InterGEO 2017: Day 1

Tuesday 26 September 2017:

Disclosure, I have removed some photos to keep from upsetting some individuals. I don’t think that the general feeling is changed.

You can click on the pictures to get full sized images.

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InterGEO 2017: Day 0

This year, InterGEO 2017 was in Berlin. I had a fantastic time. I luckily had plenty of time for sightseeing and some great meals. Not to spoil the rest of the pictures, but here is a picture of me at Hoffbrau Berlin:


That is a 1-liter beer, it was perhaps the best beer I have ever drank and the food was even better. I can not wait to return.

For about $40 you can purchase a Bus/Subway pass that allows unlimited travel in Berlin for 1-week. So, I took the X9 (express bus) from the airport to the Zoo. It took about 13 minutes and dropped me off 200 meters from my hotel:


Walking around the hotel, I found this amazing vehicle. I think it might make a fantastic survey chariot:


Did a bunch of sightseeing Sunday and Monday, plus some business meetings.

I am going to add most all of the pictures that I took in three additional postings, one posting for Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday. Unlike last year, I am going to try to add some meaningful comments to most of the pictures. I took a lot of pictures that were just overall booth shots, those won’t be detailed. But the booths that I found interesting will be commented.

These are my important take-aways:

  • Every surveyor should go to InterGEO once to see all the cool accessories and the overall size of the business. Europe is different, but until you see the size and complexity of the Leica, Trimble, UniStrong, ESRI, and other BigGuy booths; I don’t think you can have  a good picture of the size of this bussiness.
  • If you think you have a good idea for the ‘UAV’ market, you need to temper your enthusiasm with the reality of how many REALLY BIG and small companies are already full in. If your name is not DJI, you probably are not going to be successful in the rotary business.
  • It is not that difficult to go to a show in Germany. My trip cost less than $1800 and I stayed in a very nice hotel, did a lot of expensive entertaining and sightseeing. I think I could have reined in my spending and kept the entire trip under $1200 which is less than I would spend on the Carlson convention in Maysville probably.

It may take me a few more days to post my pictures, stay tuned!

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UAV Accuracy, Repeatability: Is it Real?

I get to talk to a lot of UAV folks. Typically they are new practitioners who are looking for a fast and inexpensive method of doing Ground Control (GC) and Ground Check Points (GCP) for jobs that are going to be flown using fixed or rotary wing aircraft. We get involved because of the affordability of the iG3s static solution and our great RTK offerings.

One of the scary things that I am figuring out is that the people who are flying these jobs don’t have much of a survey background.

I am just going to throw this thought out: If you are selling UAV services in the USA and don’t have a good handle on these four items:

  • US Survey Feet vs. International Feet
  • IGS08 vs. NAD83 2011 2010.0 (What is a realization, what is an epoch? If you don’t know then you don’t know.)
  • Orthometric vs. Ellipsoid (+ GPS Derived Heights, i.e. GEOID Separation)
  • Accuracy vs. Repeatability

Then I think that you are precluded from making any accuracy claims!

In other words, if you don’t explicitly know the difference between IGS08 and NAD83; then you CAN NOT possibly claim on your website that you are delivering sub-centimeter results. I mean, you just can’t.

I happened on a great white paper last Friday [ Strix ] [ PDF Link ] that does a great job of actually empirically looking at 225 flights over the same test bed. It delves into the differences in lighting, flight patterns, control spacing and more.

Basically I think that this stuff might actually be rocket science. At least lets be clear that it is not simple.

🙂 M

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SurvCE: Send NMEA out the Data Collector Serial Port

SurvCE allows you to send NMEA sentences out the data collector serial port.

Here are some tricks and hints on getting it work:

[ Setup SurvCE to Send NMEA Messages out Data Collector COM Port ]

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PPP via Serial Port on Win 10 Creator’s Edition

Wow. Creator’s Edition is just one thing after another that used to work and no longer works.

We use PPP over serial cables to communicate with GNSS engines here all the time. The latest round of updates has disabled PPP on every single machine that used to work.

Below are instructions for making it work under Windows 10. I have no idea how to make it work under Windows 7 now (and that used to be the easy OS.)

Anyway, Keep Reading: [ PPPWindows10SetupNotes_RevA ]….

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Setting up a Nautix X8 Wi-Fi

Setting up Wi-Fi on the X8 is not difficult. But it is different than most other data collectors.

Continue reading for my notes with pictures [ NautixX8_WiFi_Setup … ]


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NGS OPUS Won’t Process my GPS Observation File!


I collected static data with my (xyz) GPS receiver, just like I always do. It was in a wide open area, but when I submit data it reports that it cannot process the file or the vectors because they are noisy or fewer than 3 useable stations remain.


There are a lot of possible answers, but in this case the error message may be correct: “There are no nearby CORS stations WITH data.”

Let’s look at an example. [ Continue Reading …  OPUSWontProcess_R001 ]

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