Sabah Lands & Surveys Dept.: I Fly UltraCam!

Our most recent video shoot for the “I Fly UltraCam” customer testimonial video series took us to Sabah, one of the two Malaysian states on the island of Borneo. There we visited with Mr. Robert Cheng, Senior Director of the Sabah Lands & Surveys Department who told us about the agency’s 5-year quest to acquire an aerial camera system that finally concluded with the decision to purchase an UltraCam Osprey nadir/oblique system from Vexcel Imaging. In the video, Cheng explains their reasons for purchasing the Osprey and why he can now boast “I fly UltraCam!”

Check out the video with the informative interviews as well as fantastic footage of the island.

Congratulations to Mr. Cheng and the entire team at Sabah Lands & Surveys Department. Welcome to the UltraCam Family!

-Jerry Skaw, Vexcel Imaging

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Recorded Webinar: UltraCam Product Updates

If you missed our March webinar update on our newest aerial and terrestrial sensors, you can still view the webinar, recorded in its entirety, here.

The 50-minute recording features presentations from our experts in Graz, Austria, about our UltraCam Condor wide aerial mapping aerial sensor, UltraCam Mustang mobile mapping system, as well as live demos of our UltraMap processing suite (in support of the Condor) and the Orbit GT mobile mapping software.

50 minutes well spent. Have a look.

-The Team at Vexcel Imaging

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Vexcel Imaging at Intergeo 2016

intergeo-2016-boothVexcel Imaging GmbH team is in Hamburg, Germany this week and ready for the doors to open on the Intergeo 2016 conference. As you can see from the photo, the booth is open, workstations are in place and products are staged. If you are at Intergeo, be sure to stop by and see us at booth #E4.024 in Hall 4 for a chance to learn about our latest innovations including:

While in the booth, be sure to ask us:

  • About the new naming and color scheme for our leading selling UltraCam aerial camera systems
  • About our recent partnership with Orbit GT to offer UltraCam customers oblique, mobile, and indoor mapping software products

Additionally, don’t miss our Engelbert Breg–Vexcel Imaging Sales Director for EMEA & LatAm–presenting on all our solutions at the Forum, 11:30 Thursday.

Full Intergeo report can be found online.  Have a great conference!

–The Team at Vexcel Imaging

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Vexcel Imaging NEW Web Site

VI logoAs recently shared here on the UltraCam Blog, Vexcel Imaging GmbH changed ownership in March 2016 and is once again an independent company under the newly formed Vexcel Holdings. With this, we have established a new corporate identity with new branding AND now a completely overhauled website!

The new site sports a new and fresh design, is straightforward with an intuitive structure that quickly guides you to the information you need. From our versatile product portfolio to information about our company, sample imagery and videos, the web site offers everything you need to come up to speed on the company and our offerings. Any information that is not found on the web site can be requested by contacting us using the menu options at the very top right of the page: Contact Us, Sales, and Support.

The URL for the web site is  Go check it out!

VI Web Site– The Team at Vexcel Imaging


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UltraCam Condor Announced at IGTF/ASPRS 2016

Condor SM

From the IGTF/ASPRS 2016 conference in Fort Worth, Texas, Vexcel Imaging last week introduced a new camera model: the UltraCam Condor. Designed for high-altitude mapping, the UltraCam Condor frame combines a high-resolution RGB image at 37,800 x 5,200 pixel with a lower resolution PAN data capture for automated DSMOrtho and DTMOrtho image generation that is consistently sharp, geometrically accurate and of superior radiometry. Its expansive footprint, along with the camera’s fast frame rate, allows capture of large regions – even continents – in record-time. This all-in-one system is complemented by a NIR channel, making the UltraCam Condor an ideal solution for agriculture, forestry and land management applications. The system will be available in fall 2016.

UltraCam Condor key benefits are:

  • 37,800 pixel swath width allow for wide flight lines such as 3.7km @ 10 cm GSD or 9 kilometer @ 25 cm GSD, providing greater coverage in shorter time.
  • Well-balanced field of view of ±41 degree for utmost productivity and full use of the swath width.
  • High-resolution RGB, panchromatic and NIR data all in a single pass.
  • Full resolution in the RGB channel. No pansharpening necessary for high-resolution color imagery.
  • Fast frame rate and mission envelope, along with forward motion compensation through time-delay-integration, allow operation at high aircraft speeds and in jets – rapid collection minimizes mission time and costs.
  • Stable geometry and greater independence from GPS/INS accuracy is ensured by a frame sensor.
  • To eliminate atmospheric effects typical of high-altitude mapping, an uncompressed 14-bit RAW RGB image format and full 16 bit processing workflow allows artifact-free, automated color correction during UltraMap post-processing.
  • For maximum efficiency and productivity, the complete and fully integrated UltraMap workflow solution supports unlimited project sizes.

