Geo Week News

June 1, 2012

Hexagon acquires 25 percent of Blom ASA


Buy brings connection with service provider, geospatial database

OSLO, Norway – Global firm Hexagon, parent company of Leica Geosystems and Intergraph among many others, announced this week it has acquired, as of today, a 25 percent stake in the publicly traded geospatial services provider Blom ASA, based here, with subsidiaries in 13 countries.

The total outlay was roughly $11 million.

SPAR’s European correspondent Justin Toland recently profiled Blom on his blog, Continental View. In the Q&A with head of business development Håkon Andresen, we learn that Blom has “several hundred” of its 1,000+ employees laser scanning on a daily basis, much of it done with airborne lidar. The company also maintains large databases of lidar data covering huge portions of Europe, which can be accessed via web portals.

You can read here about BlomURBEX, described as “a geographic information server designed to offer fast, simple access to geospatial models through an extensive set of standardized interfaces on which multiple value-added services can be offered.”

You can find a full list of Blom’s services here, including geographic services to the government, enterprise and consumer markets that focus on the acquisition, processing and modeling of maps and images.

In a statement, Hexagon president and CEO Ola Rollén seemed to indicate this database of geospatial data was important to the company’s investment: “Hexagon secures access to high resolution and up-to-date geospatial information which is becoming increasingly important to our entire customer base, especially within Intergraph, where access to such data provides the foundation for industry-specific software solutions.”

In terms of its data capture tools, Blom does already use many Leica products in its data acquisition. For instance, Blom has been using two Leica ADS40 airborne scanning digital cameras since at least 2004. And for terrestrial scanning Blom touts its use of the Leica ScanStation C10 exclusively. You can read a case study here about the company’s use of Leica’s ALS 60 II system to survey the famous “red mud disaster” in Hungary in October of 2010.

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