpensive), this type of device can be
successfully integrated with INS Novatel SPAN. This had actually
worked perfectly well in the past.
• Adaption for the companies’ needs. While designing and
producing a mobile LiDAR from scratch a company always has
the opportunity to adapt it for the specific needs of their compa-
ny. Very often, “universal” (design from Optech or Leica for exam-
ple) systems in similar conditions would be much less efficient.
Grouping, dimensions, weight and power consumption charac-
teristics are all aspects which should be taken into account.
T he Mi ddl e E as t exper i enc e
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Fig. 1. Functional scheme of Drakkar’s mobile lidar scanner PolyScan
Fig. 2. Typical PolyScan grouping in on-ground configuration
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Peculiarities of the system control, powering and a number of
other aspects can often be very significant to one extent or anoth-
er in specialist areas, such as power engineering, mine survey,
road construction etc. In all of these cases it is important to choose
a platform properly and to combine the LiDAR with another
remote sensing source (including developing specialized meth-
ods and software for different kinds of data fusing and mutual
calibration).
It is obvious today that creating a mobile scanner in such “domes-
tic” conditions is wide spread and a well defined phenomenon.
Many servicing companies are doing this with great success. A good
example of this are Riegl’s scanners, which are often used in combi-
nation with INS. It is Drakkar’s positive experience of this that will
be of interest to the topography and engineering community.
Carrying out projects for automobile, rail road agencies, and power
engineering companies, which are all work environments where
geospatial accuracy is of great importance, is a major part of
Drakkar’s activity. We believe that for all these tasks, Riegl products
are world leaders and this was yet another argument for using them
in the Drakkar mobile mapper.
The criteria detailed below explain how Drakkar prioritized the activ-
ity, whilst creating a mobile mapper:
• We set out to create a universal device which, without any com-
plicated modification of its configuration, could be used as static,
mobile (on-ground, marine) and airborne.
• We wanted to guarantee dimension, weight and power con-
sumption values, which would make it possible to mount the sys-
tem on light and super light flying platforms. In addition, the total
weight of the devise should not exceed 20 kg and the duration
of uninterrupted operation should be at least 6 hours; being pow-
ered from a standard car battery.
• We needed to achieve maximum usability for fulfilling specific topo-
graphical and civil engineering tasks. These tasks are the main areas
of the company’s activity, as mentioned above. The “maximum
usability” here is understood as the option to choose appropriate
modes of scanning, scanner block position and attitude, combining
static and mobile methods of survey, applying photogrammetrical
and direct (by means of GNSS/IMU) methods of geopositioning or
their combination (depending on survey object type).
• Finally, Drakkar regards its device as a prototype for further devel-
opment of technologies of geospatial data acquisition and pro-
cessing for various topographical applications. In particular,
Drakkar’s next possible move will be to create a portable mobile
laser scanner (weighing about 5 kg), which will be used for mine
surveying requirements without any need for GNSS.
Functional scheme and main technical parameters
The system is made by a classical functional scheme as shown in Fig. 1.
As mentioned above, the core of the system is the Riegl laser scanner
LMS Z-420i. It is specially equipped with a module which allows the
synchronization of each scanner measurement (oblique range and
corresponding angular parameters of horizontal and vertical scan-
ning - φ and θ) with GPS time.
PolyScan INS SPAN-SE works as a direct geopositioning module, pro-
viding and generating an output of all six values of the complete nav-
igation solution, which is needed for the ultimate geopositioning of
the scanner data.
Additionally, the digital camera is included into the standard PolyScan
set. It acquires digital photos along with the full set of the external
orientation parameters for each photo. The camera VA-29M from
Vieworks Co., Ltd with a 6576 × 4384 pixel matrix was selected for
use with the LiDAR. The chosen camera is fully metrical and, without
any qualifications, can be used in photogrammetrical and LiDAR-
grammetrical applications. The camera has a central electronic shut-
ter and the aforementioned system for triggering signal registration. It
is also provided with high-aperture lenses and has a wide dynamic
range and high sensibility.
An IR-scanner can also be added to the PolyScan standard set. It is
used mainly in power engineering applications.
PolyScan basic technical parameters are shown in Table 1. The
parameters are given for the aerial survey configurations of PolyScan.
Pulse repetition rate 24 kHz
Productivity 11 kHz (oscillating mode )
8 kHz (rotating mode)
Range finder accuracy Better than 5 cm (at flight altitude less than 300 m)
Better than 10 cm (at flight altitude less than 1000 m)
Better than 20 cm (at flight altitude less than 2000 m)
Planimetric (X,Y) accuracy 1/5000 * H, where H is a flight elevation
Reply registration mode First, Last
Field of view 80 ° across the flight direction
Power consumption 350 Wt
Weight 19 kg
Fig. 3. Variants of scanner block mounting
Table 1. Basic technical characteristics of PolyScan
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The general grouping of PolyScan is an
on-ground configuration, as shown in
Fig. 2. All necessary equipment is
mounted on a special platform, which
is designed to be easily put on the roof
of any car, truck, rail road coach or
any other moving vehicle. Another plat-
form is used for airborne applications.
As well as considering the use of two
antennas, the PolyScan designers fore-
saw possible reception problems with
both GPS and GLONASS signals,
which significantly increased the prob-
ability of getting acceptable results
whilst working in urban conditions with
many radio obstacles.
Generally, while working in urban con-
ditions where GNSS signal is usually weak, the designers undertook
a number of additional measurements to guarantee normal opera-
tion:
• Free location of the GPS/GLONASS
antennas on the platform (sometimes
with special brackets) is necessary
in order to avoid any extra shield-
ing while receiving a satellite signal.
Extra shielding can be caused by
the scanner and car bodies.
• Usage of proven and very sensitive
Trimble antennas with maximum
aperture.
The scanner has a 360° field of view
for planer (horizontal) scanning and
±40° field of view for vertical scanning.
Quick scanning (by prism oscillation or
rotation) is available only for vertical
angles. At the same time the horizontal
scanning is implemented relatively
slowly and is due to the scanner’s head
own rotation. Therefore, the uses for horizontal scanning in PolyScan
is limited and applied only for certain special cases. Taking this
peculiarity into consideration, from a practical point of view, it is
very important to have the option to set the scanner’s head to an
arbitrary position, depending on the desired survey mode (type of
object of survey). The approach adopt-
ed by Drakkar was as follows:
• Possibility of a front-face tilt of the
scanner head within ±90° range
with a 5° step.
• A similar approach was developed
by the PolyScan designers to ensure
the option for the plan rotation of the
scanner head (Fig. 3) was available.
The special precisely positioned
holes (corresponding to plan tilt
angles with 30° and 45° steps) were
made on the scanner support by
Riegl. This makes it possible to imple-
ment the plan rotation without any
problems and the accuracy of fixing
is ensured at the same level of 0.05°.
The ability to realize a front-side tilt
and plan rotation is very important for
practical reasons. As a result,
PolyScan can cover the whole upper
hemisphere and a major part of the
lower hemisphere. This can be done in
field conditions and without any sig-
nificant time delays, which is of great
importance since it increases the sys-
tem’s effectiveness. This option, i.e.
wide full angle of coverage, is espe-
cially useful when making repeated
survey s of the same object.
