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1/25/2015 » 1/29/2015
2015 Winter Conference

7/12/2015 » 7/15/2015
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Excellence Award Winners
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2013 Geospatial Excellence Award Entries and Winners


Grand Award Winner and
Category B. Photogrammetry/Elevation Data Generation Winner

Quantum Spatial
Coastal Resilience Data for American Samoa

Judges Comments:



Quantum Spatial was involved in a project entitled Coastal Resilience Data for American Samoa. The project involved airborne topographic lidar along with high-resolution multispectral imagery. The complexity of the project involved remote location (5,000 miles to deploy mapping assets), almost continuous cloud cover and tropical rains, rugged and difficult terrain, and logistical issues related to supplies for the project. Additionally, because of the remoteness of the project, Quantum was required to fabricate sensor mounts to facilitate sensor swapping. The shoreline delineation techniques developed in this project has already been employed in a mapping project in Hawaii.



Category A. Airborne and Satellite Data Acquisition Winner

Atlantic
Bathurst Inlet, Nunavut Corridor Mapping Project

Judges Comments:

 
 
The Bathurst Inlet, Nunavut Corridor Mapping Project by the Atlantic Group was a very unique project. Located near the Arctic Circle, Atlantic was faced with many challenges involving logistics, project planning and project execution. The project involved image capture and elevation data over a strip of area 1,500 meters wide by 85 kilometers long and was completed on time and on budget.



 


Category
C. Remote Sensing Winner

Merrick
Power Line Remote Sensing

Judges Comments:


The Tri-State NERC Lidar Project by Merrick & Company was very interesting and exceeded the client's needs which resulted in an additional project covering 5,000 more line miles. Merrick customized a helicopter for this project in order to utilize 6 different sensors. the project consisted of over 1,500 line miles that required unique logistical planning to take into consideration restricted air space, access to private property, variable weather conditions and conflicting maintenance flights.


 


Category D.  GIS/IT Winner

Magnolia River
Natural Gas Geospatial Services


Judges Comments:


  

Those in the public works and engineering professions understand the issues related to underground utilities.  Magnolia River was involved in the Natural Gas Geospatial Services project.  Utilizing digital orthophotography and GPS, Magnolia collected geospatial data along 240 miles of pipeline in Alabama.  The purpose of the project was to perform a risk assessment along the pipeline.  This was accomplished by Magnolia by providing the client with Class Location Studies that were utilized in High Consequence Area identification for transmission lines.

 


Category E. Surveying/Field Data Collection Winner

Woolpert
Rutgers University Mobile Mapping:  Hurricane Sandy
        
Judges Comments:

  

Natural disasters wreck havoc on our environment and one of the biggest disasters in recent time was Hurricane Sandy that hit the eastern coast of the U.S. in October, 2012.  Woolpert was contracted by Rutgers University in New Jersey to obtain useful geospatial data on 6 cities that were hard hit by Sandy.  To accomplish this task, Woolpert employed mobile mapping technology to map 31 linear miles.  They collected twice the amount of images than they normally obtain and processed all of the data in 10 days.  This information will be used to develop preventative strategies for future hurricanes of this magnitude.

 



Category F.  Small Projects Winner

Smart Data Strategies
Cameron Parish Louisiana Parcel Mapping and Digital Data Project

Judges Comments:


    


The Cameron Parish Louisiana Parcel Mapping and Digital Data Project was undertaken by Smart Data Strategies.  This parcel mapping project was unique due to the myriad of data sources, often conflicting with each other, into a single geographic database using basic conflation principles.  Examples of the diverse data included digital orthophotography, ownership maps, ward boundaries, paper parcel cards, and more.  Challenges also included battered ground evidence due to recent hurricanes and the fact that a lot of the parcels had a large number of owners who could stake claim to a parcel.

 



Category G.  Technology Innovation Winner 

Optech Incorporated
Optech 3D Environmental HydroFusion Software for CZMIL Bathymetry System

Judges Comments:




Data fusion is a growing issue within the geospatial community and how it can be optimized is epitomized by Optech's development of their 3D Environmental HydroFusion Software for the Coastal Zone Mapping and Imaging Lidar.  Their system collect three types of data in a single pass: water-penetrating lidar, camera, and hyperspectral imagery.  Optech developed HydroFusion to seamlessly process that data through a single interface in performing hydrographic surveys.  The workflow is very simple and streamlined and will enhance their data collection into the future.

 

 

Other 2013 Entries:

Category G. Technology Innovation

Cardinal Systems, LLC
Mars Photogrammetry Drives Algorithm Development


Judges Comments:





One of the unique projects submitted this year was the Mars Photogrammetry Driver Algorithm Development project by Cardinal Systems.  Given 5 high-oblique stereo image pairs, Cardinal Systems was asked to measure the volume of the rocket exhaust erosion from the Curiosity Rover.  To accomplish this, the company employed multilinearity constraints using Random Sample Consensus and M-Estimator analysis into a more robust general bundle adjustment.



Category G. Technology Innovation

Leica Geosystems
Leica ADS100 Airborne Digital Sensor

 
Judges Comments:

       



Leica Geosystems has a long history of manufacturing surveying and mapping instruments.  The Leica ADS100 Airborne Digital Sensor is the newest example of the technological innovations by Leica.  The ADS100 advances include a 20,000 pixel swath width, which improves image quality.  They also have reduced the cycle time to 0.5 ms which enhances data acquisition.  Additionally, Leica has incorporated a common platform for digital photogrammetry and have incorporated an integrated GNSS/IMU for platform positioning and orientation.



