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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UltraCam at the 2015 Intergeo Conference in Stuttgart

Intergeo TeamThe UltraCam team is out in numbers at the Intergeo 2015 Conference in Stuttgart, Germany. Like most years, we are introducing new product but this year we are announcing THREE new UltraCam camera systems and an updated version of our UltraMap workflow software!

Building on the success of the UltraCam Eagle ultra-large format digital aerial camera system introduced in 2011, we are announcing the UltraCam Eagle Prime that features several enhancements from the UltraCam Eagle:

• Increased PAN frame image footprint of more than 23,000 pixels across the flight strip.
• Maintained maximum frame rate of 1.8s with bigger footprint.
• Expanded storage capacity to 8TB.
• Reduced weight and power consumption.

intergeo handshakeAt the same time, we are adding a 120mm focal length lens to the list of optional interchangeable lens kits available for both the UltraCam Eagle and UltraCam Eagle Prime which already includes 80mm, 100mm and 210mm kits. This extended range of focal lengths allows the UltraCam Eagle to serve as a flexible single system “workhorse”  to efficiently serve a wide range of aerial data acquisition applications.  It is not taking the market long to react: with the announcement of the UltraCam Eagle Prime we are also announcing three “launching” customers: Aerometrex (Australia), Terra Messflug GmbH(Austria) and Topocart (Brazil).

Osprey Prime IINext, we are also announcing two new models of the UltraCam Osprey vertical/oblique digital aerial sensor: the UltraCam Osprey Prime II, with an even bigger footprint in both the vertical and oblique modes than the Osprey Prime, and the UltraCam Osprey Lite, an entry-level UltraCam nadir/oblique system. Key features for these systems:

Osprey Prime II

  • Higher nadir and oblique collection efficiencies through:
  • Increased PAN nadir image size of 13,470 x 8,670 pixels
  • Increased RGB oblique image size of 10,300 x 7,700 pixels
  • Flexibility through collecting photogrammetry-grade nadir images and oblique images simultaneously with subpixel accuracy and high dynamic range equivalent to other UltraCam cameras

Osprey Prime Lite

  • Five RGB Bayer patter 80MP pixel cones for nadir and oblique image collection
  • Optional nadir NIR cone for classification
  • Entry level oblique camera system
  • Seamless UltraMap processing workflow
  • Upgradeable to UltraCam Osprey Prime II

This brings us to the announcement and introduction of UltraMap 4.0. I am particularly excited about this update because of the tech preview ability to generate 3D city models, a long awaited algorithm that was developed for Microsoft’s Bing Maps.

Other key features:

  • Exceptional quality level of data products through:
  • Novel oblique and nadir color balance.
  • Increased radiometric quality based on the de-hazing module.
  • Flexible radiometric adjustments through interactive user guidance.
  • Increased efficiencies and minimized production costs through:
    • Virtually unlimited project size support (tested up to 50k trigger events) throughout the whole aerial workflow.
    • Full integration of Visual Analytics into the UltraMap Aerial Triangulation module.

Our development team has been at work!  If you are at the conference, look for us in booth #F4.080. You won’t want to miss this opportunity to see the latest coming from our team.

– Jerry Skaw, Microsoft UltraCam Team

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Advance Aviation Group/Trans Wonderland: I Fly UltraCam!

If you have followed our “I Fly UltraCam” series of video and written case studies, you have witnessed that the UltraCam has a worldwide presence. Our journeys have taken us to the USA, France, China, Brazil, Kenya and now Australia where we visited Alec Mercer, CEO of Advance Aviation Group Pty Ltd. (AAG), and Ripen Sarepo, CEO of Trans Wonderland Ltd., a trucking company based in Papua New Guinea. The two organizations have partnered to bring the benefits of aerial surveying to the Papua New Guinea region and are the subject of the 6th installment in our “I Fly UltraCam” series.

Besides the location, what sets this most recent case study apart from the previous ones is that it features the UltraCam Eagle which AAG acquired with both the 210mm and 80mm focal length lens kits. With some projects requiring flying at very high altitudes and others very low, AAG needed one flexible and versatile camera system that could do both. They found the UltraCam Eagle to be just that system.

