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2013: LiDAR, the Cloud, and the Future

Mark Alonzo

Often times at the start of a year I am torn between: a reflective look back to reminisce or a bullish look ahead toward the new horizon. This year is no exception, and although 2012 was packed with note-worthy highlights, I cannot help but look ahead to exciting endeavors for 2013.

Right around the corner is the first conference I will attend – ILMF 2013 in Denver.  The opportunity to interact face-to-face with customers to hear about upcoming projects and goals is probably the single favorite part of my job. Some highlights I am looking forward to include a poster presentation highlighting how the visualization of the point cloud (as opposed to collecting data for measurement purposes) will broaden the appeal of LiDAR to non-traditional industries, as well as a paper presentation “Methods for LiDAR point cloud classification using statistics of local neighborhoods” on which Fred Kruse is an author. Download Conference Abstracts and stop by our booth (#71) if you are ILMF to say hello!

Looking ahead just a bit - the release of ENVI Services Engine brings great opportunity to me personally and to everyone in need of on-line on-demand access to image analysis capabilities. For me – it means the opportunity to learn HTTP REST and other technology that is not necessarily new, but is new to my everyday work and solutions for my customers.  In general, the idea of the analysis (software) and data (think BIG) sitting side-by-side in a centralized high-performance environment opens countless opportunities for thin client access and robust image analysis to co-exist.  What are the first applications your organization will port to the cloud?

Finally, I have been reading plenty of “look ahead” predictions such as “Directions Magazine Editors Look Back at 2012; Make Bold Predictions for 2013”, as well as taking note of conference themes for the coming year ranging from “Building a Sustainable Earth through Remote Sensing” at International Geosciences and Remote Sensing Symposium to  “Confluence by the Bay – A Gathering of Geospatial Insights” at ASPRS. Despite the vast range of predictions and directions, these various themes share the directive to cultivate our industry to the best of its potential through sustaining a friendly, sometimes competitive, and very collaborative environment.  Now I can’t think of a better industry in which to be starting a new year. Can you?

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