Category G. Technology Innovation

Quantum Spatial
FOCUS

 
Judges Comments:

        



Quantum Spatial developed a software package called Focus to address the growing QA/QC needs arising with the use of lidar data. Taking existing lidar standards, input from clients and Quantum's long experience with lidar processing the company created a multi-faceted software system consisting of a series of tools to meet its in-house quality standards. For example, they are able to evaluate relative accuracy of elevation data within a swath and from swath to swath very early in lidar processing.



Category G. Technology Innovation

RIEGL USA
Multi-Sensor Precision in a Complex World

 
Judges Comments:



The user community is demanding more accurate analytic information and the geospatial data providers are responding with multi-sensor platforms to collect that data. Companies like REIGL USA understand that when components are integrated that a host of issues begin to emerge. Thus, the company developed RiPRECISION, a software tool that can be executed with no operator interaction. It automatically solves the problem of multi-pass offsets by exploiting the fact that 3D laser scan data has a higher precision than GNSS system position. The software utilizes the scanner data to adjust the trajectories throughout the survey area. This results in smaller point cloud relative and absolute errors.




Category G. Technology Innovation

TerraSond Limited
Advanced Asset Detection Technology

Judges Comments:



       


An important product within the geospatial profession is asset detection and location, a relative easy process when these features can be visually identified but difficult and uncertain when assets are hidden. TerraSond Ltd. developed an Advanced Asset Detection Technology to aid in asset location and identification in complex environments like deeply buried cables on land, underwater locations with no visibility, entangled assets, etc. This is accomplished by suing an algorithm that identifies the unique signal each asset has. This reduces operator risk and time.



Category G. Technology Innovation

Visual Intelligence
iOne Sensor Systems n-Oblique & Stereo

 
Judges Comments:

       


Visual Intelligence, like many other technology innovation companies, recognized that today's clients need better information which in turn requires our profession to look at both flexibility and integration of multiple types of sensors. They developed the iOne Sensor System consisting of n-Oblique and iOne Stereo. The design was based on flexibility and multi-purpose capabilities, standards-based design, oblique and 3D capabilities and miniaturization. Utilizing COTS multi-purpose sensors the system can be used for traditional commercial metric mapping to miniaturized UAS and handheld markets. Sensors can be reconfigured in the field thereby lowering acquisition and operational costs.

 

 2013 Judges:


Robert Burtch, Chairman

 

Robert Burtch, professor in the Surveying Engineering Program at Ferris State University, Big Rapids, MI, where he teachescourses in surveying, geographic information systems, photogrammetry and geodesy. Burtch is a Professional Surveyor in Michigan and a Certified Photogrammetrist through the American Society of Photogrammetry and Remote Sensing (ASPRS).

 

 

Neil Sandler



Neil has been publisher of Professional Surveyor Magazine since 2004. He began his career as an award-winning daily newspaper journalist and photographer, worked as press aid for a U.S. Senator in Washington, D.C., served as managing editor of a major national trade publication and editor/publisher for a regional bicycling magazine. He is an avid cyclist, runner, swimmer, hiker, and skier. In 2008, he completed what he hopes will be first of many triathlons. Neil is married and has two young children.

 

 

Donn D. Dears


Donn D. Dears is a retired General Electric Company executive now based in Chicago. A graduate of th
e United States Merchant Marine Academy and veteran of the U.S. Navy, Mr. Dears is president of TSAugust, a 501(C)(3), nonprofit, nonpartisan think tank conducting research on energy and economic issues, is the author of two books and writes the blog, Power America.

 

 

 

Leonard Gilroy

Leonard Gilroy is the director of government reform at Reason Foundation,a Los Angeles nonprofit thinktank advancing free markets. Gilroy, a certified urban planner (AICP), researches privatization, government reform, transportation, infrastructure, and urban policy issues. Gilroy has a diversified background in policy research and implementation, with particular emphases on public-private partnerships, competition, government efficiency, transparency, accountability, and government performance. Gilroy has worked closely with legislators and elected officials in Texas, Arizona, Louisiana, Utah, Virginia, California, and several other states in efforts to design and implement market-based policy approaches, improve government performance, enhance accountability in government programs, and reduce government spending. He is the editor of the world's most respected newsletter on privatization, Privatization Watch, and is the editor of the widely-read Annual Privatization Report, which examines trends and chronicles the experiences of local, state, and federal governments in bringing competition to public services.

 

  


John Hetzler

John Hetzler is the former editor of Point of Beginning (POB). Published by BNP Media, POB is the oldest monthly national magazine serving the surveying and mapping profession, reaching more than 38,000 readers. An award-winning writer and editor, John has more than 18 years of journalism experience in newspaper, online and business-to-business media.





2012 Geospatial Excellence Award Entries and Winners


Creating an On Target Geospatial Foundation for the Navajo Housing Authority
AeroMetric, Inc.

2012 Grand Award Winner
Photogrammetry/Elevation Data Generation Category Winner


Overview

The Navajo Nation is the largest semi-autonomous Native American-governed land area within the United States.Occupying large portions of northeastern Arizona, southeastern Utah, and northwestern New Mexico it is about the size of West Virginia. This wild and dramatic expanse has served as backdrop to many Western films set in the imposing terrain of Monument Valley. The Navajo Nation is also home to more than a dozen national monuments, tribal parks and historical sites. Among the daunting tasks faced by the Nation has been the need to provide adequate services and housing to the population of over 300,000 Navajos scattered across this vast area.

