InterGeo 2010 the long way round

When kubit invited me to join them on their stand at this years key surveying trade show I looked at the map and decided to take the train rather than the plane. The Thalys network now serves Köln with a high speed service so I figured the longest walk I’d have to do would be to the station from this keyboard. This indeed was the case and, although more expensive, the journey was pleasant and productive.

So an early start at 05.45 out of Cambridge and the e-check-in at St Pancras was done in a trice, but it was at this point I realised my internet purchase from Eurostar UK was not all it seemed, my ticket was routed through Paris and not Brussels…odd and odder still that when collected the ticket had the price I’d paid starred out. Still the times looked ok and I found my seat for Paris. The Eurostar sets are really lasting well and I recall the many happy journeys I have made on them; it’s a special train in many ways and its great to be back on board. London to Paris whizzes by. The woe of my ticket choice dawns at Paris Gare de Nord where I wait for my connection to Köln, via Brussels, and it’s ages! Still there’s time for coffee and a baguette amongst the ceaseless bustle of the big hub.

The connectedness of the mainland railway system is visible in so many ways here; the multi language signs and announcements, the destination board…

..and the many variants of the TGV form! The Thalys train is packed and we make good time to Brussels. I have time to check through my KAP survey images to make selections to show off my recent PhoToPlan3D work…

…time flies by and I’m surprised by the announcement for Köln. Its just 4.15pm. As soon as I’m on the platform I’m drawn to the mighty spires and, putting all thoughts of work aside I get to gaze at the wondrous facade, a message on my phone breaks the spell.…and its back to work before I can reconstruct the incredible story of the construction of the building in my mind. Klaus is wating for me at the station car park!

The exhibition hall is a mess and the kubit stand is coming together. All the big names are here on two huge floors; all manner of kit is being hauled about by neatly suited sales teams, I feel a bit out of place but I’m at home with a total station and a camera so I think I’ll fit in ok!

I have been working with kubit for some time now and they are a great team. I’m here in my role as kubit UK support for the first time and its good meet friends old and new! All around us is the best of the survey world’s hard-and software being carefully polished to look it best, there is an air of nervous anticipation, and my photography is not appreciated by all.

This one took some explaining to the Leica stand captain.All that measurement technology and they still use a pocket tape to set out the text! With the stand set up it’s time for a beer or two and work really starts in the morning.

InterGeo draws people in from all over; I meet CIPA president Cliff Ogilvy and he is keen for news from the UK. Plowman Craven Ltd and Mason Digital Mapping Ltd are here too; we are all impressed with Faro’s new baby and, at €30K its begining to look like a scanner that might replace a total station for some survey companies. Scanning technology is maturing, becoming flexible and the tools to handle the data are getting better; AutoCAD 2011 includes a point cloud viewer for the first time and kubit’s ‘PointCloud’ product lets you treat the dots as drawing entities for feature extraction, modeling and drawing production. I’m looking forward to working with Faro in the UK on getting the ‘field to finish’ PointCloud tools from kubit working for those who choose the AutoCAD route for data extraction from this neat little scanner. Kieth Noble shows off the Faro Focus 3D:

Photogrammetry isn’t standing still either as  imagery is achievable at ever beter resolutions from lighter and lighter cameras (boy do I know that!)  Rapid bulk image processing makes aerial capture from sub 2kg UAVs a fantastic source for low atlitude orthophoto generation, there are TWO systems at the show based on autonomous RC aircraft:

who wouldn’t want one of these for Christmas? At €40k each I’ll have to wait. I’m travelling light so I’ll have to leave these beautiful ‘test’ prints behind too:

There’s so much to see and dream about: precision optics, the fabulous ‘Geovan’, second hand bargains, everything from hand tools to industrial measurement and beyond: 

Time flies and I get to demo PhoToPlan3D image orientation in detail for Plowman Craven Ltd.

InterGeo is a time for strategic thinking as well as building relations with customers and kubit take the oportunity to learn what users want from their software as well as showing off some new features, look out for image projection to cylinders and ploygon fitting in PointCloud and PhoToPlan3D pro soon!

With new links for kubit in the UK safely growing I slip away to see if the weather gods will be kind enough to let my camera fly over Köln:

The wind was rough, the light awful and then the rain began!  All I got was a poor shot of the Rhine barges.

So I pack my wet kite and head for the station where I discover my ticket is non tranferable and I have go the long way home too.

The Thalys route is adorned with some striking new railway achitecture adding to the experience. Its a quick change at Paris and, after a short sprint down platform 1 at Kings Cross I’m home by 11.30! I think I travelled just under 1200 miles by rail in 3 days.

So thanks to all at kubit and see you at InterGeo next year, I’ll take more care when the Eutostar booking page offers me Köln as a destination from London next time!

Eurostar to Cologne

About billboyheritagesurvey

Heritage worker
This entry was posted in Significance, Survey Practice, value and society and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

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