GeoSLAM’s ‘democratisation’ of laser scanning

By on 7 February, 2017

The Lincoln Memorial as captured by GeoSLAM. Copyright: GeoSLAM


2016 was a huge year for GeoSLAM. However in 2017 the indoor mapping innovators are set accelerate the uptake of 3D capture technologies even further.

Following the release of its revolutionary handheld ZEB-REVO mobile indoor mapping system in early 2016, GeoSLAM has just released its latest software update to its award winning simultaneous localisation and mapping (SLAM) processing software.

The biggest trend in 3D data capture at the moment is the democratisation of laser scanning.”- Mark Reid, GeoSLAM

The updated Desktop V3 software has added functionality to view, edit and define results within 2D and 3D viewer modes. This enables registered point clouds to be immediately viewed without the use of third-party software.

The ZEB-REVO handheld scanner with the ZEB-CAM attached.

Last year GeoSLAM also released the ZEB-CAM, an add-on option for the ZEB-REVO mobile indoor mapping system, which allows imagery to be captured simultaneously alongside scan data. With an integrated inertial sensor ZEB-CAM utilises optical flow technology to accurately synchronise the acquired imagery to the point cloud data.

GeoSLAM was founded in 2012 as a joint venture between 3D Laser Mapping and Australia’s scientific research body CSIRO, which originally oversaw the development of the Zebeedee scanner, hence the names ZEB-REVO and ZEB-CAM.

Vice President of Product Management at GeoSLAM, Mark Reid, commented on this movement, saying,“the biggest trend in 3D data capture at the moment is the democratisation of laser scanning.”

“We are seeing an increasing number of manufactures releasing low cost entry level systems aimed at the mass market however price is not everything,” Reid continued. “Since the launch of the GeoSLAM ZEB-REVO handheld mobile mapping system in March 2016 we have seen phenomenal adoption due to its price performance but also its simplicity of use.”

“The ZEB-REVO is quickly becoming a standard in the traditional surveyor’s toolkit but is also already starting to bridge the gap between the surveyor and the end user.”

With the growing hunger for accurate 3D data, it will be interesting to see how products such as GeoSLAM’s will be embraced. GeoSLAM will be part of an industry-wide whitepaper study in 3D technologies soon to appear in Position Magazine.

Based in the UK, GeoSLAM now has a global network of distributors, with a presence in 38 countries across 6 continents. Reid also stated that he sees a trend emerging for indoor mapping opportunities:

“Time is money, so on large projects speed is everything. This has led to another trend toward survey in motion or mobile mapping. For several years now we have seen the growing use of vehicle or airborne mobile mapping systems to conduct large area surveys. Such systems however require GPS positioning which has restricted their use indoors. As we spend 90% of our time indoors here at GeoSLAM, we see indoor mapping as the next frontier.”

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