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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


With a Camera Measure, Monitor, and Document Bridges

Posted on Monday, July 31st, 2017

The process of monitoring the health of bridges demands reliable measurement techniques. Traditional methods of monitoring the conditions of bridges are disruptive and may cause inconvenience to users. In addition, the approaches are labor-intensive, and the results are usually less accurate. Considering that there are many transportation structures that require routine monitoring, it is a costly endeavor to measure them all. Photogrammetry allows professionals to obtain accurate three-dimensional descriptions of structures from photographs. As compared to traditional measurement methods, this technique produces more accurate results, and it is suitable for various civil engineering projects. Furthermore, the method is less expensive than most traditional techniques. It is a standard practice for professionals to conduct feasibility studies before restoring a transportation structure.…Read More


With a Camera and a Drone Audit a Mine Reclamation

Posted on Monday, July 10th, 2017

Mining companies are often required to restore mine sites to economically usable conditions after extracting minerals. This process, usually referred to as mine reclamation, involves rehabilitation and other processes that minimize the environmental impact of mining. The reclaimed land can be used for agricultural, recreational, commercial, and residential uses. An audit of the reclaimed site by the company or by an agency, may be aided with aerial photography and 3D surface modeling. The topography of most mining sites makes it difficult for field experts to collect data needed for site mapping. Climbing one quarry face after another to take measurements using GPS systems or other survey tools is a labor-intensive, time-consuming, and dangerous activity. Use of unmanned aircraft systems (UAS)…Read More


With a Camera Perform Non-Contact Industrial Measurement

Posted on Tuesday, June 27th, 2017

Today’s industries demand accurate and reliable measurements. Sometimes it can be expensive, time consuming or difficult to achieve the required precision using traditional measurement methods. For most design and fabrication processes, the margin of error is small, and inaccurate measurements can result in losses. Photogrammetry enables industries to obtain accurate and reliable measurements from images in good time and at reasonable cost. Traditionally we have thought about photogrammetry as being from the air – how most of our maps are created. Aerial photogrammetry entails using photographic images captured from airborne platforms while terrestrial photogrammetry utilizes photographs captured from the ground. In addition, close-range photogrammetry refers to a process where the camera is ‘close’ to the object being measured. Industrial uses…Read More


With A Camera and a Laser Reconstruct a Crime Scene

Posted on Monday, June 19th, 2017

Unfortunately, this is an all too common story: The convenience store clerk was alone when a man entered the store. He demanded money and cigarettes. When the clerk refused, the clerk was beaten and then shot, leaving no eyewitnesses to this horrific crime. But there was a ‘witness’ – the store had a single security camera. The suspect’s face was not clear in the video, but he was imaged walking behind the cash desk and around the store. What next? The forensic specialist needed to extract some key measurements from the security video, such as the suspect’s height, some measurements on his clothing, and where he stood in the store at various times during the incident. How can these measurement…Read More


With A Camera Perform Accurate and Detailed Surveying

Posted on Monday, May 15th, 2017

Surveying is an essential process in mapping, mining, construction, and architecture. This time and labor intensive process involves using a wide range of traditional and modern equipment to obtain measurements. Depending on the nature of the task, the required accuracy, and the challenges involved, a surveyor can use a tape measure/roller, a total station, a level, a laser scanner, or a photogrammetric tool. Most of today’s mapping, cadastral, and mining processes demand high accuracy surveys. Photogrammetry is a cost-effective method that also provides surveyors with accurate measurements. This technique entails generating models and measurements from photographic images. In this article, a few examples of the many uses of photogrammetric-based surveying are described. Some mapping, mining, cadastral, and construction surveys are…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


 


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