Wednesday, September 23, 2009

3D GIS Seminar

Just a quick note to say that the Bentley Seminar on "Bentley 3D GIS" is now available here. You need to register for both their site and the seminar, but it is quick and painless. The main focus on the seminar is (a) the need for 3D GIS for infrastructure and other applications and, (b) Bentley's tools for integrating GIS, CAD, and BIM data for city modeling applications. This focused on Bentley Map as a primary tool for data integration, modeling, and visualization. CityGML export has been added, which may make Bentley Map one of the earliest systems from a major vendor to support the standard.

It's great to see more people thinking about 3D cities beyond just the physical models. It will be interesting to see who will be the first to market with a system that integrates model creation and collection (e.g. collect buildings in stereo, from LIDAR, or automated techniques) along with urban information management.


Jarlath O'Neil-Dunne said...

LiDAR is revolutionary and will go a long way to making 3D GIS a reality. Yet I am amazed at the lack of support for LiDAR data (direct read of LAS for instance) in the majority of the established geospatial software packages.

Ryan Strynatka said...

Hi Jarlath,

I agree completely. Native LAS support really needs to be fully integrated into desktop and enterprise systems (e.g. native-read of classified LAS files for ortho, where you can pick the class to use (e.g. ground points)). I think it is all coming along, but it takes a lot of development time. I suspect the explosion of LAS data caught a lot of people off-guard, but it really shouldn't when you consider the growth in LIDAR sensor sales in the past 5 years. But now that it is on the radar-screen I think we'll begin to see more attention on it. The upcoming eATE module for LPS produces LAS data, so ERDAS has certainly had to ramp up performance and support in associated modules such as the Terrain Prep Tool.

Jarlath O'Neil-Dunne said...

Thanks Ryan, that's good to know. I must admit I remain perplexed that LiDAR data acquired by Leica sensors and delivered in LAS format has to be viewed in software from other vendors. I believe the true power of all this remotely sense data being collected is that it can be fused in the analytical process, vastly improving feature extraction both in terms of processing time an accuracy. While the geoweb seems to get all the attention (most of it rightly deserved) I think there has been a tendency to overlook the fact that we need to analyze this data and extract meaningful information prior to serving it up on the web. If the analyst does not have access to tools that can visualize and process both imagery and LiDAR, then he/she is substantially hampered. For example, the severe flooding in Georgia demonstrates the power of commercial satellite imagery. But until features are extracted from that imagery we don't know a whole lot other than things are "really bad." Throw pre-storm LiDAR into the mix and by determining what features are covered by the floods in the imagery you have a rough indication of depth. I believe many analysts would fine themselves asking, "how many software packages do I need to do that?"

Ryan Strynatka said...

Yes, probably several! I suppose that input from multiple active and passive sensors for any given project is going to become the norm - or even is now. Definitely an area worthy of increased R&D.