Tuesday, December 31, 2019

Happy New Year!

We're excited to welcome the new year and the opportunities it affords. We have big plans, plus even more new equipment slated, so we're just itching to get this year underway.

Wishing you a safe and happy New Year!

Wednesday, November 27, 2019

Happy Thanksgiving!

Wishing you and yours a safe and happy Thanksgiving!

Monday, November 11, 2019

Thank You For Your Service!

Thank You, Veterans! We are humbled by your sacrifice and thankful for the freedoms unselfishly protected by the men and women of our armed forces. The grateful personnel of Michael Baker International's Mobile LiDAR Team would like to take this opportunity this Veterans Day to recognize and thank our nation's veterans and active-duty servicemen (and their families) for their tireless efforts.

Thursday, October 24, 2019

10th Anniversary Team Reflections: Mark Anderson

When I joined Michael Baker in 2005 I was always looking for opportunities to get involved with complex and innovative projects. Within the year I as travelling the country after connecting with our geospatial group in Jackson, MS that was performing an innovative nationwide GPS-mapping program for the U.S. Census Bureau. Two years later I learned that same group was preparing to launch a new initiative centered around mobile terrestrial LiDAR, and I instantly knew I needed to be part of it.

There’s a lot of pleasure and pain that comes with being the first to do something…and for better or worse, I’ve experienced a lot of both. There are plenty of shining moments, complex challenges, weird developments and interesting discoveries to choose from, but out of the hundreds of projects we’ve performed, the West Virginia University (WVU) Morgantown Personal Rapid Transit (MPRT) system was fascinating on many levels: complexity of design; learning how the PRT works; complexity of chainage measurements for each sensor throughout the network; and development of horizontal and vertical curvatures of the “track” throughout the mountain topography.

It’s almost hard to believe it’s been 10 years since we kicked-off this initiative, but it bookends my two proudest moments (to date): being asked to lead our LiDAR processing team and growing our specialized team to nearly 30 members strong.

Thursday, October 17, 2019

10th Anniversary Team Reflections: Devion Flavell

Oh, the places you’ll go!
When I joined Michael Baker as a Mobile LiDAR Operator nearly 4 years ago, I hadn’t done much travel…boy did THAT change in a hurry. In the relatively short time I’ve been with the LiDAR Team I’ve had the opportunity to visit a diverse swath of this country. I can only imagine the sheer extent of places this Team visited in the 6-years preceding me.

I love the travel, and the opportunity to experience local events and culture. One of my favorite pastimes is exploring the Arts in each town is visit – and Columbia, SC didn’t disappoint. I spent nearly 3-weeks in Columbia and could’ve attended a different live performance or independent film just about every single day.

Throw in a diverse public art collection, ranging from outdoor sculpture to murals, and you’ve got a spot where art is both accessible and exciting. My kind of place.

Thursday, October 10, 2019

10th Anniversary Team Reflections: Hunter White

I was first introduced to Michael Baker International during a career-day trip through my GIS coursework at West Virginia University. I immediately took to the company’s professional look, feel, and culture, and proceeded to immediately drop off my resume at the end of that presentation. A few, short weeks later I landed a position as a Mobile LiDAR Operator and was on the job the Monday after graduation!

I quickly learned my boss wasn’t kidding when he said I’d become a Road Warrior, because I spent nearly the entire first year traveling from project to project. But that’s what I signed-up for, and I wasn’t disappointed. From the hot summer months to the snowy winters I got to see some amazing places, but my favorite excursion had to be Washington, D.C. – my first trip to the nation’s capital and a personally-meaningful project on the Arlington Memorial Bridge and adjacent Arlington National Cemetery.
This year, with all-new LiDAR and Pavement equipment inbound, and several large-scale projects on the docket, I leveraged my collection experiences and demonstrated work ethic and jumped at the opportunity to grow with the operation, where I now supervise the field operations for our Pavement Management Solutions. I’m truly enjoying this role and feel very blessed for all the opportunities I’ve had with Michael Baker thus far.

Bringing this amazing ride full-circle, I had the opportunity this winter to host students from the West Virginia University curriculum that landed me here at Michael Baker. It was fascinating to take part in the event from the other side of the table. I got to share my experiences and take some resumes for that next budding crop of future leaders. The future looks bright for our LiDAR group and I’m thrilled to part of our continued expansion.

