GEOGRAMA - Mobile Mapping for urban environments and roads

Mobile Mapping for urban environments and roads

Having a precise and reliable knowledge of the territory is a natural ambition that has been present in humans for centuries. Nowadays, everything is easier thanks to cutting-edge technological advances such as Mobile Mapping. That is why you must know its essential features, as well as its usefulness and the value it brings to municipal managers and many other types of professional fields. Here you have everything you need to know.

You may have ever come across a car with a series of cameras and devices on it. If you have, it is quite likely that the same vehicle is performing Mobile Mapping tasks.

Do you really know what this concept consists of, what advantages it brings compared to more traditional methods and what it is applied for? In this article we are going to give you an answer to all this.

What is Mobile Mapping?

The Mobile Mapping technique is one with which geolocated 360º images can be taken, as well as point clouds and other geographical information thanks to a series of technologies incorporated into a vehicle or mobile platform. Among these technologies, the most common are:

  • Global positioning system (GPS) to determine the geolocation of the collected items.
  • Inertial Navigation System (INS), which allows to specify the position when the GPS signal is lost or does not have the adequate intensity, in addition to adding precision to it.
  • Laser scanner, whose precision will depend on the model used.
  • Photographic cameras: as we have mentioned, the usual thing is that they collect 360º panoramic photographs.

With the implementation of Mobile Mapping, it is possible to carry out inspections of elements in urban environments or any type of road or path, inventory them, as well as measure distances between them.

Advantages of using Mobile Mapping 

A priori, you will have come to the conclusion that the use of Mobile Mapping is enormously beneficial. But what specific advantages does it bring? The most prominent are:

  • Field work is reduced, with its consequent cost savings.
  • This same decrease in field work means that there are fewer accidents as a result of these, such as being run over or falls. Security multiplies.
  • The data collected and digitized is of higher quality, more accurate and up-to-date.
  • Its digitization allows better access to them.
  • Optimize the exchange controls in the territory.
  • Facilitates asset management in smart cities.
  • It can be used by local entities of any size, urban complexity and environmental conditions.
GEOGRAMA - Mobile Mapping for roads and cities

Mobile Mapping applications in urban environments and roads.

With Mobile Mapping, it is possible to efficiently carry out inventories of urban furniture, supply networks, roads, etc. In these inventories elements are identified such as:

  • The telephone and electricity towers.
  • Lampposts and public lighting devices
  • Manhole covers.
  • Hydrants and irrigation systems.
  • Aerial laying of electrical and telephone cables.
  • Curbs and pavements.
  • Litter bins.
  • Banks.
  • Parking meters.

In addition to inventorying and geolocating all these elements, the distances between them are also measured, the slopes on the ground, the type of pavement is classified, etc.

Mobile Mapping to shape road maps

We have talked about how Mobile Mapping contributes to the digitization of roads. To illustrate, we bring you one of our most emblematic success stories: the planimetric survey of the roads of Malta.

Specifically, it was about 130 kilometers of the main roads of the island, as well as that of Gozo, which were captured in CAD plans thanks to Mobile Mapping. In this way, all elements of interest for the development of projects to improve the road network in Malta were also inventoried.

In addition to the on-site data collection, the data was processed on the island itself, as well as the most critical areas were verified due to its complexity.

The use of Mobile Mapping was combined with more traditional surveying techniques in the most inaccessible areas for the specialized vehicle.

Mobile Mapping Survey Donostia / San Sebastián 

Another case that is worth highlighting is the one we carried out in the streets and highways of Donostia / San Sebastián to complement the cartography of the city in 2016.

Through it, we scan and photograph more than 400 kilometers of streets. As a result, we have more than 115,000 360º images and a point cloud made up of about 3,500 million points.

The achievements of our work can be consulted by professionals from different areas, city council technicians and by any citizen by visiting the “Donostia Oinez” portal.

With all this, the data that is captured in this viewer is useful for municipal actions, such as those involved in construction, maintenance, emergency plans, traffic management, public safety, tourism, urban planning, etc.

As you can see, Mobile Mapping has become a resource that must be taken into account in order to have accurate and up-to-date information on the different geographical settings. That is why more and more public managers and service supply companies are encouraged to undertake projects based on their technology.

Geograma offers the complete development of these initiatives, counting on the necessary technical means for it. In addition to making use of Orbit GT technology and its open source web viewer.

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