The questions pertaining to the GNSS
(GPS/GLONASS) receiver mode have
a special significance, since the cor-
rect choice of mode directly influences
the final output accuracy. It is important to note that we should dis-
criminate between Real Time Kinematic (RTK) and stand-alone mode.
The consideration of choosing a proper PolyScan mode as present-
ed below is done under a narrow set
of circumstances. It’s limited by such
factors as choosing the scanner head
position with regards to the goals of
the project to be accomplished. While
such an approach is accepted, we can
say that from a pure mathematical
point of view, the PolyScan working
mode is fully defined by such parame-
ters as scanning prism frequency and
its behavior (rotating or oscillating) rel-
ative to the vector of carrier motion.
The mode of static survey shown below
(Fig. 4) includes a car carrier in a static
position. The carrier remains in place
whilst acquiring lidar and photography
data. This kind of survey can be done
only in start-stop mode and is, therefore, not very productive. However,
this mode can be of assistance in cases when maximum accuracy is
demanded. The External Orientation Parameters (EOP) can be defined
either automatically (by Novatel SPAN output) or photogrammetrically
by the 4 special marks located on the 4 corners of the roof of the car.
While making a real mobile survey (the
scanning is being implemented when
the platform moves) the scanner head is
positioned towards one of the positions
(relative to the vector of drive) shown
below.
When the classical scheme is in use (Fig.
5), the scanner head is placed vertical-
ly and scanning is implemented on the
vertical surface. The scanner head is
moving clockwise, anticlockwise or it
can be at any fixed angle φ position
(profiler mode) or it can periodically
move within a certain range of φ
MIN

φ
MAX
. Each of these modes can be set
by an operator. The variation φ mode
March 2013
Fig. 4. Static survey mode
Fig. 5 Classical (vertical) scanner head mounting
Fig. 6. Horizontal scanner head mounting
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is very useful in an urban environment, because it allows the minimiza-
tion of the “dead zones” and consequently reduces the amount of pass-
es along the same route.
Horizontal scanner head mounting (Fig. 6) is used mainly for the sur-
veying of automobile routes and railroads. Scanning is done “from
above” with a small vertical angle. Due to a very short range (usually
no more than 10 m) maximum accuracy (first mm) and resolution can
be achieved. An example is shown in Fig. 7, where PolyScan has been
used for the Israeli Rail Road service. The project included a precise
survey of rails and all other essential components.
Also, the combined mounting scheme is possible (Fig. 8), which, in a
sense, combines the advantages of both the previous schemes. Such a
scheme combines both the possibility of dense (detailed) survey “from
above”, whilst receiving the full coverage in the left (right) hemisphere.
Using this sort of mode the detailed survey is carried out with short and
ultra short laser ranges for achieving maximum accuracy and density.
Software and methodological support
The designers have done their best to get a full-scale survey device,
which is fully equipped with all the necessary tools for mission plan-
ning and result analysis, convenient user interface, metrological sup-
port and various tools for the resulting data control.
In order to ensure that the system would be the ultimate device for
topography and geodesy data collection, the following measures
were taken:
• The entire complex control was conducted through a single per-
sonal computer. Its calculation capacity is sufficient for control-
ling all three basic components: - laser scanner Riegl LMS Z-420I,
INS SPAN and digital camera.
• Laser scanner control was managed by means of RiEGL’s stan-
dard program RiSCAN PRO. The Novatel CDU program was
used for INS SPAN control. Special software for the digital cam-
era control was also used. It will be discussed below.
• The special software ensured that the synchronization process
between the INS and the laser scanner could take place. The syn-
chronization was maintained by the precise PPS pulse generated
by INS every second.
At the laboratory processing stage joint processing of GNSS and
IMU data was implemented. The Waypoint Inertial Explorer program
was mainly used for that purpose. Riegl’s RiWORLD program was
used for laser point cloud generation. The final data was presented
in an arbitrary geodetic coordinate system.
In addition Drakkar has created some software of its own. This soft-
ware was used at the laboratory processing stage and has the fol-
lowing functions:
• To ensure the exact determination of the off-set parameters (param-
eters of mutual position and orientation) inside the Scanner– IMU–
GNSS antennas. To provide such accuracy the special procedure
and software are made within Drakkar ltd.
• Additionally, special software for measurements of camera off-set
parameters was developed. This gave the full set of mutual param-
eters of position and orientation in the IMU-Camera system and
also that of the camera calibration parameters (principal point,
focal length, and distortion).
• Drakkar ltd. has also developed a number of utilitarian software
products, which facilitate survey making and post processing.
The following products also deserve a mention: photo frame
package processing routine, matching pictures and their EOP’s
(acquired by SPAN CPT) making photo transformation (project-
ing into DTM surface) and data segmentation (classification) pro-
grams. Preparation for the further stages of processing was done
with packages such as AutoCAD, Micro Station, TerraScan
andSocket SET, amongst others.
Results
At the initial stage of its life cycle (first half of 2012), the PolyScan
equipment was used mainly for topography and geodesy projects
for a number of Israeli companies and governmental agencies.
The preliminary conclusions derived from these projects and the
experimental exploitation of Polyscan were as follows:
• Its high effectiveness in the use of multistoried urban area survey-
ing (Fig. 9) was confirmed.
Fig. 7. Example of horizontal scanner head mounting in the project for the Israeli Rail Road service
Fig. 8. Combined scanner head mounting
Fig. 9 City interior survey in Modiin
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• Really good results were achieved for inside yard territories where
a large number of obstacles to GNSS signaling existed (for exam-
ple, a great number of densely located buildings, a lot of vegeta-
tion, etc.). In Fig. 10-A, we can see a survey configuration (tra-
jectory) of a yard. In this case backward movement was also
used. In Fig. 10-B, the same object is depicted on a larger scale.
In spite of a great number of overlapping passes, the final match-
ing of all the passes was done with an accuracy of no worse than
3 cm (for all three coordinates without ground control points).
• Survey of autobahns and transmission power lines of 220 kV volt-
age and higher, can be carried out at a speed of up to 50 km
per hour (Fig.11).
• While conducting rail road surveying (Fig. 12-A), the geoposi-
tional accuracy of 3 cm was achieved for both rails and sleep-
ers. Another significant result was obtaining very detailed data
which provided automated recognition and geopositioning of
each rail and sleeper as well as all other substantial elements of
the road’s infrastructure.
Perspectives
Drakkar is going to proceed with the development of its mobile scan-
ning technologies in the following directions:
• Widening commercial range of mobile LiDAR scanning technolo-
gy applications. Drakkar is going to use the system in such areas
as coastal line surveying (along with lidar bathymetric survey),
forest inventory, archeology, cultural heritage and so on.
• More active use in aerial survey applications, in particular
installing the system on light and ultra light flying apparatuses.
When discussing the development of mobile scanning technologies
the following guidelines should be taken into consideration:
• There will be further improvement of Drakkar’s software and
methodology for surveying data processing and new informatics
characteristic extraction. For example: the detection of super light
terrain and engineering communication deformations and object
recognition under dense tree foliage.
