Autovation, the smart utility conference run by Utilimetrics, took on new content this year with a track organized by the Geospatial Information Technology Association. The event took place from Sept. 25-28 at the Gaylort National Resort in Washington, D.C., drawing a strong crowd of electric and water utilities that are committed to the promise of intelligent infrastructure.
“The international trade fair INTERGEO is the perfect environment to encourage this dialogue.” Prof. Karl-Friedrich Thöne, President of the German Society for Geodesy, Geoinformation and Land Management (DVW e.V.) in Nuremberg, adds: “There is simply no better platform to promote networking between providers and users on a professional level.”
Many of the presentations during conference portions of the event captured the theme "Knowledge and Action for Planet Earth". These included presentations on themes such as law and geodata, mobile cartography, pricing and valuation, geovisualisation, satellite processes, rural development & rural modernisation, 3D city models, GNSS, machine control and guidance and concepts surrounding integrated geospatial and geomatic technologies.
Laser scanning, UAVs and data management within the cloud were all popular topics at the event. A large Open Source contingent was available for those interested to inspect and learn about new projects and services operating through OpenGeo.org - GeoServer, OpenLayers, PostGIS, GeoWebCache, and GeoExt.
Trimble was present and had many products to show including it's new 80 megapixel Trimble Aerial Camera (TAC 80MP) - for traditional flight campaigns, the TAC 80MP is a suitable replacement for aging large-format analog cameras (LFC), which are increasingly being taken out of service.
Because the long side of the TAC 80MP sensor is equal to an analog LFC image scanned at 20µm, service providers are able to fly the TAC 80MP instead of allocating additional resources to their digital large-format fleet. The new eCognition 8.7 image processing software was also present. This new product includes enhanced extraction capabilities. Trimble also exhibited Trident Analyst 4.7, a software "that takes advantage of the additional random access memory offered by 64-bit operating systems to enable loading and handling of very large terrestrial mobile mapping datasets, including production-size point cloud data. 64-bit processing allows Trident Analyst users to load, display, edit and analyze billions of points and thousands of high-resolution digital images quickly and effectively," says the company.
The theme of integration was popular at this event. And, Karl-Friedrich Thöne, summed it up during the opening ceremonies stating: "Geo and modern-day government or modern-day society – highly networked geoinformation systems and structures are in growing demand for public administration and business applications." The underlying principle pointing to the fact that geospatial efforts can change governments and support them to meet challenges.
This was a concept reiterated by Leica Geosystems President & CEO, Juergen Dold, whom I had a chance to sit with and ask a few questions during the event. When asked about the key directions in society that are influencing the company's product direction and efforts, he indicated that high-resolution accuracy was a key aspect to many applications. But not all, he recognized that depending upon the application, sometimes lesser accuracy was needed - thus why Leica Geosystems product line is wide and varied. Dold also spoke about the recent acquisition of Intergraph and indicated that the combination of the two company's was complimentary and helped to extend work flows across both Leica Geosystems and Intergraph businesses.
Optech presented the new ORION M/C 300 laser scanner, designed for tight-tolerance corridor mapping and engineering applications. Topcon had an elaborate display designed to support it's new Tesla handheld computer and tablet PC running on Windows 6.5.3 - oriented toward cloud operation. The unit comes in Standard, Geo and Geo G3 versions, with the Geo models adding imagery support and the G3 version adding 3G network support. The new Sokkia Total Station SRX, with auto-tracking and pointing was also present.
Pointools was present with several products including pointools edit, plug-in for Autocad and plug-in for Sketchup, plug-in for Rhino. The Pointools Suite is a collection of the most popular components from the same company that enable point cloud users to maximize the value of their laser scanning portfolios.
South Surveying and Mapping Instrument Co. of China presented a wide variety of survey technology and mapping technology. These included the H66/H68 single-frequency static GPS receiver and post-differential receiver. Their S750 Handheld Data Collector also proves useful to those doing GIS related mapping in the field.
CHC Navigation from Taiwan were also present and exhibiting their growing portfolio of GNSS related technologies for surveyors and mappers. Their new x91GNSS Receivers offer up built-in GNSS engine, antenna, UHF and GSM/GPRS modules, Bluetooth communications. Connection to GPS or GPS+GLONASS RTK Networks is made easy and benefits from the unique X91 auto-connect feature are included.