Tuesday, October 8, 2019

Sleek Lines and Smooth Drives

We enjoy the look of our new Pavement Solutions rig so much we couldn’t pass up the opportunity for some new “Headshots” during a recent trip through the ‘Burgh. 😍

Thursday, October 3, 2019

10th Anniversary Team Reflections: Andrew Hughes

One of the most fulfilling experiences I have had since joining the LiDAR group full time in 2012 has been training our new team members. It gives me good insight into how everyone interprets data – which I had never realized could be so different from one technician to the next. I enjoy analyzing a team member’s skillset and tailoring effective communication with each in their own “LiDAR language”.

Helping others continues to drive me to look for a fresh perspective when handling my own production responsibilities and makes me a better supervisor and analyst; however, the big payoff in personal satisfaction comes when they succeed and in turn can move into more productive roles and tackle more complicated tasks. 

Ultimately, I’m looking to put our LiDAR group in the best position to deliver projects that represent the best of all of us.

Tuesday, October 1, 2019

Newest Member of the Flying Wolfpack!

A BIG congratulations to our very own Zach Mussey for successfully attaining his FAA Part 107 UAS Pilot certification. Zach joined our team in early 2019 and has been a critical addition to our Pavement Management field operations –achieving pavement certification from NCAT (National Center for Asphalt Technologies) in June of this year.

By leveraging his experience as a licensed private pilot, Zach is looking forward to applying his skills on our advanced Altavian F7200 fixed-wing and Intel Falcon 8+ VTOL aircraft. Zach’s Part 107 certification and upcoming training on our latest Mobile LiDAR systems brings us one step closer to realizing our goal of deploying a UAS with every Mobile LiDAR unit to simultaneously capture projects from above and on the ground.

Way to go, Zach! Congratulations for earning your wings, and welcome to the Flying Wolfpack!

Thursday, September 26, 2019

Best in the Biz!

We might be a little biased, but we're pretty confident we've got THE BEST collection personnel in the business.  They are the front line of defense to ensure a successful mission, and more often than not, they are the face of our operation to the general public.  They log tens-of-thousands of miles behind the wheel each year, and have done so without a single safety incident.  They are dedicated road warriors and the unsung heroes of this operation. 

Left to Right: Nate Stephenson, Zach Mussey, Hunter White, and Michael Rizzo

Left to Right:  Michael Kendricks, Clark Jackson, and Devion Flavell

Tuesday, September 24, 2019

Got Power?

Transitioning from collection to maintenance is a breeze with the power-actuated lift on each of the new vehicles joining our Fleet.  No more ladders!  No more safety harnesses!  Just press the button and let it come to you.

Friday, September 20, 2019

Our New Fleet

We’re thrilled with our new Fleet of trucks. Not only are they more fuel efficient and eco-friendly, but they also include all the bells-and-whistles to improve the operating environment for our dedicated field crews. The thoughtful design includes a secure and weatherproof enclosure, full-length slide-out equipment lockers, power actuated lift, and easy access to all components without the need of cumbersome ladders and safety harnesses.

Wednesday, September 18, 2019

Out with the old, IN WITH THE NEW!

So excited to kick off our 10th year of Mobile LiDAR services with a brand new Fleet! These represent our most advanced, fuel efficient, and eco-friendly Mobile LiDAR vehicles to-date. The equipment is mounted, calibrated, tested, and ready to deploy.  And we think it looks pretty good too.

Stay tuned for upcoming details about the innovative design in upcoming posts.

Monday, September 16, 2019

R.I.P Mobile LiDAR 1

With a heavy heart we say our final goodbyes to Mobile LiDAR 1.

She saw it all over the past decade: Logged 330,000+ miles;   1,000+ tanks of fuel; 20+ operators; 3 Transmissions; 2 custom wraps; and 2 generations of Mobile LiDAR systems.

From scorching desert heat, to frigid Canadian winters, tornadoes, earthquakes, hurricanes, and volcanoes. Coast-to-coast, border-to-border, and everything along the way. 

Thank you for your service over the past decade. Now enjoy your time in that big parking lot at the farm upstate.

Thursday, September 12, 2019

10 Years of Mobile LiDAR!

Holy Cow!  Today we celebrate our 10th Anniversary of Mobile LiDAR ownership!

In the past decade we’ve expanded from a single system capable of 400,000 laser shots per second, to our current fleet of four (4) Mobile LiDAR systems each generating up to 1.2 Million engineering-grade measurements per second. Our Mobile LiDAR Team brings together more than 30 experts who are committed to constantly improving and expanding upon technology.

Can’t wait to see what our amazing Team does with the next 10 years!

Click Here for more information.

Wednesday, September 4, 2019

UAS Contract for ALL 50 States!

Thrilled to announce that we have been awarded a contract with the Commonwealth of Virginia to provide Unmanned Aerial Systems (UAS) services to state agencies, institutions of higher education and other public bodies and entities in all 50 states.

