The turn lane is closed pending pothole repair!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I keep rolling back to the thinking I’ve been doing around the concept of 3d laser mapping. I really want to play with one of the cameras that does the actual mapping. The mapping software is probably fairly intense in terms of disk, CPU and other impacts on a computer.

Like sonar, it creates a map using the laser to measure the distance. Spike (from Ike) is a tool that will do that for distance. There are a number of tools that will map objects for 3d printers as well. I laid out a bunch of uses for the mapping results.

It’s the same mapping concept used in medical devices. Mapping the internal organs of a person and seeing if things aren’t the way they are supposed to be. Which is what/where I started thinking last night. The creation of data is easy. We generate more data every day.

Analyzing the produced data is the important thing. Subtle variances in what is scanned. My initial use case was the highway departments using drones to fly roads and mapping them, able to detect the variance at 3 in the morning that could be a very expensive pothole at 7 in the morning. Given that a pothole at 50 mph will cause more than just tire damage and most people file a claim, reducing the potholes on busy roads would be a cost savings for the government. They have people patching the holes anyway use 3d mapping to dispatch them intelligently.

That got me thinking about the concept of connected GPS (there are a number of solutions that support that today). Where you can on the fly reroute a fleet vehicle. Nearest to the pothole gets routed to the pothole.

Using that model we could fly drones over every building in the city and map the roofs. During emergency situations the fire department can fly drones over the roof again and see the differences. It would allow fire captains to make decisions quickly as to the safety of putting firefighters on the roof. Certainly as the heroic firefighters of the NYFD demonstrated without doubt on 9/11/2001 if there are people to save they go anyway. But if there are no people, and the situation isn’t safe, why risk a brave person for less than saving another person.

The application of this type of technology are endless. It is a growing area of interest. I published article called modular drones about a month ago. The concept of removable components that you can use in a small drone to measure and map specific areas. Fisherman use the technology to get sonar in places their boats can’t go, or that are hard to reach from shore.

As I said I have been wondering and wandering for the past couple of days on this topic. Sometimes the topic nestles inside my head and doesn’t leave until I spit it out.

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3d mapping wanderer