•  April 19, 2022

    First Look: Metro HD City Program from the HxGN Content Program

    This article was originally published by Applied Geographics Inc. (AppGeo), a company acquired by The Sanborn Map Company Inc in September 2022.

    Synopsis: Metro HD from Hexagon combines LiDAR and traditional imagery collection to provide a new digital world of imaging. But how does this benefit the customer and how does it work?

    AppGeo is using our expertise in GIS to analyze and improve how we and image urban environments. This webinar (recorded on May 9th, 2022) brings together Trevis Gigliotti, Director of Technical Content Solutions at Hexagon, and Aaron Doucett, Sales Engineer and GIS analyst from AppGeo, to discuss the uses and potential of hybrid imagery for cities.

    What is Metro HD?

    Gigliotti: “We’re continuously looking for ways to capture better data and transform that data into actual actionable information. All of this leads to what we refer to as the ‘Smart Digital Reality.’ This is a digital replica of the complete physical world where all associated things, places, and processes within it are machine readable and subject to the power of algorithms. It’s what we aim to deliver with every solution we provide. Our core capabilities in sensor software and autonomous technologies give us a unique point of leverage in converging the physical and the digital worlds. This is far more valuable than a continuous flow of information… Take any project you’re currently involved with that leverages geospatial data, such as a construction site or landscape. Imagine having seamless access to the physical world, information, about what’s happened or happening, it’s accessible to you from anywhere.”

    The Metro HD program is a result of increasing demands of higher quality imagery over larger areas. As a result, the industry has been forced to increase productivity and delivery of imagery products. Metro HD is the first step to automating and streamlining the data creation and acquisition process. Additionally, Metro HD provides a hybrid approach to imagery, with both traditional imaging and LiDAR packaged and captured together. With top of the line equipment in both technologies, Metro HD combines their strengths to create the highest quality product no matter the imagery product.

    Why LiDAR and Traditional Imaging


    “When everything’s combined we get this stout, robust image data and products… Because everything is one GNS solution, one data collection, instead of one for imagery, one for LiDAR, you see a really strong correspondence between the raw data and then the products that are generated from it.”

    Using both LiDAR and traditional imaging creates a product that emphasizes the strengths of each technology, while also compensating for their limitations. Imagery data brings high accuracy and resolution, but is limited by foliage and light. LiDAR data works in both shadow and through foliage but provides slightly different data. When used together they each contribute to the most complete imagery possible, capturing every detail and allowing for better 2D and 3D modeling.

    Collecting both kinds of imagery together also reduces expenses and environmental impact by lowering the amount of flights required. Additionally, the various combinations of imagery types allows for a wider variety of products and services at a higher quality. What all of this means is higher quality, more complete, and lower cost imaging packages and services.

    New Possibilities with Metro HD

    Gigliotti: “At a high level we see these four main market drivers for the Metro HD data. Just on its own, visualization and having a comprehensive model of your city or urban environment is huge and pays huge dividends… Because we’ve accurately captured and modeled the city scene, we’re able to input that data into a variety of simulation softwares. We can do informed decision making, whether it’s line-of-sight analysis, or sound, or lightwaves. The final benefit of this data is site visits, if you are able to accurately capture the data from the comforts and confines of your office, that’s cost savings.”

    Metro HD opens up a world of possibilities and savings for GIS customers. With such richly detailed and interactive environments, the use cases are limitless. Planning and decision making is simplified and enhanced by more accurate and realistic city mapping. Just as significant is a reduced need for field work and site visits, which quickly drive up costs. As a result of its superior savings and underlying technology, Metro HD represents the future of imaging and imagery services.

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