Points & Pixels

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Severe Minibus Accident Documented for Crush Analysis
After a serious minibus accident occurred in Maryland last June, the Anne Arundel County Police used Pix4Dmapper and a DJI Phantom drone to document the scene for investigation…

Accident Information
It was early on the warm summer morning of June 29th when a minibus from the Providence Center, an organization serving those with mental illness, headed south on Ritchie Highway in Maryland. In a random event at precisely 7:15 AM, a tree by the side of the route fell and struck the moving bus.

Responding firefighters worked for nearly 35 minutes to free the seriously injured 57-year-old driver, who was immediately transported via police helicopter to Shock Trauma at the University of Maryland Medical Center. Two other passengers with minor injuries were taken to the Anne Arundel Medical Center.

The highway southbound route 2, from Chautaugua Road to Route 50, closed for an hour. Police stated after the investigation that the accident was an "act of nature" and that it was unlikely that the driver could have avoided it.

Data Acquisition and Result Analysis
The Anne Arundel County Police manually controlled a DJI Phantom 3 drone to capture videos and images of the scene. The goal was to document, in detail, the information on site, as well as to acquire overlapping images to reconstruct the scene in Pix4Dmapper Pro software. The point cloud, 3D model, and orthomosaic outputs were implemented in CAD software to make diagrams and conduct follow up analysis.

A complete collision investigation report starts with basic information: such as the location and date of the incident, victims involved and their status, vehicle models and year of production, weather and road conditions; and finishes with advanced measurements and crush analysis. Key elements for the analysis include the diagrams of the damaged vehicle profile superimposed over the undamaged one, actual measurement of the damage, and the vehicle’s post-impact travel. Here we provide sample diagrams* to explain those elements in more detail.

A diagram of the damaged vehicle profile is generated in CAD software by importing the Pix4D orthomosaic. This diagram is superimposed on the undamaged diagram in the database.

Damages over the vehicle are then measured and quantified to give information on the speed it was traveling and the force it endured during the crash.

Along with the simulation and the crush force information, the trajectory of the vehicles involved in the accident is documented.

This gives the information on the vehicle speed and how it moved, in terms of distance and rotation angles, after the crash happened.

Advantage of This New Technology
Using drones to document this accident scene was very advantageous, in both time spent and cost. Speed is crucial for forensic cases, in order to capture as much accident information as possible before cleanup starts, or before evidence is damaged, in adverse weather for example. Speed also influences the amount of time a road or highway needs to be shut down. For accident cases similar to this one, the highway could have been shut down 3 hours (e.g. using LiDAR to document the scene) instead of 20 minutes (using a drone), causing more damage to circulation and even to the economy.

Another advantage of drone documentation is the fact that taking images or video clips with a drone records detailed information of an area of interest without intruding on police site investigation. Within a few hours, these drone images can be turned into a fully reconstructed scene by with Pix4Dmapper Pro software. Exported 2D orthomosaics and 3D models provide proof and evidence for the collision investigation report presented in court.

For more information, visit www.pix4d.com.

The Shining… in 3D
Indoor Mapping of Timberline Lodge
ToPa 3D had the privilege of 3D mapping my personal favorite ski lodge in Oregon–Timberline Lodge. I have snowboarded on Mt. Hood for the great majority of my adult life (Mt. Bachelor as a kid) and always made a point of having a hot lunch and warm cup of "something" at this beautiful and majestic lodge embedded snugly in Mt. Hood, Oregon. This lodge was built rather quickly in Roosevelt’s day and while having a history of vacancy for decades in its infancy, has become a prosperous and famous attraction to skiers and visitors to Oregon’s Cascade Mountain Range.