Our Autonomous Aviation Alliance (AAA) team, consisting of a network of 90 firms with a combined 250 offices and more than 50,000 pilots and airframes nationwide will soon be able to leverage the first-of-its-kind contract through the National Association of State Procurement Officials (NASPO) ValuePoint Cooperative Purchasing Organization.

The award can be utilized for five (5) primary category of services including: emergency and law enforcement support, aerial inspection or mapping, agricultural, gaming, and agency media relations and marketing. The award allows for a simple contract mechanism and fair pricing, streamlined service acquisition and eliminates the need for a selection process for each individual mission.

Click Here to learn more. 

Monday, September 2, 2019

Happy Labor Day!

Join us in observing the 125th anniversary of this day being recognized as a national holiday, and 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 achievements over the past decade of Mobile LiDAR operations, we’re laser focused on serving our communities and clients as We Make a Difference.

Monday, August 26, 2019

Ellicott City & Vulnerability to Unmitigated Disaster

Following up on our Mobile LiDAR collections and flood simulation animation last year in Ellicott City, MD, the recent July-August issue of The Military Engineer featured an insightful article about the flooding vulnerability and complexities facing the Ellicott City leaders.  Take a few minutes to revisit our Blog series (Ellicott City Flood Modeling and Ellicott City Flood Animation) regarding our work in Ellicott City following 2 catastrophic flooding events in 2016 and 2018.

Saturday, July 27, 2019

We're Back on Track!

Two days into our latest rail project and our newest addition to our Mobile LiDAR fleet is chuggin' along.  It handles so well you could even say it drives like it's on rails.

Tuesday, July 2, 2019

One week countdown to #EsriUC 2019. Looking forward to seeing everyone July 9-11. Drop by Booth #2300 to learn more about our Mobile LiDAR, UAS, Asset Inventory and comprehensive geospatial solutions. 

Friday, June 28, 2019

There's a New Sheriff in Town

​Michael Baker is pleased to welcome our latest innovative technology solution! Our newest  Pavement Management Solution leverages the latest Hawkeye Pavement Collection system from ARRB Group, Inc., and includes 5 directional cameras, a 3D inertial profiler, and high resolution Laser Crack Measurement System (LCMS) to capture current roadway conditions while travelling at posted speeds. 

Adding to Michael Baker's pavement collection qualifications and proven pavement analysis expertise, Hunter White, Zachary Mussey, Nathan Stephenson, and Michael Rizzo of our LiDAR Team successfully secured National Center for Asphalt Technologies (NCAT) Certification for the pavement condition equipment and attained individual certifications for proficiency and accuracy of equipment operation at the Federal Highway Administration's NCAT Test Track in Opelika, AL.

Tuesday, June 25, 2019

Visit with us at the 2019 Esri UC

Looking forward to #EsriUC 2019.  Join us July 9-11 at Booth #2300 to learn more about our comprehensive geospatial solutions.

Friday, June 21, 2019

Stop! Look! Listen!

Our new Hi-Rail equipped vehicle is almost ready for the tracks!

Friday, June 14, 2019

Almost Ready!

Our Pavement Solutions make a huge leap in technology next week!

Wednesday, June 5, 2019

Coming Attractions...

Exciting enhancements coming to our Fleet.  We have a bevy of new toys in route!

Stay Tuned!

Monday, May 27, 2019

Memorial Day: Honoring Those Who Served

All Gave Some.  Some Gave All.

On behalf of Michael Baker International, the Mobile LiDAR Team would like to recognize this Memorial Day our country’s military members who made the ultimate sacrifice to protect the very freedoms we enjoy. 

If you are able, 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 - http://specialops.org/
· Children of Fallen Patriots - http://www.fallenpatriots.org/
· Intrepid Fallen Heroes Fund - http://www.fallenheroesfund.org/

Thank you,
The Mobile LiDAR Team

Monday, April 22, 2019

Happy Earth Day!

Earth Day provides the perfect opportunity to reflect on how we collectively impact our local environment and the world.  At Michael Baker International, we look at how our work makes the world a better place by helping our clients make our land, water, air and neighborhoods cleaner, safer, more environmentally friendly—and, at the same time, more socially and economically viable.

We can think of no more appropriate occasion to announce our current initiative, which will include an overhaul of our Mobile LiDAR and Pavement collection fleet to more fuel efficient and environmentally sustainable vehicles that will lessen our environmental footprint.