IMG_0671“Flexibility of the lens-changing ability has shown itself to be very, very useful to us in a project that we’re doing right at the moment,” Alec Mercer told us. “The client has specified particular resolutions for what he wants and some of that is at, at 25,000 feet and others are at six or eight thousand feet. To achieve those we need to have the two different lenses. So, basically what will happen is we will fly the high altitude 210mm lens, return, change the lenses, go back and fly the low altitude 80mm lens. And we can achieve that effectively.”

What advice would Mercer share with his peers in the industry looking to get into aerial surveying?

“It’s not something you just make a decision about overnight, because it’s an expensive industry to get into. My first advice would be to buy the leading technology that you can possibly get your hands on. And that technology today is, is the UltraCam Eagle. It’s upgradeable, it’s highly efficient, and price-wise, you pay for what you get. By buying theAlecMercer_lo-res-rgb3000x2000 UltraCam, we’ve put ourselves at the forefront of the technology and that has enabled us to then go to clients and say to them ‘we can offer you this; we can offer you a product that the competitors cannot offer you.'”

For more information, watch  the very entertaining video and then read the written case study.

G’day, mate!

-Jerry Skaw, Microsoft UltraCam Team

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We are exhibiting at the 13th South East Asian Survey Congress … Come and see us

SEASC 2015

Visit Microsoft’s UltraCam Group and our partner Imagemaps at our booth #A22  for information on our photogrammetric digital aerial camera systems: the UltraCam Osprey nadir/oblique digital aerial camera, the UltraCam Eagle, the UltraCam Falcon and the UltraCam Hawk along with our UltraNav direct georeferencing and flight management system, the UltraMount 4000 and the remarkable features of our UltraMap v3 software which can now be licensed via a subscription Basis.

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UltraMap v3.9 now available

Are you looking for a state-of-the-art, end-to-end, complete photogrammetric workflow system to process UltraCam data? UltraMap v3.9 comes with exciting new capabilities and features that include an interactive 3D AT workflow for better insight into the aerial triangulation process, and the ability to edit DSMs automatically generated by UltraMap.

UM DSM EditIf you haven’t already seen, take a look at this quick video to see how artifacts are easily removed, building walls are rapidly restored and smoothed. In the second video we show you how 3D visual analytics can now visualize camera trigger Events.

You want to see more? View the recording of our free webinar where our experts show details about the improvements and new features of the workflow, how the software produces data of highest quality and demonstrate the intuitive User Interface.

For more information about UltraMap 3.9, a demo or a trial version, contact your UltraCam representative for your Region.

We are now also offering a flexible UltraMap subscription plan licensing UltraMap modules literally on a monthly basis.

– Silke Kemmer, Microsoft UltraCam Team

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UltraMap Webinar: Learn about the exciting new features of UltraMap 3.9!

UM graphicMicrosoft’s UltraCam team recently introduced an updated version of the UltraMap workflow software system to enable UltraCam customers to produce richer data products, work more efficiently and cost-effectively, and extend their data offerings. UltraMap v3.9 augments Microsoft’s industry leadership in imagery workflow and processing with significant customer-requested updates along with innovative capabilities.

Join UltraMap experts Bernhard Schachinger and Martin Lenz on June 30 for a 45-minute webinar during which they will show you:

  • Details about the improvements and new features of the workflow
  • How the software produces data of the highest quality
  • Demonstration of the intuitive User Interface

Don’t miss this opportunity to get your UltraMap questions answered directly by our experts! Visit to add this webinar to your calendar.

-Jerry Skaw, Microsoft UltraCam Team

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Williams Aerial & Mapping Purchases Microsoft UltraCam Falcon

williams logoIndiana-based Williams Aerial & Mapping, Inc. has just joined the UltraCam Family through the addition of an UltraCam Falcon to its fleet of aerial sensors. At a speedy 1.0 seconds,  the UltraCam Falcon boasts the fastest frame rate of our UltraCam sensors, providing a high forward overlap at rapid airspeeds even at lower altitudes, making the UltraCam Falcon a highly efficient system even if it doesn’t sport the larger image footprint of the UltraCam Eagle. With this in mind, Williams opted for the 100mm focal length lens (rather than the 70mm) to cover a range of mission altitudes. Their package also includes the integrated UltraNav flight management and direct georeferencing system and the recently released UltraMount GSM 4000 gyro-stabilized mount.

