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Get the Best Use of Your Cameras in Public Safety and Forensic Investigations

Posted on Tuesday, June 19th, 2018

A camera is a very common piece of equipment for an officer in investigations, ident, forensics, and reconstruction. The same goes for forensic engineers in private and public practice.  We are even seeing cameras in every day public safety use such as body-worn cameras, and cruiser dash-cams. Your camera can do so much more than just take photos! You can use these cameras as accurate measuring and diagramming tools.  The technology is called ‘photogrammetry’. What is Photogrammetry? ‘Photogrammetry’ comes from ‘photogra’, short for photography, and ‘metry’, short for measurement. Photogrammetry is the science of making measurements of the real world using photographs.  Increasingly, public safety / law enforcement departments and forensic engineers from all over the world are using photogrammetry. It…Read More


PhotoModeler 2018.1 Release and Drone Vertical Datums

Posted on Wednesday, April 18th, 2018

Drone Photography

PhotoModeler Release PhotoModeler version 2018.1.0 was released April 11th, 2018. It has a number of large and small improvements and fixes. UAV Control Marking Improvement. UAV and drone projects with GCP (ground control points) are now easier to set up. Multi-point Transform Improvement. Multi-point transforms can now be formed with just one point assigned (translate), or two points assigned (translate and scale). Evaluation System Improvement. Evaluation codes are now 30 days long and are easier to get. UI Speed Improvements. A variety of user interface speed improvements have been made. Drone Vertical Datums The title of this article mentions drone vertical datums – what does this have to do with the 2018.1 release?  First, what is a vertical datum? A…Read More


Easier Measurement for Retrofit Manufacturing

Posted on Wednesday, March 21st, 2018

Applications for photogrammetry measurement in retrofit and remodeling

Retrofits and remodeling often require measurements and drawings of a remote location or client site so that a part can be manufactured to fit. Photogrammetry creates measurements and diagrams using a normal camera. Instead of having a complex and expensive device to do field measurements for your retrofit or remodeling business, you only need a camera and a tape measure. There are several applications for photogrammetry in manufacturing. This article talks about one aspect: applications where measurements are made in the field and an object is manufactured at a factory to fit those measurements. That is, the refit, retrofit, or remodel application. Compared to most other accurate field measurement technologies, photogrammetry (or camera-based measurement) has these major advantages: Little to…Read More


Why use Photogrammetry for Surveying and Mapping?

Posted on Tuesday, January 23rd, 2018

Photogrammetry UAV Camera Station Layout

Photogrammetry has a long history of use in the surveying and mapping field. Photogrammetry can be used for point measurements or for generating point clouds. Compared to its chief rival, LiDAR (Laser Imaging, Detection and Ranging), point-cloud generation from photogrammetry is cost-effective, portable, and versatile, so it has always had a loyal following among practitioners. In recent years, however, interest in photogrammetry among surveying professionals has been enjoying a major boom. This trend has been catalyzed by the rise of affordable, commercially available aerial drones, or UAVs for short. UAVs provide a number of advantages which make photogrammetry even more accessible, and has led to a renewed interest in the technology. To understand why, let’s first take a look at…Read More


The Other Photogrammetry Automation – Coded Targets

Posted on Tuesday, January 9th, 2018

Photogrammetry Coded Target Examples

What are Coded Targets? Automation History Why Use Coded Targets? Coded Targets vs Smart Points Coded Target Examples and Applications What are Coded Targets? I am sure you’ve seen a bar code on product packaging. Bar codes are scanned by a laser that reads the pattern of white and black bars, and converts that into a unique number or ‘code’. The code can be used to identify the product at checkout. PhotoModeler’s Coded Targets are like bar codes, in that they uniquely identify something (in this case a point on an object or in a scene), but have three differences: the code is printed in a circle, making it easier to identify at all angles (including a slant), the code…Read More


Can Measurements be Made from Law Enforcement Body-Worn Camera Video?

Posted on Wednesday, December 20th, 2017

This is a guest blog post written by collision instructor, and active LE officer, Bobby J. Mullinax. See bio below. Why Use Body-Worn Camera Video for Measurements? Photogrammetry is a technique that uses images and photos to obtain accurate 2D and 3D measurements and diagrams of the real world. A body-worn camera stores a video that could possibly be used as a data source in photogrammetry for crime or accident scene forensics. You may not need to use body-worn cameras as the photograph source for your photogrammetry project, but you may find yourself in a situation where you have to. How many times has a crash or crime scene investigator been tasked with putting together a complex puzzle, only to find…Read More


PhotoModeler 2018.0 Release Improvements

Posted on Thursday, December 14th, 2017

The new PhotoModeler 2018.0 release has faster processing, robust Coded Targets, and gridded DEM export. The most significant improvements in PhotoModeler 2018.0 span the needs of a wide range of our customers: New Gridded Digital Elevation Model Export Smart Processing now for Coded Target Projects Smart Processing speed increase for large projects Orthophoto improvements Gridded DEM Export PhotoModeler has exported triangulated surface models for many years. It is common though, with GIS and geographic-based systems that deal with 2.5D surfaces (2D plus height), to represent a surface as a DEM (Digital Elevation Model). Typically, a DEM is a regular grid of cells, each with a height value. PhotoModeler UAS 2018.0 adds the ability to export gridded DEMs when creating orthophotos. …Read More


Using Photogrammetry in Court

Posted on Wednesday, November 29th, 2017

Court Room Gavel

This is a guest article by forensics consultant, and trainer, Dan Mills. Bio below. Anyone in a technical field that brings evidence to court must consider both the evidence they are presenting, as well as the admissibility of their methods. First, a definition of Admissible Evidence: Evidence that is formally presented before the trier of fact (i.e., the judge or jury) to consider in deciding a case. The trial court judge determines whether or not the evidence may be proffered. To be admissible in court, the evidence must be relevant (i.e., material and having probative value) and not outweighed by countervailing considerations (e.g., the evidence is unfairly prejudicial, confusing, a waste of time, privileged, or based on hearsay). Also termed competent…Read More


Capturing BIM Data: An Affordable Alternative to Laser Scanning

Posted on Tuesday, November 7th, 2017

Image of a pc notebook and architectural drawings

BIM and the Importance of Image Processing BIM is the process of designing a building collaboratively with just one coherent system of 3D computer models, rather than multiple sets of separate diagrams. This leads to huge savings in time and resources, more accurate estimation, and fewer mistakes and alterations due to loss of data. BIM data can then be used for on-going management and maintenance of the building. The field of construction design has been transformed by the rise of digital technology. First, hand-drawn blueprints were replaced by 2D CAD systems. Then, as computing power grew, this evolved into 3D CAD. BIM is the next stage in the computerization of construction design, allowing more complex projects to be undertaken than…Read More


Top PhotoModeler Videos for Learning

Posted on Monday, October 30th, 2017

Instructional tutorial videos are a great way to learn PhotoModeler.  We’ve recently done a few updates to the PhotoModeler tutorials: A new forensics single camera tutorial Some new voice overs Key videos on YouTube Newest Tutorial Video for Forensics We recently published a new tutorial that will be of interest to those doing forensic measurement from single images (esp. those taken by security cameras and dash-cams). A recent release of PhotoModeler added an improved way to compensate for lens distortion for the highest accuracy results – this video describes this process. This tutorial describes how to extract important measurements like heights and positions in a crime scene from a security or surveillance camera image. [Single Security Camera Tutorial Video –…Read More


 


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