It is well worth noting that some of the scenes from Jack Nicholson’s famous thriller The Shining, was filmed right here at this lodge! There is a small tribute to ol’ Jack’s cabin-fever, insane-ax-through-the-door pitch, "Here’s Johnny…" (an imitation of Johnny Carson’s intro on the Tonight Show from a few decades ago… for those too young to remember…)

Using Matterport 3D Showcase technology and working closely with Timberline’s Director of Marketing & PR, John Burton–we spent about 6-hours scanning with a Matterport infrared scanner the most important interior features of the lodge for skiers, climbers and visitors alike, collecting 225 scans. The Matterport scanner has 9 lenses (3-infrared and 6 camera); 3 are oriented at about 30 facing up, 3 down and a 3 looking straight ahead. The scanner fires infrared to capture 3D geometry and the stereoscopic cameras have 7-iteration HDR capability to photo-texture the model it produces algorithmically in the cloud via an iPad app interface. The resulting model has approximately 1-2% accuracy and for this short-range infrared laser (about 30′ indoor only range) that means about 2-3" measurable accuracy. So, while not a typical 3D laser scanner most are used to in our industry with millimeter measurability, it still produces stunning visualizations.

Everyone at the lodge was certainly welcoming and hospitable to our efforts and, because I finished the scanning personally late at night to avoid having guests in the imagery, I stayed in one of their rooms–super comfy with down feather mattress top and covers–It had started snowing heavily that night which lent itself to a quite evening of reflection and not just a little excitement to get back on the slopes this season.

Timberline Lodge at Mt. Hood, Oregon is an impressive place and I highly recommend visiting if you like the outdoors, cocoa, or hot-tubbing in the snow. We surely will be returning soon.
ToPa 3D

Enjoy this link to the Matterport 3D Showcase of Timberline Lodge: https://my.matterport.com/show/?m=UBiXMxPqWTr

ToPa 3D is a leading 3D Scanning, 3D Modeling, and Visualization firm in the Northwest, leveraging the latest in 3D capture/re-creation technology for more information contact: Paul Tice, CEO, ToPa 3D, paul@topa3d.com, www.topa3d.com

Scanning efficiency for complex structures
Just as rugged terrain poses challenges to survey efforts for construction projects, internal scanning for commercial renovation projects can prove to be just as complicated with complex architectural builds. Structured Real Estate Partners saw just how difficult this could be with their recent renovation and reuse project for an old church based in Scottsdale, Arizona. The project, titled Meetinghouse at 3080, was designed to transform the beautiful and intricate inner workings of an abandoned church into a bustling retail, restaurant and commercial office space.

Manual measurements for complex projects like Meetinghouse 3080 are often difficult and very time consuming to gather due to features such as high ceilings, exposed wood beams, and stained glass windows. The complexity of these details often results in human error which can be costly, requiring additional time to correct. Projects like this often take weeks to measure by hand and corrective efforts from incorrect measurements can add months onto the project timeline.

To maximize measurement accuracy and reduce the amount of time needed when compared to traditional surveying methods, Structured Real Estate turned to Eco3d, a portfolio company of Ecoark Holdings Inc., that measures existing topographic, structural, mechanical, and architectural conditions using a variety of instruments in 2d and 3d. For the project, Eco3d used laser scanning technology which allows for fast, accurate, and updatable information about the space it’s utilized in, to provide a point cloud deliverable to Structured Real Estate. With this point cloud deliverable, Structured Real Estate was able to archive accurate, 3 dimensional data of the entire interior, creating a virtualized physical environment of the structure interior. As a result, Structured Real Estate is able to pull measurements as needed over the course of the project, and for future renovation projects without the need to re-visit the site for additional measurements, as they were already captured correctly and in entirety the first time.

Eco3d’s technology and 3d scan was able to accurately capture measurements of the entire church interior with precise measurements for parts of the building that are difficult to measure with the human eye. The 3d scan for the entirety of the building took only half of a day, finishing the project quicker than traditional surveying efforts. Using the measurements from the laser scanning technology, developers are able to address these areas immediately with the confidence that minimal human error has incurred, ultimately eliminating additional time and cost for the project.

For additional information, please contact Mila Ivany, Marketing Manager Eco3d, LLC. 602-626-8600 mila@eco3dusa.com, 5013 E. Washington Street, Suite 270 Phoenix, AZ 85034, or visit www.eco3dusa.com

Acuity Technologies
Acuity Technologies Inc. of Menlo Park, California recently introduced its AL-500 Lidar, a compact omnidirectional scanning range and image acquisition system. It features measurement up to 150 meters in full sunlight with an optional 300 meter capability, and sample rates up to 800,000 points per second.