• Special attention to be paid to perspective works related to joint
processing of LiDAR data and photo imagery. Beside traditional
applications, Drakkar will carry out investigations on making sub-
pixel resolution imagery by means of photo sets with ultra high
overlap and an automated tie point detection and making photo
triangulation.
• There are plans to make a portable laser scanning device which
will be based on the experience and results gained during
PolyScan designing and building. Such a portable device can be
applied in a number of applications, including traffic accident
spot inspection, and mine surveying without GPS.
• In power engineering Drakkar is planning to present a new
research proposal within the next few months. The research pro-
posal, will be based on PolyScan and include an IR-scanner (ther-
movision system). Such a complex system will make it possible to
measure and survey all the important power line parameters at
once – sags, clearances, and wire thermodynamic temperature.
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Fig. 10 Inside yard survey in Ramat Gan
Fig. 11. Autobahn #2 near Netanya and a bridge and adjacent power line
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Conclusion
The creation of the mobile lidar scanning system, PolyScan was a
result of from the hard work of Drakkar’s engineers. During this pro-
ject they proved their extreme professionalism and devotion to inno-
vation. Today, the system is in operational use. Construction of the
PolyScan initiated a number of Drakkar’s own developments, includ-
ing software and the procedures of metrological support. Drakkar’s
experience demonstrates a number of essential advantages in build-
ing its own mobile scanners in comparison to buying a ready-made
one. The main advantages are significant financial savings and the
option to adjust the device for solving particular tasks which are spe-
cific to small, specialist companies. In addition this sort of project
provides a challenge and intellectual stimulus for the staff.
Dr. Evgeny Medvedev, Research and Development Manager.
Valery Gutman, General Manager. Michael Weitsman, Chief Photogrammetrist.
For more information, go to www.drakkar.co.il
Fig. 12 Inside yard survey in Ramat Gan
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A new software tool from Maptek, Eureka allows almost unlimited control over
exploration data, enabling large, feature-rich datasets to be explored in a single
3D environment. By Andrew Myers
Controlling Seismic Data in 3D
W
e live in a visually rich
world. Most of what we
know comes through our
eyes. There is a strong
link between seeing and
understanding. What do you say when you
understand something, even abstract con-
cepts? “I see!”, “I understand!” Internally we
visualise, try to work things out. We are curi-
ous about how things fit together. We like to
find patterns.
If you are using software to process geospa-
tial data you need to present it wherever pos-
sible in a visual way. The computer and the
software will not solve all your problems or
make sense of all that data for you. Our see-
ing, interpreting and intuiting features of the
data is more powerful than a camera. You
want the software to assist your curiosity. Our
brains are processing all the time, even when
we are not aware of it. A computer can take
a picture but has difficulty making sense of
what it sees. That’s where you come in.
Consider Figure 1. On face value it is just a
series of black blobs. It emphasises how much
sense we can make of the world and how
hard it is to expect a computer to understand
- pattern recognition is inherently intuitive. The
point is that the software tool can’t solve the
puzzle for you. What it can do is present the
information in the best way for you to under-
stand it yourself.
A lot of data starts out as a text file with
columns of numbers. For example, consider a
survey of sub-surface conductivity, in effect
measuring salt content, in Figure 2. Each line
is a single measurement in space. You can see
some coordinate data, but it is not always
obvious what it is. How can you look at dif-
ferent data types at the same time and gain a
sense of what’s going on? The key is good
software.
Maptek Eureka
Eureka was developed to solve one particular
puzzle. Several years ago an Australian
geothermal exploration company was interest-
ed in re-evaluating seismic surveys. The com-
pany had 2D sections which could be viewed
individually, but the geologists really wanted
to see where those sections were placed in 3D
space. A prototype was quickly developed
based on existing Maptek I-Site software.
Seeing the seismic sections in 3D highlighted
all the detail in the strata, faults, and non-con-
formities – all the things that excite geologists.
Viewing seismic data in 3D was just the start.
Other large datasets with millions of points,
such as airborne magnetic and radiometric sur-
veys, and the space shuttle topography dataset
and imagery, also came into the picture.
Eureka is now an integrated platform for view-
ing and analysing all exploration project data.
Collaborating with industry gave Eureka a
practical headstart, and exploration priorities
continue to drive development.  
Eureka can load massive datasets consisting
of tens of millions of points. For preliminary
exploration you might want to look at data at
a wider spacing. You can then zoom in to anal-
yse specific target areas, and tilt, rotate and
pan to see the geological features emerge.
Moving between different scales is seamless;
the big picture and the fine detail are equally
accessible.
3D
Even to untrained eyes, the data forms pat-
terns. But show it to someone who understands
the geology of the region and immediately
deeper connections become ap parent.
“There’s this feature”, “There’s where we are”,
“What’s that over there?”, “That looks interest-
ing”. In the same way that we see the dalma-
tian, the geologist can identify the structures in
these pictures.
Looking at all these survey sections in relation-
ship to one another, puts the features in the cor-
rect context. Tools that make the most of 3D
Vi s ual i s at i on and Cont ext
March 2013
Figure 1: Because we know about the world, about dogs, we
know that some dogs are white with black spots and are called
dalmatians.
Figure 2: Survey sub-surface conductivity conducted by Geoscience
Australia in 2010.
Figure 3: Viewing the drillholes in context allows exploration teams
to see the trend of the high grade ore and reveal the extent of the
deposit. 
Prod_GEO213_Prod GEO66 14-02-13 19:32 Pagina 40
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Latest News? Visit www.geoinformatics.com
visualisation are essential in any geological
modelling software. Core samples from explo-
ration drilling are logged to show the divisions
between different rock types in each drillhole.
These are differentiated by colour in Eureka,
which displays the drillhole along with tables
of all other related data, including ore grades.
But one hole is not enough - we need to see
the other holes in context to see the trend of
the high grade ore. Viewing all the holes
reveals the extent of the deposit.
Loading the magnetic data gives you further
confirmation of the prospectivity of an area,
when the magnetic responses match the drill-
hole data. Loading the gravity survey adds
more dimensions to the picture. Eureka data
points can have multiple attributes so we can
filter, colour and model any of these attributes
to highlight subtleties in the data.
Eureka can import topographic information,
such as space shuttle radar topography and
colour it by height to reveal trends. Overlay
that with the photographic image to show the
relationship between the topographic and sur-
face features. Eureka features smart line tools
to digitise along horizons of interest to aid inter-
pretation. Eureka solved the issue of convert-
ing seismic time readings into depth to allow
seismic data to be used alongside drillhole
information. The velocity editor tool shows a
visualisation of the time surface in the seismic
view, which is combined with a depth surface
from the drill data to create the velocity model.
Interpreted data can be used to create detailed
structural models. The current Eureka release
handles high resolution imagery, seismic, grav-
ity, magnetic and other geophysical survey
data which can be displayed in the same
space as drillhole data. It includes interactive
display and editing tools for drawing, georef-
erencing of imagery, drillhole editing and sur-
face modelling.
