Justin Barton – a technology pro and advocate for reality capture in heritage

Learn why Justin Barton has been nominated among the 40 under 40 remarkable geospatial professionals in 2019

Justin Barton saw his first point cloud in August 2004 during his undergraduate archaeology studies at UC Berkeley. After 15 years, he is still amazed by the results of this technology and how customers apply reality capture for a myriad of applications.

Leveraging his 10 years of experience as an advocate for terrestrial laser scanning at CyArk, a non-profit creating digital records of heritage sites and works of historic significance, Barton joined the reality capture division of Hexagon Geosystems as a software product manager in 2014.

“I was thrilled at the opportunity to try something new, and to bring my unique heritage-focused customer experience to the table,” said Barton. “As a product manager, it brings me great joy and satisfaction to march towards better, faster, more efficient, and smarter workflows to derive useful and valuable information for our customers.”

Shaping heritage preservation

Modern humans, from a biological evolutionary perspective, evolved in a range from 90 to 200 thousand years ago. The span of written human history only dates back to a little more than 5,000 years ago and, for some regions, recorded history is considerably more limited to a more recent period.

Interpreting the often inaccurate and incomplete written history relies on archaeological research. Reality capture technology helps archaeologists to fully document and digitise heritage in accurate 3D models, providing actionable and visualised data.

Shaping heritage preservation is a personal mission for Barton. Creating a paradigm shift in how the archaeological resources most susceptible to erosion, such as earthen or adobe brick, are understood and conserved.

“Understanding heritage is like therapy for our collective selves – you have to know who you really are with a deep dive into your past if you want to improve and appreciate your own growth,” explains Barton. “I think, realising our follies and understanding our potential is key for our greatest, best, and smartest future. And to me, heritage preservation is key to that.”

“Leica Geosystems encourages me to pursue my own passions”

From the first-ever 3D survey of Mount Rushmore National Memorial, to the digital preservation of the Sydney Opera House, Barton has continuously challenged himself.

The heritage preservation advocate is working full time while doing a PhD part time at The University of Queensland. Merging his passion for heritage with work at Leica Geosystems is both filling and continuously rewarding. For his outstanding achievements and passionate attitude, xHyt magazine nominated Barton among the 40 under 40 remarkable geospatial professionals in 2019.

“Leica Geosystems has been very supportive and a phenomenal resource for my career development. The company has been accommodating when I need time to travel for my fieldworkthey have assisted me in making contacts with local sales teams and customers in remote regions, so that I could rent or borrow equipment locally for my research. Even our divisional president regularly asks me about my progress and sends me photos of heritage sites he visits on his holidays,” concludes Barton. “And all thanks to Leica Geosystems’ desire and interest in nurturing, grooming and growing their employees.”


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