Eos makes high precision accessible to geomaticists (SIGMAG SIGTV EN Eos 3GRT SIG 2018 Esri)
During the Esri France 2018 GIS (SIG) conference in Paris, France, Jean-Yves Lauture, President and Technical Director of Eos, traces the history of Eos Positioning Systems (Eos). Created in 2014, Eos’ mission is to make high-accuracy GNSS — which is usually reserved for surveying communities — accessible to all professional mapping communities. The mission is to achieve this while keeping the GNSS receivers simple and financially affordable.
In this video, Jean-Yves Lauture explains the trends causing non-surveying mapping professionals to use this type of solution. The Eos Arrow Series GNSS receivers, which are manufactured by Eos and distributed in Europe by a dealer network, also include a new feature — based on a partnership with Esri and Laser Technology Inc (LTI) — to provide a real, total-station like workflow using just ArcGIS Collector, the Eos Arrow GNSS receiver, and the LTI TruePulse rangefinders.
Jean-Yves Lauture also addresses new added functionality for adopters of this user-friendly GNSS, including the ability for field crews to safely perform point-surveys in dangerous or normally inaccessible situations — such as open trenches. Finally, Lauture describes the new release of geoid model support.
This blurb has been translated from French.
Transcript for “Eos Interview with SIGMAG: Eos Makes High Accuracy Location Accessible to GIS and Mapping Professionals”
This article has been translated from French.
Here at the French Esri GIS (SIG) conference, SIGMAG Television proceeds with its discoveries of both partners and novel solutions. We therefore present to you, Mr. Jean Yves Lauture.
XAVIER FODOR: Hi Mr. Lauture! As the President and CTO of the firm called Eos Positioning Systems, could you kindly tell us how your company was established in the year 2014?
MR LAUTURE: Sure, I will. Eos is borne out of a technical team that possesses a long history of GNSS experts who successfully developed the first GNSS receivers that have the capacity of performing Bluetooth, high-accuracy GPS that reaches to a survey-grade level as early as the 2000s. We subsequently continued to upgrade our innovation in terms of compatibility, to the point that our devices can perfectly work on any operating system, including the iOS. Although in the Eos, there are elements of differentiation. Our organization’s mission is making very high-precision positioning very easy to do. We choose simplicity in order to allow everyone gain accuracy of up to a centimeter, as usually achieved mainly by surveyors. However, we offer this accuracy to ordinary fieldworkers, so that even persons without any idea of GNSS can achieve either submeter or centimeter accuracy. Our mandate is to make this surveying technology available to everyone.
FODOR: Okay, Thank you. So, can you confirm to us that you are partners with Esri France and have been registered since the beginning of the firm in 2014?
MR LAUTURE: Yes. We entered a partnership with Esri and also have strong relationships with the ArcGIS Collector market as well as iOS users. Also a large segment of the market in the United States is iOS due to our compatibility with Apple products and Collector. We are aware that Collector is almost 75% globally part of the market, while 85% of the market use iPads or iPhones. Therefore, we designed the first open source receiver to work with any of these apps and platforms and allow the market choose.
We also offer many more advantages. In the area of simplicity for instance, we make our metadata available, because it is nice for our customers to have a position point ready in Esri ArcGIS Collector. But it entails knowing your metadata so as to be confident about the quality of your location. The Collector takes the metadata from our GNSS receivers so that it does not just stop at collecting points, but also collect extra data. This enables the user see the field condition when the point was taken, the particular satellite that is stuck, if it was snowing that year, the differential correction and whether the solution was fixed or floating. Therefore, all the metadata that sorts information are collected with the point that was taken on the ground, which in turn aids in the validation of the quality of the point.
FODOR: Tell me, is it true that your entire range of products are distributed in France by your distributor, 3GRTS? Can you also shed more light on some of your new developments which customers can anticipate? I have also observed that you have a new release that allows your customers scan points as if they were using a Total Station from conventional surveying. Can you briefly explain how your version of this total station functions?
MR LAUTURE: That is rightly said. Earlier this year, we released a total station similar to workflow as part of a three way partnership with Esri and Laser Technology, Inc. (LTI). Laser offset or laser mapping solution is what it is called and it was created because some of our customers requested the creation of a solution to a common problem. This problem was that assets were not reachable or risky to access, suggesting that they could not get the points. For instance, you could own an asset in an aquaduct or in the middle of a highway, which is too risky to collect and also very expensive to stop traffic from going out there.