For more information, have a look at:
www.maptek.com/eureka
Figure 4: Because seismic data is in time, the features do not match
the drillhole which indicates features at the right depth. At the end of
the Eureka depth conversion process, the detailed seismic interpreta-
tion is visualised at the correct depth.
Figure 5: Displaying and analysing seismic, gravity, drillhole and
other geospatial information together provides a better understanding
of the complex geological relationships and leads to smart decisions
about an exploration project.
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Todd Schuble, author of the self-published book ‘Careers in GIS’, explains his
motivation for writing and publishing the book. Find out why GIS programming
skills are indispensable for a GIS graduate, as well as a passion for GIS, and
how the GIS market forces employees to expect the unexpected for the future,
which can be both scary and exciting.
By Eric van Rees
Thoughts on
‘Careers in GIS’
T
odd Schuble is currently GIS
Manager for the University of Chi -
cago’s Division of Social Scien ces,
Social Sciences Com puting Divi -
sion. Last year, he self-published a
book under the title ‘Careers in GIS: An
Unfiltered Guide to Finding a GIS Job’. In
this book, he offers job search strategies for
recently graduated GIS students looking for
their first job and explains which skills you
need in the current GIS working environ-
ment. Particularly of interest are his obser-
vations on the GIS market itself, which has
undergone a lot of change in the last few
decades and is frequently changing, some-
times from day-to-day. His information is
based on his own experiences with job-hunt-
ing students and work experience in the
industry.
Searching in the wrong way
The idea of writing the book came when
Schuble noticed how people were search-
ing in the ‘wrong way’ for GIS jobs; i.e. they
were taking a passive rather than an active
approach. Schuble: “students, but also col-
leagues who were out of work because of
the recession, kept using the same strategy
over and over again: they’d make a resume
and put in on the internet or do a search for
job postings. But that’s a very passive way
of looking for a job; you need to be more
active. And that’s really what the book is
about: it’s really about taking an active role
in trying to find a job.” Rather than just sit-
ting and hoping for the best, Schuble
encourages people to make effective use of
the web and social media to stand out from
the masses. He suggests promoting oneself
and one’s work, for example, by posting a
video presentation on YouTube or by taking
an active role in discussions on popular web
forums.
Working experience
The book is focused on finding one’s first job
in GIS, rather than ‘the next job in GIS’. The
reason for this is that finding that first job in
GIS is hard, since most jobs require some
sort of experience; the proverbial chicken
and egg situation. Schuble: “if you have no
experience, no one wants to hire you. Once
you get that first job, you can get the sec-
ond, third or fourth job because now you
have some experience, but for your first job
you have probably very little background
except your education”. Schuble suggests
finding an internship may help some people
on their way, but the trouble with that is that
internships are very few and far between
and they pay badly, if at all.
Programming skills
Schuble distinguishes between a variety of
different GIS jobs on offer, and talks about
the backgrounds that are required to suit
that type of job. He stresses the necessity of
computer programming skills for GIS jobs in
this day and age. Does this mean that GIS
students and IT students are competing for
the same jobs? Schuble responds that this
all depends on the job: “in some cases,
employees may be offering a position that
may need someone with more of a develop-
er-type background, and some others that
March 2013
Today’s GIS Education and Tomorrow’s GIS Jobs
Todd Schuble
Prod_GEO213_Prod GEO66 14-02-13 19:32 Pagina 42
43
Latest News? Visit www.geoinformatics.com
need more of a GIS background and there
may be some jobs that need a combination
of both. There may not be competition from
developers, but you do need some comput-
er programming skills if you’re looking for
a GIS job in the current market. In order to
create a GIS product, you need to know the
principles of GIS, geography and spatial
analysis. You can get someone else to
engineer that, but it may not be very user-
friendly.”
There has been a good deal of interest from
IT people in general just because they’re
looking for jobs, says Schuble. But there’s a
learning curve to GIS, and it does take a
significant amount of effort and time to
become a GIS professional: “you could be
a GIS user, but there’s a difference between
a GIS user and being a GIS professional.
You do need to clarify what level of use you
need to get out of GIS, because I know
many users who just, say, need a map, but
there are others who need to get a lot more
out of GIS, such as regressive analysis, data
archiving or data mining on a much larger
level. They need more education and expe-
rience in order to reach the sort of levels that
are required in order to achieve those
goals.”
But there’s a little more to it than that, says
Schuble: “I entitled one of the chapters in
the book ‘Passion of the GIS’. I think in order
to get a job in the current job market you
need to have a passion for what you do. I
see a lot of students and people who have
lost their jobs in the past few years and are
looking for new jobs. If you ask them ‘do
you really love GIS?’ Often the answer is
‘well, it’s ok’. Well, you really can’t say that,
especially when you have a room full of peo-
ple who are all competing for this job; I
need you to love it.”
Open Source GIS
Open source and proprietary source are
themes that are discussed in detail in the
book, including the benefits and drawbacks
of both – without being biased. Now that
open source has gained a worldwide popu-
larity close to that of proprietary software, I
asked Schuble what job searchers can
expect in their education as well as the job
market when it comes to the use of open
source.
Schuble: “in a corporate environment, open
source software is very rarely used. The rea-
son for this is that if there’s a problem with
the software, you’re on your own and it’s
not necessarily someone else’s problem.
That’s why they prefer a manufacturer they
can refer to rather than using open source
software. In the public sector, such as a city,
country or provincial government, people
will usually use proprietary software, but
they’ve been looking into open source soft-
ware, because they realize it can save them
money.”
At the University of Chicago campus,
Schuble includes open source software as
part of the curriculum, but there are many
other universities that don’t. That has to do
with a lack of familiarity with the software,
says Schuble: “if professors are not very
familiar with it, they won’t feel comfortable
with it, so they’re less likely to teach it to
their students. I use both and I do that only
to be as versatile as possible. I encourage
my students to do this as well. You really
need to become a GIS chameleon and be
able to adapt to different situations very
quickly, otherwise you may get left behind.”
The choice for working with proprietary or
open source software is, in the end, a per-
sonal preference, says Schuble: “I know of
quite a few GIS professionals out there who
I look up to and see things that they created
with open source. They would not be
allowed to create something like that in a
proprietary environment, so if they want to
do it they go ahead and do it on their own.
At the same time there may be those who
really love proprietary software and use
that. With regards to money, I have seen
people happy making no money at all and
other people who are driven by money. It
also depends on the incentives as to who
gets the best software developers”.
Customizing existing software
In the book, Schuble discusses the advan-
tages of GIS programming in detail. Web
GIS, mobile applications and customizing
existing software are areas where GIS pro-
gramming comes in. Web GIS and mobile
applications are well-known examples, but
the customization of existing software less
so. And why is this so important? Schuble
explains that is has everything to do with
being flexible, cost-effective and well-pre-
pared for the future: “Once data users
choose a platform to go with, they sort of
have to stick with it, because it’s becoming
too expensive for them to keep converting
their data, as they used to in days gone by.
Allowing for the customization of their plat-
form is extremely powerful and extremely
necessary in a lot of cases, because how
you use your data now may be very differ-
ent than how you use your data five years
from now.”
