Snoopy has long been a fan of European Vacation, starring Chevy Chase and Beverly DAngelo and has long wanted to visit any European country. As of December 2014 he has finally had his dream fulfilled but it hasnt been the vacation he may have been thinking of. No, it wasnt a trip of leisure – he was being sent out on a job.
Whenever traveling outside the US its always wise to have your paperwork in order and ready. In preparation, Snoopy applied for a CARNET and had it two days later. Since Snoopy was going by air with his partners he didnt have any ticketing issues. He isnt oversized or overweight, nothing special, so hes transported as normal luggage (yeah, he rides cheap). Sometimes it is nice to be treated special, but not always. Hes heard of horror stories from cousins that being too big or too heavy can result in discouraging remarks and abusive handling.
The first destination on this trip was to some new friends in Spain brothers Elias and Fran Izquierdo of Track Surveying (www.tracksurveying.com). Together the Izquierdos had organized a very nice reception for Snoopy with over 50 guests expected. Prior to the gathering Snoopy was put to work at his first task. Mounted on a typical European car (meaning really small by most US standards) Snoopy drove around Madrid visiting many local areas of interest including some really busy downtown areas. He was dressed up in full apparel with both a FARO and Velodyne scanner along with his friendly GoLook camera. He was ready to capture the trip in full detail not willing to miss a thing! The scanning (lets call it sightseeing) consisted of roughly 100km of driving in the city with a number of tunnels. Who knew Spain had so many tunnels?! Two tunnels were over 11,000 meters each. After some processing back in a nice hotel room the data was ready to be shared. Lots of buildings, crowded streets, and some interesting statues and facades, along with the tunnels made for some interesting talking points.
After a day of meeting new faces, Snoopy took the high speed rail to Barcelona. It took about 2.5 hours of travel and it was rather uneventful, but quite scenic. Getting Snoopy boarded on to the train is no different than carrying other luggage and he doesnt mind. Snoopy was greeted by Emilio of Helipistas, S.L. for a short drive by a small van to a helicopter service west of Barcelona. There he was joined by more new friends, Vicente and Joan Puig, who gave him the good news that a perch was ready and waiting for him. After only a few minutes he was delighted to take his place as the bird dog he is in a ready position to work. Mounted out the side of the helicopter, Snoopy soon found himself out flying for over an hour reviewing a river, roads, residences, power lines, and some bridges all over some fairly rugged terrain. Before lunch the information he observed was processed and reviewed. Everybody seemed pleased with the abundance of information available in such a short time.
While Snoopys partners were getting tired of the international travel he was not ready to give up yet. The next day he was off to the airport by taxi and flew north to Amsterdam. Once there he pretty much kept a low profile at the ELMF conference as he readied himself for another trip by car to Brussels, Belgium. And off he went two days later ready for the next task trains!!! While Snoopy is no stranger to trains this was his first time to ride in such luxury on the rail. A special made test car was being used for (you guessed it) some special tests. Snoopy was included in this. What Snoopy was only vaguely aware of was the weather conditions in Brussels in December cold, wet, and windy. The part Snoopy really doesnt like much is wet. After donning a minor but appropriate rain coat Snoopy was ready to lead the way atop the railcar. Traveling at speeds up to 130km/h Snoopy breezed his way along new paths viewing villages, Brussels, and the country side beautiful. Of course, it was no joy-ride, Snoopy was recording everything along the way. The first day was uneventful with beautiful weather. The second day was really wet but nevertheless Snoopy was up to the challenge. As before, the results were really well received. Snoopy was proud but not at all surprised.
One thing remains now returning home. Snoopy doesnt have a dislike for anybody but is suspicious of the Customs folks. They are not always in a good mood nor easy to please. Most are just doing their job so Snoopy hopes for an uneventful end to this journey he doesnt want to be sequestered away for months because of a minor paperwork error.
All in all Snoopy has had a busy month: scanning an entire city in two days by truck, boat, and cart, followed immediately by this trip overseas. He feels quite accomplished and knows there is more he can do. BTW, hes about to be the proud parent of a large litter as well.
PS: I hope you find this story refreshing. The point is this: mobile scanning can be truly mobile. Check out Snoopy at www.lidarusa.com. For you DIYers, watch our page for some exciting news.