When Magnus Larson, survey engineer at WSP in Sweden, purchased his first OxTS Inertial+ from us in 2010, little did we know about the task that lay ahead of him. Now, a mere two years later, he has developed a brand new kind of mobile mapping system together with a company called Swedvision Automation.
The newly developed GeoTracker is no ordinary mobile mapping solution. Not only is it a very reasonably priced and yet highly accurate mobile mapping system, GeoTracker also combines the advantages of photogrammetry and laser scanning.
“We used a laser-based mobile mapping system for road maintenance applications here in Sweden.” Magnus Larson explains. “I soon realised that it would be much easier and quicker for us if the mobile mapping system captures images too…”
Unlike other mobile mapping solutions, the GeoTracker is able to collect laser data as well as stereo images, high-resolution 360° images and HD videos at the same time.
The solution offers even more advantages: it can easily be customised for different applications, it is suitable for rough outdoor conditions and works reliably in temperatures down to -30°C. The OxTS Inertial+, a GPS-aided inertial navigation system, is a crucial component in the GeoTracker providing highly accurate position data as well as measurements of roll/pitch (0.03°) and heading with 0.1° accuracy.
In order to aid the INS in poor GPS conditions and make significant improvements to the drift, a wheel speed sensor on the vehicle provides input to the Inertial+. OxTS has made significant improvements to the wheel speed algorithm in the Inertial+ software which makes the position accuracy of the system even better in adverse GPS conditions. The new, improved wheel speed processing means lower drift rates and increased positional accuracy when obstructions such as bridges, tunnels or dense urban canyons occur which is invaluable for all vehicle-based mobile mapping applications.
Another advantage is that hours of collected data can be post-processed with ease. With its very own software called GeoTracker Office viewing images and post-processing data is made easy and quick. “GeoTracker Office can save 17 million points per minute to LAS files on your laptop.” explains Larson. “It takes just over 15 minutes to process 25 km of data which is about 260 million points.”
The new mobile mapping solution is currently used by WSP in Sweden for road maintenance applications, to create maps and terrain models for road design and even for building virtual reality models. With the growing need for a complete, comprehensive and high-accuracy mobile mapping solution which combines laser scanning and high-resolution 360° images, Magnus Larson certainly seems to have developed the right product for a great variety of mobile mapping applications.
Magnus Larson and developers Swedvision Automation will exhibit the GeoTracker at the 2012 Intergeo exhibition in Hanover, Germany from the 9th -11th October. Visit him to find out more about the new GeoTracker on our OxTS booth B.01.
Images: Courtesy of Magnus Larson