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Monday, October 3

8:00 – 9:30 a.m.

Welcome Breakfast & Opening Keynote

Debra Laefer, Professor of Urban Informatics & Director of Citizen Science, Center for Urban Science & Department of Civil and Urban Eng., New York University

Debra LaeferWith degrees from the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, NYU, and Columbia University, Prof. Debra Laefer has a wide-ranging background spanning from geotechnical and structural engineering to art history and historic preservation. Not surprisingly, Prof. Laefer’s work often stands at the cross-roads of technology creation and community values such as devising technical solutions for protecting architecturally significant buildings from sub-surface construction. As the density of her aerial remote sensing datasets continues to grow exponentially with time, Prof. Laefer and her Urban Modeling Group must help pioneer computationally efficient storage, querying, and visualization strategies that both harness distributed computing-based solutions and bridge the gap between data availability and its usability for the engineering community. Her current research interests focus on subsurface data integration with high density laser scanning, hyperspectral imagery and historical data about the built environment and its forgotten remnants as a way to both understand urban spaces and to manage them.

Presentation Topic: Subsurface Data Integration: the Elephant in the Room

While the Smart Cities movement has helped focus attention on the need for and advantage of municipal data integration, most efforts to date have concentrated on readily visible, aboveground facilities (e.g. infrastructure) and activities (e.g. traffic). While the integration of remote sensing data and dynamic data with CityGML and BIM based systems have posed definitive challenges, those are arguably relatively simple compared to the integration of subsurface data. This is true in terms of a wide range of data characteristics. These include types, quality, consistency, access, privacy, sparsity and resolution. This talk will briefly summarize aboveground data integration trends and then deeply reflect on the unique challenges that urban, subsurface data pose. Specific domain-based concerns will be introduced from the perspective of alternative energy providers, archaeologists, civil engineers, facility owners, first responders, geologists, geotechnical engineers, hydrologist, transportation providers, utility companies. Examples of the value proposition of successfully achieving this will be highlighted. Finally, the talk will highlight the state of play of current efforts in subsurface data integration by organizations like the Open Geospatial Consortium, the American Society of Civil Engineers, the Utility Engineering and Surveying Institute, and the city of Flanders.

12:25 – 1:55 p.m.

Lunch & Keynote

Ayman Habib, Ph.D., Thomas A. Page Professor in Civil Engineering, Lyles School of Civil Engineering, Purdue University

Ayman Habib, Ph.D.Dr. Habib is the Thomas A. Page professor of Civil Engineering at Purdue University and the Co-Director of the Civil Engineering Center for Applications of UAS for a Sustainable Environment (CE-CAUSE). He is also the Associate Director of Purdue University’s Joint Transportation Research Program (JTRP). Dr. Habib’s research interests span the fields of terrestrial and aerial mobile mapping systems. In this regard, he has been focusing on modeling the perspective geometry of non-traditional imaging scanners, automatic matching and change detection, automatic calibration of low-cost digital cameras, object recognition in imagery and point cloud data, LiDAR mapping, and integrating photogrammetric data with other sensors/datasets (e.g., GNSS/INS, GIS databases, multi- and hyper-spectral sensors, and LiDAR). Over the last five years, he has been involved in the development, integration, and utilization of wheel-based and UAV-based mobile mapping systems for a wide range of applications in precision agriculture, geometric documentation of transportation corridors, crash scene reconstruction, and infrastructure monitoring.

Presentation Topic: Geomatics Engineering: Emerging Technologies and Application Domains

Geomatics Engineering is the science of collection, analysis, and interpretation of data, especially instrumental data, relating to the Earth’s surface. In the last few decades, Geomatics Engineering has witnessed several technological advances in the following areas:

  1. Passive and digital imaging systems (e.g., low-cost and medium-format digital cameras as well as laser scanning systems);
  2. Direct geo-referencing systems (e.g., integrated Global Navigation Satellite Systems and Inertial Measurement Units); and
  3. Mobile Mapping Systems (e.g., mapping using sensory data captured by mobile platforms on space, airborne – manned and unmanned, and terrestrial vehicles).

These advances had a tremendous impact on the capability of geomatics to address the needs of the traditional mapping community. In the meantime, the increased accessibility to geospatial and non-geospatial sensory data made geomatics an enabling field that is capable of satisfying the needs of a wide range of applications beyond the traditional topographic mapping. In this talk, the speaker will cover emerging implementations of passive and active digital imaging systems for geospatial and non-geospatial mapping/modeling applications (e.g., agricultural management, transportation safety enhancement, environmental monitoring, and infrastructure inspection).

3:50 – 5:00 p.m.

