Wednesday, December 19, 2018

From our family to yours, warmest wishes for the Holiday Season!

Friday, December 7, 2018

Yeah, we do that too

For those of you that are not yet following our other social media sites, our remote sensing team includes nationally-recognized expertise beyond our Mobile LiDAR services. Our UAS experts recently collaborated with Intel Corporation and the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet to use drone technology to help inspect and analyze the Daniel Carter Beard Bridge.  Click on the below image to watch the video.
 Bridge Inspection video

Wednesday, November 21, 2018

Happy Thanksgiving

From our family to yours, wishing you a safe and Happy Thanksgiving!

Friday, November 9, 2018

Honoring our Veterans!

On behalf of the men and women of Michael Baker International's Mobile LiDAR Team I would like to recognize and thank our veterans (and their families) who unselfishly serve this great country. We are humbled by their sacrifice and thankful for the freedoms they protect.

Tuesday, October 23, 2018

Follow us on Instagram!

Don't forget to follow us on Instagram to view additional image
and video content from your favorite Mobile LiDAR team.

Friday, October 12, 2018

"Mobile" is a critical part of the equation

An often overlooked component to the success of Mobile LiDAR is actually one of the most recognizable elements - and seemingly far too obvious because it's built right into the name -  "Mobile".  Without a vehicle (car, truck, SUV, UTV, Boat, push-cart, etc.), Mobile LiDAR systems are giant, expensive paperweights.

Regular vehicle maintenance is critical, but even then, mechanical failures happen.  An unfortunate (and costly) byproduct of continuously operating 4 Mobile LiDAR systems and criss-crossing the nation to capture tens-of-thousands of Mobile LiDAR data each year is the wear and tear on vehicle drive-trains.  And to be more specific...TRANSMISSIONS!

Nothing brings a successful deployment to a screeching halt (literally sometimes), like a failing transmission.  Unfortunately, we've had 2 of our systems experience transmission failures over the past 2 months.  We take pride in developing/implementing SOPs for virtually every aspect of our collection operation, but it's a bitter pill to swallow when you realize that you readily know the procedure for emergency drive-train repairs.

Friday, October 5, 2018

Ground Control to Major Tom?

Sorry, there's no Ziggy Stardust here.  Just a training session focused on good old fashioned terrestrial ground control.  We figured there's no better way to reinforce our commitment to quality than to celebrate our 9th anniversary of Mobile LiDAR ownership with a series of training sessions to teach/reinforce proper techniques for LiDAR processing and introduce new methodologies and software applications to enhance efficiency.

Key members of our LiDAR Processing Team commandeered the board room from our former headquarters in Moon Township, PA to kick off a series of training sessions to share techniques and best practices.

PS - my apologies for the "Space Oddity" earworm.  It's been rattling around my brain since I starting thinking about this post.

Friday, September 28, 2018

Ellicott City Flooding Animation

As you read in our previous post Ellicott City Flood Modeling, we deployed one of our Mobile LiDAR teams to Ellicott City, MD to capture post-event as-built conditions.  In addition to providing the County as well as State of Maryland agencies with the high-resolution LiDAR point cloud and spherical imagery, we took the opportunity to create a visualization of the observed 2016 flood levels overlain on a current 1:1 scale model of Ellicott City.  The resulting video (see below) was developed to aid residents as well as County and State Officials in their comprehension of observed water depths and inundation.
Click image to view the flythrough video of the 2016 Flood Model 

To view other videos created from our Mobile LiDAR solutions please visit our dedicated Mobile LiDAR YouTube Channel.

Monday, September 24, 2018

Ellicott City Flood Modeling

Following the significant reconstruction efforts in Ellicott City, MD resulting from the catastrophic flooding event that occurred on July 30, 2016 we saw the perfect opportunity to put our company tagline into action and Make a Difference.

Localized and micro-flood modeling analyses are perfectly-suited to capitalize on the high-accuracy terrestrial LiDAR and spherical imagery generated by our Mobile LiDAR systems, so with the assistance of our local Baltimore office we deployed a Mobile LiDAR team to capture the post-event as-built conditions and generate high-resolution data that could be used by County, State and Federal agencies.