Wednesday, April 17, 2019

OTMR / Utility Solutions Presented at Alden User Conferece

A BIG thanks to the great team at Alden Systems for the opportunity to speak at the 2019 Alden User Conference and present the next generation of Mobile LiDAR solutions for the Joint Pole, Make Ready Engineering (MRE), and One Touch Make Ready (OTMR) community.

@AldenSystems  #AldenOne  #MobileLiDAR  #OTMRSolutions

Michael Baker's Aaron Morris (National GIT Lead), presenting next generation Mobile LiDAR solutions during Monday's afternoon session at the 2019 Alden User Conference.

Friday, March 22, 2019

National Surveyors Week

We would like to take this opportunity to recognize the many contributions that Surveyors have made in shaping the very fabric of this nation.  From documenting land boundaries and subdividing land, to establishing the control monuments and measurements used to build our nation's infrastructure, Surveyors play a vital role in many unseen aspects of our life. 

As a Professional Surveyor, I have a deep respect for the history of my Profession and the individuals who came before me - including George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Abraham Lincoln, and many of this country's founding fathers.  It is because of this pride and love of Profession that we say that there are 3 Surveyors and some other guy on Mount Rushmore.  

Below is a proclamation from the State of Alabama recognizing Surveyors this week, one of many states and counties providing similar proclamation across the country this week.

Happy Surveyors Week!

Thursday, March 14, 2019

Happy National Pi Day!

Pi (π) - the irrational infinite number that describes the ratio of a circle’s diameter to its circumference. It is arguably the most recognized symbol in mathematics. Our LiDAR Team uses Pi for everything from common daily calculations to determine wheel circumference to properly calibrate and fit Distance Measuring Units (DMI), to make sense and order patterns found within the point clouds we collect. 

Most commonly, we use Pi hundreds of time each day to determine the circle that best reflects the circumference of a utility pole. Pi allows us to define the single most important geometric property of a pole’s load-bearing capacity. 

Happy National Pi Day from the Mobile LiDAR Team at Michael Baker International!

- Sandor Laszlo, P.E.

Monday, March 4, 2019

WVU's Next Generation of GIS Professionals visit Michael Baker

Once again we thoroughly enjoyed the opportunity to visit with the next generation of GIS Professionals from West Virginia University's (WVU) GIS Applications class.  The annual event was held at our Moon Township, PA office and afforded Dr. Harris' budding professionals the opportunity to see real world applications of geospatial technologies and tour our innovative Mobile LiDAR/Pavement Inventory collection vehicle.

Now into its second decade, the annual event was hosted by the LiDAR Team's Andy Hughes (LiDAR Processing Supervisor), who was joined by various Geospatial Information Technology (GIT) leads within the operation, and a special address from HQ Regional Director Dan Cessna.

Rounding out the event, the students were joined by Jacob Thiel (LiDAR Processing Supervisor and two members of our LiDAR Team (Erica Belloma and Hunter White), who joined Michael Baker's LiDAR Team after participating in this same event as WVU student, for a Q&A session to learn about their experiences transitioning from college graduation to working at Michael Baker. 

We can't wait to see how these amazing students change the face of the geospatial sciences..and if we're lucky, have them join the Michael Baker team!

Looking forward to next year’s visit!

Budding GIS Professionals from Dr. Harris' GIS Applications class at WVU joined members of our LiDAR Team to tour our Moon Township, PA office and meet our LiDAR and Geospatial Professionals.

Saturday, February 16, 2019

The Baker's Dozen - REDUX

It's always good practice to routinely assess your status, re-evaluate your goals, and revisit your critical assumptions.  As I look back on our 9+ years of Mobile LiDAR ownership there are many things that are just as pertinent today as they were nearly a decade ago.  None more poignant than our 13 Laws of Mobile LiDAR. 

Whether it's your first time, or just the first time a while, now is the perfect opportunity to catch up on our Baker's Dozen.

The Baker's Dozen: 13 Laws of Mobile LiDAR
  1. Too much is better than not enough;
  2. Sometimes more is just more, not better;
  3. Hard drives are cheap, time isn’t;
  4. Consistency counts; stop guessing;
  5. When someone wants “full planimetrics,” they really don’t;
  6. The stated laser range is X’, but the lasers are only capturing data to Y’; and Y is definitely less than X, yet nobody can tell you what Y is…
  7. The data you capture is only as good as the applied control;
  8. Today’s best practices will be tomorrow’s old habits;
  9. Field vs. office time ratios are pipe dreams;
  10. Mobile LiDAR systems are not created equal, and neither are the operations behind them;
  11. Off-the-shelf processing software will only do 50% of what you need it to do;
  12. When the system encounters issues, take a breath and reboot;
  13. Mobile LiDAR is not all fun and games, but it does feel like it some days.