Versatile geospatial solutions

Author: Ken Mooyman

Versatile geospatial solutions

Throughout our long history, a core driver of innovation has been our ambition to create solutions that are easier to use. As a result, precise geospatial tools and the value that they provide, are now available to a larger group of people. Our user-friendly software solutions help even nonspecialists interpret, analyse and visualise geospatial data. As Hexagon’s Geosystems division continues to serve traditional industries such as surveying and construction, we’re excited to see new applications for our solutions in other industries including areas that support sustainability and keep people safe. Consider these examples:


Global warming increases the frequency of natural hazards, such as landslides, melting glaciers, avalanches or rockfalls following heavy rainfalls. In addition, in many countries, infrastructure is ageing and becomes vulnerable because of increased stress due to urbanisation and construction activities. For example, 40% of the United States’ 600,000 bridges are more than 50 years old; one out of eleven is structurally deficient.

Monitoring is fundamental in understanding the risks related to these phenomena and preventing disastrous consequences. Advanced Monitoring technologies assess the actual risk and indicate where corrections are impactful or protection measures necessary. They can also identify the precursors of structural failure or early indications of natural hazards to allow evacuating people in time. Monitoring, for example, the traffic-induced vibration of a bridge helps engineers identify structural problems and close the traffic for restructuring the bridge in time. Continuously monitoring the movement of a landslide or a glacier helps recognise accelerations, which are often precursors of a collapse.Increasingly intelligent systems automatically trigger alarms and even prompt protection measures.

Hexagon owns a unique range of technologies suitable for monitoring and is pursuing the Total Monitoring concept: It provides advanced, complementary monitoring hardware and software that merges and correlates the data from different sensors and facilitates the interpretation by the user.

Media and Entertainment

The push to achieve ever-more-stunning visual effects in films and video games creates demand for solutions that help achieve these effects in faster, better and more cost-efficient ways. By capturing real-life environments using Reality Capture solutions and turning them into digital realities, movie makers and game designers can quickly create 3D models. These serve as bases for their fictional worlds, which would be extremely difficult, time-consuming or even impossible to build from scratch. Hexagon solutions are a perfect match for an industry that expects stellar quality and speedy delivery. Easy-to-use laser scanners such as the Leica BLK360 and Leica BLK2GO make it easier for professionals to acquire 3D data capture for movie and game production.

Creative professionals can turn these digital worlds they design into immersive experiences that allow the visitor to enter a scene and to move through it. Such compelling experiences can be emotionally moving. Some people compare their intensity to real-life memories. Environmental organisations are increasingly using the same technology, that is, reality capture and virtual reality, for edutainment: Teaching people about environmental protection in an absorbing and engaging manner. People can virtually experience threatened ecosystems, including coral reefs or old-growth forests, that they couldn’t access otherwise. Research shows that such experiences incentivise people to learn and increase their sense of connectedness to the issue.

Public safety

Access to accurate information and complete visibility of evidence at an incident scene is essential for public safety professionals. Minute details can contain crucial information. To preserve such information through a virtual copy – the Forensic Digital Twin – public safety professionals use Hexagon Geosystems’ laser scanning, total stations, UAV, and mobile mapping solutions to instantly capture and visualise crime, crash or fire scenes. In many instances, investigators may not be able to revisit the scene for months or even years. During that period, pertinent information can get lost. Reviewing and analysing the Forensic Digital Twin helps police officers, investigators, prosecutors, judges and others to clarify or understand the course of events.

Apart from evidence gathering on an incident scene, digital twins can help major-event organisers understand crowd behaviour,identify bottlenecks, map escape routes and model scenarios to ensure effective crowd control and protection. Security service companies can use accurate digital models to identify and mitigate threats. Security managers, organisers and first responders can explore a 3D environment, zoom in on details, annotate and prevent threats.


Facilitating rail transport is a crucial step toward reducing global carbon emissions.

Rail is a safety-sensitive, and thus conservative, industry. However, because rail networks and systems are highly complex, digital technologies can have a tremendous impact on efficiency, safety, asset maintenance and asset reliability. For countries with modern railway systems, digitalisation is a must if they are planning to enable high-speed and autonomous rail. The Leica Pegasus:Two offers survey-grade accuracy and high-resolution images for creating digital twins in the rail industry. It can be mounted on a rail-enabled vehicle or a road vehicle to capture data on and off track. The Leica Pegasus:Two captures rail track geometry, catenary, vegetation, and surrounding infrastructure, which can be used for rail track geometry evaluation, redesign, clearance analysis, autonomous trains, etc. Data capturing is quick and efficient, requires fewer people in potentially hazardous zones, and the Leica Pegasus:Two can be mounted on a train - reduces the need for rail track downtime.

Digitally enabled process optimisations mean faster transportation of people and freight, safer operations, fewer breakdowns – and increased public trust in these environmentally crucial transport solutions.

These are some of the many examples where I have seen the adoption of geospatial solutions. It’s inspiring, and I look forward to seeing our company continue to push the boundaries of geospatial technologies and witnessing how our customers put those technologies to use.

Ken Mooyman is Executive Vice President, Global Marketing and Communications, at Hexagon’s Geosystems division and President of the World Geospatial Industry Council (WGIC).

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