GIS Tech News (#32)

5 Mar, 2007 By: Andrew G. Roe,P.E.

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Pulses Increase with New Airborne Laser Mapping

Will the new LIDAR system's increased data-capture technology win over conventional system users?

A new twist to established technology could enable airborne laser mapping to be used in more applications than previously envisioned. The Multiple Pulse in Air (MPiA) technology announced by Leica Geosystems in late 2006 measures distances at higher rates than conventional time-of-flight measurements, enabling airborne systems to collect twice as much data as before.

In conventional airborne LIDAR (light detection and ranging) systems, an aircraft-mounted laser sends pulses of light to earth and measures the time it takes for the pulses to reflect back, thereby determining distances and establishing 3D coordinates for thousands of points per second. An inertial navigation system measures aircraft movement, and kinematic GPS receivers -- one on the ground and one on the aircraft -- determine the aircraft's position.

Unlike conventional LIDAR systems, which wait for one pulse to return before sending another, the MPiA technology fires a second pulse before the first one returns, establishing two coordinate locations instead of one. Using advanced electronics, "we can keep track of which return reflections are associated with which pulses," said Ronald B. Roth, airborne LIDAR product manager for Leica in Westford, Massachusetts. "You can essentially double the pulse rate." 

First Look Review: Diamond BV300

By Ron LaFon

For the past 20 years, Diamond Multimedia has been making graphics, digital television, communications and sound-hardware products for home and business users. The company's line of BizView Multi-View graphics cards are designed with business users in mind. I examined the Diamond BV300 graphics card, a compact PCI Express (PCIe) graphics card that offers 256MB of GDDR2 onboard memory. Read more>>

Cadalyst'scomplete list of upcoming events is always available on our Web site. Cadalyst's sister publication, Geospatial Solutions, also offers a full calendar of GIS-related events.

5th TerraScan European Users' Event
March 8-14, 2007
Krakow, Poland
The objective of this user event is to present the latest developments and coming trends of the Terrasolid software suite for processing and displaying laser data and images. The first two days are devoted especially to beginners, who are starting to work with the software packages. Days after the weekend are suitable for beginners as well as more advanced users. Read more


New Quick Poll: Got CAD Training?
The latest Cadalyst Quick Poll is live online. This month, we want to know when you last treated yourself to some CAD training: This year? In the past couple? Five? Or when? Take the poll (go to any page of and scroll down to find the Quick Poll in the margin), then watch for the results in Cadfidential in the April edition of Cadalyst magazine.

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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