ISPRS Centenary Celebration Vienna (July 1st - July 7th, 2010)

As mentioned in our April issue, RIEGL decided to support this year's ISPRS conference as a Platinum Sponsor, which took place in Vienna, where it was founded 100 years ago. But more than just a financial support, RIEGL proudly committed itself through manifold contributions.

Three days before the official opening of the ISPRS conference, the “Dreiländertagung” (D-A-CH Conference) took place from July 1st to July 3rd, at the Technical University of Vienna - with two RIEGL presentations scheduled: Martin Pfennigbauer, Head of Research, took the place of DI Frank Steinbacher (Innsbruck University), in giving the co-authored presentation, „Airborne Hydromapping“.
With his presentation on „Mobile Laser Scanning: technological improvements in data acquisition“, Nikolaus Studnicka, RIEGL Manager International Sales, explained the basic facts and the configuration of the Mobile Scanning System, VMX-250, to a large audience.

As ‘theory is theory is theory’ - and is never enough to convince academics, surveyors, press -  and skeptical students! Not only did a booth right in front of the auditorium serve for having a closer look or a discussion, but a VMX-250 equipped car waited for passengers for demo-rides. And it didn't have to wait for too long! The welcomed (air-conditioned:) break in conference routine, on a hot summer day, impressed visitors by the easy handling of the system, the prompt online results, the possibility to virtually follow the Vienna Ringstrasse, and simultaneously, a movie created from the data acquired on the same street the day before. A passenger remarked, “Observing online data acquisition on the Ringstrasse and immediately afterwards the first analysis of the results – that's what I call information in action!“

Many terrestrial laser scanner users – mostly from the academic field - took the occasion to get informed about RIEGL’s latest performance achievements. The new Long-Range Terrestrial Laser Scanner RIEGL VZ-1000 was introduced - and welcomed.

Special Event at St. Stephans's Cathedral

On Saturday, July 3rd, a special event was scheduled for the participants of the conference, and again, RIEGL contributed with both organization and information. About 70 people participated in the invitation and profited from the unique occasion of visiting not only St. Stephan's Cathedral in a guided tour, but to get access to the roof of Vienna's landmark, otherwise not accessible to the public.

The idea for this event came up in the course of the first organizational meetings for the D.A.C.H conference and was realized in collaboration with the St. Stephans’s Dombauamt, the Federal Office for Metrology and Surveying, and RIEGL.

The group met at 10 a.m., in front of the giant door, for a guided tour. Let's point out one detail in consideration of the group members professional interest: The northern tower of the cathedral (once, when completed in 1433, the highest stone building in Europe) is not only the orientation mark for the city of Vienna, but at the same time, the point of origin for the so called “Franziszeischer Kataster” map. It goes without saying that more than one participant wanted to step on that special point...
After the tour the group took the long and narrow staircase up to the roof, enjoyed real long range view and cool drinks took a walk around the cathedral in the eaves and strolled around the immense space of the attic - as the roof is almost equally as high as the dome of the cathedral, there's plenty to discover. Mag. Franz Zehetner, art-historian of the Dombauamt, presented further details concerning St. Stephan's Cathedral, focusing on the different events of destruction and reconstruction in its history and thus, the need (and, as so often with historical buildings that „grow“ over  centuries, the lack) for consistent maps.  While explaining the historical steps of mapping by means of different technological tools up to his latest experiences with laser scanning (a RIEGL demo project carried out in 2005), Zehetner mentioned factors like material decay through environmental factors, deviations in precision due to instability of the constructions – but also practical considerations that determine the schedule of a scanning project in a public building visited by hundreds of  people every day (e.g, scanning by night, choosing a season of the ecclesiastical year when there's not much flower decoration foreseen, etc.).

ISPRS 100th Anniversary Celebration

July 4th, the 100th anniversary of the ISPRS, founded as the „International Society for Photogrammetry“ (ISP) that very day 100 years ago by professor Eduard Dolezal, in Vienna, was celebrated. Presentations on the occasion, in the Kuppelsaal of the Vienna Technical University, were followed up by a Gala dinner at Vienna’s City Hall.

ISPRS International Conference

From Monday, July 5th to Wednesday, July 7th, the latest achievements and projects in Laser Scanning, Photogrammetry and Remote Sensing were exchanged during the international conference. Peter Rieger, RIEGL Product Manager Airborne Laser Scanning, „Participating in this conference allows an insight into the latest academic works. Of course, here in Vienna, our personal contact with the University is an important factor as well. The audience was very interested, the lecture rooms were full up to the last presentation.“

Again, RIEGL’s Laser Scanning Technology provided the basis for one of the presentations: the scan data discussed in Professor Michael Doneus' paper, „Analysis of full-waveform ALS data by simultaneously acquired TLS data: Towards an advanced DTM generation in wooded areas“, have been acquired with both RIEGL Airborne and Terrestrial Scanners.