Introduction to Point Clouds
It has been a while since I study on good businesses. Rather than look at the valuation first, I will like to look at the prospect of industry and the business. Ultimately, we are buying a business. In this article, I want to understand the 3D point cloud datasets. Point clouds are datasets that represent real objects in our world with X, Y, and Z geometric coordinates of a single point. Point clouds collate a large number of single spatial measurements into a dataset with colour information that will become 4D. You can read more here on what 3D point clouds can do.
Point Clouds are a non-intrusive way to measure buildings, structures, and objects. Before, point clouds, 3D surveys did not occur. The key factor to acquire cloud data is access to the scanned surfaces. This scanning will take time. The data availability, accuracy, density, and size of 3D clouds are going to increase tremendously within the next few years.
Simultaneous Localisation and Mapping
Scanning, robotics, and data processing technologies are developing very fast. Simultaneous Localisation and Mapping (SLAM) is going to disrupt how surveyors generate maps, deal with data, and deploy reality capture technology. SLAM is a set of algorithmic techniques for updating a map of an unknown environment while keeping track of your location within it. It is moving from static to mobile scanning.
SLAM used to be inaccurate among surveyors but now SLAM is changing the workflows. The scanner moves to its new position. From the new position, landmarks are extracted from the environment. SLAM attempts to associate these landmarks with observations of landmarks it previously had. Re-observed landmarks are then applied to update the position. The challenges SLAM experience will be accuracy, speed, and the size of data sets. SLAM is deployed using hybrid localisation technology. This enables users to mitigate the problems of one sensor type with advantages of another sense. When using autonomous robotics, helps with real-time positioning. SLAM, LiDAR, GNSS data, and more can be deployed within a wider scan data set.
3D moving to Cloud
3D laser scanning or LiDAR are set to greatly improve in accessibility and decrease in cost. Historically, there was insufficient bandwidth to process capabilities of cloud-based applications and network and software to process point cloud processing is unstable. A single laser scan can require a gigabyte of storage. Large projects will require hundreds or even thousands of scans which will result in excess of terabyte. Processing, registering and modeling scans in the cloud requires large quantities of data in real time. This inspired a lot of investment in bandwidth to build a cloud stable to host surveying technologies. The cloud is faster and more capable of meeting the demands that reality capture technology places on the IT system.
5G to improve clouds
5G will be the game changer compared to 4G. Remote access to even the largest and densest files will not be a problem and will continue to diminish over the next few years. 5G will level the difference between remote and wired access to cloud-based applications. The survey-specific change transforming what these access speeds mean to reality capture technology has to do with how point clouds are processed and the ability to access the scalability of the cloud. The success of cloud-based applications depends on cloud infrastructure, point cloud processing software, modelling software and laser scanning hardware.
3D Reality Capture Technology Applications
3D scanning technology has increased amongst crime scene investigation (CSI) and collision investigation units (CIU) globally to aid in the investigative process. Collision investigation uses laser scanning to document the scene and their findings. Manufacturing QA/QC inspection is using scanners to ensure quality in production lines and process control. There are heritage sites and famous physical buildings which are at risk or experience threat of permanent loss. The scanning of heritage sites and storage in cloud can preserve physical places with complete records. This can be enhanced with AR and VR, which allows virtual visit. Improvements to reality capture technology (Light Detection and Ranging LiDAR) have helped Building Information Management, providing cost effective utility within projects on how to communicate and collaborate with construction teams. Buildings are checked by laser scanners at every stage of construction.
What is Laser Scanning Software?
Laser scanners deploy a technique known as LiDAR (Light Detection and Ranging) involves measuring from lasers to gauge the distances to objects. During scanning, millions of individual measurements are made per second, when combined will create a point cloud. Laser scanner software will turn data into usable information.
Registration is the first step in point cloud processing and 3D model generation. This stage is critical to the quality of the final products. With advancements in computer processing power development has utilized a “cloud-to-cloud” approach where specialist algorithms find patterns in natural features within a scene.
Visualisation and modelling software is a technology that has evolved into one of the most viable options for producing high-quality digital content.