SLAM is Getting Interesting

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Mobile mapping technology is hugely valuable. Imagine scanning a strip of road, or a mini-mall without it (you probably don’t want to). However, it has one unavoidable truth: a reliance on GPS.

GPS is part of the suite of sensors that a mobile mapping system uses to determine its bearing, its position in comparison to the objects it’s scanning, its speed, and so on. Without detailed information on the scanner’s location and orientation for every point it measures, that information is essentially useless.

You can imagine that taking this scanner indoors, where GPS won’t work, presents problems. Without satellite coverage, how do you know where the scanner is? You use algorithms for simultaneous localization and mapping (SLAM).

What is SLAM?


About Author

SPAR 3D Editor Sean Higgins produces SPAR 3D's weekly newsletters for 3D-scanning professionals, and Sean has previously worked as a technical writer, a researcher, a freelance technology writer, and an editor for various arts publications. He has degrees from Hampshire College in Amherst, Massachusetts and the University of Aberdeen in Scotland, where he studied the history of sound-recording technologies. Sean is a native of Maine and lives in Portland.

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