Populating your GIS

Populating your GIS

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Richard McKay
Vice President (Sales), Leica Geosystems
[email protected]

Abstract
As airborne data acquisition technology evolves, it has become critically important to understand your mapping needs and how best to meet these needs in the most efficient and cost-effective ways.

Once the data source is established, the next steps are to do ground truthing, rectification, enhancement, information extraction and visualization.

The options available to mapping professionals are now almost limitless. Advanced image processing systems allow you to exploit spaceborne hyper and multi-spectral sensors. The applications include small-scale mapping, landcover classifications, mineral exploration, target detection, and environmental analyses.

Radar and LIDAR systems assist in terrain-based modeling like watershed delineation, viewshed analysis, access studies, construction projects and many other applications.

As the need for military surveillance grows, high-resolution spaceborne and airborne imagery becomes increasingly important. Analysts can now identify and quantify possible threats and lines of communication while developing strategies from a bird’s eye view. Urban planners, foresters and engineers can also benefit from the accuracy of high resolution imagery.

Advances in real-time differential GPS allows GIS professionals to quickly control data and ensure accurate map creation. “GIS-grade” GPS accuracy ranges from a few centimeters to 5 meters, offering GIS professionals the option to match the price and technology to meet his/her specific mapping needs.

Softcopy photogrammetry is setting the standard for converting image and ground data into a GIS ready format. Photogrammetric correction is necessary to achieve quality maps and today’s technology allows the user with limited photogrammetric expertise to achieve quality results through wizard-based tools.

Hardcopy output continues to lose ground to 3D digital GIS. A digital GIS allows the analyst to visualize, query, and view multiple data layers simultaneously, as opposed to viewing multiple hardcopy maps.

As information from imagery continues to impact our world, the need for accurate base maps is essential. Advanced technology in the marketplace requires GIS professionals to explore the most effective tools to fit their needs.