Working to address this need in 2009, the Navajo Housing Authority1 began development of a land information system, which would enable them to manage land survey records, home site leases, and environmental data. The system would ultimately serve a host of other applications as well. AeroMetric was selected to establish a precise ground control network, develop a custom, project-wide horizontal datum, obtain digital imagery and create a digital elevation model (DEM) and digital orthoimagery at 0.5 meter ground sample distance for the base layers of the system. Delivery items included ground control data, 3229 orthophoto 5km x 5km tiles, ESRI raster and ASCII DEM grids and vector data plus associated metadata files. Although contours were not a delivery item the specifications mandated that DEM’s would be suitable to subsequently contribute to the generation of 10-foot contours. The imagery was also immediately used for flood plain delineation in 5 specific areas and will be used in additional areas for this application in the future.

  


Mapping Fishing Gear and Lines to Reduce Whale Entanglements
Kappa Mapping, Inc.

Small Projects Category Winner

Overview

Entanglement in fishing gear continues to be a source of injury for large whales, including the North Atlantic right whale along Maine’s coast. Given the endangered status of this species, it is of vital importance that scientists work to increase detection and reporting of entanglements and reduce their impacts by decreasing the interactions that large whales have with fishing gear.

Kappa Mapping, Inc.'s task was to digitally map and locate lobster gear (and the vertical lines that connect the buoy to the ocean-floor trap) along Maine’s 3500-mile coast. The buoy data provided input for entanglement
prediction.

The project location is the area between the State of Maine Exemption Line and the 3-nautical mile limit, as identified on the National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration nautical charts. This area supports the Atlantic Large Whale Take Reduction Plan (ALWTRP) which was developed by the Atlantic Large Whale Take Reduction Team and NOAA Fisheries Service (NMFS). See the project area listed above in the figure below. This area
represents over 800 square miles.

The State of Maine Department of Marine Resources (DMR) has been working with partners such as Atlantic Large Whale Take Reduction Team and NOAA Fisheries Service since 2005 to collect and distribute lobster gear information; however several data gaps existed that hindered meaningful conversations about viable vertical line risk reduction measures. Baseline knowledge about the density and seasonal movements of lobster gear was needed.

 

 

Lobster Buoy Direct Digital Imagery Acquisition
Keystone Aerial Surveys, Inc.


Overview

Keystone was hired by Kappa Mapping, Inc. to provide acquisition services of lobstering areas off the coast of Maine. Kappa used the imagery to map thousands of buoy locations for the Maine Department of Marine Resources to aid whale conservation.

Keystone, using their extensive acquisition experience and trained staff of meteorologists, provided the security of a large fleet of aircraft and multiple large-format sensors. These factors aided in undertaking a challenging project with many complicated requirements.


 

Tuscaloosa Tornado Damage Photography 2011
Magnolia River


Overview

April 27, 2011 was a day marked by tragedy. Throughout the State of Alabama, there were fifty-nine confirmed tornados including an EF-4 multiple- vortex tornado which devastated Tuscaloosa County, the City of Tuscaloosa, and the University of Alabama.

In Northern Alabama, a tornado in Limestone and Madison Counties damaged transmission lines coming from the Brown’s Ferry Nuclear Plant causing wide-spread power outage across the region.

The Tuscaloosa County tornado extended beyond the borders of the County, covering a total path of 80.68 miles and reaching a maximum path width of 2600 feet. The tornado caused over 1500 injuries and 64 recorded fatalities. With an estimated $2.8 billion dollars in damage, the tornado became the costliest single tornado in United States history.

Tuscaloosa County called on Magnolia River to capture imagery along the tornado’s path. Having worked together for many years, the County knew that Magnolia River would be able to understand the County’s needs. Magnolia River’s staff knew the area and the location of the city and county’s landmarks. The employees understood the formats of the required imagery and how the County was going to analyze the data. Although getting aircraft fuel was a challenge, Magnolia River was able to capture the data within 48 hours of the tornado’s passing.

The imagery was used by the County, the City, the University, and FEMA for damage assessment and restoration.

 

 

Enhancing Airfield Safety With LIDAR Technology
Merrick & Company
Remote Sensing Category Winner

Overview

One major concern for airfield operations is the identification, location, and mitigation of obstacles that pose a potential safety hazard to aircraft during approach, landing, taxi, takeoff, and departure. The safe landing and takeoff of aircraft within this "area of operation envelope” is vital to the prevention of aviation accidents within this zone of an airport. Merrick’s approach was to collect and analyze geospatial and elevation data that precisely identifies all of the vertical obstructions in order to mitigate tragic impacts to aircraft equipment and property damage, as well as preventing the injury/loss of life of the aircraft crew, base personnel, and the surrounding communities.
 
These obstructions are very dynamic and include vegetation, trees, power lines, buildings, communication towers, etc. In the past, the process used by airports to identify above-ground features that may impact runway navigation was to physically survey (measure) the location and height of objects that appeared to be in violation. Next, a somewhat manual determination was made if the imaginary airspace, officially called an Obstruction Identification Surface (OIS), was violated.
 