The AL-500 is available in configurations for terrestrial scan acquisition, for real-time industrial and continuous process control in fixed installations, and for mobile land and airborne applications. An available battery pack attaches to the bottom of the lidar and provides up to 8 hours of field operation. IP67 sealing with dry nitrogen fill is standard, and an optional air cooled version can be used in ambient temperatures above 85 C. A two axis inclinometer facilitates easy setup and multi-scan registration. The AL-500 is 83 mm by 312 mm by 133 mm, weighs 4.3 Kg and is a Class I laser product.

Point capture density is fully configurable up to 6667 by 40000 equally spaced points in a field of view of 120 by 360 degrees. Scanning is a combination of fast vertical scans at up to 360 lines per second and a variable azimuth sweep rate of up to 10 revolutions per second. High speed scanning can capture 10 million points in 25 seconds, and the high resolution mode has 1mm measurement resolution.

A unique aspect of the AL-500 is the acquisition of monochrome images simultaneously with range data. Since the scene brightness is captured point by point along with distance, no registration of the image is required and no mismatch occurs in dynamic scenes or mobile applications.

The scanner is controlled with Acuity’s PointWorks interface for scan collection and visualization. Interactive configuration and in-capture scan display let the user define the field of view, point density, and other scan parameters on a Windows notepad or computer connected via a 100Mb ethernet link. Default scan configurations demonstrate the capabilities of the AL-500 and allow users to start collecting useful data immediately. Point clouds may exported in several standard formats.

PointWorks is built on the Acuity Scanning Application Programming Interface, and source code for the API is included with the AL-500 to speed development of scanning application software. The API can be used to control all aspects of AL-500 operation, and includes features such as buffered sequential scanning, real-time calibration, and variable short-range airborne particulate rejection. Support for application software development is also available from Acuity.

Acuity Technologies has been developing laser measurement and scanning systems for industrial and defense applications since 1993. With markets for lidar in autonomous navigation and commercial scene and structure capture rapidly expanding, Acuity is now focused on producing simple yet flexible 3D data acquisition systems for field use as well as industrial processes and autonomous vehicles. For more info: www.acuitylidar.com

New AEC Salary Report reveals surprising results
Industry-wide survey shows a significant gender gap, unsettling stagnation in pay, and vast regional salary differences

In the AEC industry, technology, best practices and other topics are freely shared between colleagues, yet compensation is often considered a "taboo" subject, causing a serious lack of data on which to benchmark one’s salary. To combat this lack of data, ClearEdge3D surveyed more than 6,500 executives throughout the industry on pay levels, salary increases and other compensation related information. The results were quite surprising.

Perhaps the most startling finding is that more than 1/3 of the industry did not receive a pay increase in 2016, despite two years of excellent industry growth. In some industry sectors, the stagnant salary number was over 50%. Chris Scotton, CEO of ClearEdge3D, was particularly struck by this. "Salary increases are a key motivational tool in retaining a firm’s top performers. The level of zero salary growth really took us by surprise." However, those lucky enough to receive a raise did get a healthy bump, with 40% receiving between 3-15%. This shows that while some companies find themselves having to maintain or reduce overhead, others are experiencing strong growth, and handsomely rewarding employees for their contributions.

Another intriguing, albeit less surprising, conclusion from the survey is that a gender gap still exists within the AEC industry, across all pay levels. 30% of male AEC executives earn over $100,000, compared to only 23% of female AEC executives, despite women having comparable experience and slightly higher education levels. At lower salaries, the difference is even more pronounced, as 36% of women earn less than $50,000, while only 19% of their male counterparts fall below this figure. Although females have been making strides in this male-dominated industry, the gender gap appears to still exist.

The 2017 AEC Industry Salary Report details salary, experience and education levels for specific job titles, different company types, global regions, gender and more. To download a free copy of the report, visit http://bit.ly/2jqcUcA.

For more information, please visit www.clearedge3d.com.

A 2.964Mb PDF of this article as it appeared in the magazine complete with images is available by clicking HERE