Schuble reminds his students daily that what
is taught in class will be different than what
they’ll need to know in a few years from
now. This is both scary and exciting, since
the industry is always changing. Schuble:
“I’ve been hearing for years now that desk-
top computing is dead and I qualify that and
say that to my students and tell them that
desktop is not going to die in a research
environment. The only reason for this is that
in a research environment people like to
own their data and like to have control over
the analysis, so they need to be in their own
little analytics world more or less or with the
computer. Making development available
for more mobile users is definitely what the
future is all about. It’s really going in that
direction, so that there will be less use of
desktop computers than now.”
Updating the book
The author is planning to write a second ver-
sion of the book with more pages and top-
ics. Schuble:”the main reason why I self-pub-
lished the book in first place, is because a
lot of the information is very time-sensitive.
So I’m planning on possibly writing a sec-
ond edition where I will change the existing
chapters a little bit, update the information
and possibly add new information sometime
this year; only because there are things that
people need to be up-to-date on in order to
be competitive in the GIS job market.”
Todd Schuble, info@careersingis.com
Internet: www.careersingis.com
Twitter: @CareersInGIS
‘Careers in GIS’ book cover
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EUROCONTROL and European companies participate in international testbed
activities to help develop a platform of open international standards for
next generation aviation information systems.
T
he global aviation community is quickly moving
forward on the adoption of an international
framework of standards that enable communica-
tion in a net-centric, global interoperable Air Transport
System (ATS). Because location information is critical
in virtually all aviation activities, location interface and
encoding standards from ISO Technical Committee
211 (ISO/TC 211) and the Open Geospatial
Consortium (OGC), an international consensus stan-
dards organization, play an important role in the ATS
standards framework.
Working with other agency sponsors and with private
sector aviation industry leaders, EUROCONTROL and
other organizations such as the US Federal Aviation
Administration (FAA) are now far along in the devel-
opment and adoption of the Aeronautical Information
Exchange Model (AIXM 5). An international standard,
AIXM 5 is a model and encoding standard designed
to enable the management and distribution of digital
Aeronautical Information Services (AIS) data. AIXM
takes advantage of existing and emerging informa-
tion engineering standards to meet aeronautical infor-
mation system requirements, particularly those related
to the spatio-temporal nature of aeronautical informa-
tion.
AIXM 5 is encoded using OGC GML (Geography
Markup Language), a standard developed and main-
tained by the OGC membership. GML is also an ISO
standard. AIXM 5’s GML foundation enables align-
ment with other international standards for expressing
location information and facilitates adoption by tech-
nology providers that already support GML.
In support of aviation meteorology (MET) domain
requirements, the Weather Information Exchange
Model (WXXM) is being developed as a standard for
the exchange of weather information. WXXM is also
encoded using GML and the OGC/ISO Observation
and Measurement Model (O&M) Encoding Standard.
WXXM development is harmonized and coordinated
with the International Civil Aviation Organization
(ICAO) and the World Meteorological Organization
(WMO), the organizations traditionally responsible
for standards in aviation and weather.
OGC Interoperability Program
The OGC has been assisting the aviation community
in the evaluation, advancement and adoption of AIXM
and WXXM by leading a series of rapid prototyping
testbeds and pilot projects focused on these standards.
These OGC initiatives, managed under the OGC
Interoperability Program, help advance, align and pro-
file existing OGC standards as well as defining new
standards that meet the needs of aviation data pro-
ducers, users and managers. Sponsors of OGC
Interoperability Program initiatives provide require-
ments, use/business cases and funding for these ini-
tiatives. Technology development is performed by
teams of technology providers.
OGC testbeds typically involve multiple technology
“threads.” With sponsorship from FAA and EUROCON-
TROL, the first Aviation thread was introduced in the
OGC Web Services Phase 6 testbed activity (OWS-
6) (2009). Work continued and progressed in OWS-
7 (2010), OWS-8 (2011) and OWS-9 (2012). This
work has led to a closer alignment of OGC standards
to the needs of the Aviation community and resulted
in significant contributions to AIXM and WXXM.
As a result of the rapid prototyping activities, FAA and
EUROCONTROL are gaining a better understanding of
how to leverage OGC Web Services standards in next
generation air traffic management systems to support
European and US aviation modernization programs.
Best practice recommendations coming out of the
testbed initiatives are already driving these agencies’
acquisitions for data and platform interoperability.
The outcomes of OWS initiatives include Engineering
Reports detailing the technical achievements and final
demonstrations based on realistic scenarios. See
www.opengeospatial.org/projects/initiatives/ows-9.
Calls for sponsorship and participation
The OGC recently issued a call for sponsors for the
10th OGC Web Services Testbed (OWS-10). OWS-
10 will build on the outcomes of prior OGC initiative,
particularly the 2012 OWS-9 Testbed, which pro-
duced advances in Aeronautical Information Services
and in areas such as Cross-Community Interoperability
(CCI), Security and Services Interoperability (SSI), and
improved interoperability for mobile device applica-
tions. 
OWS-10 will also explore new areas, such as:
Decision Fusion (including Augmented Reality, Model
Interoperability, Provenance in Workflows, and Linked
Data); Sensor Web Enablement (including Internet of
Things concepts); and Mobile Solutions, Points of
Interest, Semantic Mediation and Intelligence. OWS-
10 scenarios will explore technical solutions that will
be useful in addressing critical issues such as location
privacy, data access policies and pricing.
Open Geospatial Standards for Aviation
Nadine Alameh, Ph.D., Executive
Director, Interoperability Program Open
Geospatial Consortium (OGC),
aviation-info@opengeospatial.org
www.opengeospatial.org/contact
March 2013
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Latest News? Visit www.geoinformatics.com
The Toughbooks from Panasonic are well known to engineers all over the world.
In November they introduced their first Toughpad; the FZ-A1 with the Android
4.0 operating system. Now the range has expanded with the introduction of
two more Toughpads which were presented to the European press in Munich. By Job van Haaften
Rugged and Mobile
A
number of the characteristics typi-
cal of the Toughbooks also apply
to the Toughpads. They can
stand heat up to sixty degrees
centigrade and cold down to
minus twenty degrees centigrade. They are
waterproof, shockproof, resistant to dust and
water, lightweight and with a battery that lasts
long enough for a full work day without the
need for any cables or other connections.
As well as excellent screen brightness, the
screen is easily visible due to the lack of reflec-
tion: very handy when working outside, where
the harsh sunlight can cause annoying reflec-
tion on other types of screens.
The Toughpads are meant for anyone working
under extreme circumstances. You can leave
a Toughpad in the car without worrying about
whether the bright sunlight is heating up your
car (and everything in it) or whether it is free-
zing all night. No other tablet will survive
these extreme circumstances according to
Panasonic. For anyone who works outdoors
in the field and has to collect data or consult
data for work a Toughpad is a great solution.
In a dust covered factory-building, in ship-buil-
ding at a dock, for cabling outdoors or in buil-
ding construction a Toughpad can offer great
solution.
Tablet FZ-G1
”The Toughpad FZ-G1 has a 10.1” screen
and is the first rugged tablet which functions
with Windows 8 as its operating system wit-
hout the need of an external connection”,
according to Jan Kaempfer from Panasonic.
