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


Sean Higgins is the former Managing Editor of and the SPAR 3D weekly newsletter, which continues to highlight relevant news and information for 3D-scanning professionals. Sean continues to work in the industry, and may sometimes be spotted in attendance at SPAR 3D Expo & Conference. Follow @spar_editor to connect with and learn more about the current voice of

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