This process was time consuming and labor intensive, and produced questionable results. The U.S. Air Force Reserve Command (AFRC) has operational responsibility for multiple airfields throughout the United States. Dobbins Air Reserve Base, located within the congested Atlanta, GA airspace was selected as the first installation to undergo an update of the airfield obstruction survey utilizing a new technical approach.

 

Barrenlands, Bombs and Boundary Surveys
Merrick & Company
Surveying/Field Data Collection Category Winner

Overview

The Barry M. Goldwater Range (BMGBR) and Luke Air Force Base (LAFB) located very near Phoenix, Arizona, is a highly active region for military practice including bombing target areas, battlefield simulations, training buildings, control towers, and communication transmitters. The area is the nation’s second-largest tactical aviation training range and has been in operation since 1941. Considered a "national training asset,” efficient operation and management of over two million acres of government-owned land is pivotal for many reasons. With its close proximity to the Mexico border, endangered species of the Sonoran Desert, a popular winter recreation destination, and a major urban center, understanding the exact location of the government’s land has become very important.

 

In October of 2010, Merrick & Company signed a task order to complete a detailed boundary survey of the 1.05 million acre BMGBR. Despite 70 years of use as a military reservation, a boundary survey had never been performed on this massive tract; in fact the acreage count has never really been known. Because of several innovative and technical field procedures, Merrick was able to complete one of the largest boundary surveys completed in the United States for the federal government last year on time, within budget, and to the satisfaction of the client.

 

 

Microsoft UltraMap v3.0 Photogrammetric Workflow Solution - Point Clouds, DSMs, and DSM/DTM-derived Orthos
Microsoft UltraCam Group


Overview

In recent years, Microsoft has driven significant innovation in the aerial photogrammetry community. In addition to market leading camera technology, its UltraMap photogrammetric workflow technology has grown to become an exceptional software system to allow users to effectively work with large digital aerial image blocks in a highly automated way. This may be most evident in its project-based color balancing approach that automatically balances images to a homogeneous block. The UltraMap innovation trend continues with version 3.0 which establishes a revolution in ortho processing technology. A fully automated dense matching module strives for high-precision digital surface models (DSMs) that are calculated either via CPUs or GPUs using a distributed processing framework.

 

By applying constrained filtering algorithms, a digital terrain model can be derived which in turn can be used for fully automated traditional ortho texturing. Given the knowledge of the underlying geometry, seamlines can be generated automatically by applying cost functions in order to minimize visually disturbing artifacts. By exploiting the generated DSM information, a DSMOrtho is created using the balanced input images. Again, seamlines are detected automatically resulting in an automatically balanced ortho mosaic. Interactive block-based radiometric adjustments lead to a high quality ortho product based on UltraCam imagery.

 

UltraMap v3 is the first fully integrated and interactive solution for supporting UltraCam images at best in order to deliver digital surface models, ortho imagery, and point clouds in LAS format at densities on the order of 300 points per square meter, higher than typically achieved with LiDAR devices.

 

LIDAR for the North East
Photo Science

Airborne and Satellite Acquisition Category Winner
Overview

In February 2009, the U.S. Congress passed the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA), which included $14 million dollars for LiDAR and elevation data, managed through the U. S. Geological Survey (USGS) National Geospatial Program (NGP). The USGS announced it would prioritize projects that focused on the coastline. Through a collaborative effort, the States of Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New York, and Rhode Island successfully applied for a single $1.4 million dollar ARRA grant to serve as the foundation for a $2.59 million dollar budgeted project. It was the highest amount awarded to an individual ARRA project managed by the USGS.

Coastal regions are threatened by sea level rise. LiDAR is an invaluable data source to properly plan for and mitigate the effects sea level change has on these communities. Combating this threat, the USGS awarded a six-state ARRA grant to support funding of an 8,000 square mile area from Maine to New York. With participation of other federal, state and local agencies, the USGS’ Geospatial Services Contract (GPSC) was utilized as a means of consolidating 19 disparate funding sources into one collaborative project.

Project deliverables included: all return data in the raw point cloud (delivered by flight swath in LAS v1.2); a fully classified point cloud; a geo-referenced bare-earth raster DEM delivered in an ERDAS IMG format; shapefiles of hydro breaklines; and project metadata.

 

Scanning the Seas
RIEGL USA

Technology Innovation Category Winner


Overview

LIDAR technology based on time-of-flight ranging with short laser pulses enables the acquisition of accurate and dense 3D data in the form of so-called point clouds. In recent years, hydrographic, airborne and marine surveying has taken on increased importance. Demands for increased applications, higher quality and faster data production require use of a new approach in contrast to the established discrete return systems with analog signal processing: digitizing the echo signals received by the instrument for every laser pulse and analyzing these echo signals in order to retrieve almost all of the information contained in the echo signal using transparent algorithms adaptable to specific applications. RIEGL LMS introduces the world's first "tightly coupled", smart echo waveform, shallow water and land LIDAR system.

 

For the first time ever, a bathymetric LIDAR system has incorporated "tightly coupled" echo waveform data. This denotes that we have a distinct separation of target returns and the merging of target returns without range errors, in addition to the detection of laser pulse shape deviation. Together, these combine to provide high accuracy, high precision, calibrated amplitude data, calibrated reflectance data, "data to clean up" point clouds and data to improve classification.

City of Storm Lake GIS/GPS Project
Sidwell Company
 
GIS/IT Category Winner

Overview

Located in Buena Vista County, the City of Storm Lake, IA is spread across four square miles and currently has a population of 10,600. After many years of relying on other agencies to produce their maps, the City determined it needed GIS as a resource to enable efficient and effective responses to geospatial information requests from the various City departments.

