Monday, January 28, 2013

Processing and Internal Communication

After a brief hiatus from writing for LiDAR News, I made time after the holidays to prepare an article. One of the most crucial elements to project performance is communication.  Often when working across professional disciplines, markets and office locations, the communication can become increasingly difficult.  Couple that difficulty with the perceived complexity of Mobile LiDAR (often a new technology to many of our consumers) and you are bound to need additional tools to facilitate understanding.  Therefore, I've prepared an article on Processing and Communicating - Internally to discuss some methods for collaborating within a team/project environment.

Should you have recommendations for future articles or blog postings, please leave a comment.

Cheers!
Stephen

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Safety and Record of Survey

While I have started drafting new posts to start the new year, nothing is complete to date.  However, this is too important a topic to discuss to delay posting.  My esteemed colleague Aaron Morris pointed me to an online story that speaks directly to the topics of safety and record of survey.  We take every precaution to successfully and safely complete a collection.  Baker operates our Mobile LiDAR vehicle with two persons - one dedicated to driving, while the other concentrates on the data collection.  There are numerous road obstacles that warrant a driver's undivided attention, particularly when an expensive piece of equipment is mounted to the roof.  Therefore, the operator is also responsible for assisting with navigation and hazard detection when it is warranted.

As data is collected - both LiDAR and imagery - detailed survey information is recorded. The data is georeferenced and time-stamped.  It is simple to retrace the field activities to determine application of best practices; that necessary routes were/are collected; the information meets the scope of work and other conditions.  We review vehicle trajectory, raw LiDAR data, or photography to validate the information and communicate results.  We do place close attention to operating speeds with respect to posted speed limits and the environment being collected. These are some of the measures we employ to ensure a culture of safety, achieve safety ratings, and mitigate any potential liability.

Typically, however, we do not publish our information freely on the web.  Should we elect to do so, I believe the precautions we take would eliminate confusion and stories such as this:  Story

After a quick search, we learned that you drive on the left-hand side of the road in Botswana.  Perhaps that wasn't taken into consideration by the reporter.  You decide.

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.