During the development of the tablet there was
close cooperation with Microsoft and Intel. It
is a high resolution tablet (with a PPI of224),
the reflection is reduced to four percent and
the brightness is increased to 800 cd/m2.
“The competition does not achieve any better
than a reflection of 5.3% and a brightness of
261 cd/m2”, tells Jan Kaempfer. The edges
of the tablet stick out and the corners are enfor-
ced so the tablet won’t fall on the screen but
almost always on its corners; really rugged.
For the cast they used plastics and magnesi-
um so the tablet will survive a fall from about
120 cm height and still work. All together this
allows it to be used reliably in almost any situ-
ation.
The software in the tablet can digitalize hand
written text that has been written with a batte-
ry-free digitiser pen. The tablet’s battery takes
up about half of the reverse side and lasts a
full working day. With built-in battery saving
technology, such as its ambient light sensor,
the Toughpad FZ-G1 can operate for 8.0
hours on its standard 6-cell battery and with
an optional 9-cell battery can run for 16
hours. Batteries can also be switched in the
field to ensure the device is operational as
long as the user requires it. On the whole it
offers businesses better value than traditional
tablets.
The ports of the tablet are covered with a
protection for dust and fluid. Apart from rug-
gedness, the tablet offers full functionality wit-
hout the requirement for an external memory
or other connections. It has a stand alone
GPS that operates swiftly and does not need
any connection with other equipment. The
accuracy of the GPS is up to a meter, which
is very important for several GIS applica-
tions. There are two additional options; one
is that it is possible to connect to an external
antenna, for instance, for use with the GPS
inside your car and the other is a 3MP came-
ra on the reverse side of the Toughpad . You
can easily replace the battery without uns-
crewing it by opening some combined
latches. There is a larger battery available
that lasts up to 17 hours and protrudes by
about 20 mm. A smartcard reader is option-
al. This sticks out a bit but is also resistant to
dust and water.
Little brother JF-B1
The JF-B1 is the little brother version with a 7”
screen. This is very handy because it fits in
one hand leaving your other hand free to ope-
rate it and it fits in your pocket. It is as rugged
as its big brother, but a lot lighter in weight
and has a brightness of 500 cd/m2. It has
three programmable buttons for quick access
to specific frequently used software.
Network security
According to Goran Mataic from Microsoft,
Windows 8 operates without compromise on
the Toughpad FZ-G1 and with full functiona -
lity thanks to the cooperation between
Panasonic and Microsoft during the develop-
ment. It is safe to connect to secure networks,
including at a distance and it can connect with
a smartphone. The system has been develo-
ped with specific security features which will
disable unauthorized persons if they attempt
to connect to the network. Explorer 10 offers
more protection for malice and malware and
for surfing the internet it has advanced anti
malware software.
For more information, have a look at: www.panasonic.com
and www.toughbook.eu.
Tabl et s i nt r oduc ed c al l ed Toughpads
The toughpads FZ-G1 and JT-B1.
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Interview with the confirmed CLGE President
(seasoned?), Jean-Yves Pirlot.
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At the general assembly in Hannover October 2012, Jean-Yves Pirlot was
chosen once again to lead CLGE, the European geodetic surveyors’ organisation.
This will be his second term. Prior to taking over this most senior position, he
was Secretary General of CLGE for two terms, which means that he is very
knowledgeable about the European surveying situation. At 50 years old, he is
the same age as the organisation! He is full of energy and has many ideas about
how to increase the visibility of the geodetic surveying profession. Those of us
who are following his trail are aware that he has regenerated the work of this
European organisation, which is steadily gaining influence and visibility within
the Euro-administration circles in Brussels. This man, who finds immense
pleasure in his work, is also an interesting person to talk to. His CV informs us
that he held the rank of colonel in the Belgian army, that he is employed as a
deputy director general of the Belgian Mapping Agency (Institut Géographique
National), and that he is also president of the Belgian surveyors’ organisation in
his “free” time. In short: enough material for an interesting discussion. Matjaz Grilč
March 2013
Matjaz Grilč, Slovenian delegate to CLGE and interviewer
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Latest News? Visit www.geoinformatics.com
Can you give us a short summary of CLGE, what kind of
organisation it is, what are their strategic goals and who is
united in this European organisation?
The Comité de Liaison des Géomètres Européens (CLGE) or Council of
European Geodetic Surveyors is a non-profit organisation based in
Brussels, in the House of the European Surveyor and GeoInformation.
It is the leading association of Surveyors in Europe. Our members are
national liaison groups, i.e. groups of associations or associations which
represent the profession as a whole in their country.
In 2010 we defined strategic goals which could be summed up as the
following: Pro-activity, Visibility, Renewal and Member Satis faction.
This means that we want to be pro-active, not reactive, and influence
the European law-making process, instead of waiting and finding out
later that new directives have been adopted, which will govern our
profession without us having made any input. We want to raise our
profile to appear on the radar of the European and national policy
makers, but we also want to be recognized for what we are doing by
the general public. We need, therefore, a clear professional image.
We want to renew our profession and present it in a way that will make
it attractive to our associations, and finally, as is the case in many other
organizations, we want to make sure that our members are satisfied by
our policies.
How many countries and persons are represented in CLGE, and
what are the conditions for membership?
We are present in 36 European countries, amongst them the 27, and
in a near future 28, EU member states. The basic requirement is that
our members represent the majority, if not all of the surveyors, in their
country. Therefore, we ask members with several surveying associa-
tions in the same country to build a national liaison group. The number
of individual surveyors CLGE represents is about 100.000.
How do you see CLGE in relation to other organizations in the
surveying profession? (FIG, Euro Geographics, EGOS, ...)
Only one or two European citizens in 10.000 are surveyors. We have
to realize that we are a very small profession. This means that it is
essential to have a clear message if we want to gain visibility amongst
the general public and the authorities. It also means that we have to
work hand in hand with other GI and sister associations.
Of course we have a preferential cooperation with some of them. FIG
for instance is our worldwide counterpart. Fifty years ago, CLGE was
born in the cradle of FIG. For many years the relationship wasn’t very
close, but during the last decade, we’ve decided to re-establish our
ties. We are cooperating more and more. Common projects could be
launched soon. For instance I would like to create a worldwide
Surveyors’ Day, with the aim to raise awareness about our not so well
known profession. Young Surveyors are another essential part of our
policy. It makes no sense to create an FIG Young Surveyors Network
as well as a CLGE Young Surveyors Network. We only need one com-
mon structure for Young Surveyors, in which European youngsters are
aware of their role in CLGE and FIG.
Eurogeographics is another natural partner, since a lot of surveyors are
working either directly or indirectly for their members, the European
National Mapping and Cadastral Agencies. We are very happy about
our relationship with them; we share the House of the European
Surveyor and Geo Information for our respective headquarters in
Brussels. We have cooperated on several projects in the past and I
expect that we will probably do so again in the near future.
