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COLORADO SPRINGS, COLO.—In July, Sanborn’s St. Louis office began a three-month test of a commercial, off-the-shelf mobile mapping system known as Landmark. Sanborn will use the system, which can be tailored for use in a wide range of mapping applications, for asset collection and LIDAR imaging to map highways, bridges, college campuses, and cities. At the end of the trial period, Sanborn will provide feedback, including recommendations for new project applications, to Landmark’s manufacturer, Ontario, Canada-based Applanix, with whom Sanborn has a longstanding relationship.

Introduced in January, Landmark integrates hardware and software in a comprehensive bundle that includes LIDAR technology with an Applanix-derived processing workflow; a digital camera; industrial computers; a multiplexer; and proprietary real-time operating, image processing, feature extraction, and post-processing software. Landmark can be customized, modified as application needs grow, and easily moved between vehicles, the manufacturer says. Data can be exported into multiple formats. A POS LV positioning system increases the reliability of data capture even in adverse GPS conditions, according to Applanix.

Sanborn will use the system’s LIDAR sensors, which blend imagery and point cloud data to provide automatic feature extraction, to collect high-resolution data of assets, pavement, bridges, and other points of interest. In addition, Sanborn will use the Landmark system to combine airborne and ground products for a variety of situational awareness and mapping/visualization applications, which gives the user the ability to view street level imagery and an overhead view of the precise location of an area of interest.

"From the air we get the planimetric images and LIDAR," explained Jim Peterson, a vice president with Sanborn. "From the ground we get the oblique to completely vertical view of images and LIDAR." After capturing the imagery, the system performs semi-automatic feature extraction, such as highway sineage, and then creates a database of the inventory, which is geospatially referenced.

Sanborn plans to use the system on two specific projects: to scan a bridge and tunnel below the city of St. Louis, and to capture trolley system assets for the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency.

"Sanborn regards mobile mapping as an integral component of its future growth strategy," said Peterson.