Because of these reasons, we proposed a solution that allows for some exchanges between our software, the LTI laser rangefinder and Esri’s Collector app. This enabled what is known as laser mapping. It is accurate up to within few centimeters and allows you to measure the distance, inclination and the exact point of a feature that is far away. It also seemingly appears like a traditional total station workflow. But if you need the precision of about 16 to 20 centimeter with Collector, you can get this on your iPad with Collector as long as you own an LTI rangefinder and Eos receiver. This part of our partnership enables us produce new technologies. The Collector and LTI teams worked together with us to allow us interchange data among the three technologies in real life. That is extraordinary perticularly because it also collects the GNSS metadata. So, apart from getting laser mapping in real life, you also take in all the measurements from the field, just in case a customer requires a redo of his or her calculations or anything else in that regard. In addition, anything else can be done in Collector. It is transparent and appears as if the calculations are done in the Collector. Therefore, this three-way partnership ensures a seamless experience for our users. This was the first ever solution of its type and is the reason it is just the only example of how unique our receivers are in the market. Its uniqueness lies in the idea that you could achieve real life accuracy in your current technology, such as Collector and iPad on the field and update such data directly to your office without tampering with the data or any post processing of data.
We posess another popular model in our collection which is 40 to 60 centimeter accurate. Similar to the first solution, this one utilizes all 4 GNSS constellations and free SBAS signals, which include GLONASS and Galileo (currently gradually reaching maturity) and also BeiDou, mainy a Chinese constellation. With this one, we achieve more accuracy than if customers use just the GPS satellites only. By the ability to fetch signals from all 4 constellations, we allow our customers achieve not just flexibility in semi covered areas, but also a framework that keeps a beautiful contellation visible in the sky with more robustness at the solution level that provides local solutions.
FODOR: Who are your main customers? For example, do you consider those at this event your customers?
MR LAUTURE: We are currently witnessing a huge boom in water utilities for their field crews. There is also a huge expansion in archeology and excavation. Also, especially for those who wish to know, “we intend digging six meters next to this point”. Geographically, our customer base in the United States is huge and we are witnessing the fact that many nations want to map their water valves, inspect their pipelines for gas or corrossion. All of these suggest that we are encountering customer surges worldwide. In pipeline and petroleum for example, you will observe that “tracking and traceability” will take off. They are strictly regulated as the type of pipe used, the wielding, name of the welder and all other relevant details must be known. All of these pipeline history needs to be tracked with high accuracy.
Finally, we constantly discuss with electric and telecommunication professionals who need the understanding of the information about their cables for instance. Applications from various customers who require our products are endless. We are even currently helping a non-profit in Haiti create clean and potable drinking water to its citizens in rural communities. Thus, with the help of our receivers, they caan get differential corrections in the middle of nowhere through satellites.
FODOR: Does all this precision have to happen in real time?
MR LAUTURE: Yes. Currently, the market is requesting this everywhere. Even with concealed infrastructure discovered in Archeology. With the right hardware, you can detect underground relics and discover precisely the spot to commence digging. We have some of our customers already doing this in Sweden. However, on the other hand, we also have many above-ground uses such as like in the City of Montreal where the forestry department is utilizing high-accuracy tools in dense forested areas, so as to fight the destructive emerald ash borer. The forestry department need to do this before thousands of ash trees are destroyed by these insects. These insects are rumoured to be from China and mainly destroys trees. Thus, if they can identify trees to within a meter, then they can easily identify trees that have been treated or not. Therefore, they require this type of real time submeter accuracy. It is important to recognize that there are environmental laws in application too, which makes this technology become more accessible, but also entails more varied cases of use. In this regard, I personally feel that the creativity of our customers impresses me the most.
FODOR: I heard that you are going to expand your solutions with a new capability. For more information, could you describe this new capacity?
MR LAUTURE: Gladly. There is a novel capability known as laser mapping. To do this, you require in-depth knowledge about GNSS in order to calculate things such as altimetry and elevation. However, people desire this ability which allows them shoot points with high accuracy from long distances. There is also a second capacity which we will release in due time. This capacity is the real time geoid model support or orthometric height. This week, we will go out to support photometric elevation. This will allow customers in each nation capture real time orthometric height, which has conventionally been a source of challenge that requires manual transformations in GIS workflows. This is what we bring in real time to GIS. We will release France’s model soon so that we can save our customers from doing post treatment of the data they collect. We intend to make of all these free of charge.
FODOR: Lastly Mr Jean-Yves, for many years, you have been in partnership with Esri France and SIGMAG, therefore, what is your personal opinion on this conference? And how do you feel this conference enables a better world?
MR LAUTURE: this conference has been a great conference for many years and keeps improving. However, most importantly, it catapults GIS to a global stage in the francophone market. Personally, I feel people in France are very friendly and it is always a pleasing experience to come here yearly and meet many people. It eventually seems like a small family, where you can see everybody’s lives and then proceeds into being a small world, having known each other for all these years. I have no recollection of ever missing this in 12 years and I am certain that we all get tired, but it has been exciting to try guessing what will happen next. I thank you for your interest in my work and also for your attention.
FODOR: I also thank you for your time and also granting another great interview with Eos. We will see you soon for even greater discoveries during this conference on SIGMAG.TV. Bye!!!