EGoS, our “little sister” is, of course, very close too, since several impor-
tant members are in both organizations. We have created a common
task force to compare our organizations and to find out their similari-
ties and differences, allowing us to avoid projects being ‘forgotten’ or
doubling up on work. Our final goal must be to find the best way to
cooperate or integrate both organizations.
As an expert in the field of the surveying profession in the
member states of EU, do you believe that the time has come
to start thinking of the »European surveyor«?
As I said before, I am wholly convinced that we are lacking visibility.
When you know that 80% of national regulations are prepared in
Brussels, you understand that you need to be recognized by the
European bodies i.e. the Council, the Commission and the Parliament.
We are suffering from the ‘Baker Syndrome’, as I referred to this prob-
lem during the 3rd CLGE Conference of the European Surveyor in
Hanover. We all know in a general way what bakers do, but most bak-
ers cannot describe what happens in the surveying profession, despite
there being more or less the same number of bakers as surveyors. And,
of course, we believe that we are as significant for society as they are.
Jean-Yves Pirlot opening the INTERGEO in Hanover (©DVW – INTERGEO 2012)
Prod_GEO213_Prod GEO66 14-02-13 19:32 Pagina 47
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It is essential, therefore, for us to become better
known. A precondition is that we should get to
know ourselves better too and,therefore, we’ve
started an important project called: ‘Dynamic
Professional Knowledge Base’. This database
will enable us to compare the profession in our
36 member states, to learn from each other and
finally, to show the outside world what we stand
for.
Can you evaluate the impact of the cur-
rent economic crisis on the surveying pro-
fession? Is the current situation typical for
all member states, or does it affect some
countries and regions in different ways?
It is not easy for us to make such an analysis
since we are lacking hard figures. Of course
we are aware of general trends. Everybody knows that some
Southern European Countries are badly hit; they are in our newspa-
pers every day. In these countries, the situation is very difficult for
surveyors too. Even if we can see that our profession as a whole suf-
fers from the crisis, we also recognize that some countries, especial-
ly in Western Europe are threatened by another problem: a lack of
young people choosing the profession. This decrease in the number
of professionals means that in some parts of Europe, Surveyors are
less troubled by falling work opportunities, since they are not numer-
ous enough to handle all the work they get.
Can you put down three main problems that the European
surveying community is facing at the moment?
Our strategic goals are tailored to the challenges and problems we are
facing at the European and National level: our Council, as well as our
national counterparts, should be more involved in the law-making pro-
cess related to our profession. We should have a clear and homoge-
neous visibility in Europe and we should be able to regulate the influx
of young Surveyors.
What plans does CLGE have for improving the current
situation?
Too many people are focused on the crisis. We strongly believe that it
isn’t a good idea to get caught in this negative spiral. On the contrary,
when times are hard, we have to invest in bold actions with the aim to
improve the visibility of our community. We have to prepare ourselves
for better times, improve our skills, train hard, know more, optimize our
procedures, educate our staff, rethink our behaviour … CLGE has the
ambition to help its members to achieve these goals.
What is your evaluation of understanding and cooperation
between members of CLGE and how do you evaluate the role
of social networks in the field of mutual communication?
Surveyors are used to highly technical and precise work. They have to
get better acquainted with softer skills: with the need for networking,
with the advantage of patient negotiations and painstaking prepara-
tions for future successes,… CLGE offers an ideal platform for leaders of
the European and national surveying associations. With our new way
of engaging, based on smaller working groups, and in spite of the lan-
guage barrier that has hampered a lot of interaction in the past, I dare
say that the cooperation within CLGE has improved a lot over the last
few years. CLGE is now a genuine networking platform. We have the
feeling that delegates attend the General Assemblies, because they real-
ly do get added value out of it. The funny thing
is that the most valuable output of CLGE is what
our members are ready to invest in it. The inter-
action of many ideas – sometimes conflicting
ideas – is really enriching us all.
CLGE has understood the power of social media
and derived networks too. We’ve invested in
these new approaches and have even appoint-
ed a special board member (and now Vice
President) to take care of these aspects. We are
convinced that such networks are the future.
They help us to reduce our ecological footprint
but, and there is a “but”, nothing replaces the
face to face contacts that we develop during our
meetings. I see the social networks as an ideal
tool to support our interaction, but not as a sur-
rogate for traditional ‘one-to-one’ engagement.
What is CLGE planning for the near future? Maybe some new
projects, meetings etc.?
We are fighting the baker syndrome: we raise our profile whenever
we can. We apply our strategy as mentioned before: do not underin-
vest in your marketing when times are hard: do the opposite.
On the 22nd March 2013, we will celebrate the Second Day of the
European Surveyor. The main ceremony is planned in Budapest. The
European Commission supports us and will install the European Space
Expo in the Hungarian capital city during that week exactly. Such ini-
tiatives provide us with the opportunity to improve the recognition of
our profession. During this week, namely from 16th to 24th March, the
whole of Europe will celebrate the Surveyor of the Year 2013. After
Mercator in 2012, the CLGE General Assembly has decided to honour
Galileo Galilee in 2013! I hope that a lot of member associations will
make a success out of these festivities. In Budapest we will put a great
deal of focus on the CLGE Students’ Contest [read Geo Infor matics 2012
8 and 2013 1].
Our cooperation with the European GNSS Agency will allow us to take
part in the Space Expo in several other cities. We were looking for pos-
sibilities to demonstrate our profession to the general public and young-
sters: here it is!
Moreover, we will pursue our efforts to build the Dynamic Professional
Knowledge Base with the aim to improve the fluidity of professional
access [read GeoInformatics 2012 7].
Whenever possible, CLGE will wave the flag; appealing to the public
to entrust us with specific tasks. A recent example in that field is our
www.euREAL.eu initiative (European Real Estate Area Label). We’ve
launched a new code for the measurement of buildings. This code is
now part of the INSPIRE Directive, annex III for buildings. As well as
showing that it is in Europe’s interest to get this normalization, it also
shows that whenever these sorts of measurements have to be exact,
one should only entrust a surveyor with the job. We are convinced that
CLGE is creating new opportunities for its members. The members, of
course, have to seize them: rather today than tomorrow.
You can ask questions to Mr.Pirlot by e-mail at jean-yves.pirlot@clge.eu,
and you can follow him on twitter @CLGEPresident,
as well as at the Council @_CLGE.
Matjaž Grilc
March 2013
The full CLGE Executive board elected in October 2012 (from left to
right): Vice President Pedro Ortiz (ES), Secretary General Michelle
Camilleri (MT), President Jean-Yves Pirlot (BE), Vice President Leiv
Bjarte Mjøs (NO), Treasurer Dieter Seitz (DE), Vice President Danko
Markovinović (HR).
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Prod_GEO213_Prod GEO66 14-02-13 19:32 Pagina 49























March
11-13 March “Wavelength 2013”
Glasgow, U.K.
E-mail: andy@rspsoc-wavelength.org.uk
Internet: www.rspsoc-wavelength.org.uk/wavelength2013
19-20 March MapInfo Professional Foundation Level
Training Course
CDR Group, Hope, Derbyshire, U.K.
