The company founder, Dr. Johannes Riegl addressed the international audience, giving an overview of their decision to host the event in China. More than 100 presentations are taking place at the event, with presentations on architecture, bathymetry, forensics, architecture, railways, road corridor mapping among other applications. Sessions also included unmanned aircraft system, terrestrial and mobile collection.
The company got its start in 1978, developing distance meters and range finders. The first airborne laser and scanner was unveiled in 1996. The line of airborne sensors continued from there and the first high-end mobile mapping platforms were unveiled in 2010. The company’s RiCOPTER unmanned aircraft system remotely piloted flying scanner was released in 2014. The company continues to innovate, and showcased more than 15 different sensors and platforms at the event.
Lawrie Jordan, director of imagery at Esri, gave the opening keynote at the event. His talk spoke about how LiDAR and GIS are coming together to forge the future of mapping, measuring and monitoring of the Earth for a “Living Planet”. Geography and GIS are becoming more important than ever, with improved context for the world around us.
The traditional forms of remote sensing form the basis for mapping, but emerging technologies are providing dramatic benefits. GIS is evolving and co-evolving with LiDAR with Web-GIS via the cloud and from 2D to 3D mapping. The new web maps and web scenes are accumulated in the cloud for a living 3D map that is fed with services to change dynamically over time.
LiDAR is a fundamental input to this new Web GIS. The devices that we all carry are making the access to this information more simple and quick, with applications that make this information available anywhere.
The 3D perspective view, with different levels of detail, provide a new and more realistic perspective of the world around us. At LOD3, the photorealistic model provides a rich external detail, and at LOD4, we integrate inside and outside views that integrates with BIM.
The move of data into GIS products, with an integration of different sensor data, provide flythrough realistic maps that are dynamic and intelligent — allowing us to query and obtain information from these immersive views.
Jordan went on to show a series of examples, where partner data provided a rich and helpful map:
a planning scenario in downtown San Diego showed planning considerations and roofs that were ideally situated for solar power
a map of the Oso, Wash. landslide, with volume estimation of the debris field and the location of homes prior to the slide, proved very helpful for first responders
a county used change detection tools to understand what properties changed in order to understand where property taxes should be increased
an airport map, with automated understanding of vertical obstructions, was presented
Jordan then went on to discuss where we’re going. The vision is for a shorter time between sensor and service, and even bringing the GIS data to the sensor, with minimal processing time to provide intelligent sensors.