These days, the word drone is used to refer to just about any kind of remote-controlled, unmanned aircraft. That could mean a consumer-grade quadcopter or a slightly more advanced octocopter. But it has a negative connotation. It hasn’t helped any that many of these quadcopters in the hands of amateurs have caused further negative impact on a technology that has proven a valuable tool for commercial use. Regardless of size, the responsibility to fly safely applies equally to manned and unmanned aircraft operations.
Michael Frecks, LS, is president and CEO of Terrametrix LLC and has 30 years of survey experience in the civil site topographic field along with nine years in the LiDAR industry as both an innovator and as a consultant/advisor for 3D laser scanning software development. He has extensive data collection experience and expertise in the transportation and architectural disciplines. As a professional land surveyor since 1992, Michael’s approach to data documentation combining GPS, 3D laser scanners and INS, makes his approach more accurate, safer, faster and cost efficient. His vast knowledge of scanner specifications, identifying software and hardware capabilities and how they interact with each other, beta testing of equipment and software, and his demand of high accuracy standards have advanced the evolution of acquiring as-built data documentation through 3D laser scanners.
Articles by Michael
Mother Nature really pulled a joke on us this year. Up to 7 feet of snow blanketed parts of western New York, then flooding; Detroit already has seen its seasonal snowfall; Buffalo 8 feet of snow in one day; 80 percent of California is in either extreme or exceptional drought; lava flowing like molasses in Hawaii and in the Midwest where the temperature can swing in extremes of 100 degrees we do not welcome the frigid temperatures we have seen before Thanksgiving.
As a land surveyor in the Midwest we learn to acclimate to extreme weather, however according to Survival Magazine it is easier to acclimate to heat than it is to cold. Query any job description for a land surveyor and they all state “must be able to work in extreme weather conditions.”
about 7 months and 3 weeks ago
Fall is one of my favorite times of the year. The kids go back to school and the bounty of foods from our nation's farms come in from the fields. It also means report card performance and attention to freshness. When it comes to mining data of a dynamic world what is the shelf life?
11 months and one week ago
Nothing relaxes me more than kicking back after work watching sports competition. So the 17 days of the XXII Olympic Winter Games was almost as good as a vacation. Now that the flame has been extinguished in Sochi I wonder what subliminal message about my business of 3D data documentation these 88 nations and 2,871 athletes provided me.
one year and 4 months ago
Trying to obtain survey-grade accuracy from GIS data is working from the wrong end of data. When it comes to GIS grade versus survey grade, why not collect the highest quality, most accurate, most complete information?
one year and 10 months ago
In his recent State of the Union address, President Obama advocated a “fix-it-first” policy that prioritizes spending on repairing and maintaining existing infrastructure. That sounds promising, but how do we identify the areas that need to be repaired?
about 2 years and 5 months ago
The Transportation Engineering and Safety Conference (TESC) at Penn State is shedding new light on the role of terrestrial mobile LiDAR scanning in transportation safety.
about 2 years and 8 months ago
Early in my survey career, the popular definition of GIS among surveyors was “get it surveyed.” The accuracy of GIS simply wasn’t deemed high enough to be of interest. Boy did we miss the boat.
3 years and 10 hours ago
When surveyors and engineers are working together on a transportation project, conflicts sometimes result due to differences in personalities and backgrounds. To avoid problems, project goals must be clearly communicated from the beginning.
3 years and one month ago
One of the questions clients often fearfully ask me is, “How much memory will this project require?” Surreal as the persistence of memory may have been to writers and artists like Salvador Dali from the 1920s, the movement has now reemerged in the technology age of data storage.