Welcome to LiDAR News!

Welcome to LiDAR News! First I want to thank all of the loyal readers of the LiDAR News In the Scan blog. This new format would not have been possible without your support and interest. I would also like to thank Marc and Allen Cheves for this opportunity to become part of their growing online media family.

The plan for the eNewsletter is to publish bi-weekly. I will continue to blog, although it may not be quite as often.

In addition to my thoughts and interests I have assembled what I trust you will find is a diverse and impressive group of contributing authors. We will attempt to cover as many applications of 3D laser scanning as possible. If you think we are leaving something out, please submit your ideas for a guest article.

In this issue Richard Rybka, Mobile Mapping Specialist at Topcon provides his insights on the game changing impact of mobile mapping. Michael Olsen, Assistant Professor at Oregon State University brings us up to speed on their outstanding Geomatics program. Joe Croser, VP of Products at Pointools discusses the value of the point cloud model. Fred Persi of Persi Consulting provides his unique perspective on technology. And John Russo, Founder of ARC explains how he uses laser scanning to measure buildings.

In addition to our bi-weekly eNewsletter our goal for the coming year is to develop a quarterly online magazine. Stay tuned for more information on that as our plans progress.

In this issue I would like to spotlight the 2010 Leica HDS User Conference, held recently in San Ramon, California. This is one of my favorite events of the year for a number of reasons location, organization, quality of presentations and the networking opportunities. Geoff Jacobs, Senior VP of Marketing spares no effort to insure that the nearly 300 attendees gets the most out of their investment in this event, and this year was no exception.

Space does not allow for a full recap (see an upcoming issue of American Surveyor), so I am going to provide a few highlights. Juergen Dold, CEO of Leica Geosystems opened the event with a high energy welcome. He reported that business had bottomed in 2008 and has been steadily improving at an impressive rate. The company has a nice mix of international contributions to their revenues and he is carefully optimistic about the near term. He noted that the new C10 laser scanner has been a huge success due in large part to its versatility.

Mr. Dold also reported that Leicas parent company Hexagon had received all of the regulatory approvals for their previously announced purchase of Intergraph. This unique combination of CAD/GIS and sensor businesses has very exciting potential for a number of industries. One concept that might provide some insight to the future is Mr. Dolds idea of converting a static map into an activity. Its a bold vision for the future.
Forensic applications were front and center at this years UC. In fact they had their own parallel track for the first time. There were presentations on explosion and fire scene mapping, high speed car accidents, traceability of standards and how to get your laser scanned data admitted into trial. A pre-conference workshop was held at a firing range where they recreated a live crime scene.

On the construction front Ken Smerz from Kovach Construction explained how they used laser scanning to reduce their errors in fabricating roof and wall panels from 40% to nearly zero. Samir Emdanat, Director of Virtual Construction at Ghafari Assoc. a leader in Integrated Project Delivery uses laser scanning as a way to increase certainty. Their goal is to build the 3D model exactly as it is designed.

There were presentations in the forestry area, mobile scanning, improving workflows through the use of TruView, digital heritage, BIM and a great keynote on the scanning of Mt. Rushmore. If you have a chance to attend this conference make sure find the time.

Images courtesy of Leica HDS.