Microsoft UltraCam at Intergeo 2011

Intergeo 2011 closed its doors two weeks ago. It appeared to have been smaller than last year, but for me it was again a good show, well worth attending. With Microsoft’s UltraCam business, we exhibit every year and Intergeo is probably the biggest show during the year that we attend. This is reflected in the effort we put into our participation with respect to the booth space, layout and staff. This year we had two exciting developments to share, one on the hardware side, the other on the software side.

We had an actual UltraCam Eagle on display, the new camera that we announced this past May 2011 at the ASPRS conference in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. At Intergeo, just four months since ASPRS, we were able to show a camera right out of the serial production and I found it great how eager people were to get a 260 megapixel shot of themselves. Many
existing UltraCam customers who attended the conference stopped by our booth to get first-hand experience with the Eagle but we were also able to welcome many others and show them this new UltraCam flagship camera.

UltraCam Eagle

UltraCam Eagle on display at Intergeo

On the software side, we staged a technology preview of the UltraMap 3.0 image processing software. UltraMap, in its current version, comes with the UltraCam systems and allows processing of UltraCam digital raw images into user usable formats. In past releases, we implemented great features into the software such as distributed processing
with automated load balancing, monolithic geometry, monolithic radiometry and also automated project based color balancing. Also a really cool AT workflow has been implemented. With UltraMap 3.0 we will see new modules in UltraMap which utilize the technology we developed over several years through a group of researchers for the production of 3D city models for Bing Maps. The new modules will generate digital surface models (DSM) and digital terrain models (DTM) automatically out of a set of overlapping UltraCam images with great accuracy and density. A density of several hundred points per square meter can easily be achieved, outperforming airborne Lidar by a factor of ten or more. That allows UltraMap to generate True-Ortho images of great quality with sharp edges and very low artifacts or the traditional ortho image highly automated.

UltraCam Exibition at Intergeo

Traffic at the UltraCam booth at Intergeo

I was impressed by the traffic we had at the booth and none of us had a chance to really even grab a bite, especially during the second (main) day. Attendees were lined up, standing in the aisle waiting for an opportunity to see the UltraCam Eagle or the dense
matching workflow. The positive feedback we received was impressive and tells me that our product development is on the right track. Thanks a lot to my team for their hard work in preparation of, and during, the show.

Networking is always an essential part for me at Intergeo and the show provides a great opportunity to do this since literally everyone from the industry is there. I took the
opportunity on the first and last days to browse around, talk to partners as well as competitors, and I was able to meet whom I wanted to meet. I was left with the feeling that our industry—thanks to the international scope—is in good shape while those who do their business in just some regions are faced with some challenges, depending on what the business is about and exactly where they conduct business. Europe, for example, seems to be a difficult place for a service business to make money.

That said, Another aspect of Intergeo that I always look forward to is the opportunity to see new innovations in the industry. For me, this year’s conference was a bit disappointing in this regard. I can’t report that I saw anything really new coming into our market, outside of what our team was showing (naturally!).

It took me the weekend following the event to recover. Nürnberg, with all its nice pubs and beer gardens and the fun we had there with customers and partners, might have contributed just a little to the need for recovery, but now I am already looking forward to the show next year.  Lot of travel since then, lot of other shows but for sure we will be back 2012.

To get a glimpse of our participation at the event, take a look at our UltraCam Facebook page.

-Alexander Wiechert, Business Director, UltraCam Group

About UltraCam Team

Vexcel Imaging is a leading provider of digital aerial cameras. Its family of UltraCam aerial sensor products includes the UltraCam Condor, UltraCam Osprey, UltraCam Eagle/EaglePrime, UltraCam Falcon/FalconPrime and and end-to-end processing with UltraMap photogrammetric workflow software. Terrestrial products include the UltraCam Mustang mobile sensor system and the UltraCam Panther portable sensor system.
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