About Amerisurv| Contact    
Magazine | Newsletter    
Flickr Photos | Advertise    
HomeNewsNewsletterAmerisurv DirectoryJobsStoreAuthorsHistoryArchivesBlogVideosEvents
 
advertisement


Subscriptions
Sponsored By

Software Reviews
Continuing Series
     RTN
An RTN expert provides everything you need to know about network-corrected real-time GNSS observations.
Click Here to begin the series,
or view the Article PDF's Here
76-PageFlip Compilation
of the entire series
Test Yourself

Got Answers?
Test your knowledge with NCEES-level questions.
  Start HERE
Meet the Authors
Check out our fine lineup of writers. Each an expert in his or her field.
Wow Factor
Sponsored By


Product Reviews
Partner Sites

machinecontrolonline 


lbszone.com

GISuser.com

GeoJobs.biz

GeoLearn

 

Spatial Media LLC properties

Associates

ASPRS

newsnow 

Home arrow Archives   The American Surveyor     

Editorial: Knowing What We Don't Know Print E-mail
Written by Marc Cheves, PS   
Friday, 10 July 2015

A 121Kb PDF of this article as it appeared in the magazine—complete with images—is available by clicking HERE

I recently attended the Teledyne Optech Imaging & LiDAR Solutions conference in Toronto. The well-attended meeting showcased much of what we covered in the 3D Pioneers article our April 2014 issue. Of particular interest to me in that article was how, under the tagline Everywhere You Look, the synergy between Teledyne and Optech continues to provide multiple benefits for customers.

In his keynote, Lewis Graham, owner and CTO of GeoCue Group, discussed the implementation of unmanned aerial systems and made a very salient point: when pitching the idea to a client, it's not enough to demonstrate that costs will be the same with replacement technology. The only way to make a client abandon established processes is to show dramatic cost savings. William Tompkinson of Insightful Dimensions in the UK informed the audience that in the UK, firms with UAV capability increased from 130 to 549 in 18 months, and that France and Canada alone have more than 1,000 commercial operators.

Perhaps borrowing from the title of the Don Rumsfeld book, Known and Unknown, Don Carswell, president of Teledyne Optech, gave a fascinating keynote about the dangers of thinking nothing will ever be needed, or that we have reached limits. He used the famous quotes from Edison saying we would never use AC current, and Darryl Zanuck about how television wouldn't last more than six months. Two I hadn't heard came from Bill Gates: "We will never need a 32-bit operating system," and "There's nobody getting rich writing software that I know of."

Carswell further amplified his remarks by invoking Arthur C. Clarke's famous Three Laws: 1) When a distinguished but elderly scientist states that something is possible, he is almost certainly right. When he states that something is impossible, he is most probably wrong; 2) The only way of discovering the limits of the possible is to venture a little way past them into the impossible; and 3) Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic. Carswell said, "Assumptions about the unnecessary or impossible sometimes pervade an industry. We become limited by what we know to be impossible, e.g., flight, space travel, good government."

Carswell's example of impossible was the challenge of getting around the speed of light limitation. He credited Teledyne and its extensive R&D network with helping Optech get around the challenge. Carswell's mea culpa stated, "There is no need for more than 4 LiDAR measurements per square meter." In following up, I learned that today's Teledyne Optech aerial gear provides unlimited returns with lower accuracy waveform and 8 returns per square meter with high accuracy discrete technology. Carswell mentioned that, with UAVs, impossible is a rapidly moving and receding thing. Regulations are still being developed (particularly in the U.S.). Pere Molina from GeoNumerics commented that "Technology must move regulations, not the other way around." An example of this is a system developed in Germany that electronically "tethers" an aerial platform to a moving ground platform. Both platforms do what they do best, but Carswell pointed out that the FAA has specifically disallowed this approach as a way to get around the "the UAV must remain in sight" requirement.

One of the problems with terrestrial LiDAR is shadows. That is, areas occluded, or rooftops, etc. Optech has found that because aerial LiDAR does not have the same accuracy as terrestrial LiDAR, the best approach will be UAV cameras in the air using photogrammetry, and LiDAR on the ground. Even with reduced accuracy, the aerial data will still be useful for modeling in areas where there is no data at all. Carswell used as an example an open pit mine with high walls. Using terrestrial, oftentimes there are occluded areas: these can be easily picked up with a UAV. We had an article about this sensor fusion (Open Pit Mines) in our February 2014 issue.

