Friday, October 12, 2018

"Mobile" is a critical part of the equation

An often overlooked component to the success of Mobile LiDAR is actually one of the most recognizable elements - and seemingly far too obvious because it's built right into the name -  "Mobile".  Without a vehicle (car, truck, SUV, UTV, Boat, push-cart, etc.), Mobile LiDAR systems are giant, expensive paperweights.

Regular vehicle maintenance is critical, but even then, mechanical failures happen.  An unfortunate (and costly) byproduct of continuously operating 4 Mobile LiDAR systems and criss-crossing the nation to capture tens-of-thousands of Mobile LiDAR data each year is the wear and tear on vehicle drive-trains.  And to be more specific...TRANSMISSIONS!

Nothing brings a successful deployment to a screeching halt (literally sometimes), like a failing transmission.  Unfortunately, we've had 2 of our systems experience transmission failures over the past 2 months.  We take pride in developing/implementing SOPs for virtually every aspect of our collection operation, but it's a bitter pill to swallow when you realize that you readily know the procedure for emergency drive-train repairs.

Friday, October 5, 2018

Ground Control to Major Tom?

Sorry, there's no Ziggy Stardust here.  Just a training session focused on good old fashioned terrestrial ground control.  We figured there's no better way to reinforce our commitment to quality than to celebrate our 9th anniversary of Mobile LiDAR ownership with a series of training sessions to teach/reinforce proper techniques for LiDAR processing and introduce new methodologies and software applications to enhance efficiency.

Key members of our LiDAR Processing Team commandeered the board room from our former headquarters in Moon Township, PA to kick off a series of training sessions to share techniques and best practices.

PS - my apologies for the "Space Oddity" earworm.  It's been rattling around my brain since I starting thinking about this post.

Friday, September 28, 2018

Ellicott City Flooding Animation

As you read in our previous post Ellicott City Flood Modeling, we deployed one of our Mobile LiDAR teams to Ellicott City, MD to capture post-event as-built conditions.  In addition to providing the County as well as State of Maryland agencies with the high-resolution LiDAR point cloud and spherical imagery, we took the opportunity to create a visualization of the observed 2016 flood levels overlain on a current 1:1 scale model of Ellicott City.  The resulting video (see below) was developed to aid residents as well as County and State Officials in their comprehension of observed water depths and inundation.
Click image to view the flythrough video of the 2016 Flood Model 

To view other videos created from our Mobile LiDAR solutions please visit our dedicated Mobile LiDAR YouTube Channel.

Monday, September 24, 2018

Ellicott City Flood Modeling

Following the significant reconstruction efforts in Ellicott City, MD resulting from the catastrophic flooding event that occurred on July 30, 2016 we saw the perfect opportunity to put our company tagline into action and Make a Difference.

Localized and micro-flood modeling analyses are perfectly-suited to capitalize on the high-accuracy terrestrial LiDAR and spherical imagery generated by our Mobile LiDAR systems, so with the assistance of our local Baltimore office we deployed a Mobile LiDAR team to capture the post-event as-built conditions and generate high-resolution data that could be used by County, State and Federal agencies.

Unfortunately, on May 27th, 2018 the unthinkable happened again just 22 short months after the previous flood, so we immediately jumped into action and provided County and State of Maryland agencies the collected data to aid planning and mitigation efforts to prevent future devastating flooding events. LiDAR and spherical imagery was made available through our innovative web-viewing environment (, which builds upon Orbit GT’s Publisher framework to create an interactive environment where stakeholders can navigate Old Ellicott City through spherical imagery, generate measurements from the LiDAR data, and interrogate 3D geospatial vector data in a seamless environment to base decisions and recommendations on a 1:1 scale model of the real world.

Stay tuned for our next post, where we’ll share an animated flythrough of the LiDAR data along Main Street with a simulation of the 2016 flooding.

Sample spherical imagery captured along Main St and used as the foundation for the web-viewer
Mobile LiDAR point cloud data overlain the spherical Imagery. The blue-to-red color ramp is used to help users distinguish near-field objects from those at greater distance.
Flooding simulation based upon observed high water from the 2016 flood.

Friday, September 14, 2018

Mitigating Beach Erosion

Like the majority of the country, Hurricane Florence has our full attention.  Devastating winds, torrential rain and elevated storm surge create a dangerous trifecta for our coastal (and inland) communities.  We're closely monitoring the effects of this storm on multiple fronts. 

First and foremost is for the safety of our staff, clients, and residents of the Carolinas.  Secondarily (and it's a distant second), we're watching the South Carolina coastline for lessened effects of beach erosion following the State's efforts to mitigate storm impact.

We are proud to have taken part in those initial efforts by deploying our LiDAR survey services in support of the cause.  Throughout the project Michael Baker's Mobile LiDAR team traversed over 250 miles of the South Carolina coastline to survey 300+ revetments and revetted seawalls using a mixture of Mobile LiDAR (riding on a modified UTV) and Static LiDAR for supplemental surveys.

LiDAR (both Mobile and Static) Survey of 300+ revetments and seawalls along the South Carolina coast.