Last week I attended the Applanix User Group Meeting in Toronto where I had the privilege of giving the keynote. I started by announcing my new responsibilities for UltraCam sales in North America and went on to update the audience of roughly 80 as to what has been happening with the Microsoft Bing Maps Global Ortho and UltraCam programs. During the presentation I repeatedly stressed the inherent synergy of the two–Bing Maps (formerly Virtual Earth) drives innovation on the UltraCam products which in turn provides best of breed imagery for Bing Maps–and how this all benefits the aerial mapping and surveying market because the UltraCam hardware and software development efforts for Bing Maps augment our commercial UltraCam offerings. If you were unable to make the meeting, check out this video that tells the Global Ortho story which includes the UltraCamG. The UCG is not currently commercially available but the lessons learned during its development paid off for the recently announced UltraCam Eagle, which I also addressed along with how investments and development efforts to establish automated software systems for rapid production of surface and terrain models, point clouds and orthophotos is soon going to benefit UltraMap users. Keep an eye out for related news in the near future.
Of particular interest to Applanix and UltraCam users is that with the announcement of the UltraCam Eagle, the UltraCam team also introduced the UltraNav Flight Management and Direct Georeferencing system. The system was developed through our partnership with Applanix based on their POStrack solution and is offered specially for the UltraCam systems (with the exception of the UltraCamD). What is significant about this product is that the GNSS/Inertial hardware has been scaled down and is actually embedded into the UltraCam sensor head so that the only UltraNav system hardware external to the UltraCam are the display panels which cable connect to the sensor. There are obvious benefits of this integration. First and foremost, reliability increases because there are less cables so less potential for failure. Handling and installation are simpler because there are less boxes, cables and connections. And the overall camera system occupies less space in the aircraft and weighs less, a benefit that is always appreciated by aerial mapping customers. Meanwhile the UltraNav offers full GPS/INS/FMS functionality and features. Detailed information will be posted on the UltraCam web site in the coming week. If you are super eager to learn more, use the Contact Us link on this page to request a PDF of the data sheet. Be sure to provide your email address.
It was a good week, with good information presented and I know the hardcore technical types left pretty happy. Thanks to Applanix for putting together such a good event and for providing our team with the opportunity to contribute.
– Jerry Skaw, UltraCam Sales and Marketing