What is wearable mapping technology? Cameras, laser sensors, and software worn on the back like a comfortable hiking backpack, keeping the user flexible to quickly navigate through any environment whilst capturing gigabytes of geospatial data. What are the potential applications? Let’s answer these questions by looking at case studies where wearable mapping technology was the enabler.
Apart from the technical benefits – e.g. the use of SLAM technology in the Leica Pegasus:Backpack – there are some obvious advantages of wearable technology, like having professional documentation coupled with greater data collection efficiency as a result of the operator being flexible to navigate any area by foot. Hence, projects require fewer resources and less time, which is key to completing a project on budget.
Customers demand geospatial data from indoors, outdoors, underground, restricted or even hazardous sites, independently from the technology used. Naturally a system had to be developed that could fill the gap where traditional mobile scanning systems were reaching their limits. Human-carried systems are the answer to the call for fast and flexible ‘on-demand’ 3D documentation.
Out-of-the-box applications Although the Pegasus backpack was developed for scanning projects that can be covered at walking speeds, such as building information modelling (BIM), traffic-closed urban areas, heritage sites with limited access, underground infrastructures, disaster areas, electrical power stations, and even the building of GIS systems, as wearable technologies established themselves, new applications emerged.
Since the launch of the Leica Pegasus:Backpack, several new applications have evolved through necessity and creative users are pushing the boundaries. Though the backpack is typically used for walking, user are employing novel tools to speed up data collection.
Case study 1 – scanning on skis: The Leica Pegasus:Backpack was used in Laax, one of Switzerland’s most prestigious ski resorts, to generate digital terrain models of slopes in order to map hazardous areas and prevent accidents. The collected data helps to simulate how to groom the slopes each year and throughout the season to the same levels. Capturing the hardest to reach areas, the system provides a fast way to increase safety and enables informed decision making.
Case study 2 – scanning on a scooter: During a project in India, the team decided to use the Leica Pegasus:Backpack on a scooter to speed up data collection due to the size of the targeted area. With India’s high traffic volumes and , at times, rather chaotic traffic conditions, capturing data by car can be challenging. Using a scooter allows the team to be more agile and flexible to navigate traffic and small roads. Despite the increased travelling speed of 20 km/h, the point cloud and image set was dense enough to differentiate the utility assets and determine clearances that were needed to be mapped.
Case study 3 – scanning on a Segway: Thanks to wearable mobile mapping the Berry Canal cycling route should welcome its first cyclists in the summer of 2018. The Pegasus: Backpack was used on a Segway to collect 3D data that allowed the surveyors to trace the bike paths along the Berry Canal.
A dynamic solution
The Leica Pegasus:Backpack is an award-winning wearable reality capture platform. Completely portable, is designed for rapid and regular reality capture. For more information on the solution you can also watch our webinar: Webinar: Mapping Technology in a Backpack.