To achieve their goals, the City of Storm Lake selected Sidwell, an industry leader of GIS solutions and Esri Gold Business Partner to develop a comprehensive geospatial inventory of critical municipal infrastructure and robust information deployment solution. Sidwell also partnered with local surveying and engineering firm Kuehl & Payer, Ltd. to complete this project. According to Justin Yarosevich, City of Storm Lake Assistant City Manager / City Clerk, "The City believed that to achieve its desired results both in terms of functionality, as well as supporting local vendors, that a partnership between Sidwell and Kuehl & Payer was the best option.” The City was also able to work with Buena Vista County to satisfy all their background data needs, as well as utilize students from Buena Vista University’s Biology Department for the tree inventory (efficiently and accurately identifying tree species) and road sign inventory portion of the project.

Iris One STKA
Visual Intelligence


Overview

In 2007, Visual Intelligence LP (VI) transitioned from a service provider to a product-based company to focus on discriminating and next generation digital collection systems for the marketplace. In the four years that followed, VI focused its research and development (R&D) resources to develop a multipurpose, digital airborne sensor family with ultra-high collection capacities based on an open system architecture design called the iOne Sensor Tool Kit Architecture, or STKATM. The R&D effort yielded several granted patents, two of the most relevant being the Arched Retinal Camera Array, or ARCATM, system and the Co-mounting/Co-registration, or CoCo. These patents collectively provide the iOne STKA platform that supports multi-sensor fusion and virtual frame image generation derived from multiple camera modules and lenses.


IH30/IH35 Corridor, Horseshoe Project
Woolpert, Inc.

Overview

 

In 2011, the Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) announced its plans to transform a portion of a notorious stretch of interstate known to locals as the Mixmaster, located at the intersection of IH 30/IH 35E. Work began on this particularly problematic section in September 2011, with the objective of upgrading the IH 30 bridge, part of the Mixmaster and the IH 35E bridges, both northbound and southbound. Known as the "Horseshoe Project” for the project area’s U shape, the initiative relied on an innovative design‐build approach to improve construction and cost efficiencies and dramatically shorten project timelines.

 

TxDOT contracted two firms to complete the design portion of the project. First, they hired Woolpert, experts in LiDAR and feature extraction, to perform mobile mapping, surveying and data acquisition of the project area. Next, TxDOT tapped HNTB, a design firm that specializes in 3‐D modeling with LiDAR data, to provide the 30 percent design of the Horseshoe. Project sponsors decided that 3‐D modeling was the best way to identify potential conflicts and ultimately facilitate coordination with the design‐ build team to be hired in late 2012. While the two firms worked independently to provide specific deliverables to TxDOT, their collective expertise in 3‐D data acquisition and design enabled them to meet TxDOT’s aggressive project timelines.

 

       

2012 Judges:


Robert Burtch, Chairman

 Robert Burtch, professor in the Surveying Engineering Program at Ferris State University, Big Rapids, MI, where he teachescourses in surveying, geographic information systems, photogrammetry and geodesy. Burtch is a Professional Surveyor in Michigan and a Certified Photogrammetrist through the American Society of Photogrammetry and Remote Sensing (ASPRS).

 

 

Robert "Bob" Banzhoff, Jr.

Robert "Bob” Banzhoff began surveying in 1972 and was licensed in Maryland in 1988. He is a past president of Maryland Society of Surveyors (MSS) and was named Surveyor of the Year 2009 by that organization. He served on the Board of Trustees of the Maryland Society of Surveyors Educational Trust (MSSET.) As Member Organizations Administrator at the American Congress on Surveying and Mapping (ACSM), he was national coordinator for the Certified Survey Technician and Trig-Star programs. He has been an adjunct instructor at the Community College of Baltimore County at Catonsville, (CCBC,) and recently became the survey program coordinator for its two (2) year survey degree and certificate programs. Bob is also editor of surveying for Professional Surveyor Magazine and writes their monthly e-newsletter PSM Field Notes.

 

Donn D. Dears

Donn D. Dears is a retired General Electric Company executive now based in Chicago. A graduate of th e United States Merchant Marine Academy and veteran of the U.S. Navy, Mr. Dears is president of TSAugust, a 501(C)(3), nonprofit, nonpartisan think tank conducting research on energy and economic issues, is the author of two books and writes the blog, Power America.

 

 

Leonard Gilroy

Leonard Gilroy is the director of government reform at Reason Foundation,a Los Angeles nonprofit thinktank advancing free markets. Gilroy, a certified urban planner (AICP), researches privatization, government reform, transportation, infrastructure, and urban policy issues. Gilroy has a diversified background in policy research and implementation, with particular emphases on public-private partnerships, competition, government efficiency, transparency, accountability, and government performance. Gilroy has worked closely with legislators and elected officials in Texas, Arizona, Louisiana, Utah, Virginia, California, and several other states in efforts to design and implement market-based policy approaches, improve government performance, enhance accountability in government programs, and reduce government spending. He is the editor of the world's most respected newsletter on privatization, Privatization Watch, and is the editor of the widely-read Annual Privatization Report, which examines trends and chronicles the experiences of local, state, and federal governments in bringing competition to public services.

