Microsoft UltraCamXp Wide Angle Camera and UltraMap Software Win Technology Innovation in Photogrammetry Award

Graz, Austria — March 1, 2011 — Microsoft Corporation and its subsidiary Vexcel Imaging, GmbH were the winners of the Technology Innovation in Photogrammetry award at the Geospatial World Forum Conference for the company’s UltraCamXp Wide Angle digital aerial camera and for the monolithic stitching capability of its UltraMap workflow software. The honor was received on 18 January 2011 in Hyderabad, India, at a ceremony attended by more than 800 delegates.

The UltraCamXp Wide Angle camera, released in September 2009, features a proprietary, high-performance, high-resolution lens system with a shorter focal length than the UltraCamXp. This allows the sensor to deliver the same ground sample distance (GSD) as the UltraCamXp at lower flight altitudes. As an alternative to the UltraCamXp, the UltraCamXp Wide Angle provides small-scale mapping capabilities to customers with lower-flying airplanes. The UltraCamXp Wide Angle successfully completed the USGS Sensor Type Certification Process in April 2010. USGS certifies that the UltraCamXp and UltraCamXp Wide Angle are “capable of providing quality, consistent image data to support civil government programs at the performance level specified in the USGS sensor type certification report.”

The Technology Innovation Award also recognized the significant value of the monolithic stitching technique first released in version 2.0 of the UltraMap software in January 2010. The improved stitching algorithm combines both pan and color tie points to compute a more accurate and more robust stitching result, which is particularly effective when used on unstructured terrain.

The objective of giving Excellence/Technology Innovation awards is to recognize, honor and spot light the best applications or uses of geospatial technologies that are worthy of emulation. The nominations for the awards are sought from across the globe. The winners are selected through an elaborate multilevel assessment process overseen by a panel of seven international judges. Shri. Narendra Modi, Chief Minister, State of Gujarat, India, presented the Excellence and Technology Innovation Awards to the 16 winners.

Sanjay Kumar, Chief Executive Officer, GIS Development said, “GIS Development, as a propagator and promoter of geospatial technologies is very pleased to see the spread of geospatial technologies to such an extent and we feel that such great efforts need to be acknowledged.”

“We are honored to receive this award as recognition of our contribution to the geospatial community,” said Alexander Wiechert, Business Director of Microsoft and Managing Director for Vexcel Imaging GmbH. “The UltraCam team will continue to focus on developing practical and efficient hardware and software solutions to encourage the use of digital aerial data for a multitude of applications.”

About the UltraCamXp Wide Angle
The image format of the UltraCamXp Wide Angle is identical to that of the UltraCamX at 196 megapixels, or 17,310 across track and 11,310 along track panchromatic pixels. The pixel size is 6 µm, and geometric accuracy is better than +/- 2 µm. Post-processing can be started on board and completed on the ground with a laptop or group of PCs for faster turnaround. The Wide Angle model also is fully compatible with the storage (DXp) and computing (CXp) systems of the UltraCamX and UltraCamXp, and is fully supported by the  UltraMap 2.1 workflow software system.

About the UltraMap Workflow Software
UltraMap provides a complete and integrated photogrammetric workflow for UltraCam images. The aerial triangulation module is smoothly integrated into the UltraMap workflow, monolithic stitching significantly improves the geometric image accuracy for unstructured terrain, and model-based radiometric correction allows for eliminating hotspots, atmospheric effects, and haze. With version 2.1, an automated project-based color balancing package tremendously minimizes manual labor for adjusting the radiometry. UltraMap fully supports all UltraCam models such as UltraCamX, UltraCamXp, UltraCamL/Lp and UltraCamXp Wide Angle.

About Vexcel Imaging, GmbH
Acquired by Microsoft Corporation in May 2006, Vexcel Imaging GmbH brings more than two decades of photogrammetry expertise to Microsoft’s Bing Maps business unit and is at the heart of the burgeoning Microsoft photogrammetry business. The company’s offerings include the UltraCam series of photogrammetric digital aerial cameras and related software tools such as the UltraMap 2.1 workflow software.

About GIS Development Pvt. Ltd.
For more than 13 years, GIS Development, a premier media organization, has worked to promote and propagate the use of geospatial technologies in various areas of development in the community at large. GIS Development provides a platform for advocacy and lobbying for the geospatial industry and creates awareness about geospatial technologies worldwide.