Friday, February 4, 2011

Lots of Dots

The other day, a friend and business acquaintance addressed a letter to me as "Mr. Lots of Dots."  I thought it was fitting given that my professional life is all about dots, dots that we measure and dots showing where we've been.

That evening as I was reading my son his favorite story - There's a Map on My Lap* - the words took on a entirely new meaning.  Even though I've probably read the book 200 times, one particular rhyme stood out:

"Dot maps, like this one,
are covered with dots.
Some have a few dots,
but some others have lots."

Last week, our Mobile LiDAR vehicle surpassed 40,000 miles (several more miles if you include it taking a ride on a barge).  With each new mobilization as we're collecting more dots, we're also adding new dots for the places we've been.  If it wasn't for the wrap we have on the truck, I would have one of those sticker maps you see on the back of RV's because,

"You can always use maps.
They will help you in knowing
where you have been 
and just where... are going."

If you are a geospatial professional and have children (or a wife that doesn't understand what it is you really do), the book There's a Map on My Lap is a great way of explaining what you do. I've bought copies for several friends that have become new parents. Also, it makes a great read for younger students for GIS Day.


*References to: There's a Map on My Lap! By: Tish Rabe; Dr. Suess Enterprises, LP Copyright 2002

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Mobile LiDAR: Projects at a Glance

My second article for LiDAR News is now available.  It may be accessed through this link.  

The image in the article is shown below.  It is an intersection of SR30A in Panama City, FL - collected May 2010.  You can clearly make out the extraction of pavement markings, sidewalks, utilities, pavement edges and other features.

Should you have a topic for discussion, please leave as a comment.


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.