 

 

Kristi Grahl

Christine Grahl, the editor of POB magazine as well as GeoDataPoint.com, a fully interconnected website from POB that features insightful interviews and contributions from thought leaders in the geospatial profession. P.O.B., published by BNP Media, is the oldest monthly national magazine serving the surveying and mapping profession, reaching more than 38,000 readers. Kristi is an APEX Award-winning writer and editor, has been P.O.B. editor since 2008 and has spent the past 15 years working closely with publications serving audiences including engineers and entrepreneurs.

 
 
Past Winners:
2011 Geospatial Excellence Award Winners

Award-Winning Geospatial Solutions
POB Magazine, January 2012


Grand Award Winner

AeroMetric - Geospatial Cloud Solution for Natural Resources Damage Assessment and Restoration

 

Judges Comments

Following the BP oil spill, chaos ensued behind the scenes with regard to data collection and mapping. A massiveeffort was involved in bringing it all together. Aerometric was responsible for creating a dynamic process to develop and manage remote sensing, aerial surveillance acquisition programs and geospatial intelligence products and dissemination. They were able to develop a forward-thinking solution with BP by implementing a Geospatial Cloud Solution that would manage over 100TB of data. They developed a workable cloud solution before "the cloud” became an accepted and mainstream idea. This solution provides for user-centric access and web services through a secure Web Portal. It also allows for Open Geospatial Consortium standard web services. AeroMetric is very deserving of an award in the GIS/IT category and of this year's grand award.


                 
                        

Airborne and Satellite Data Acquisition

 

Microsoft-Bing Maps Global Ortho Aerial Data Acquisition Program

Judges Comments

Bing Imagery Technologies (BIT) has embarked on an ambitious project through its GO program that is sure to havea wide-reaching impact on consumers of geospatial data, from casual users to sophisticated corporate clients. The image accuracy and resolution being obtained by the program is outstanding and will certainly add value to a range of mapping applications. This program requires a large ingestion of data and BIT developed a process that can handle this volume in an optimal fashion. Ideally, the award would be presented to the entire team of BIT partners who were involved in the complex task of acquiring the data, but BIT deserves recognition for its vision and innovative approach.


Photogrammetry/Elevation Data Generation

BAE Systems - PAMAP: The Keystone to Intelligent Decision

 

Judges Comments

The State of Pennsylvania embarked on a statewide mapping program and contracted BAE Systems for color orthophotography with a 1’ GSD and lidar data capable of generating 2’ contours. The schedule for the data collection was very tight so BAE Systems utilized innovation to integrate data from various sources. They were one of the first to fuse lidar data with imagery. PAMAP is a partnership managed by Pennsylvania State University. Benefits of this program include cost savings, consistency, disaster response and prevention, improved accessibility and economic development. The client recommendation letter was glowing.

 

 

 

Remote Sensing

 

 

BAE Systems - Estuary Enhancement in the Garden State

Judges Comments

 

A New Jersey utility company embarked on an Estuary Enhancement Program (EEP) encompassing 20,000 acres of slat marshes. BAE was contracted to provide the imagery. Project timelines were very tight since the image acquisition had to be performed at a specific time of the year, during a specific tidal window, and at mid-day. This made the flight planning a little more complex since BAE had to consider not only local weather conditions but also sun angle and NOAA tidal predictions. EEP is a multi-year project. In order to faithfully depict the correct radiometric resolution between new and legacy imagery, BAE developed a new tone balancing process in their Socet Set software. The level of client satisfaction and the future value to the region make this project worthy of an award.




Surveying/Field Data Collection

 

Woolpert, Inc. - Aeronautical Surveys for FAA WAAS Program

Judges Comments

 

Woolpert again pulled off an incredible stunt with its ability to bring together the various facets of an incredibly complex, multiyear project. They were contracted to complete aeronautical surveys of FAA-WAAS airports and collect survey data that would be ultimately integrated into the WAAS. This is critical for lateral and vertical navigation needs. Over 900 airports in 47 states are a part of this project. Woolpert had challenges with the FAA Airport GIS standards that were developing and evolving, but their background in surveying and GIS were useful in solving these problems. They also helped in the creation of a web-based Learning Management System. Woolpert’s flexibility in meeting its client’s changing needs, along with the firm’s vision, innovation, technology implementation and communication, provide a solid model for all firms seeking to achieve geospatial excellence.

 


Small Projects

 

Kappa Mapping - Danbury, Ct Airport

Judges Comments

 

Kappa Mapping was contracted to provide geospatial data for a lateral precision with vertical guidance study for the Danbury Municipal Airport and to perform obstruction mapping. Being a small firm with low overhead, this project required the company to seek out innovative approaches such as medication of their existing CAD and photogrammetric mapping software to meet the needs of the client. Kappa's ability to remain competitive while being very selective in its technology investments reflects the creativity and dedication of its staff. It also shows that small businesses can contribute to the approach certification process despite the fact that they have lower overhead than larger firms. This project exemplifies the firm’s commitment to service and excellence.



Technology Innovation

 

Optech - ALTM Aquarius - The New Shallow-Water Mapping Sensor

Judges Comments

 

Optech developed a new laser scanner called the ALTM Aquarius with the capability of surveying shallow water depths of over 10 meters and terrain simultaneously. This new instrument had both design challenges and stringent performance checks from Optech. This is a solid innovation with broad implications for small firms seeking to expand their service capabilities without a huge investment in new equipment. This technology is sure to find a niche in the mapping market.







