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Forensic Photogrammetry: A Case Study

Posted on Monday, October 16th, 2017

Forensic Playground photo repaired

This is a guest article by forensic imaging consultant Mike Mayda. Bio below. Why Use Photogrammetry in Forensics? Photogrammetry can be a very powerful tool in forensic analysis. It is often useful to have an accurate 3D reconstruction of an accident or crime scene, especially in cases where position, distance and perspective are important. Given the large number of photos taken at these scenes, photogrammetry can be a practical way for investigators, lawyers, and insurance adjusters to obtain better information. In addition, photogrammetry can be used to preserve or recover measurement data long after the on-scene investigation has concluded. This is valuable as it can often be months before an investigator re-examines a scene and discovers a new piece of…Read More


How to Digitize Templates and Patterns With a Camera

Posted on Thursday, August 3rd, 2017

In a number of industries measurements are made of objects and equipment in the field, and then materials are manufactured to fit those existing objects. Some common industries like this are kitchen counter tops, boat covers, enclosures, or flooring, wall cladding, and stairway coverings or lifts. A common approach within these industries is to create a template on-site from paper, cardboard, or plastic to form the fit of the final materials. The templates are returned to the manufacturer, and are used to form or cut the material (such as a kitchen marble counter top, or a boat cover), and the finish product returned to the customer or site for installation.  Accuracy of the cut and formed materials is key to…Read More


Efficient and Accurate Mapping with a DJI Matrice

Posted on Tuesday, May 2nd, 2017

The PhotoModeler partner, Klau Geomatics, is now selling their PPK (Post Processed Kinematic) GPS unit for DJI Matrice 100 and 600 UAV drones. This PPK unit, along with PhotoModeler’s PPK integration, provide excellent accuracy in ground surveying with minimal ground control. To get high accuracy with a drone photo-based survey, one usually needs to place and survey several ground control points spread across the area. Ground control points are either man-made targets (e.g. large cross) that you place on the ground before the flight, or visible natural features, and both surveyed with a high accuracy instrument (total station or RTK GPS). Minimizing or removing the need for ground control points speeds up your survey and reduces cost. This can be achieved…Read More


With a Camera Measure Shape and Movement in Sails and Flexible Structures

Posted on Monday, April 24th, 2017

With A Camera Blog Series In our second of the series we describe a unique and interesting application of measuring fabrics, sails, and flexible structures – something that is very hard to do with other methods.     Introduction Flexible structures, such as sails, fabrics, flexible wings, and solar sails are very hard to measure because they are unstable. For example, the instability of the shape of a sail due to wind and luffing makes it difficult for sail designers and flow analysts to measure flying shapes of yachts and spinnakers in real sailing conditions. In a sail, the light fabric plays a critical role in generating the force that drives it, hence the need to optimize its shape. Similar…Read More


With a Camera Determine Who Caused a Collision

Posted on Wednesday, March 22nd, 2017

A New Blog Series We introduce a new blog series called “With A Camera“. With each blog post in this new series we describe an application of close range photogrammetry – that is, 3D measurement and modeling with a camera. The articles will describe significant real-world problems and how photogrammetry was able to uniquely solve them. Future topics might include engineering, surveying, architecture, construction, drones, mining, agriculture, forensics, scientific and industrial measurement, and archaeology. In each post, we will summarize the problem, how it was solved, and as well point out resources on the web for further study. The first post of this new ‘With A Camera’ series is the interesting one of measuring accident and collision scenes. Collisions and…Read More


Using a Dropcam for Forensics and 3D Measurement

Posted on Tuesday, May 19th, 2015

The Dropcam security camera is one of several easy-to-use IP cameras on the market for self-monitoring security systems. This article describes a forensic simulation using Dropcam imagery, and the 3D-from-photos software, PhotoModeler. PhotoModeler is the most comprehensive solution, at any price, for working with images from a variety of sources to produce accurate 3D measurements and models in many different fields. In this example, the height of a burglary suspect is measured in a crime scene simulation, and the location of a step ladder is measured in a workplace accident scene simulation. These are carried out in a retail shop with the shop owner’s own Dropcams. These types of forensic measurement tasks can be carried out a number of ways in PhotoModeler; this…Read More


UAS / UAV Photography for 3D Scanning, Measurement and Modeling

Posted on Monday, January 19th, 2015

With the proliferation of UAS/UAV (unmanned aircraft systems, unmanned aerial vehicles, or drones) armed with lightweight cameras it has become much easier to capture, scan, measure and 3D model scenes from above. The technique is called photogrammetry. You no longer need to hire an airplane to take aerial photos or purchase expensive aerial photos of your site for your photogrammetric project.   A scene can be shot with a UAS at various heights, with more flexibility, less risk, and significantly reduced cost than a piloted aircraft. UAS-based photogrammetry is great for larger landscapes, and objects that are difficult to capture from the ground. PhotoModeler is a software tool for converting photographs into accurate and useful 3D data. Accessible UAS camera platforms…Read More


3D Printing from Photos

Posted on Thursday, October 9th, 2014

In recent years 3D printing technology has become much more accessible in terms of required technical skills and cost. Printing an actual 3D object is now easily achievable if you have a digital model. In this, our 70th tip, we show that with PhotoModeler you can create accurate 3D models from photographs of real objects, to feed into the 3D printing process.   This article describes the steps for creating accurate 3D printed replicas using photos and photogrammetry.   Our desired output was two scaled replicas – with the schoolhouse at about 1/1000th , and the rhino about 1/10th actual size. The workflow was as follows: Photograph the object. Build the model – input and orient the photos, create DSMs or mark and…Read More


Accuracy of Pile Volume Measurement with Photogrammetry

Posted on Monday, November 4th, 2013

Accurate volume measurement of piles of material is important in a number of applications, such as: stock pile inventory management, volumes of tailing piles, volume of organic materials in composting operations, quarry pit size, mine reclamation, etc. These piles are difficult to measure due to their size, difficulty of traversing, and non-uniform shapes. The advent of UAV (unmanned aerial vehicles) with cameras, and software for extracting surface shape from imagery, such as PhotoModeler, have greatly eased this task. A key factor in using this technology in real-world applications is volume accuracy. This article highlights a series of PhotoModeler Scanner experiments using SmartMatch and Dense Surface Modeling (DSM) to model a small sand pile with a known volume to gauge volume…Read More


Photogrammetry helps police clear accident scenes quickly and safely

Posted on Wednesday, August 21st, 2013

Car accidents are an ordeal for everyone. They’re traumatic for the people involved, of course, but they also affect everyone else on the road. The more serious the incident, the more likely that multiple lanes will be blocked, and the longer it will take to get it cleared. The police officers at the scene have one of the most difficult jobs of all. They have to measure and map the scene and the vehicles in scrupulous detail so that the courts can get a clear picture of exactly what happened. To add to their challenge, they have to do all of this in the middle of a busy, backed up roadway. The Solution is Photogrammetry Fortunately, there’s an easier way…Read More


 


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