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Mapping Specifications Development: The Problem of Abstraction

David Hart, CP, SP, RPP - President, Continental Mapping Consultants

The development of specifications – specs – has always been a difficult challenge in surveying and mapping. In just the last few years, as new remote sensing technologies (like lidar), and methods (like crowd sourcing and data fusion) are integrated, we’ve been involved in a wide range of “spec update” projects. Three of our key client sectors: State Departments of Transportation (DOTs), the US Army Corps of Engineers (USACE), and the National Geospatial Intelligence Agency (NGA) are all currently undergoing massive shifts in their understanding of how to develop and administer specifications and guidance for the creation of mapping products. The difficulties we have witnessed – and participated in – have been profound. We are learning some important lessons from these experiences, and have changed the way we engage with our clients in order to help facilitate a better understanding of the need, the requirement, and the deliverables of a project. 

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Using Terrestrial Lidar for Modeling Wisconsin's Bridges

Providing SIM for the Wisconsin DOT

Continental Mapping recently completed a 3D modeling project for the Wisconsin Department of Transportation (WisDOT) using terrestrial lidar. In addition to mapping services, Continental Mapping staff worked with WisDOT to develop standards and applications for this new technology and aid in site information modeling (SIM) and other applications.

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Continental Mapping Completes Successful UAS Project

(Sun Prairie, WI)—December, 2013—Continental Mapping Consultants, Inc. was published in the December issue of Professional Surveyor Magazine highlighting an Unmanned Aerial Systems (UAS) project completed by several of its staff and a group of local kids on the autism spectrum.  The Taking Autism To The Sky (TATTS) project consisted of working with a group of 8 kids on the autism spectrum to build, learn to fly and complete missions with a UAS.  The project culminated in a series of films made by the kids to highlight their experience.

UAS - hexarotor

The on-line version of the article can be found here on the Professional Surveyor Magazine web site.

The TATTS Project blog contains lots of video and imagery from the project including hardware specifications and is available here.  

Links to several sample images are provided below:

 

Successful Helicopter Lidar & Imagery Survey for the US Fish & Wildlife Service in the Tualatin National Wildlife Refuge, Portland, OR

(Sun Prairie, WI)—February 11th, 2013—Continental Mapping Consultants, Inc. is pleased to announce the successful delivery of a helicopter acquired lidar and orthophoto mapping project to the US Fish & Wildlife Service for the Tualatin National Wildlife Refuge. The project was in support of ongoing inventory and monitoring activities, refuge management, landscape design, hydrogeomorphological assessments, and planned vegetation mapping efforts.

Wapato

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Best Practices Video Series

Continental Mapping is developing a series of short videos to showcase our survyeing and mapping solutions in action with a particular emphasis on aerial, mobile and terrestrial lidar.  Our goal is to help engineers, planners, designers, architects, archaeologists and others see the ways in which our lidar solutions can be leveraged to improve the design process, increase accuracy where needed, and reduce costs. 

Check out the series on our YouTube Channel at http://www.youtube.com/user/ContinentalMapping.

Guard Rail Lidar Vectors

Lidar point cloud with 3D extracted features

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