Unfortunately, on May 27th, 2018 the unthinkable happened again just 22 short months after the previous flood, so we immediately jumped into action and provided County and State of Maryland agencies the collected data to aid planning and mitigation efforts to prevent future devastating flooding events. LiDAR and spherical imagery was made available through our innovative web-viewing environment (, which builds upon Orbit GT’s Publisher framework to create an interactive environment where stakeholders can navigate Old Ellicott City through spherical imagery, generate measurements from the LiDAR data, and interrogate 3D geospatial vector data in a seamless environment to base decisions and recommendations on a 1:1 scale model of the real world.

Stay tuned for our next post, where we’ll share an animated flythrough of the LiDAR data along Main Street with a simulation of the 2016 flooding.

Sample spherical imagery captured along Main St and used as the foundation for the web-viewer
Mobile LiDAR point cloud data overlain the spherical Imagery. The blue-to-red color ramp is used to help users distinguish near-field objects from those at greater distance.
Flooding simulation based upon observed high water from the 2016 flood.

Friday, September 14, 2018

Mitigating Beach Erosion

Like the majority of the country, Hurricane Florence has our full attention.  Devastating winds, torrential rain and elevated storm surge create a dangerous trifecta for our coastal (and inland) communities.  We're closely monitoring the effects of this storm on multiple fronts. 

First and foremost is for the safety of our staff, clients, and residents of the Carolinas.  Secondarily (and it's a distant second), we're watching the South Carolina coastline for lessened effects of beach erosion following the State's efforts to mitigate storm impact.

We are proud to have taken part in those initial efforts by deploying our LiDAR survey services in support of the cause.  Throughout the project Michael Baker's Mobile LiDAR team traversed over 250 miles of the South Carolina coastline to survey 300+ revetments and revetted seawalls using a mixture of Mobile LiDAR (riding on a modified UTV) and Static LiDAR for supplemental surveys.

LiDAR (both Mobile and Static) Survey of 300+ revetments and seawalls along the South Carolina coast.

Friday, August 31, 2018

Happy Labor Day!

Labor Day isn’t the unofficial end of summer, it’s a time celebrate the contributions of the American Worker that have underwritten our country’s success. 

All of our U.S. offices are closed this Labor Day in honor of those that have played a pivotal role in building our nation’s infrastructure. 

Our company’s innovative work spans nearly 80 years and proudly supports the communities in which we live and work. While celebrating our past achievements, we’re laser focused on serving our communities and clients as we Make a Difference.

Tuesday, August 7, 2018

Hanson receives MAPPS Presidential Award!

MAPPS President, Brian Raber, presents Bob Hanson with the
Presidential Award for Outstanding Service
A big CONGRATULATIONS to Michael Baker's own Bob Hanson (SVP and Chief Scientist), for receiving the MAPPS Presidential Award for Outstanding Service.

Bob was the visionary, catalyst, and leader that launched Michael Baker's Mobile LiDAR services 9 years ago.  He has been a regular guest speaker at MAPPS events over the years and served on the association’s Board of Directors for the past six years. He also has served as the past-treasurer and recently helped facilitate the association’s strategic shift, which resulted in increased revenues and membership.

Formed in 1982, MAPPS is a national association exclusively comprised of private firms in the remote sensing, spatial data and geographic information systems field in the U.S. The MAPPS membership spans the entire spectrum of the geospatial community, including member firms engaged in satellite and airborne remote sensing, surveying, photogrammetry, aerial photography, LiDAR, hydrography, bathymetry, charting, aerial and satellite image processing, GPS, and GIS data collection and conversion services. MAPPS also includes associate member firms, which are companies that provide hardware, software, products and services to the geospatial profession in the U.S. and other firms from around the world.

Wednesday, August 1, 2018

Surveying Excellence Recognized!

