Wednesday, April 7, 2010

It's Official: 3D is the New Standard

Growing up, I felt I was more fortunate than my brother when it came to not having to wear glasses (especially those hideous Army BC glasses).  Today when discussing glasses, I'm not talking in terms of optical power, but rather Anaglyph versus Polarized.

Movies and TV
Chances are you have likely seen a movie in 3D.  With the proliferation of Avatar and movies from Pixar there is a growing awareness and desire for 3D.  At 2, my son sat through Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs with his polarized glasses on the entire time.  Even now, if you have $2,500+ you can purchase a 3D DLP or LED television (3DTV).  There are announcements constantly about the progression of 3D channels to supply content to these devices.

The Internet
You may not have noticed a recent change to Google StreetView. To be honest, it took me by a little bit of a surprise. Below is a screen capture of the I-110 interchange I've discussed in this blog before.  Notice the new icon.  There have been many times where I have shown our Mobile LiDAR collection of this interchange in 3D using anaglyph glasses.

Mobile LiDAR
We have been presenting 3D animations and renderings of our Mobile LiDAR collections for quite some time.  (Below is the same expanse of the I-110 interchange as shown in the new StreetView.) Looking at 2D images does not provide a measure of depth that is afforded with this information.

Revisiting the Mississippi River Levee collection, I've created an image that can be viewed in 3D using anaglyph glasses.

I now wear glasses - not because of a loss of vision, but to gain perspective. 

If you would like a pair of anaglyph glasses to view the blog, send me your address and I'll mail you a pair.

What is Mobile LiDAR?

Mobile LiDAR (Light Detection and Ranging) systems are comprised of vehicle-mounted lasers, cameras and GPS/INS navigation systems to capture highly-detailed and accurate three-dimensional (3D) topographic information for surveying and engineering applications. Michael Baker International became an early adopter of Mobile LiDAR technology by acquiring our first system in 2009, with further expansions in 2014 and 2015 that increased our fleet to four (4) Optech Lynx SG1 Mobile LiDAR systems. Over that period our systems have completed more than 300 projects throughout 29 different U.S. States (and multiple countries), and encompassing hundreds of thousands of miles. Our project portfolio includes applications in roadway design, 3D modeling, railroad corridors, signaled intersections, utility infrastructure, asset management, pavement condition assessment and airport infrastructure.