Geo Week News

March 21, 2012

Mobile scanning - yeah, people are doing that


Why do I attend conferences? Well, it’s my job, obviously. But only at conferences can I go to lunch and happen to sit across the table from a guy who’s got a photo on his phone of himself driving a four-wheeler with a scanner strapped to it.

Such is what happened at the Riegl conference last month, when I sat down with a couple of slices of pizza, right across from Jake Mattox, a VP at EMC Survey, a firm with headquarters in Grenada, Mississippi, and offices in Florida, Texas, and Lousiana. There were also a couple guys from Eagle Mapping in BC sitting with us, and we’d gotten to talking about how Riegl spends a lot of time emphasizing just how durable their scanners are. I mentioned how I’d heard people were strapping MDL’s Dynascans onto four wheelers and whatnot since they were a little less expensive and maybe a crash wouldn’t be quite such a disaster, like it would be with a more expensive (and more accurate and robust) Riegl system. 

Heck, Mattox says, look at this. And there’s a Riegl VZ400 strapped to a four-wheeler, right there on his phone. Of course, he didn’t have a card, but I gave him one of mine and asked him to please be in touch so I could show some of his rigs off. Well, he followed through, and here I am with a few images he sent me. Pretty dang cool, really.

First up, that four-wheeler (ahem, I mean “laser scanning platform,” and, actually, I guess it’s more accurately an “off road vehicle,” a Ranger from Polaris):


EMC was kind enough to integrate the CADD, the point cloud and the actual image all into this one illustration for me. I think it’s just about the coolest thing since sliced bread, to tell the truth. Just a great illustration of the company’s capabilities. 

Here’s another example, scanning pipeline:


And, to reiterate, that’s not Riegl’s VMX-250 or -450 mobile scanning platform. That’s their terrestrial scanner rigged up by EMC to perform mobile scanning duties. They do both terrestrial and mobile off the same platform. I guess they’re just careful. Personally, I’d be a little worried about bringing a scanner of that value into this here environment:


You know, accidents happen? I wouldn’t want to be the guy having to explain what happened when the Riegl dropped in the water because I thought I saw an alligator or something. (I once had a colleague have to explain why she spilled red wine all over her laptop – that was bad enough!)

Regardless, it’s great to see cool solutions created for real-world situations. If your firm is doing anything similar, please send some photos along. The more the merrier. Nothing tells a story like a picture.

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