In case you missed our Project of the Year announcement, or the feature-length article in Heights 2018 magazine covering our project work at DFWIA, check out the latest edition of POB Magazine for a recap of the 2017 MAPPS Excellence Awards category winners and Project of the Year.

Tuesday, July 3, 2018

Celebrating Independence Day!

As we celebrate our nation’s independence this Fourth of July, we encourage you to reflect on how fortunate we are to live in a place with an amazing diversity of peoples, cultures, traditions, beliefs, and histories that have come together to make this great country.

Enjoy your time with friends and family and have a safe and responsible 4th!
The Mobile LiDAR Team

Friday, May 25, 2018

Memorial Day - Remember and Honor

On behalf of Michael Baker International, the Mobile LiDAR Team would like to take the opportunity this Memorial Day to recognize and remember our country’s military members who made the ultimate sacrifice to protect the very freedoms we enjoy today. As you spend this weekend with loved ones, please think about those who fought and gave their lives to secure the liberties that allow us to live, work and make a difference.

As a firm that employs veterans from many countries and delivers mission-critical services in support of our country’s military across the globe, we’d like our active duty, reserve, guard and contractor friends and family to know they are in our thoughts during their extended deployments and separation from friends and families.

If you are able and so inclined, please consider making a contribution to organizations that support the surviving spouses and children of our fallen heroes. Such organizations include (but not limited to):

· Special Operations Warrior Foundation -
· Children of Fallen Patriots -
· Intrepid Fallen Heroes Fund -

 Thank you,
The Mobile LiDAR Team

Thursday, May 3, 2018

Huge Airport, One Vehicle

To learn more about our award-winning work at DFW, check out the feature-length article in the latest publication of Heights 2018, a special edition of XYHT magazine.

Wednesday, April 25, 2018

2017 Project of the Year!!!

Michael Baker was honored at the annual MAPPS Geospatial Excellence Awards for our work in Pavement Data Collection and Asset Inventory at the Dallas Fort Worth International Airport (DFW). MAPPS presented Michael Baker with the category award for Surveying/Field Data Collection, then recognized the innovative project with the Grand Award for Project of the Year!

Big win for our Mobile LiDAR/Pavement Team!

Stay tuned for an upcoming article about the project in the Heights 2018 special edition of XYHT magazine.

Thursday, April 19, 2018

NCAT 2018 Certification

If a picture is worth a thousand words, what is a video worth?  Regardless of word count, this video (flown by Jack King and compiled by yours truly), certainly creates a powerful statement about the capabilities of our national Pavement Team.

Special thanks to the outstanding professionals of the NCAT facility at Auburn University for granting access to perform the first UAS flights over the Test Track that made this video possible.

Follow our YouTube Channels (below) to stay up to date with our newest LiDAR/UAS Fleet technology and capabilities. 

Tuesday, March 13, 2018

NCAT Certified!

Fresh off the test track in Opelika, AL, we’re proud to announce our team cruised (pun intended) through the certification process. Special recognition goes out to Ken Contrisciane, Vahid Ganji, Clark Jackson, and Jack King for passing the written and driving exams, and configuring our Inertial Profiler to pass with flying colors!

Stay tuned for upcoming videos from the certification process and the first-ever UAS footage captured over the NCAT test track.


Wednesday, March 7, 2018

Isn't She a Beaut!

SSI Inertial Profiler installed and ready for service.
We’re proud to announce the latest addition to our Fleet! Our brand new SSI Inertial Profiler (i.e. Rut Bar) is a welcomed complimentary solution to our existing Mobile LiDAR, LCMS, and GPR capabilities. 

Installation and testing are done, and we’re off to NCAT (National Center for Asphalt Technology) in Opelika, AL for certification.

Stay tuned for updates once we’re back from NCAT.


Wednesday, February 28, 2018

Real-Time Vehicle Trajectory

Our fleet of 4 Mobile LiDAR systems are nearly always on the move, and can be anywhere in the United States or internationally on any given day. With daily fleet activities averaging over 300 miles per day nationwide, resulting in nearly 7,000 miles of collections in the past 4 months, efficient productivity tracking and reporting is easier said than done.

