Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Revisiting Yazoo

With our busy schedules, and travels across the country, it’s easy to get caught up in the hoopla for the next scanning project, but it’s also important to take a moment and reflect on where we’ve been - or what we've seen and captured. 

With over 56 scanning projects under our belt, which span the country from coast-to-coast, sometimes it takes a visual/audible cue to bring a particular collection back to the forefront of the mind.  Such was the case last week while driving through the plains of Kansas and Nebraska, when I heard a radio advertisement for the new season of the Discovery Channel’s Storm Chasers television series. 

It’s hard to believe, but it’s been almost 6 months since we scanned the aftermath of a devastating EF4 tornado that tore through Yazoo City, MS, on its epic 149 mile path through two states.  Our long-time followers may remember the original blog postings back in May, but in case you want to refresh your memory, or if you’re a new follower, Part 1, Part 2 & Part 3

The LiDAR data, along with the thousands of still images we captured in the aftermath, really tell the story of how destructive a tornado can be; but to really get a feel for the storm as it happened, make sure you tune into Wednesday (October 20th) night's episode (10:00 pm Eastern), or the myriad of re-broadcasts throughout the week, to watch video footage from the chase vehicle's perspective.

If you’re a fan of the show, you’ll recognize the TVN “Dominator” pictured here behind our system, along with the numerous support/chase vehicles that capture the show's footage.

- Aaron

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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.