2011 Judges:

Robert Burtch, Chairman

Robert Burtch, professor in the Surveying Engineering Program at Ferris State University, Big Rapids, MI, where he teaches courses in surveying, geographic information systems, photogrammetry and geodesy. Burtch is a Professional Surveyor in Michigan and a Certified Photogrammetrist through the American Society of Photogrammetry and Remote Sensing (ASPRS).



Donn D. Dears

Donn D. Dears is a retired General Electric Company executive now based in Chicago. A graduate of th e United States Merchant Marine Academy and veteran of the U.S. Navy, Mr. Dears is president of TSAugust, a 501(C)(3), nonprofit, nonpartisan think tank conducting research on energy and economic issues, is the author of two books and writes the blog, Power America.

 

 

 

Leonard Gilroy

Leonard Gilroy is the director of government reform at Reason Foundation,a Los Angeles nonprofit thinktank advancing freemarkets. Gilroy, a certified urban planner (AICP), researches privatization, government reform, transportation, infrastructure, and urban policy issues. Gilroy has a diversified background in policy research and implementation, with particular emphases on public-private partnerships, competition, government efficiency, transparency, accountability, and government performance. Gilroy has worked closely with legislators and elected officials in Texas, Arizona, Louisiana, Utah, Virginia, California, and several other states in efforts to design and implement market-based policy approaches, improve government performance, enhance accountability in government programs, and reduce government spending. He is the editor of the world's most respected newsletter on privatization, Privatization Watch, and is the editor of the widely-read Annual Privatization Report, which examines trends and chronicles the experiences of local, state, and federal governments in bringing competition to public services.

 

 

 


Kristi Grahl

Christine "Kristi" Grahl is editor of P.O.B. magazine, Troy, MI, and administrator of its electronic bulletin board, www.RPLS.com. P.O.B., published by BNP Media, is the oldest monthly national magazine serving the surveying and mapping profession, reaching more than 38,000 readers. Kristi is an APEX Award-winning writer and editor, has been P.O.B. editor since 2008 and has spent the past 15 years working closely with publications serving audiences including engineers and entrepreneurs.

 

 



 


Thomas Palmerlee

Thomas M. Palmerlee is Associate Director, Technical Activities Division,Transportation ResearchBoard(TRB). TRB is a component of The National Academies, a private, nonprofit institution. The mission of the Transportation Research Board is to provide leadership in transportation innovation and progress through research and information exchange, conducted within a setting that is objective, interdisciplinary, and multimodal. Mr. Palmerlee staffs committees on information technology and transportation data, including the Geographic Information Science and Applications Committee and the Geospatial Data Acquisition Technologies in Design and Construction Committee. Prior to joining TRB, Mr. Palmerlee was executive director for the University Consortium for Geographic Information Science (UCGIS), and for the Urban and Regional Information Systems Association (URISA). In the 1980's he served as a legislative assistant and legislative director for U.S. Senator Malcolm Wallop of Wyoming.


 
2010 Geospatial Excellence Award Winners


Above and Beyond
POB Magazine, January 2011


Grand Award Winner

Michael Baker, Jr., Inc.
U.S. Bureau of Census - Accurate Coordinate Datasets Collection


In 2005 the Census Bureau selected Michael Baker Jr., Inc. (Baker) as the Program Manager for the Accurate Coordinate Datasets Collection project (ACDC). The objective was to provide spatially accurate "ground-control" throughout the entire United States and U.S. Territories for use in support of the Census Bureau's MAF/TIGER Accuracy Improvement Project (MTAIP).

The project was also the Photogrammetry/Elevation Data Generationcategory winner.

Judges Comments
Michael Baker was selected as the winner in this category as well as for Project of the Year due to the overall size and complexity of the project as well as the glowing client recommendation. Baker's ability to coordinate multiple resources and overcome a multitude of challenges to deliver such a large project ahead of schedule, under budget and with a 99.6% first-time acceptance rate on deliverables is worthy of acclaim. Two statements from the client were particularly noteworthy:

"...not only am I recommending Baker for this award, but have recommended and will continue to recommend them for work in future endeavors whenever their business proficiency matches the needs of prospective clients."

"The quality and timeliness of their work exceeded our expectation and the value of their management on this project truly spoiled us. They set standards to which we still refer in appreciation."

The client letter really pushes this project over the top."



Airborne and Satellite Data Acquisition

Photo Science - Humboldt Bay Ecosystem Mapping

Humboldt Bay is located along the northern California coast. It is the only deep water port in northern California and is the second largest natural estuary in the state (http://www.humboldtbay.org/). Several natural resource management initiatives are taking place in the region. These initiatives include: Humboldt Bay Ecosystem Based Management Program, Sub-tidal Habitat Goals Program, and the Salt River Restoration Project. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service's administers the Humboldt Bay National Wildlife Refuge Complex and the Humboldt Bay Harbor Recreation, and Conservation District is creating a Humboldt Bay Management Plan. In an effort to support all of these initiatives, NOAA's Coastal Services Center (CSC) contracted with Photo Science to determine the availability of benthic habitat data in Humboldt Bay and to acquire new data if necessary.

Judges Comments

The judges are pleased to announce Photo Science as the winner in the Airborne and Satellite Data Acquisition category. The Humboldt Bay project presented extremely complex challenges for Photo Science, not only necessitating the development of a new flight planning application (now being evaluated as a national model), but also requiring them to execute all acquisition within an extremely thin one-day window."


