Friday, October 12, 2012

Picture of the Week

The image I posted two weeks ago created some good natured discussion regarding allegiances.  As Baker is based in Pennsylvania, I work with a lot of people who do not share my rabid devotion to a certain SEC University.  In order to appease my colleagues to the north, I quickly pulled together some publicly available Aerial LiDAR data and imagery.  Below is a colorized point cloud of the PSU campus. With the PAMAP program, there are great datasets available.


Have a good weekend.

Cheers!
Stephen

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Top 3 Posts

If you're relatively new to Baker's Mobile LiDAR blog, you may not know that it's something we've been doing for about three years now.  In that time, there have been a few that have hands down attracted more attention than others.  Perhaps the reasoning is that older posts have had more time to attract pageviews.  However, our number one viewed blog was written nearly a full year after number 2 and 3.

#1:  Modeling Bridges from Mobile LiDAR Information
In this posting written in October 2010, I illustrate how three-dimensional modeling and rendering is performed from information collected for an interstate corridor.  The mapping was completed by Baker's Applied Technologies Group using MicroStation.

#2:  To Debunk or Not To Debunk - That is the Question
One of our earliest postings was derived from one of our first collections - performed just 4 days after the installation of our system.  We were in central PA attending a corporate meeting.  While checking into our hotel, we noticed the rack of brochures for area attractions.  One was for Gravity Hill - a local attraction where: "Cars roll uphill and water flows the wrong way. It's a place where gravity has gone haywire."  We collected the hill, but the data resides on a hard drive on my shelf left unprocessed while the mystery remains unconfirmed.

Again, another posting from 2009 earns a top spot.  As our blog was taking shape, it was important to talk about the equipment and how it performs.  In this posting, I discuss the positioning systems on the vehicle:  GPS, IMU and DMI.  It has gained a lot of attention as did a similar article written for LiDAR News titled:  Mobile Positioning Systems.   

I hope you have the time to review some of our earlier postings.  I like to revisit things we've done in the past just to see how far we've come.

Cheers!
Stephen

Monday, October 8, 2012

Law #7: Applied Control

In an article last year, I wrote extensively about Law #7: The data you capture is only as good as the applied control.  And earlier this year, I addressed the topic again with a posting titled:  Control Plan - Art or Necessity?  The survey methodologies employed for establishing, locating and quantifying ground control are all important factors to successfully perform a Mobile LiDAR collection; however, as equally important, are the controls (techniques, processes, QA routines, etc.) applied by the collection staff, processing team and project manager throughout the project lifecycle. Today’s discussion focuses on the controls applied by our collection staff; while future posts will address processing and project management.

Since day 1, Baker has been developing our Standard Operating Procedures (SOP).  These procedures are not chiseled in granite like The Baker's Dozen, but rather are constantly evolving with new techniques, software, hardware and client requirements.  We have modified the documents countless times to implement changes, educate operators and ensure consistency.  Our SOP's include, but are not limited to:

  • Collection Planning - from GPS to driving routes
  • System Startup and Shutdown
  • Field Notes
  • Data Extraction
  • Preliminary Processing
  • QA/QC
  • Data Transmittal
The above SOP's are but a handful of the controls we apply on a daily basis to ensure overall project success.  Well-constructed SOP’s provide the framework for consistent results; and ultimately result in quality products and a satisfied client.

Cheers!

Stephen

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.