Annual Report GeoIdee 2015

2015 was an extraordinary geo-year with challenging and adventurous projects. A short summary of some of the projects will give you an impression of my activities during 2015. Have fun and all the best for 2016!

Projects GeoIdee

3D Survey of historical tunnel systems

Laserscanning of tunnel systemUniversity of Applied Sciences and Arts Nortwestern Switzerland, Institute of Geomatics Engineering (IVGI)

During 2 weeks (1 week field survey, 1 week analysis of the data) the students of the Institute of Geomatics Engineering were conducting a high precision 3D-survey of the historical tunnels Meyersche Stollen which are situated in the town of Aarau. GeoIdee was providing support and safety monitoring for the survey work in the difficult and demanding environment.
The project was documented in the local newspaper Aargauerzeitung, in the blog of IVGI, as an article in Geomatik Schweiz and as a short presentation for the local caving association OGH.

Orthorectification of historical aerial imagery

Orthoimage of the gas plant Uster, 1954Competence Centre GIS, Town of Uster

Covering the area of the town of Uster, a timeserie of orthorectified images over the years 1954, 1966, 1972, 1978, 1984, 1990, 1996 was calculated. As source the black and white imagery of swisstopo were used. Applying aerial triangulation, the image orientations were calculated. The individual orthorectified images were combined in homogeneous mosaics using hand-digitized seamlines. Please find additional information in the blog of GIS Uster. All mosaics are available online through the WebGIS of Uster.

Release of a new version Swiss Boundary Administration software

Testing the geometrical and thematic consistency of the Swiss national boundary using GIS-LGFederal Office of Topography swisstopo
In cooperation with WaterGisWeb Ltd.

For the administration of the Swiss national boundary the application GIS-LG using ArcObjects and C# was developed. As major change during 2015 the build-in topological check rules of ArcGIS were replaced by the Quality Assessment (QA-tools) framework of ESRI. The application GIS-LG calls the geoprocessor of the QA-tools and analysis automatically the output provided.

Support for geodata management of hydrogeolocial data of Switzerland

Seamless representation of the vector-based hydrogeological map 1:100'000 of SwitzerlandFederal Office for the Environment FOEN
Hydrogeological Basics Section

In cooperation with DIGIKARTO and geoZeichen

The hydrogeological maps of Switzerland are providing an important source of information. To make these data available for the public, the data model was reviewed and adapted to the needs of the users. The data model allows the detailed consultation of the data itself and further analysis. The data are provided as seamless ArcGIS project for downloaded here.

Research for hydrological network matching

Geometrical matching of different hydrological networkFederal Office for the Environment FOEN
Water Division

In cooperation with DIGIKARTO

The exchange of data connected to the hydrology between the local administration and the government is an important part of the overall environmental data collection of FOEN. For this purpose a reliable data transfer between the different data sources is needed. For the transfer of the data between different geometrical networks a suitable approach has to be defined. The research project was addressing the different approaches and proposes a suitable solution to the FOEN.

Research and Development GeoIdee

Near-Field photogrammetry for geological tunneling survey

3D visualization of the heading face using 60 imagesMarti Tunnelbau AG

Using the technique of Near-Field photogrammetry the Swiss Company Marti Tunnelbau AG supervises the gallery construction.
Main task of the Geologist using the photogrammetry is the assessment of possible crack systems impacting the construction. Several approaches for the automatic detection of fault and crack systems were discussed during an extensive workshop.
Additionally the differences between the two software packages Photoscan and Pix4D were evaluated and discussed. For this purpose a high resolution point cloud was calculated and compared based on a set of approximately 60 images covering an entire heading face.

Software development for topological checks in Adobe Illustrator

Result of the topological checker in IllustratorDIGIKARTO Digitale Kartografie

For the high-end cartography the software package Adobe Illustrator in combination with MaPublisher is the best choice. To provide the best quality of data, the usage of topological checkers is needed. To fulfill topological checks, a set of tools were programmed using C++ and the API of Adobe Illustrator.

Examples and video tutorial of the implemented topology checker:
- Dangle Arcs
- Automatical snapping and closing of endpoints
- Pseudonodes
- Minimal distance test

Administration GeoIdee

New address and office space

Location map of DIGIKARTO and GeoIdeeDIGIKARTO Digitale Kartografie and GeoIdee

The offices of GeoIdee and DIGIKARTO are sharing since Summer 2015 the same office space and address:
Mythenquai 353
Postfach 1209
CH-8038 Zürich, Switzerland
Just at the lakeside of the lake of Zurich, the offices are located in a former steam-engine factory, providing a feeling of industry and history. Have a look at the picture of the staff of the former factory and their products.
Office space of DIGIKARTO and GeoIdee
Lake shore 50m from the office

Projects VAW

Since 2012, additionally to my own projects at GeoIdee, I am responsible for the photogrammetry and geoinformatics in the division of Glaciology at the Laboratory of Hydraulics, Hydrology and Glaciology (VAW) of the ETH Zurich.