Capitalizing on the previously un-tapped wealth of data produced by our field operations, our fleet logistics/tracking team developed a real-time solution to harness data from the on-board Positioning Orientation System (POS) to create a Real-Time Vehicle Trajectory (RTVT) solution. The single file summarizes each vehicle’s collections and correlates the systems’ position, GPS solution, attitude (pitch, roll, heading), and velocity at 1 second intervals for each sensor and camera initialization. Designed for transportability, an RTVT can be transmitted to our tracking team within seconds after collection, and enable near-real-time loading to interactive project maps and daily status reports.

The design of the RTVT not only supports our real-time production tracking needs, but also the needs of our daily mission planning operations as well. To effectively leverage the power of the individual RTVT files, the tracking team customized existing navigation software to thematically display RTVT’s that render user-friendly visual-cues that have ultimately increased daily production while decreasing costly “go-backs” and recollections.


Thursday, February 15, 2018

Throwback Thursday

Throwback to the December 1957 edition of Photogrammetric Engineering Journal.  Although we’ve grown out of our original digs in Rochester, PA and Jackson, MS, these offices live on with our Mobile LiDAR team in neighboring Moon Township, PA and Ridgeland, MS respectively.

Wednesday, February 7, 2018

Mobile LiDAR and the Smart City

Lately we’ve been considering our Mobile LiDAR Data activities under a different light so to speak. In a word, LiDAR. We get to see our world quite differently through the vast amounts of LiDAR and
imagery we collect performing very large urban projects. I was recently at the DistribuTECH 2018 conference to better understand how utilities with electric and/or broadband services are considering and reacting to technological, economic and societal implications of a Smart City.

Development of a Smart City affects nearly all systems comprising a City’s infrastructure. An electric grid’s smart meter system and grid improvements are fully functional with 5G capabilities. Fiber and wireless networks are implemented to carry present and future data from many connected-systems. Smart technology enables real-time diagnostics and management of: utilities; aviation, automotive, commuter rail and other vessels or vehicles comprising intelligent transportation systems; and government facilities and services, health services and activities, and first responder functions. Entertainment and recreation services, domicile and commercial facilities, and consumer-driven information demands are all connected.  Web-browsing, texts, voice, machine data, automatous things, and pictures or video are transmitted at speeds of 1Gbps to 10Gbps or more with 5G.

Many Smart City displays were at DistribuTECH 2018. The photo of an AT&T kiosk shows a 3D city-street model with conceptual graphic trajectories of many smart devices communicating wirelessly to their antennas. This sort of 3D analysis is necessary for wireless propagation modeling for placing microcell and small antennas. Mobile LiDAR is a perfect solution for data needed in 3D modeling and analysis, and for preparation of design, construction and permitting data.

Michael Baker extracts many forms of utility and roadway network details from our LiDAR point clouds and exports data directly into utility pole analysis, as well as various CAD, GIS and Asset Management applications. We also collect and model aerial electrical distribution and meter services. We measure anything attached to the pole or visible on the ground like road and sidewalk conditions, curbs and gutters, signage or pavement markings, or other visible utilities in the right-of-way. This data is used in planning and designing the many networks to serve a community.

Stopping to overlook our Bay Area collection.
Michael Baker’s Mobile LiDAR vehicles have recently collected over 7,000 miles of roadway corridor covering nearly 3.5 Million metropolitan residents in the largest cities across the United States. Terrestrial-mobile LiDAR and spherical imagery is used to update maps, GIS data and 3D models to understand a city’s in situ conditions to support design and construction permitting. However, the same data can be used for a multitude of other societal purposes such as the implementation of complete streets, local transit planning, ADA compliance or similar programs.

Ultimately the collected LiDAR data helps serve a community with improved utility networks and other infrastructure. By using LiDAR, cities are creating better, safer, healthier communities in which to live and work. Better planning, design and construction is a great outcome. It’s smart, too.