Posts

Hocking Hills State Park – Logan, Ohio (July 2009)

My latestTITAN USA road tripwas relatively short compared to most that I have completed over the past few years. One of the stops was in Logan, Ohio a small town in the southern Hocking Hills region of the state. The town is relatively small that has yet to be fully taken over by the typical US box stores and restaurant chains (although there is a spot on the highway with a Walmart, so I assume that others will follow).

Small water falls at Hocking Hills Park

In this area they boast about the national parks, geology and history, such as found within Hocking Hills State Park.

Within the Hocking Hills park are several spectacular features based around rock formations, including Old Man’s Cave (a narrow, deep gorge, with many waterfalls), Cantwell Cliffs (a broad gorge at the head of a hollow with a unique stone stairway) and Ash Cave / Cedar Falls (large rock caves with water falls.

The deep gorges and high cliffs result from the erosion-resistant “Blackhand Sandstone” that extends well in to the north east of Hocking Hills. There are an abundant amount of uncommon and even rare plants, including plants that are outside their normal range. Like most State Parks this one has an abundant amount of visitors that stay at many of the almost 200 various campsites in the area.

Like most of my TITAN road trips, I cover a broad geography in a short time, off witch does not allow much time to fully explore. However judging from what little time I was able to spend here, I thought it was a pretty scenic area, very rural or back country style with several scenic nature trails allowing a person to step back from the everyday hustle and bustle (The geology is always a bonus too).

Certainly worth a stop if you are ever in this area and perhaps I will come back here some day to do some camping and hiking myself.

.

TITAN Cross Country Road Trip 4 (July 2009)

Road Trip # 4

TITAN Cross Country Road Trip # 4

Start Location: Ottawa, Ontario

End Location: Houston, Texas

States / Provinces Crossed:

– 8 states: New York, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Kentucky, Tennessee, Arkansas, and Texas

– 1 province: Ontario

Places stayed or visited: Syracuse NY, Cleveland OH, Logan OH, Lexington KY, Louisville KY, Little Rock AK, Houston TX

Approximate Distance: 3160 km

Duration: 7 days
Although this may have been my shortest road trip since I started traveling with the Terrapoint Titan mobile LIDAR system we still crossed through eight states and 1 province along about a 3160+ kilometer journey in seven days (with only 1 speeding ticket! … and no it wasn’t mine either…). Unlike most of the previous road trips, there was only one official stop along the way. It was just outside Hocking Hills State Park in Logan, Ohio but the main focus was to bring the system to our Houston office for future jobs in that region.

Besides the short hike at the Hocking Hills State Park, this trip didn’t allow any time to partake in many interesting stops (I was hoping to get to stop in Lynchburg, Tennessee to take a Jack Daniel’s Distillery Tour or visit the Clinton Presidential Library while stopping in Little Rock but that didn’t work out) so this time I have little things to mention besides the numerous typical truck stops for gas and coffee refills. It was mostly interstate driving with a short country side detour through Ohio and Kentucky (from Logan OH to Lexington KY).

Maybe on the next trip will be a little more exciting …

.

LIDAR Data Images – The Beer Store Truck

LIDAR Data of A Beer Store truck in Ontario

 

Above is a screen shot image created with LIDAR point data (intensity values) captured during a LIDAR survey in Ottawa with the TITAN mobile laser scanning system. The intensity values allow you to clearly make out the painted Beer Store logo on the side of the truck.

 

the White House & the National Mall – Washington, DC

Washington DC - Air Photo

Smithsonian Kite Festival in front of the Washington Monument

Currently we have been finishing up another super long cross country Titan road trip and are on our way back to Ottawa, however due to various issues with customs and border crossing, we have had to delay our trip home until the paper work for the survey equipment has been fully processed (witch apparently takes a full day or two ??). Therefore we gained a day-off of two while traveling and conveniently it happened while we were near Washington, DC.

The National Mall is an open concept national park situated in middle of Washington, D.C. that covers the area between the Lincoln Memorial and the United States Capitol Building. It includes several landmarks, National Monuments and several museums.

