GIS Tech News (#114)

30 May, 2012 By: Cadalyst Staff

InnoVision Directorate Develops 3D Thermal Site Models

The National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency's research and development arm fuses thermal imagery with LIDAR data to provide a new view of buildings and scenery.

By Nathaniel Ovans

When National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency (NGA) director Letitia A. Long announced that she wanted to "fundamentally change the user's experience by putting the power of GEOINT in the hands of the user," Todd Johanesen — the NGA senior scientist for photogrammetry — went to work.

Johanesen, a recipient of funding through the Director of National Intelligence (DNI) Tech Fellow program in 2010, developed a concept to build and evaluate new methods of fusing thermal infrared (IR) imagery with other geospatial intelligence (GEOINT) data sources to provide improved GEOINT data. He developed a 3-D site model that he could register thermal data to using traditional photogrammetry, transforming multiple datasets into one coordinate system. (Photogrammetry is the science of obtaining information from images using measurements and interpretation.)

The 3D Thermal Site Model (3D TSM) is a highly accurate 3D model of a given facility or scene that integrates spatial, engineering schematic or blueprint, and relative temperature information into a single, precise GEOINT product. The operational and intelligence uses for the 3D TSM are boundless. Accurately combining the different sources of information could help analysts perform infrastructure analysis for critical nodes, aid in planning and rehearsing missions, or even support personnel recovery, said Johanesen.

"One example is the ability to rapidly and accurately pinpoint a sniper while pinned in the sniper's line of fire," said Johanesen. "In this scenario, troops employ a simple thermal imager, pinpoint the sniper's thermal signature, register that to a reference light detection and ranging (LIDAR) point cloud, and deliver an accurate description of the sniper's 3D geolocation."

LIDAR is one of the many phenomenologies that NGA uses to create 3D ground terrain maps. NGA's Photogrammtery and Image Science Division (IBP) led research into the acquisition, fusion, and visualization of data to support 3D TSM generation. The TSMs combine known information from a photogrammetric site model with thermal data captured from handheld, airborne, and/or spaceborne perspectives. The key is establishing metadata elements of all sources, to include the thermal imaging system, to integrate additional data points such as temperature. Read more »
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Nathaniel Ovans is a project scientist with the InnoVision Directorate.

New Versions of Bentley Map V8i, Geo Web Publisher V8i Streamline Geospatial Workflows

The GIS and web publishing platform are designed to help infrastructure professionals make better use of spatial databases, point clouds, and 3D models.

By Cadalyst Staff

Bentley Systems intends to "advance GIS for infrastructure" with new versions of its GIS software and web publishing platform. Bentley Map V8i (SELECTseries 3) and Geo Web Publisher V8i (SELECTseries 4) are designed to streamline geospatial workflows in infrastructure projects, thereby reducing time and money expenditures.

Bentley Map is used by infrastructure professionals to create 3D GIS models in support of engineering decision-making. The new version helps users take greater advantage of point-cloud data and scalable terrain models. In addition, it improves geospatial workflows with data streaming from spatial databases (Oracle Spatial, and now Microsoft SQL Server Spatial) and Open Geospatial Consortium (OGC)-compliant web services.

Bentley Map V8i (SELECTseries 3) also enables users to incorporate point-cloud files and digital terrain models in geospatial workflows, and provides editing and 3D spatial analysis to help improve data quality and decision-making. Read more »

Mark Your Calendar: GIS Events

Hexagon 2012 International Conference
June 4–7, 2012
Las Vegas, Nevada
Hexagon's second annual international conference will bring together users from Hexagon Metrology, Intergraph, ERDAS, Leica Geosystems, and NovAtel for hands-on training courses, interactive technology demonstrations and exhibits, and networking opportunities. Read more 

Coordinate Metrology Systems Conference
July 16–20, 2012
New Orleans, Louisiana
The Coordinate Metrology Society assembles at this annual conference to learn about the latest in-use advancements and new product developments in measurement software or systems that produce, utilize, and analyze 3D coordinate data. The agenda focuses on technical education via practical and academic technical presentations, workshops, and seminars. Read more

Autodesk University 2012
November 27–29, 2012
Las Vegas, Nevada
Autodesk University (AU), a conference and exhibition for Autodesk product users, will bring together design and technology professionals for networking, exhibits, innovation forums, and a new curriculum of more than 800 lectures, roundtable sessions, and hands-on labs. AU members may register beginning August 28; registration will open to all users on September 5. Read more

For a complete list of CAD meetings, conferences, training sessions, and more, check out our calendar of events on Are you hosting an event that you would like to include in our calendar? Submit details at least two weeks in advance to

What's New at

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CAD Manager's Toolbox: What to Do When the Problem User Is the Owner
To help a stubborn owner see the light, communicate frequently and let the numbers do the talking. Read more

Build a CAD Proving Ground, Part 2
Before you get started, take the time to prepare your infrastructure and user team for successful testing. Read more

Move among Open AutoCAD Drawings at Lightning Speed
Most of us work with multiple open drawings, and we often need to move among them (and the many layouts). Join Lynn Allen as she shows you the fastest way to switch from one open drawing to another with the handy QVDrawing tool! Watch the video

All-in-One CAD Tip #5: AutoCAD Reference Manager, Autodesk Design Review and CAD Network Maintenance
Three great CAD tips in one! Discover the power of the AutoCAD Reference Manager, learn how Autodesk Design Review can improve your workflow, and take the time to maintain your CAD network. Sponsored by the HP Z1 All-in-One Workstation. Watch the video

About the Author: Cadalyst Staff

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