It’s a fact, we live in the age of data, and everything points to the fact that the trend has only just begun. We could list hundreds of examples: series recommendations when we watch our favourite series on streaming platforms, advertisements specialising in our tastes that appear while we consult our social networks, the planning of public transport routes or even the delivery processes of logistics companies.
Having an accurate knowledge of the environment in which we live gives us security and data is the resource to achieve this, but what is the tool that makes it possible? There are other solutions, but today we would like to invite you to join us for a closer look at the inventory of urban data through Mobile Mapping technology.
What is Mobile Mapping?
Let’s start at the beginning, what exactly is Mobile Mapping? It is a technique that allows the collection of point clouds, 360º geolocated images and geographic data, all through technologies incorporated into a vehicle or mobile platform to travel around and take inventory of the different elements that make up urban environments.
And what are these technologies? At present, we can talk about four very common ones, such as the Laser Scanner, which takes exact measurements as the platform moves; the Global Positioning System, commonly known as GPS, which shows the geolocation of the infrastructures analysed; the Inertial Navigation System (INS), which adds precision to the GPS signal; and the multi-lens cameras that collect 360º panoramic images.
How does high-tech mobile inventory mapping work?
Now that we know the theory of this concept, we can move on to the practical side by delving into how it works and the mechanisms that make data collection possible. The first thing to do is to install the device in the vehicle, for example, the 360º camera or GPS equipment, to start the mobile mapping that we will move throughout the space we want to analyse.
However, we must also bear in mind that this technique can be combined with other more traditional and manual techniques to reach complex and inaccessible areas that the vehicle cannot reach, so the planning work will also be of vital importance, determining the dimensions of the areas we will be travelling through, the routes we plan to take, the time we will need, and even other factors beyond our control, such as the state of the infrastructure, whether there are currently works in a certain section or the weather conditions that day.
Then, once we have all the information collected in the urban environment in which we have worked, it is time to transfer it to our GIS programme, to carry out the digital inventory of the infrastructures studied. And you may ask yourself, is that all? Does the process end here? Of course not, Mobile Mapping for data collection has helped us to lay the foundations for our high-tech inventories, but the processing of geographic data continues.
Inventories for smart cities are now a much more accurate and precise reality as we can not only identify and locate assets, but also collect measurements such as heights and surfaces or even include photographs of the analysed spaces.
All this with one purpose, to proceed to model the data obtained, or what is the same, to start the process of shaping them, organising the geographic information collected by categories and classes, also assigning them what in GIS jargon we know as properties or attributes of the elements analysed: date of installation, manufacturer, expiry date…
Mobile Mapping applications
We could say that the applications of Mobile Mapping are practically infinite. Do you know how many uses this technology has in making inventories of urban infrastructures? The analysis and management of luminaires, control centres and other elements that make up public lighting; sewage networks, manholes, hydrants and water connections; vertical and horizontal signage, beacons, guardrails… A long etcetera of uses in which Mobile Mapping intervenes to offer very useful information related, for example, to measuring distances, the state or type of soil.
What is the differential value provided by Fisotec in Mobile Mapping technology?
The years of effort of each and every one of the technicians and developers that make up Fisotec, together with the evolution of the sector, thanks to tools such as Mobile Mapping, allow us to offer high-tech inventories to public administrations, consultancies, engineering firms and urban services maintenance companies. Firstly, the most important thing is the collection of high quality, accurate and updated data and, secondly, a correct and efficient management of urban assets, saving time and economic costs.
The technology has evolved significantly in recent years, and at FISOTEC, after much effort, we have implemented it by combining Artificial Vision and Geopositioning Technology, which not only allows us to identify the position of any urban entity with a high differential value, but also to perfectly identify the entity to which it corresponds and its condition, for example: traffic signs in poor condition, light points, etc. In short, we combine all the knowledge of AI and positioning in a single solution that is completely affordable for «all pockets».