Congratulations to Rick, Andy, Jim and the entire team at Williams Aerial & Mapping!

Full press release below.

-Jerry Skaw, Microsoft UltraCam Team

Williams Aerial & Mapping Purchases UltraCam Falcon with UltraNav

Graz, Austria — April 30, 2015 — Williams Aerial & Mapping, Inc., has contracted with Microsoft’s UltraCam business unit and subsidiary to purchase an UltraCam Falcon digital aerial camera system. The package includes the UltraNav GNSS-Inertial Direct Georeferencing + Flight Management System, an integrated unit that consolidates all navigation and flight planning components into the sensor head, and UltraMap workflow software for generating radiometrically corrected and color-balanced Level 3 imager in TIFF or JPEG format.

untitled4“We have direct control in-house of every project from start to finish, so it’s important for us to have the best equipment and software available to do our jobs well,” said Graham Rhodes, Photogrammetry Flight Director at Williams Aerial & Mapping, Inc. “Our purchase of an UltraCam Falcon will enhance our productivity due to the large on-board storage, the rapid image capture rate, and the automated processing capabilities provided by UltraMap.”

Williams intends to use the UltraCam Falcon for engineering, transmission line, and pipeline projects, as well as county and state-wide mapping.

“Adding the UltraCam Falcon to our selection of digital cameras is an exciting opportunity,” said Jim Moffitt, Photogrammetry Manager at Williams Aerial & Mapping, Inc. “The high resolution should be a real boon to our image quality and clarity.”

“Williams is a very experienced mapping firm that serves many types of customers across a broad geographic area,” said Alexander Wiechert, Microsoft Business Director. “The compact size and flexibility of the UltraCam Falcon, along with its advanced image quality, is an excellent camera to meet diverse needs.”

About the UltraCam Falcon

The UltraCam Falcon features include:

  • PAN, color and NIR data captured in one pass
  • Choice between two image footprint sizes (14,430 pixels across or 17,310 pixels across) and two lens focal lengths (the standard 100mm Pan or wide angle 70mm Pan)
  • Solid-state image storage system that holds approximately 7,500 images (with 14,430 pixel footprint) and 5,200 images (with 17,310 pixel footprint)
  • Maximum frame rate <1.0 | 1.35 seconds per frame
  • Panchromatic physical pixel size: 7.2 μm (6.0 μm)
  • Compatible with UltraNav flight management and direct georeferencing system from Applanix

About Microsoft’s UltraCam Business Unit

With its operations based in Graz, Austria, and sales and support teams in North America and Asia, Microsoft’s UltraCam business unit offers more than two decades of photogrammetry expertise. The division is responsible for the highly successful line of UltraCam digital aerial mapping systems that today include the UltraCam Hawk, UltraCam Falcon, and UltraCam Eagle digital photogrammetric sensors, and the UltraCam Osprey nadir/oblique photogrammetric digital aerial sensor. Also offered is the UltraNav Flight Management and Direct Georeferencing system, designed to maximize the efficiency of UltraCam aerial mapping. Rounding out the UltraCam offerings is the fully integrated UltraMap workflow software system.

About Microsoft

Founded in 1975, Microsoft (Nasdaq “MSFT”) is the worldwide leader in software, services and solutions that help people and businesses realize their full potential.

About Williams Aerial & Mapping, Inc.

Williams Aerial & Mapping, Inc., is a full service photogrammetric mapping and geospatial data firm with a long history of aerial film and digital data acquisition, as well as LiDAR and video collection. Its global operations include an array of cameras and scanners and a large fleet of aircraft with trained crews that are leased to customers around the world. Williams has completed a wide variety of projects for government agencies and private corporations. A team of certified photogrammetrists processes all data in-house. For more information please contact Rick Kosinski at (574) 287-2104 or

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