Marc Cheves is editor of the magazine.

A 121Kb PDF of this article as it appeared in the magazine—complete with images—is available by clicking HERE

 
< Prev   Next >

 American Surveyor Recent Articles
Editorial 
Thought Leader: Land is Too Important to Be Left to Land Specialists
A while back I was searching the Internet for an old treatise on land titles. A Google query yielded a book published in 1914. The author was Charles Claudius Kagey and the book was titled "Land Survey and Land Titles, a book for boys and girls, a reference volume for property owners, a text ....
Read the Article
Jason E. Foose, PS 
Decided Guidance: Wacker vs. Price - Irony in Sevenfold
This month's case takes us to Phoenix, Arizona in 1950. The Arizona Supreme Court went all guns-a-blazin' in Wacker vs. Price (216 P.2d 707 (Ariz. 1950)). Maybe it's just me, but I'm sensing plenty of irony and have taken license to point it out along the way. I like what the Court did with this case ....
Read the Article
Allen E. Cheves 
Around the Bend - A Visit to Carlson Software
The Ohio River is one of America's greatest, running near 1,000 miles between Pittsburgh and the Mighty Mississippi. Much of the coal and other products that fueled our nation's industrial expansion flowed between the shores of this maritime ....
Read the Article
Lee Lovell, PS 
Surveying & Mapping Economics Part 3 - Customers & Services
This article continues an inquiry into the economic conditions of the Surveying and Mapping industry (NAICS 541370) using data from the U.S. Census Bureau. This time we will look at customers and services. The data comes from the Economic Census conducted every 5 years on American ....
Read the Article
Jerry Penry, PS 
True Elevation: Black Elk Peak
Black Elk Peak, located in the Black Hills region of South Dakota, is the state's highest natural point. It is frequently referred to as the highest summit in the United States east of the Rocky Mountains. Two other peaks, Guadalupe Peak in Texas and ....
Read the Article
Larry Trojak 
Bringing The Goods - Mobile Scanning an Integral Component
When Jim Smith, Jerrad Burns and Charlie Patton left the Memphis division of a major construction company in 2015, they took with them the knowledge of how to get even the most complex jobs done and what equipment could best serve them in making that happen. So when they joined West ....
Read the Article
 
Lee Lovell, PS 
Test Yourself 41: Integers, Integers, and Integers
ABF is a 5:12:13 triangle, ACF is a 48:55:73 triangle, ADF is a 3:4:5 triangle, and AEF is a 7:24:25 triangle, all with integer sides and inscribed in a semi-circle. What are the lengths of BC, CD, and DE? ....
Read the Article
Wendy Lathrop, PS, CFM 
Vantage Point: Sunset or Sunrise?
While we often think of legislated government programs as static, they do change over time. Such evolution and opportunity for transformation are part of the dialogue in reauthorizing these programs. Every so many years there is a sunset on each government program, and this September is the ....
Read the Article
 

deliciousrssnewsletterlinkedinfacebooktwitter

Amerisurv Exclusive Online-only Article ticker
Featured Amerisurv Events
List Your Event Here
please
contact Amerisurv


Google
 
AMERISURV TOP NEWS

JAVAD Intros
Spoofer Buster

GOT NEWS? Send To
press [at] amerisurv.com
Online Internet Content

Sponsor


News Feeds

 
Subscribe to Amerisurv news & updates via RSS or get our Feedburn
xml feed

Need Help? See this RSS Tutorial

Historic Maps
Careers

post a job
Reach our audience of Professional land surveyors and Geo-Technology professionals with your GeoJobs career ad. Feel free to contact us if you need additional information.

 

Social Bookmarks

Amerisurv on Facebook 

Amerisurv LinkedIn Group 

Amerisurv Flickr Photos 

Amerisurv videos on YouTube 

twitter

 




The American Surveyor © All rights reserved / Privacy Statement
Spatial Media LLC
905 W 7th St #331
Frederick MD 21701
301-620-0784
301-695-1538 - fax