Craig Muir, Segment Marketing Manager, Trimble Geospatial Division
Imaging; it certainly is the buzzword around the geospatial industry at the moment and for good reason. Imaging is fast becoming a fundamental part of geospatial information both for the ability to capture vast amounts of information easily and quickly (capture now, measure later), as well as being able to deliver information that is immediately useful to the client. Industries and individuals are cottoning on quickly to the myriad applications of imaging across construction, emergency response, utilities and mining, transportation and the list goes on. As Geospatial professionals we need to put ourselves front and centre of this tidal wave of interest and show the value of rich geospatial information in this equation.
This three part series will follow a presentation I delivered at Transform 2015, a conference in May hosted by Australia’s Trimble dealerships.
The future of imaging technology
Time for the third and final instalment of the Imaging series, if you’ve missed the previous two, make sure to take a look at them here in part one and part two. Over the past few weeks, I’ve shared with you the progression of surveying technology and techniques which have led to imaging developing into a fundamental part of the geospatial workflow. I also discussed a couple of examples of where this technology is already being applied and then challenged you to think about how this technology could be used because, the truth is, we are only just scratching the surface.
So, now we’ve discussed the past and the present, I’m here to talk about the future and share with you a potential application which, I admit, makes me geek out a little bit about where things are heading. I’m heading for the blue here, but there are a number of implications for Geospatial professionals that we need to consider.
First of all, take a look at this video
I’m sure for most of you, your initial reaction was the same as mine… “that is amazing!” Virtual Reality is a mind blowing arena and, while it used to be the domain of sci fi movies, it’s now becoming entirely possible with today’s technology. But, after that initial thought, my surveying brain turned on and I recognised the massive requirement for correct and accurate geospatial data to enable the 3D technology of HoloLens to be effective in the real world.
A platform like HoloLens will not just require a single 3D data set, but multiple integrated sets from a micro to a macro level. The HoloLens user will not only want a view of the whole building facade they’ll also want to walk around under a stairwell or see the detail in a single room. This will require the geospatial expertise of a surveyor to develop the individual datasets and then knit them into a whole.
So, how are we going to deliver this incredible amount of data? There’s no way to do it except by leveraging the full spectrum of imaging technology. This includes total stations with VISION, land-based mobile imaging systems (such as the Trimble MX2, MX7 and MX8), Unmanned Aerial Systems (UAS) as well as laser scanners such as the Trimble TX8. It’ll also require the software expertise of multiple platforms like Trimble Business Centre, Real Works, eCognition, Trident and SketchUp to produce the necessary deliverables. Traditional methods of measuring one point at a time and delivering data in 2D just won’t stand up to the challenge. Instead, imaging this technology will enable us to collect massive amounts of data as well as process and deliver it in a form that is entirely useful to the end user.
So, that brings us back to the beginning – Imaging, it really isn’t just a pretty picture. The application of this technology knows no bounds and will enable industries around the world to do things they currently only dream of doing. The role of the geospatial professional will be front and centre so, if you haven’t already thought about how you can integrate VISION technology into the way you do business, I encourage you to do some more research and give the team at UPG a call. They’ll be able to offer you advice and expertise on how you can use this technology to grow your business by helping to solve complex problems and offering your clients an even better service than you do already.
About Craig Muir
Craig Muir is the Segment Marketing Manager for Trimble’s Geospatial division representing Asia Pacific. He’s responsible for ensuring that Trimble’s solutions meet the technology needs of its customers in the region. Craig graduated as a Land Surveyor from Otago University, New Zealand, in 1982 and began work for Datacom in 1988 which was acquired by Trimble in 1991. In his time with Trimble he has taken up roles in New Zealand, France, the UK, Germany and the United States.