All posts by Juan B. Plaza

Final Approach

The demise of a great mapping platform With the advent and adoption of new technologies, we are quick to forget about the old ways we used to do things. In the case of pocket calculators or disposable cameras is not relevant to reminisce about the past, but when the time comes to dispose of a...

Mapping the Surface of the Ocean?

It is crucial that we keep accurate maps of the ocean’s shorelines, but when my company got a request to map the ocean’s surface 50 miles out in the Gulf of Mexico, my initial reaction was: Why? Isn’t the ocean just the ocean that far out? There aren’t any geographic features or elevation changes. It’s...

Drones in Construction

For decades the construction industry didn’t change much-and then UAV technologies came along Unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) or drones, as they are commonly called, are mostly electric-powered aircraft, which do not require a pilot onboard and are used to perform tasks that are either too dangerous for humans to do or too expensive with other...

Digital Twins Concept in a World Ruled by GIS

Digital twins bring together elements of the geospatial professions, resulting in smart cities of the future The concept of digital twins is not new in manufacturing and mechanical processes that can be monitored and, if necessary, rectified. But what is a digital twin? A digital twin is a computer-generated exact replica of a physical object...

2022 and the Promise of Expanded UAV Operations

What needs to happen over the next 12 months for the promise of flights beyond visual line of sight (BVLOS) to become a reality? Well, actually, quite a lot. The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) needs to relax the rules for unmanned aviation and the industry needs to prove that current technology, such as detect and...

Affordable GNSS: Post-Processing Kinematic in the Cloud

In 1990 I had the privilege to work with a group of pioneers in Canada in the early development of land surveying techniques using a revolutionary new technology known as global positioning system or GPS. Back then, there was only a handful of satellites and the availability of a workable constellation that would allow for...