“The UltraCam Condor is our response to the growing demand for higher productivity and efficiency in collection of vast areas at rapid flight speeds”, says Alexander Wiechert, CEO of Vexcel Imaging GmbH. “Essentially an ortho-machine, the UltraCam Condor allows customers to fly higher, farther, and faster without making compromises in data quality.”

For more information, please contact

-The Team at Vexcel Imaging

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The NEW Vexcel Imaging

VI logoBy now most everyone in the aerial surveying and photogrammetry community has likely heard that the Vexcel Imaging UltraCam business is no longer a Microsoft subsidiary. And you may be wondering “what does this mean?”  Well, for starters, we have a really cool new company logo as seen here. And we are hard at work rebranding and reworking our marketing materials, web site and social media pages. Our cameras will even get a new look. A lot of work right now but it all feels pretty good. After roughly ten very good years as a Microsoft subsidiary, we are once again an independent company, as of March 11, 2016.

To purchase Vexcel Imaging GmbH back from Microsoft, a Vexcel Holdings company was formed by four managing partners: Erik Jorgensen, former Microsoft Corp. Vice President; Stephen Lawler former BING CTO; Martin Ponticelli, CTO of Vexcel Imaging, and Alexander Wiechert, CEO of Vexcel Imaging. These four individuals literally own Vexcel Imaging. To better serve the North American market, a Vexcel Imaging US, Inc. has been established as a subsidiary to Vexcel Imaging GmbH.

Other than this, and how you will contact us, very little has changed. The newly founded Vexcel Holding is just a legal entity for the share purchase. All the operative business stays within the well-known Vexcel Imaging GmbH. The internal organization of Vexcel Imaging has not changed–we continue to have three units: Operations (led by Alexander Wiechert), Development (led by Martin Ponticelli) and Application (led by Michael Gruber). The business scope remains unchanged with a strong commitment to outstanding UltraCam and UltraMap products for aerial and terrestrial markets and applications.

But there is this: we now have more control over our destiny.

The Microsoft years were undeniably a great ride. Microsoft brought great value to the UltraCam program and together, Microsoft and Vexcel Imaging created amazing developments for Virtual Earth and Bing Maps. But “no man can serve two masters,” as the saying goes. Well, we did a pretty good job, actually. But we had to divide our development resources between our commercial customers and our large internal customer who had requirements of a rather ambitious mapping program. As an independent company, we can now refocus our teams fully on taking care of the needs of commercial markets. We can be more nimble and we can act more quickly.

We leave Microsoft with broad IP licensing rights and have a very aggressive roadmap that includes new aerial and terrestrial sensors and new releases of our UltraMap software with powerful features and capabilities. A brand new UltraCam aerial sensor is being announced already this week at the ASPRS 2016 Annual Conference in Ft.Worth, Texas. If you attend the conference, be sure to stop by and see us on the exhibit floor.

The best endings are those that lead to new beginnings. As we close one chapter, the pen is inked up and we are already writing the next. It’s going to be another great ride!

-Jerry Skaw, Vexcel Imaging UltraCam Team



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Bluesky makes news with UltraMap photogrammetric workflow software

Bluesky 5cm aerial image of CoventryMicrosoft UltraCam customer Bluesky International is in the news again, this time for 75% efficiency gains in its production of terrabytes of data captured with the company’s UltraCam Eagle systems and processed using Microsoft’s UltraMap photogrammetric workflow software. Additionally, Bluesky has  improved the quality of its aerial images, reducing building lean and image distortion, and the accuracy of its digital height models.

UltraMap is a state-of-the-art, end-to-end, complete photogrammetric workflow system that provides highly automated processing capabilities to allow organizations to rapidly generate quality data products from an UltraCam flight. UltraMap is designed to process huge amounts of UltraCam data in the shortest possible time with the highest degree of automatization, supported by guided manual interaction, quality control tools and powerful visualization.

A modular system, UltraMap generates data products that include:

  • Radiometrically-corrected, color-balanced Level 3 images
  • Image-based, high-density (>300 pts per sq meter) point clouds
  • Digital surface models
  • True and traditional orthophotos.

The latest UltraMap release, version 4.0, features numerous enhancements for increased efficiency and reduced production costs of nadir UltraCam data, as well as improvements for enhanced image quality of nadir and oblique data captured by the UltraCam Osprey series of nadir/oblique digital aerial sensors.

Read the full Bluesky article.

-Jerry Skaw, Microsoft UltraCam Team

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