The geobusiness show

Last week, ontop of attending the peer review workshop which was the subject of my last post, I was lucky enough to attend the geo business show, a trade fair detailing the latest technologies associated with geomatics and visual environment technologies. It’s become a pretty big event, and I’m happy that I could recognize many familiar faces and companies who were presenting the latest products. I attended about 5 talks during the day, ranging from inspiring to drab, as is often the case in trade fairs error isn’t always the main focus. Nonetheless I’ll detail some of what caught my eye, and stuff I’ll potentially delve into in the future.

Smart planes

A slick presentation from a Swedish company mainly detailing a competition in which they participated which saw several surveying firms trying to get recover the most accurate fit for ground checkpoints from an open pit mine. They used Agisoft Photoscan with which I am very familiar, a Ricoh GR3 with all the settings detailed and a fixed wing platform. Their achieved accuracies given the area being surveyed were phenomenal, and while the sample size was low it was very impressive to see!

English Heritage

English heritage gave a presentation on how they were applying new photogrammetric techniques to monitor assets using a mixture of close range photogrammetry and UAVs. They reckoned that photogrammetric surveys could produce models up to LOD ~ 2.75 in about a third the time as would have taken by traditional means. Considering all the equipment they use is a decent DSLR for close range stuff and a pocket camera for aerial photography it shows just how advanced SfM has become in the last few years.

Ecometrica/Carbomap

A joint presentation by two startups looking to promote ethical management of natural resources. Ecometrica have developed a very nice web GIS for producing reports and statistics on queried areas, their demo involved presentation of Saatchi’s map for the Amazon. Considering very recent reports suggesting deforestation in the Amazon is accelerating contrary to recent investigations, it makes the platform more important than ever. While Saatchi’s map does have its inaccuracies, I was happy to spy a healthy uncertainty in the above-ground biomass estimates, as opposed to many other presentations where uncertainties are often not discussed at length.

Carbomap spoke of a TerraSar-X product which they were using to advise forestry councils on timber recover after storm events. Biomass from RADAR is a concept which will come to fruition in the BIOMASS mission, but does have its detractors. The presentation was great, and made use of a handy web GIS to display results in a handy browser based app.

Tomtom

Tomtom, the car navigation system manufacturer presented on how they query all the data they collect to make useful insights into motorists behaviour. They have over 12 trillion data points which they can data mine to see how traffic flow is changing over time, and with such a big dataset I can imagine city planners would be very interested in this sort of stuff. Some questionable jargon was used (Referring to their model as a ‘fusion engine’), but an interesting talk nonetheless!

Pixalytics

A Plymouth based company which use satellite data to advice on bespoke solutions to seemingly big problems. The presentation detailed a range of products, including mixed algorithm images which were actually pretty cool. Later I visited their stand and they had made prints of some of the images which would be great to hang on your wall, might have to look into having a few made up myself! It was nice to see some satellite remote sensing as I’ve been doing smaller scale stuff recently, will be keeping up with their movements as satellite start-ups are all the rage in the US and seem to have a lot of support in the UK at the minute.

In all it was an interesting experience and I look forward to next years event!

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