GIS Tech News (#23)24 Oct, 2006 By: Kenneth Wong
|Intermap Technologies maps Europe and the United States in 3D -- with unexpected results |
In the predawn hours, while most Londoners are sound asleep, fixed-wing airplanes equipped with IFSAR (Interferometric Synthetic Aperture Radar) methodically fly overhead at 30,000'. They traverse the airspace in tight strips, as if they were mowing a lawn. The pilots are not on a covert spy mission. They've been commissioned by Intermap Technologies, a geospatial solutions provider, to collect terrain data as part of a project to map Europe in 3D. What these planes are doing in the sky can potentially help drivers on the ground save fuel one day -- a result not even Intermap predicted.
Intermap's plan is to collect the geography of thirteen Western European countries by 2007 -- Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Denmark, France, Germany, Italy, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Portugal, Spain, Switzerland and the United Kingdom -- as 3D elevation models. When the project is done, the Bavarian Alps, the Andalusian Mountains and the Rhine and Thames rivers will be merely a mouse-click away. Additionally, by the end of 2008, the company plans to complete U.S. data collection for its NEXTMap USA program.
All About IFSAR
IFSAR was developed by Environmental Research Institute of Michigan for the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency. In February 1997, DoD (the Department of Defense) chose Intermap for the commercialization of IFSAR, in return for royalties on sales and preferred rates for DOD's use of the technology. Read More >>
by Kenneth Wong
There are highways in the sky. You can't see them, but they're there. At Landrum & Brown, a commercial aviation consultancy, they call them "imaginary surfaces." These surfaces define airspace used by planes for takeoffs and landings.
Frequently, proposed aerial highways intersect with something on the ground -- a freeway overpass, a cell phone tower or a skyscraper, for example. It's up to firms like Landrum & Brown to help airport planners arrange the imaginary surfaces in a sensible pattern that keeps planes away from obstructions while maintaining a highly efficient air traffic flow to airport runways.
What's the difference between surfaces on the ground and surfaces in the air? According to Bob Endres, manager of Landrum & Brown's CAD engineering department: Nothing. "Who cares if it's up in the air or on the ground?" he says. "Something that's above grade can be a mirror image of something below grade."
During a luncheon hosted by Autodesk, Endres watched a demonstration of Autodesk Civil 3D, a civil engineering software package for transportation, site, sewer, storm drain and subdivision projects. "We don't design roads on the ground, but we design roads in the air," observes Endres. Watching the way the software handled corridors, he thought, "I can model an exact flight path with that." That prompted Landrum & Brown to begin using Autodesk Civil 3D for its work. Read More >>
UPCOMING GIS EVENTS
Introducing ArcGIS 9.2 Seminar
Product Roadmapping Training Workshop
Land Development Breakthroughs: Best Practices Conference
ESRI California User Group Meetings
WHAT'S NEW AT CADALYST.COM
Visit the GIS Tech News archives to view current and past issues online.
Get the Code!
Cadalyst Daily Update:For all the latest news and new products, subscribe to Cadalyst Daily e-newsletter. Plus, every issue includes a feature you won't find anywhere else – hardware and CAD software reviews, success stories, AutoCAD tips and much more! Here's a sample of what you missed recently:
Click here for links to all the latest articles in Cadalyst magazine and on Cadalyst.com.
WHAT'S NEW AT GEOSPATIAL SOLUTIONS
Cadalyst's sister publication, Geospatial Solutions, offers a Web site packed with features, news, events and other information for users of geospatial technologies. Check out this latest news from www.geospatial-online.com:
Leica Geosystems Continues Expansion into Construction Market through Acquisition of Mikrofyn
Oce TCS500 Awarded "Highly Recommended" Rating from Industry Source BERTL
Questex Media Group Launches GPS World Conference & Expo for Global Positioning, Navigation and Timing Technologies
Leica Geosystems Introduces New Handheld Laser Distance Measuring Tool for Indoor Applications
In her easy-to-follow, friendly style, long-time Cadalyst contributing editor Lynn Allen guides you through a new feature or time-saving trick in every episode of her popular AutoCAD Video Tips. Subscribe to the free Cadalyst Video Picks newsletter, and we'll notify you every time a new video tip is published. All exclusively from Cadalyst!