GLAcier MOnitoring Switzerland GLAMOS

Part of the GLAMOS ER-model of the databaseTo provided and maintain the long-term survey of the Swiss glaciers, the GLAcier MOnitoring Switzerland will implement an extensive database storing a large variety of survey data (e.g. glacier inventories, mass balance, length changes, volume changes, glacier velocities, …). For this purpose the database design was started. An entity-relationship model for the entire database was elaborated and will be implemented as PostGIS database.
Additionally to the design of the database, a direct cooperation between the landscape model of swisstopo (TLM) was defined. The formulated terms-of-references for the TLM, defines the needs for glaciological purposes.

UAV-based survey of Bowdoin glacier in Northwest Greenland

Preparing the Spotnik drone for the next flight over the calving front of Bowdoin GlacierFor the determination of the calving of the Bowdoin Glacier in Northwest Greenland (Lat 77.7, Long -68.6) an fixed-wing drone was built based on the OpenSource Pixhawk Hardware and APM Software. The drone provides a range of up to 80km flight distance carrying a high quality camera for aerial photography. The results of the UAV-photogrammetry will be used in the Japanese / Swiss joint project.
The expedition in July 2015 was accompanied by Swiss television providing a reportage of the expedition in the Swiss Radio and Television (SRF)
and a documentary at the television network in Central Europe (3sat).

Yearly field measurements of Swiss glaciers

Yearly geodetic measurement in the Mattmark regionEvery year, various glaciers of Switzerland are surveyed using the classical techniques of theodolites and distance measurement. These measurement are used to locate and reestablish a large number of sticks on the glacier surface measuring the yearly ablation.
In the steep and rough topography, a well designed survey network of ground control points and installed tripods using theodolites is still a very reliable way of data acquisition. Additionally stereo imagery based on aerial photography and differential-GPS are used.
These measurement are building part of the GLAcier MOnitoring Switzerland.

Private Geo-Projects

Field survey and mapping for Orienteering map

Subset of the new orienteering mapThe local orienteering club OLG Zürich was remapping the area of the Hönggerberg in a scale of 1:5'000 to obtain a new and accurate version of the orienteering map.
The area was subdivided in roughly 10 regions. Each region was remapped and checked by a different person. The layers of hydrology, forst, trails, miscellaneous objects and buildings were mapped in the field on transparent paper. Finally Martin Brändli was combining the individual surveys into a homogeneous map using OCAD.
My part was the remapping of a part in the Eastern part of the Hönggerberg shown in the subset.

Stereo-analysis of karst crack systems and combination with cave surveys

3d visualization of caves and fault systems of the Sulzfluh regionThe development of caves are very often directly related with the crack and fault systems. In the high mountainous karst regions such fault systems are very well visible from the air.
Using the most current stereo aerial imagery of the Sulzfluh provided by the ADS-80 camera of swisstopo I digitized in Stereo and 3D the fault system of the region. Projecting the faults into the bedrock and combining them with the cave surveys, a high degree of dependency of the cave geometries can be shown.
Take a chance, and enjoy a flight over the karst of the Sulzfluh.




2016/01/10 15:16 · Yvo Weidmann

Presentation at Sharing Geospatial Data 2013 in Berne

At the Sharing Geospatial Data 2013 workshop a presentation about the Challenges of sharing geospatial data in the Central Asian context was held by GeoIdee. The presentation summarizes lessons-learned regarding sharing geoinformation out from a numerous projects in Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan.


Sharing geospatial information in the context of development work is a key factor for a sustainable knowledge management and further project implementations. After the independency of Tajikistan from the former Soviet Union and the civil war a numerous amount of international organizations started working in the country. After the first years of emergency assistance the focus changed to implementing projects in various fields. A significant amount of projects are focused on natural resource, integrative watershed or disaster risk management. All this projects have a high demand on geospatial data.

But even after 15 years of implementing projects by international donors the sharing of geospatial data is still almost inexistent.

Several attempts to implement basic and accessible Spatial Data Infrastructure (SDI) failed or are due to the institutional framework inaccessible. Most of the projects are dealing with identical challenges (e.g. coordinate system transformations, base maps and topographical information, …). But almost non exchange of data or knowledge between the organization is existing. Elaborated knowledge is in most case not or only hardly accessible and the loss of this information is often related to the high fluctuation of national and international staff.

Why is this the case? What are the driving factors for such kind of loss of information? What are the main reasons for this situation? Based on the best-practices to build, run and maintain SDI's and experiences from a numerous projects, several factors and key parameters were identified as important factors: The institutional framework and policies of national and international organizations, the staffing policy, project and financing framework and technical potential have a large influence on the not-existence of an operating sharing infrastructure. The presentation will try to analyze the different factors and to identify the relations and dependencies between them.


2013/11/12 00:00 · Yvo Weidmann
start.txt · Last modified: 2016/08/23 13:35 by
CC Attribution-Share Alike 4.0 International Valid CSS Driven by DokuWiki do yourself a favour and use a real browser - get firefox!! Recent changes RSS feed Valid XHTML 1.0