Panel Session

Moderator: Michael J. Olsen, College of Engineering Dean's Professor, Geomatics, School of Civil and Construction Engineering, Joint Appointment, College of Forestry, Oregon State University

Michael J. OlsenMichael J. Olsen, Ph.D. is the College of Engineering Dean’s Professor in the School of Civil and Construction Engineering at Oregon State University. He obtained BS and MS degrees in Civil Engineering from the University of Utah and a PhD in Structural Engineering from the University of California, San Diego. At OSU he teaches innovative courses in geomatics topics such as 3D laser scanning and imaging, digital terrain modeling, and geographic information systems. He is also the Editor in Chief for the ASCE Journal of Surveying Engineering as well as the President of the Surveying and Geomatics Educators Society (SaGES). He was the Principal Investigator for the TRB project developing guidelines for the use of mobile lidar in transportation application (NCHRP Report #748). His current areas of research include geomatics technologies, algorithm development, 3D visualization, rapid reconnaissance, and geospatial hazard mapping, monitoring, and analysis.

Dr. Olsen has extensive experience collecting and analyzing high quality geospatial data from terrestrial laser scanning and UAS platforms for monitoring, mapping, and post-disaster reconnaissance of damages for a variety of hazards including earthquakes, tsunamis, landslides, rockfalls, and coastal erosion. He serves as the Technical Director for the NSF Natural Hazards Research Infrastructure (NHERI) RAPID facility, which provides investigators with equipment, software, and support services needed to collect, process, and analyze perishable data from natural hazards events.

He is also the Director of the Cascadia Lifelines Program (CLiP), which conducts research that allows Oregon’s lifeline providers to implement value- and cost-informed decisions to mitigate damage to Pacific Northwest infrastructure as the result of Cascadia subduction zone earthquakes. He is also a co-developer of the Oregon Hazards Explorer for Lifelines Program (O-Help), which is a powerful webGIS platform designed for the engineering community and hosts a wide range of hazard maps for Cascadia Subduction Zone Earthquakes including ground acceleration, liquefaction, landslides, and more.

Topic: Opportunities for Geomatics Engineers within the ASCE Future World Vision

Recently, ASCE released the future world vision to anticipate, reimagine, and prepare for the challenges and opportunities ahead as infrastructure evolves to meet the needs of and improve the quality of life of populations across the globe. This vision presents bold plans to build communities that are high-tech, resilient, and sustainable such as floating, frozen, off-planet, mega, and rural cities. Immense challenges lie ahead from decaying infrastructure, increasing populations, natural hazards, and climate change. Likewise, given the rapid pace of technological development, many opportunities await to develop innovative solutions.  Geospatial technologies and data will provide the critical backbone to enable these cities to first become a reality and then continue to thrive. The objective of this brainstorming panel session would be to explore potential roles and opportunities for the geomatics engineer in this future world to develop creative solutions to achieve this future world vision.  We will explore what skillsets and training are required to prepare geomatics engineers, what geospatial technologies may look like to support these smart cities located in a wide range of environments, and what potential strategies could be employed to evolve geomatics and civil engineering curriculum as well as workforce training opportunities for this future.


  • Chris Glantz, Oregon DOT
  • Gene Roe, MPN Components\
  • Debra Laefer, New York University
  • Dan Gillins, NOAA, NGS
  • Carlos Velazquez, Strategic Partnerships, StockPile Reports

Learn more about the panelists

Tuesday, October 4

8:00 – 8:55 a.m.

Breakfast & Keynote

Gary Kent, P.S., Professional Surveyor, Schneider Geomatics

Gary Kent, P.S.Gary Kent is a Professional Surveyor with Schneider Geomatics in Indianapolis. After 37 years, he transitioned to part-time status in 2020 and formed Meridian Land Consulting, LLC to provide training, consulting and expert witness services. Gary has served on the Indiana Board of Registration for Professional Surveyors since 2004 and is a past-president of both ACSM and the Indiana Society of Professional Land Surveyors. He has also served as Chair of the Joint ALTA/NSPS Committee responsible for the ALTA/NSPS Standards since 1995. Gary has presented programs on easements and rights of way, survey standards, boundary law, and other surveying-related topics in all 50 states.

Presentation Topic: The Role of the Surveyor

The professional surveyor can, and arguably should, take a more proactive approach in helping property owners establish or maintain their common boundaries in the locations that they were perfectly satisfied with - at least until the surveyor showed up! There is an alternative to the standard role adopted by surveyors when the written title is in conflict with evidence on the ground, and surveyors may be surprised to hear that there are numerous authoritative sources that support them taking on that role. Such an approach can help property owners avoid the expense and angst of unnecessarily litigating boundaries where there has been acquiescence to an accepted line by both owners, and that would certainly seem to better serve the public’s interest than the traditional approach.

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