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Category: survey

Dragons8mycat welcome!

Dragons8mycat welcome!

Nicholas Duggan and Elliot Hartley post Threeharescafe
Nick and Elliot post Threehares cafe


My company Garsdale Design Limited just hired Nicholas Duggan (known as dragons8mycat in the social media world) he starts on Monday the 11th of January as our Principal Geospatial Analyst.  I’ve known him for a while and have even bumped into him on occasion at conferences (we are based in Cumbria and I don’t get out much).

Importantly we needed someone who was not afraid to experiment.  

His CV is impressive and we know he is technically very competent, it’s in part why we hired him.   To be honest though, it was his helpful nature on social media and his interests that are clearly in more than just the job in front of him, that really interested us.  What we needed was someone used to working on a variety of differing projects and able to use different software as appropriate.  Importantly we needed someone who was not afraid to experiment.  

consultancy you see is a wonderfully messy business

Consultancy you see is a wonderfully messy business, today I’m working on a major CityEngine 3D project (yes we do more than just training!), tomorrow I could be helping with some domestic architecture and next week I’m probably helping acquire satellite imagery and GIS data for a potential resort development in the Middle East.  We need more than just a focused specialist to help us.  

CityEngine tower analysis
Analysis of CityEngine models is important.

Nick has stated on twitter on a number of occasions that he has ‘room in his heart’ (okay he didn’t say that exactly) for opensource and proprietary software. Yes Garsdale Design is an Esri Silver Partner (and very proud of it too!) but our clients are varied and their requirements and budgets differ wildly so we have to be flexible.

here is a growing sense of urgency to prove that their investment in 3D is more than just a bunch of pretty pictures

Being able to create 3D urban models is one thing, to actual analyse what you’ve created is quite another.  Whilst our CityEngine clients love 3D and have focused on visualisation there is a growing sense of urgency to prove that their investment in 3D is more than just a bunch of pretty pictures.  3D isn’t trivial it has real-world uses beyond the gimmicky.

This year my focus, or should I say, our focus is twofold in the 3D space:

  • Developing more useful 3D analysis workflows
  • Testing out 3D hosting platforms for our CityEngine created models.

As you can see Nick will play an important role for us this year.   What next for this blog GeoPlanIT?  Well Nick will contribute to it but that doesn’t mean he will abandon xyHt or his own blog ‘The Spatial Blog‘.

Welcome to the team Nick, 2016 is going to be interesting.

Photomodeler and creating a 3D model of a Historic building

Photomodeler and creating a 3D model of a Historic building

I’m not just a planner or a GIS man!   As part of my work at Garsdale Design Limited, I help in the assessment and survey of historic buildings (in conjunction with our Heritage Specialist).   One such building I am working on at the moment requires a nice measured and detailed drawing, as part of a planning application.

We’re using a piece of software called Photomodeler to build up an accurate 3D (and 2D if you really want) model of this lovely old farmhouse in the Yorkshire Dales National Park.  The process invloves calibration of your chosen camera (preferably a good quality one), then the taking of a large amount of photos from at least two opposing angles of all parts of your building.  

Once imported into Photomodeler you need to mark the same point one each photo, and if you’ve done it correctly you will get yourself a pretty accurate model.   We also do a good amount of measuring to ensure that the model does indeed remain accurate…

We’ve used this method before and I have to say the software is excellent and relatively easy to use.   Creating a 3D model is also great fun and once finished is incredibly satisfying.    Photomodeler allows you to do accurate drawings without spending as much time on site (which can be a cost saving!).

We then export our model to a DXF format (3D or 2D), but you can export to kml and a variety of other formats (see screen capture to the left).    Photomodeler also allows for the photos to be projected onto your surfaces.

Anyway I really recommend that if you are interested you give it a go, Photomodeler isn’t just for buildings as their marketing will state! 

You can also view your new model in stereo view if you have those nifty 3D red/blue glasses…ooooo

Photomodeler Website is here
We bought our software and subsequent training from Photarc