Life of a salesman is not always too bad ;0)

15 Jul


Last week i had the opportunity to do a practical test at an interesting archaeological jobsite in the Netherlands. It was exciting for different reasons.

First of all you need to know that most surveyors -myself included- have great affection for history, so this is the perfect ocasion to combine both passions.

Then, one of the best market segments to show the benefits of Eyesmap is in archaeology. Not like modern skyscrapers, built using most reflective and homogeneous materials (which is far from ideal to use photogrammetry), the texture at an archaeological site is often fantastic! Irregular shapes and great variety of colours: the perfect basis to get a lot of automatically matching points, resulting in a rich 3D full coloured point cloud.

Finally, I realize more than ever before that new technologies can best be sold knowing your product inside out! So what is better than getting acquainted with this magic new device in the field, where it all happens, and i must say, this project had it all.

It was a fantastic hot and sunny day (one of those days all salesmen seem to be "in the field").
We were lucky enough our part to survey was just in the shade.
Not only for the cooler temperature, but moreover to avoid irregular shadows muddling the object to capture in images.

The archaeologists were real professionals, although it surprised me a bit the classic survey methods they are still using (most of all tape and optical level + one GPS). Most probably this has to do with the limited budgets as a result of the recent crisis. However their workload was incredible as i learned from them. Due to the increase of construction activities, several historic materials unexpectedly see daylight again.

As a consequence of a European regulation (the Malta treaty), construction companies are obliged to stop digging activities and give room first to archaeologues to safeguard and document all heritage popping up during the works.
However this must be done very quickly to keep the economic loss due to this delay limited for the constructor.

it is e.g. for this reason that Eyesmap can be very useful here.
I was able within one hour of image capturing to document the most interesting part of the site accurately in 3D, where the classic methods take really much longer (we are talking about days vs. hours) at less accuracy and less complete.
Immediately after the image shooting, i went to see the closest bar to take a refreshing Coke first and process the captured images.
One hour later i could show the first 3Dresults to the field guys.
They were really excited and immediately started brainstorming of how this device could improve their work and results.

Well, great to hear of course, but now up to me first to process the data, then meet with their boss and evaluate this pilot project together. Although it was our main intention first just to test the usefulness and benefits of the eyesMap3D Tablet in archaeologic environment, i would not be surprised if this action would result in first commercial results on short term in this sector.

Then, last but not least: my knowledge and practical experience doing this field excercize got a serious boost again.
My feedback to the R&D guys will definitely help us to improve further the Eyesmap performance. This will make it easier again for me to sell this new and exciting product.

As I said, life of a salesman is not always too bad... ;0)

Business trip to "La Douce France"

14 Jul


A few weeks ago I was in Paris to meet with a surveying equipment distributor interested to pick up Eyesmap dealership for France. When arriving at the scheduled meeting place, a modern hotel near Montparnasse, I was a bit disappointed and concerned. Why? would you say… Well, since working with photogrammetric survey equipment (as is our eyesMap3D Tablet) I am looking a bit "different" to the world! All these "glimmer and glatter" glass facades of huge new skyscrapers are impressive to see, but the light reflection is killing when you want to capture such buildings using photogrammetry. Thus since I am now an active promotor of Eyesmap, I strongly prefer looking at these characteristic facades that you see a lot in Paris as well!. Fortunately I did some test shooting on a beautiful old building the night before near the location of my little hotel in one of the more remote suburbs of Paris (where parking your car is still for free;o). Just loaded these images within Eyesmap to show the opportunities of the system, and impress positively my (hopefully!) new partners.

It’s absolutely true that Photogrammetry is not the ideal tool for all your survey demands, but if the texture is OK, the result can be "wow"... (and sometimes not, when you are too optimistic about the texture quality).

Of course, using our multi-sensor tablet, there are alternatives to come to 3D result, like the integrated depth sensor. I quickly scanned the table including drinks, laptop and papers and was able quickly to produce a 3D point cloud out of this mass this way. Not too bad if you need that!

As a final example I took one of the few rich textured objects around me for a final good impression to my guest: the beautiful colourful flower in the vase in front of us. Taking just 3 shots from different angles was sufficient to generate a 3D point cloud. Actually the company was focusing more on the utilities market but I think I gave them some unexpected new ideas that may open up new markets and opportunities... Well, actually that’s what’s it all about in business isn’t it? Enfin, it was a lucky day for me in “La Douce France”, and I drove back home fully satisfied, thinking about the next challenge to come... what a job!! ;o)