Well, like everyone is saying, I cannot believe that 2015 is drawing to a close. Where did the year go? This will be a short note – I have to get some Christmas shopping done!
We finally released LP360 this past week. Our early postponement was to squeeze new features into the products whereas the later delays were to ensure stability. We have been using the products in our internal production processes for the past few months. This has been a great experience in terms of fine tuning features and monitoring stability.
One of the things we have been focused on is production processes. Of course, repeatable process is what the GeoCue workflow products are all about so this is not a new thing for us. We have always appreciated that quality is most directly related to rigorously controlled processes, not to the heroics of individual production folks. Now that we are doing a lot of field work, we are examining ways to improve this aspect of the process. For example, the field work associated with acquiring mine site data with an sUAS is tricky. It is not that the individual steps are particularly complicated, it is that there are a lot of steps that must be successfully accomplished in a specific order. We are currently using a lot of checklists. This is the minimum required to be successful. How do we improve this process in harsh environments that often lack connectivity to the outside world? No clear solutions yet but we are working on it!
We have also been working on simplifying our business structure. We acquired QCoherent Software LLC (a Colorado-based company) in 2009. Over time, we have moved all of the company to our headquarters in Huntsville, Alabama. We are finally absorbing the corporate structure into GeoCue Group. You will not notice any changes other than communications related to LP360 and LIDAR Server now being from GeoCue Group Inc.
We will soon be releasing Service Pack 4 for the GeoCue product set. The next major release will be in 2016. We are working on some simplifications to the product as well as better schemes for archiving products. I think you will appreciate these changes.
Terrasolid is now offering a true 64 bit version for MicroStation CONNECT (the version of MicroStation that succeeds V8i). Maintenance customers will have access to this new version of Terrasolid tools. We do caution however, that this is still in the beta stage and is probably not sufficiently stable or feature complete to introduce into production. We estimate that this new version will be production ready by the end of Q1 of 2016.
During this past year we have learned an incredible amount about how to design sUAS for mapping as well as the tools and processes needed to create products. This overall workflow is fundamentally changing small area mapping but it is not easy to achieve accurate and repeatable results. We now have come to realize that mine site mapping requires control 100% of the time and establishing this in dense image matching workflows is not at all straightforward. I think this is good news for the professionals out there providing these services. In the area of metric mapping, you will not be easily displaced by someone buying an inexpensive drone and a point cloud generation software application!
All of us here at GeoCue Group wish you a very relaxing holiday season and the very best of success in 2016!