Besides GPS L2C, L5 and GLONSAA L1/L2, the X91 GNSS system supports a wide range of satellite signals, providing Galileo-compatible products available for customers well in advance of Galileo system availability. The company says that we can expect new announcements within the coming months on products designed to meet user requests and advanced GNSS capabilities.
Evo Logics Subsea Glider is a compelling device. It is an underwater UAV designed for hydrographic profiling, sea floor cartography, monitoring and search missions and undersea technical inspections.
LizardTech presented their Express Suite (GeoExpress, Express Server and GeoViewer) for customers who have a need to handle large volumes of data, particularly over the internet. Using image compression, this software is particularly powerful for transporting lidar and image related files to field locations. It supports ISO, JPEG200 and NITF formats. And if you are not aware yet, the new MrSID Generation MG4 version includes alpha band control and true transparency control (RGB+NIR). If you are looking for a free viewer of imagery data, then try GeoViewer.Spectra Precision is a Trimble brand and the company recently acquired the Ashtech brand. That said, Spectra Precision was present at the event offering up presentations on their new ProMark 800 GNSS Receiver and Survey Pro 5.0 Field Software. The "Spectra Precision ProMark 800 receiver, using advanced Z-BLADE multi-constellation GNSS processing technology, tracks a wide range of available satellite signals including GPS, GLONASS and Galileo as well as WAAS, EGNOS and MSAS satellite-based augmentation systems. This universal GNSS receiver can be operated as a base, rover or network rover for Real-Time Kinematic (RTK) or Static field applications."
The Open Geospatial Consortium (OGC) 3D Information Management (3DIM) Working Group held a 3D Summit on Sept. 20 as part of the OGC Technical Committee meetings in Boulder, Colo. The content tackled advancements and challenges, with panel discussions and lightening talks that addressed city 3D models, campus visualization, indoor 3D models and augmented reality.
The Free and Open Source Software for Geospatial Conference (FOSS4G) took place in Denver, Colo. from Sept. 12-16. The event drew more than 900 people, making it the largest of these yearly gatherings organized by the OSGeo Foundation. The international event drew developers, solution providers and academics from 42 countries.
The fifth annual OpenStreetMap State of the Map Conference took place in Denver, Colo. from Sept. 9-11. The event drew its largest crowd yet, with an engaged international gathering of more than 250 attendees from 34 countries. The event drew a mix of volunteer mappers, developers of solutions that build upon the data, academic researchers, crisis mappers, and web-based mapping companies eager to harness the data.
The 24th annual GIS in the Rockies took place from Aug. 31 to Sept. 1 at the Cable Center in Denver, Colo. The event theme, "Emerging Technolgies; Are You Read?," addressed both these new technologies as well as the need to stay abreast of these developments in order to make the most of the possibilities. This regional gathering of users in the intermountain west of the United States is aligned with GITA, ASPRS, URISA and the Professional Land Surveyors of Colorado, providing for a broad and diverse take on current tools and practice.
The 5th Geoinformatics Forum (July 5-8 2011), co-located with the highly regarded annual German language conference on Applied Geoinformatics (AGIT), was once again organized by the Centre of Geoinformatics (Z_GIS) at the University of Salzburg, the Institute for GIScience at the Austrian Academy of Sciences and the German University of Technology in Muscat, Oman.
The American Congress on Surveying & Mapping (ACSM) held their 2011 Annual Conference in conjunction with Esri's Survey Summit in San Diego, Calif. from July 7-13. While the event was well received, the organization determined at the culmination to accept the recommendations of the ACSM Realignment Committee to disband the ACSM Congress of Member Organizations and begin the process of dissolving ACSM.
The 2011 Esri International User Conference took place in San Diego, Calif., from July 11-15, and it was the largest ever. The audience of more than 15,000 attendees came from 126 countries, with a full third from outside the United States, and a full third there for their first time. This year's theme, "Understanding Our World," was meant to address the rapid changes that are facing our world, and the power of geographic thinking to understand and deal with the challenges. The rapid evolution of GIS is rising to the challenge, becoming more multidimensional, easier to use, with better data management and usability, and more mobile and real-time.