Therefore it was a opportunity to take a few hours for ourselves and check out some of the sites located around the American Capital City (& home of the President of the United States). It also turned out to be the same day as the Smithsonian Kite Festival, which is an annual event that takes place at the National Mall. Much like Ottawa back home, Washington, DC provides people here with many different activities.

the White House - 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue Washington, DCback of the White House - 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue Washington, DC

It wasn’t a very sunny day but pretty breezy so actually good weather for kite flying. There were hundreds of people flying kites for leisure, competing in various competitions and many other related activities. Most of the activities were around the Washington Monument (the tallest stone obelisk structure in the world constructed of marble, granite and gneiss, built to commemorate president George Washington), so we walked around for a bit and took in some of the sites at the event before heading out to check out some of the attractions that we had come to see.

United States Capitol Building in Washington, DC

We headed north from there to 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW, better known as the White House or the official residence and principal workplace of the President of the United States. There were plenty of people around all with their cameras ready in case they caught a site of President Barack Obama. No luck he wasn’t around so we headed on to our next stop.

From there we headed east towards the United States Capitol Building witch is like our Parliament Hill, the meeting place of the United States Congress and the legislature of the Federal Government of the United States. The Capitol is at the highest point of the National Mall and looks down westerly towards the Lincoln Memorial. Before heading west towards the other end witch turned out was just over 3 and half kilometers we took a short detour to 501 Pennsylvania Avenue.

Theere we discovered that the Canadian Embassy building located just north of the National Gallery of Art was nothing like the United States Embassy building is back in Ottawa (less fortress like fencing and more architecture glass like structure).

Canadian Embassy in Washington DC - USAWashington Monument

Heading west again we progressed by the majority of museums and attractions due to the volume of people that were there as it seemed to have been March break for kids in this area and we didn’t want to waste our day standing in line ups.

Lincoln Memorial - Reflecting pond Washington, DCWe stopped to check out the 600+ m Reflecting Pool at the west end of the park, in front of the Lincoln Memorial (the one that was in the movie Forest Gump when Jenny runs through the middle of it during the war protest). It amazing how large this pond is as it stretches down from the War Memorial Monument all the way down to Lincoln, where he sits looking out upon it.

So from here we headed west along the Reflecting Pool down to the Lincoln Memorial and what ever sites awaited us down at this end of the National Mall.

Click here to continue reading more about my rest of day in Washington, DC (with more photos) in my next travel blog post.

 

[Note: Washington, DC Air Photo at the top of the post was customized from Google Earth]

Update: I have added some aerial images of the White House that we took on one of our flights though the area when we were back to do some LIDAR survey work in the area. Didn’t have any time off this time so no other new photos of Washington, DC to add.

Aerial Photo of the White House - 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue Washington, DCAerial Photo of the White House - 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue Washington, DC

TITAN Mobile LIDAR Scanner

Mobile laser systems use a GPS-IMU (global positioning system – inertial measurement unit) combined solution to help track where the LIDAR scanners are located while they are operating during data acquisition. LIDAR processing software is then used with GPS collected data (from a GPS unit setup over top of known high precision point) to calculate the spatial locations of each LIDAR point located within the point cloud that represents 3D real world objects.

TITAN Mobile LIDAR scanner

The TITAN mobile laser scanning system is a custom made robust vehicle mounted mobile scanning solution. The TITAN system incorporates an array of 4 separate Riegl laser scanners to provide a 360 degree field of view. The laser scanners are combined with a GPS unit and a high accuracy aviation grade IMU, then mounted inside a custom pod and raised 12 feet in the air using a heavy duty custom made scissor-lift style boom. The mobile scanning unit can be operated from within the moving vehicle and collects over 50 points per square meter while moving at speeds of 70-80 km/hr (slower speeds produced more points).

I have been operating and managing LIDAR projects using the TITAN mobile laser scanning system for over two years now, in a variety of projects from coast to coast (and hope to include some info on these trips and some sample sample data screen shots soon).