Aerial Mapping 2009: Case Studies

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Wilson & Company Engineers & Architects

Experts’ Collaboration Key to Success
By Erin Casey

Union Pacific Railroad (UPRR) has taken an aggressive role in following LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) guidelines in their Strauss Yard project. LEED principles are significant elements in the development of the main facility and the yard’s administration office. UPRR desired an energy efficient and environmentally friendly facility, and Wilson & Company (Wilson & Company, Inc., Engineers & Architects) met their needs.

(Read the full case study here.)

Keystone Aerial Surveys, Inc.

When Keystone Aerial Surveys, Inc. acquired their first Vexcel UltraCam digital aerial mapping camera in 2005, the company was faced with numerous challenges. The move to a digital collection environment dictated new acquisition procedures and processing workflows. With over forty years of aerial survey know-how, Keystone had a wealth of experience to draw on in making the transition to digital image acquisition. But the company also faced the daunting task of finding ways to manage and distribute massive volumes of digital image data. Keystone has met that challenge with KASView, a web-based tool for searching the company’s rapidly growing image library.

(Read the full case study here.)


Tuck Mapping Automated High Precision Lidar Boresight Alignment Calibration

In 2008, Tuck Mapping took delivery of a Riegl LMS-Q560 full wave form 164 KHz Airborne laser scanner. One of the options featured with the system was Riegl’s new technique for determination of boresight alignment. The new technique relies upon finding common planar surfaces (e.g. building roofs) in the data and processing several flight lines in the algorithms which results in a robust estimation of the systems boresight angles.

Recent years have brought dramatic improvements in lidar performance related to increased density of points from higher performing laser sources and signal processing advances such as “full wave form” Lidar scanners. However, workflows and QA/QC methods have not kept pace with the technological advances. 

(Read the full case study here.)

ALTM Orion

Performance Possibilities of an Ultra-Compact Topographic Mapping System

By Michael R. Sitar, Product Manager (Airborne), Optech Incorporated, Canada

Observing, understanding and anticipating changes in the airborne mapping industry is critical to being able to provide sensor solutions and capabilities that are both competitive and appropriate to end-users. Optech Incorporated’s efforts in this regard are apparent in the simple fact that many of today’s lidar sensor configurations and their inherent features—irrespective of manufacturer—can be traced directly to Optech innovations. These include scanner roll compensation for data swath centering immediately below the sensor platform, waveform cross-section measures (commonly referred to as “intensity”), real-time lidar swath coverage display for in-air collection confidence, and Continuous Multi-Pulse technology (CMP) for doubling collection altitude for a given laser sampling rate without the need to plan around sensor range gates.

(Read the full case study here.)

HJW GeoSpatial

HJW Geospatial logo


Since its founding in 1949, HJW GeoSpatial has provided precision mapping solutions for thousands of projects ranging in size from a few acres to many thousands of square miles. HJW’s experience lends itself to both conventional and innovative approaches to project design, with full attention to detail and end-product quality. Even a relatively small project may involve multiple technologies, coordination of flight and ground operations, and a well-defined sequence of production steps which together constitute the workflow.

(Read the full case study here.)


The Digital Imaging Answer for Aerial Survey and Remote Sensing Applications

First introduced in 2002, the Applanix Digital Sensor System (DSS™) has become the industry’s leading medium-format digital aerial camera system integrated with a complete Direct Georeferencing workflow and flight management technology. As a mapping-quality alternative to large-format digital cameras, DSS offers important advantages including the ability to produce ultra-fast results that are certified as mapping-grade by the USGS. Light weight and ruggedized, DSS can be integrated with different sensors to fulfill special applications. Some options include a DualCam for simultaneous RGB/NIR collections, and a Riegl LMS-Q560 LIDAR option for high accuracy corridor mapping. For high altitude LIDAR applications, the DSS is available as an OEM option on the Optech ALTM LIDAR systems. The DSS is a powerful solution for applications such as Earthworks Monitoring, Power Utility Mapping, Roads and Highway Mapping, Photogrammetric Mapping, and Rapid Response.

(Read the full case study here.)


High Accuracy Terrain Surface Mapping of I-94Freeway in Michigan

In 2007, Aero-Metric was contracted by CH2M HILL to provide engineering-grade airborne survey services for redesign of a busy segment of Interstate I-94 in metropolitan Detroit, from west of I-96 to east of Conner Avenue, including all interchanges. Aero-Metric employed helicopter-based image acquisition to produce a highly accurate terrain surface, obtaining comparable vertical accuracy to ground survey methodologies, while eliminating the risks and logistical challenges of mapping a congested freeway. Aero-Metric delivered a digital terrain model and planimetric maps for CH2M HILL’s use in the engineering design.

“Aero-Metric was very responsive and the team did a good job from beginning to end. The quality of mapping was excellent. This is probably one of the best deliverables we haveever had.” —Thomas Nelson, Jr., V.P. & Project Manager, CH2M HILL

(Read more case studies here.)


Turning Over a New Leaf
By Mary Jo Wagner

Go big or go home” seems to be an unwritten motto at North West Geomatics, a digital aerial photography and remote sensing provider in Calgary, Alberta. Though it is a fairly small outfit, it has a penchant for taking on massive projects. In 2007 the company successfully acquired a nearly 800,000-square-kilometer LiDAR survey of northwest Alberta and northeast British Columbia - the largest-ever, privately funded LiDAR survey project in North America. That same year, NWG embarked on what is considered to be the largest digital airborne survey of its kind for forested land: 600,000 square kilometers of dense forest in Ontario.

(Read the full case study here.)


Illinois Department of Transportation Survey from Terrestrial and Aerial Lidar 
By James P. Peterson II, PE, PLS

Client Profile
The Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT) is responsible for planning, construction and maintenance of the state’s extensive transportation network, including highways, bridges, airports, public transit, rail freight, and rail passenger systems, with an annual operating budget of approximately $5 billion. The Illinois Division of Highways, a division of IDOT, and its nine district offices are responsible for the design, construction, operation and maintenance of the state highway system, and the administration of the local roads and streets program.

(Read the full case study here.)

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