E-mail: sales@cdrgroup.co.uk
Internet: www.cdrgroup.co.uk/train_mi2info.htm
19-20 March 12. Internationales 3D-Forum Lindau
Lindau, Germany
Internet: www.3d-forum.li
24-28 March ASPRS 2013 Annual Conference
Baltimore Marriott Waterfront Hotel, Baltimore, MD, U.S.A.
Internet: www.asprs.org/Conferences/Baltimore2013
25–28 March Esri Developer Summit
Palm Springs Convention Center, Palm Springs, CA, U.S.A.
Internet: www.esri.com/events/devsummit/index.html
April
03-07 April 11th Vespucci Institute “Synthesizing
Population, Health, and Place”
Catalina Island, CA, U.S.A.
E-mail: info@vespucci.org
Internet: www.vespucci.org
08-10 April 8th EARSeL IMAGING SPECTROSCOPY
WORKSHOP
Nantes, France
Internet: www.sciences.univ-nantes.fr/lpgnantes/earsel-is-
2013
15-17 April 19th Annual CalGIS Conference
Westin Long Beach, CA, U.S.A.
Internet: www.calgis.org
16 April FME World Tour 2013
Park Plaza Hotel, Leeds, U.K.
E-mail: fme@1spatial.com
Internet: www.1spatial.com/news-events/events/fme-world-
tour-2013
16-17 April MapInfo Professional Foundation Level
Training Course
CDR Group, Hope, Derbyshire, U.K.
E-mail: sales@cdrgroup.co.uk
Internet: www.cdrgroup.co.uk/train_mi2info.htm
17 April FME World Tour 2013
Venue TBC, London, U.K.
E-mail: fme@1spatial.com
Internet: www.1spatial.com/news-events/events/fme-world-
tour-2013
17-19 April International Forum “Integrated
Geospatial Solutions - the Future of Information
Technologies”
Atlas Park-Hotel, Moscow, Russia
Internet: www.sovzondconference.ru/2013/eng
18 April FME World Tour 2013
Dublin, Ireland
E-mail: info@imgs.ie
Internet: www.imgs.ie/index/FMEWT2013
21-23 April Joint Urban Remote Sensing Event
(JURSE 2013)
Sao Paulo, Brazil
Internet: www.inpe.br/jurse2013
23-25 April ENC 2013 ‘The European Navigation
Conference’
Vienna, Austria
Internet: www.enc2013.org
25-26 April 3D Documentation Conference
Marina Mandarin Hotel, Singapore
Internet: www.3d-documentation-conference-2013.com
May
01-02 May GEO-South
Holiday Inn, Elstree, U.K.
Internet: www.pvpubs.com/events.php
13-16 May Geospatial World Forum
Beurs/World Trade Center, Rotterdam, The Netherlands
E-mail: info@geospatialworldforum.org
Internet: www.geospatialworldforum.org
13-16 May Be Together 2013, The Bentley Institute
International LEARNing Conference
Philadelphia, PA, U.S.A.
Internet: www.bentley.com
14 May FME World Tour 2013
Milan, Italy
E-mail: raso@gesp.it
Internet: www.gesp.it/FME2013.html
14-15 May MapInfo Professional Foundation Level
Training Course
CDR Group, Hope, Derbyshire, U.K.
E-mail: sales@cdrgroup.co.uk
Internet: www.cdrgroup.co.uk/train_mi2info.htm
15-17 May The fourth China Satellite Navigation
Conference (CSNC 2013)
Wuhan, China
Internet: www.beidou.org/english/news.asp
20 May FME World Tour 2013
Manchester, U.K.
Internet: www.surveymonkey.com/s/FMEUserGroup2013
21 May FME World Tour 2013
Birmingham, U.K
Internet: www.surveymonkey.com/s/FMEUserGroup2013
21-22 May Location Intelligence + Oracle Spatial
and Graph User Conferences 2013
Ronald Reagan Building and International Trade Center,
Washington, D.C.
Internet: www.oracle.com
21-24 May ISPRS Workshop “High-Resolution Earth
Imaging for Geospatioal Information”
Hannover, Germany
Internet: www.ipi.uni-hannover.de/isprs_hannover2013.html
22 May FME World Tour 2013
Bristol, U.K.
Internet: www.surveymonkey.com/s/FMEUserGroup2013
22-24 May FOSS4G North America 2013
Marriott City Center, Minneapolis, MN, U.S.A.
Internet: http://foss4g-na.org
23 May FME World Tour 2013
Fribourg, Switzerland
E-mail: fme@inser.ch
Internet: http://fmeworldtour2013.insersa.ch
28 May FME World Tour 2013
Brussels, Belgium
E-mail: kristin@gim.be
Internet: www.gim.be
29-31 May UDMS 2013, 29TH Urban Data
Management Symposium
University College London, London, U.K.
E-mail: info@udms.net
Internet: www.udms.net
30 May FME World Tour 2013
Malmö, Sweden
E-mail: mikael.mansson@sweco.se
Internet: www.fmedagarna.se
June
03-06 June Hexagon 2013 (ERDAS, Intergraph,
Leica, Metrology)
Las Vegas, NV, U.S.A.
Internet: http://2012.hexagonconference.com
03-07 June 11th Vespucci Institute “Ontologies and
models for integrated assessments of multiple-
scale processes”
Fiesole, Italy
E-mail: info@vespucci.org
Internet: www.vespucci.org
04 June FME World Tour 2013
Barcelona, Spain
E-mail: fme@conterra.de
Internet: www.fme-wt.es
06 June FME World Tour 2013
Madrid, Spain
E-mail: fme@conterra.de
Internet: www.fme-wt.es
11-12 June MapInfo Professional Advanced Level
Training Course
CDR Group, Hope, Derbyshire, U.K.
E-mail: sales@cdrgroup.co.uk
Internet: www.cdrgroup.co.uk/train_mi3info.htm
12-14 June FOSSGIS 2013
Gelände der HSR Hochschule für Technik, Rapperswil,
Switzerland
Internet: www.fossgis.de/konferenz/2013
16-22 June 13th International Multidisciplinary
Scientific GeoConference & EXPO SGEM2013
Albena Resort & SPA, Bulgaria
E-mail: sgem@sgem.org
Internet: www.sgem.org
17 June FMEdays 2013
Berlin, Germany
E-mail: fme@conterra.de
Internet: www.fmedays.de/index_en.shtm
17-21 June FMEdays 2013
ABION Hotel, Berlin, Germany
E-mail: fme@conterra.de
Internet: www.fme-days.com
Please feel free to e-mail your calendar notices to: calendar@geoinformatics.com
ASPRS www.asprs.org 8
ERDAS www.erdas.com 9
Esri www.esri.com 21
Geneq www.geneq.com 39
Global GEO Supplies www.soft-mouse-3d.com 51
ITC www.itc.nl 49
Leica Geosystems www.leica-geosystems.com 52
Microsoft UltraCam www.iFlyUltraCam.com 25
Optech www.optech.com 17
Pacific Crest www.pacificcrest.com/adl 29
Racurs www.racurs.ru 41
Riegl www.riegl.com 13
Spectra Precision www.spectraprecision.com 2
Advertisers Index
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