Spar 2015 Week in Review

I had been looking forward to the Spar Conference with both trepidation and excitement. A change in venue from the Broadmoor base camp to Oil Town Houston, just as we are reportedly headed ..toward a 2015 downturn (Jerome Levy Forecasting Center LLC, Chairman David Levy ) left me wondering about turnout. On this note, I was pleasantly surprised by the showing, strong numbers, and an interested crowd.

On the excitement side, some of the headlining acts did truly live up to expectation. The Euclideon Hologram Room was like something out of Avatar. Instead of flying up the Na’vi Hometree, we navigated through the point cloud representation of a real world. Having been involve in early VR development and the laborious process of creating virtual worlds, it was exciting to see point clouds, so easily collect with terrestrial and airborne scanners, transformed using Euclideon’s revolutionary solidscan technology. I followed BIM and scan guru, Alexandra Grounds, who came out dazzled and dazed. From my own experience, I have to tell you exploring was fun and amazing.

But the conference wasnt all science fiction and futuristic, in fact the roundtable session tropics provide a hint at some of the down to earth themes presented by the attendees and through vendor offerings.

Managing large data,

Integrating existing & new 3d systems within your organization,

Getting the most out of your software,

Defining the costs associated with asset management

LFM Software had an unveiling of the new NetView which was all about managing large data and asset management. LFM already provides the ability to manage point cloud projects from 10 to 10,000 scans, NetView 4 provides the visual front end to digital asset management. As the industry, and fiscally responsible customers look to gain more value from their scan data, extension into asset management is one way. The ability to add intelligence and integrate the physical asset with the digital asset, will drive down cost and drive up value return.

I really believe that this application could be a turning point for asset management These are exciting times we live in!
Ty Barksdale, 3D Project Manager, DeWalt Corporation

Another product excitement moment came from a vendor who had only come to test the waters. I was left somewhat in awe of the offering from Bloom Cloud Engine. We were shown how you can just "drag & drop" a scan into the Bloom Cloud Engine application, press the publish button, and in moments your point cloud is literally in the cloud, on the web, or on your Facebook page. What is the application? Perhaps it is instantly publishing hand-held data from anywhere, or crowd sourced point clouds on the web, this was futurist for real.

For someone with a data collection and service provider background, the new scanner from Z+F really took the prize. The Z+F Imager 5010X is an update of the 5010c color scanner. The 5010 adds inertial sensors to auto-track movement which enables automatic registration in the field as you scan. Yes! It eliminates the need for targets to register, although you will want some targets for validation and aligning areas together. Accompanying the scanner release the Scout tablet software which allows the user to see what he or she is scanning. You can verify that your scan progress as you good.

The scanner, which is capable of performing automatic field registration, in part because of its navigation system, works both outdoors and indoors. According to Christopher Held, "While you are carrying the scanner from one setup to the next one, it will track your movement and estimate your position and the orientation of the scanner on the next setup. This information will be used by the registration algorithm for an initial alignment. A final, post field, cloud based registration will finalize scan positions. Use of target and a limited survey will set the location. Anyone who has attempted to do interior building mapping with targets and survey will know this is a huge advancement. Performing laser scanning for the BIM and the commercial building market, just got easier.

Rounding out the new product offerings, we had ClearEdge with the new 5.0 EdgeWise version, with Automatic Extraction of Gridded Steel, DotProduct and the DPI-8 with larger screens and faster processing, a whole new line-up of scanners from Leica, and the head turning, web point cloud visualization from New Spin. There was even more to be excited about, however this author has just reached the word limit. I encourage the interested to visit the Spar site and delve a little deeper.

About the Author

Greg Lawes

Greg Lawes...<!-- is a California licensed architect with 30 years of work experience in existing conditions documentation, building code analysis, construction document preparation, specification editing, interdisciplinary document coordination, quality assurance review, plan check agency processing, construction contract administration and project closeout on a variety of project types including healthcare, educational, hospitality, commercial, institutional, industrial and residential. Since 2005 he has been with Irvine, California based, Architectural Resource Consultants (ARC), , a firm that specializes in documenting existing building conditions. In 2012 he joined the U.S. Institute of Building Documentation (USIBD), . The USIBD is a non-profit membership organization dedicated to all stakeholders with an interest in building documentation.
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