Disaster Management Imaging

Digital terrain modelling “DTM” will play an increased role in how disasters are managed in the future. The foundations for this were set in the first quarter of 2014 through the media coverage for weather conditions in the USA and UK. There were enough free services and solutions in general circulation – be it open source Geographical Information Systems “GIS” or camera based mapping – for  risk management strategies to be considered before the snow and rain set in. Even an image search in Google could have been used to generate 3D data for highly documented areas.

3D Mapping

The most obvious choice in terms of 3D mapping is structure-from-motion “SfM” – a low cost methodology that uses a flexible camera model to reconstruct a scene.  The SFM Toolkit / VisualSFM can be used to generate a point cloud from a desktop computer, with Meshlab used to convert it into a solid surface mesh. Once this is achieved, the next logical option is scaling the data to absolute coordinates in GIS. While data of a lower resolution may not be ideal for object or structure documentation, its use in landscape mapping is ideal if the accuracy required is in meters or even kilometers.


    Name after the Roman God of Fire in 1917, the town of Vulcan near Alberta subsequently rebranded itself around the Star Trek franchise.

    A replica of the SS Enterprise from Star Trek V.

    The Trekcetera Museum for all your Trekky needs.

    Why have Starbuck’s (blatant reference to Battlestar Galactica) when there is The Real McCoy?

    The Real McCoy coffee.

    The Real McCoy coffee.

    Staff at the Visitor Center of Vulcan greet visitors in English and Klingon.

    Vulcan HQ.

    Vulcan HQ.

    The SS Enterprise guides people out of the town once they have explored all parts of the Gene Roddenberry universe.

    The SS Enterprise from Star Trek V

    The SS Enterprise from Star Trek V

      Documenting the Super Bowl

      Fox will use Ultra HD “4K”, infra red “IR” and thermal imaging to document Super Bowl XLVIII (48). These solutions have already been used separately for the Baseball Wold Series and NASCAR.

      Flir Systems Incorporated supplied the thermal imaging for Super Bowl XLVIII

      Flir Systems Incorporated supplied the thermal imaging solutions being used at Super Bowl XLVIII

      Fifty two camera will be used in total, with stadium goers also benefiting from increased connectivity through Verizon and AT&T. The MeLife Stadium crowd are now a part of the media pipe line – providing live social media coverage and smart device recordings like photographs or video.

      Fox Sports Go will make the Super Bowl available through an iOS app.  The NFL and Version have also created a mobile device app. Past coverage includes an interactive Gigapan where people in the crowd can still tag themselves in a real life where’s Wally / Waldo scenario.

        Affordable 3D

        The development of Prime Sense triangulation sensors, along with their distribution via Xbox Kinect, gave consumers an understanding of motion capture and 3D imaging virtually overnight. Since the release of Kinect in 2010, a market has grown around affordable range sensors. For example, MakerBot announced a partnership with SoftKinetic for their next object scanner at the International CES 2014.

        Applications like gesture based control for Smart TVs and 3D scanning via mobile devices even drew the attention of companies like Apple and Google. This was firmly cemented when Apple acquired Prime Sense on November 23rd, 2013.

        Wearable Solutions

        Glasses like MoveEYE or SpaceGlasses from Meta approach the human to 3D condition from a different angle. Instead of tracking movement by treating a person like an object in a scene, each company is using wearable technology that documents an environment by projecting out from the body. The glasses are also equipped with motion sensors in order to use head movement as another form of control.

          Time Lord Or Media Guru

          With the look of Peter Capaldi’s Doctor revealed on the BBC website, it is interesting to note how Dr Who has been transformed through old and new media. The way in which The Doctor was brought to life via a flexible format – and sustained by regeneration when William Hartnell became too ill to play the part – is now Whovian folklore. A lesser known labour of love to An Adventure in Space and Time,  ‘On The Outside It Looked Like An Old Fashioned Police Box’ gave Mark Gatiss the opportunity to examine the Time Lord as a media icon. More specifically, he addressed how Target novels kept dreams of the Tardis alive before VHS, Netflicks or digital download in the 1970s.

          Early concept work for Peter Capaldi as The Doctor (Courtesy BBC)

          Early concept work for Peter Capaldi as The Doctor (Courtesy BBC)

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