Remote Sensing

Woolpert, Inc. - More Than Just Scratching The Surface, Mapping Out Storm Water Improvements

In light of substantial population growth over the past two decades, the Public Utilities Department within the City of Columbus was faced with the challenge of maintaining the accuracy of the city's ever-changing impervious surface maps (ISM). Object-oriented remote sensing (using LiDAR and ortho-imagery) represented a method to precisely identify the existence of impervious surfaces, including driveways, sidewalks, parking lots, etc. The primary objective of the mapping program was to utilize newly developed technology to produce an up-to-date impervious dataset to both validate the previous work completed as well as identify newly developed areas in an efficient manner - data that is crucial in determining both storm water runoff projections and in evaluating current statistics.

Judges Comments

The judges felt that Woolpert provided a quality product that met the client's budget and expectations. Though the project appeared to involve a moderate level of complexity and innovation, Woolpert's use of technology to provide an accurate and cost-effective solution for the City of Columbus is worthy of acknowledgement. While data fusion is not new, this project resulted in a highly accurate and cost effective product to the client that will be of benefit to the city for years to come.

GIS/IT

The Sidwell Company - Improved Geospatial Cadastral Mapping with GIS Integration

Charlotte County, established in 1921, covers an area of approximately 859 square miles and is located on Florida's gulf coast. Situated on and around Charlotte Harbor, the County was dealt a significant blow by Hurricane Charley in 2004. However, they have since rebounded from that natural disaster, and the County continues to experience considerable growth.To aid in the management of the land records that go along with that growth, the County had begun developing a GIS program intended to support the needs and operations of many departments within their local government enterprise. Like many other jurisdictions, Charlotte County had initiated manual and CAD-based procedures many years ago for mapping land records updates. However, increased user demand and other information deployments were putting a strain on their system, which lacked the enhancements available with newer technology. While the county did utilize other CAD platforms for performing certain tasks (e.g. parcel mapping), other departments were still utilizing manual methods for updating geographic information. Up to this point, thousands of dollars had been directed to support the development of data layers, workflows, and applications for supporting county operations and end-user tasks. While solid decision-making was steering their GIS program, several departments within Charlotte County realized that the overall design was in need of revision so that they could further implement new mainstream GIS technology on the ESRI platform.

Judges Comments
Charlotte County had the problem of preparing a unified database for all 220,000 properties in the County where different approaches to data processing had been initiated by different departments. Sidwell integrated the existing analog and CAD information for all parcels while renumbering the parcels into a coherent format, thereby correcting inconsistent and complex parcel numbering. Multiple layers accommodated different types of data. It was also necessary for Sidwell to correct inaccurate data in the Eastern section of the County.The final product established a new geodatabase of all parcels accessible by all departments. Users can quickly create, update and review the multiple features on individual geographic entries or for the entire countywide dataset.Charlotte County's information service manager said, "Our tax collector and property appraiser love the new system." The complexity of capturing and structuring an array of data for 220,000 properties in Charlotte County made this project a "stand-out" that earned Sidwell this award.


Small Projects

Kappa Mapping, Inc - Photogrammetry provides accurate lobster buoy count for Maine Department of Marine Resources

Nearly 3 million traps bring in 78 million pounds of lobster annually, adding $228 million to Maine's economy and making the industry's sustainability a hot topic. To help its scientists determine how trap numbers affect the lobster population, Maine Department of Marine Resources (MeDMR) contracted with KAPPA Mapping, Inc. (KAPPA) to inventory the number of buoys marking lobster traps in Tenants Harbor. Tenants Harbor is a small lobstering community located along Maine's rocky coast between Portland and Rockland.

Judges Comments
Kappa Mapping had the challenge of counting lobster pots around Tenants Harbor, Maine. Counting had traditionally been done from boats where it's extremely difficult to see small objects, such as the buoys marking the location of lobster pots. Photogrammetry, by Kappa Mapping, provided accurate counts of lobster pots and disclosed that the number of lobster pots far exceeded the number garnered by visual count from boats. Results were better than anticipated. The Maine Resource Scientist responsible for the project said, "The incorporation of aerial photography has allowed us to map the lobster fishery as never seen before."

Kappa Mapping earned this award by its innovative solution to a problem that was of concern to the Maine Department of Marine Resources.

Technology Innovation

Microsoft Corporation - UltaCam L/Lp

The UltraCamL was first announced in July 2008 at the ISPRS Congress in Beijing, and has been in operation since May 2009. (An upgraded version, the UltraCamLp, is now being offered by Vexcel Imaging.) The UltraCamL is the result of a dedicated focus to combine the best elements of both medium and large format cameras in order to set a new price/performance standard for photogrammetric imaging operations. The camera system reflects innovation in areas of hardware, electronics and software, developed in response to customer feedback, and offers a revolutionary package that is lighter, more compact, more flexible, and more affordable to smaller mapping organizations.

Judges Comments

The UltraCam L/LP project by Vexcel Imaging/Microsoft was highly thought of by the judges. While it was hard comparing the diverse nature of the Technology Innovation projects, the one thing that stood out with Vexcel's submission, beyond the technological hurdles, was the advantages that this new camera could give to the photogrammetric community. Digital cameras for photogrammetric applications are expensive. Low cost digital aerial cameras are available, but they do not meet the needs of the photogrammetric industry. The UltraCam L/LP camera is designed to bring digital data acquisition to the smaller mapping firms by offering a camera that is low cost and accurate for mapping purposes.