VerticalGeo is one of the few companies that can extract airfield features from stereo imagery to create 3-D airfield maps.  We use a system that includes BAE’s Socet GXP and Socet for Arc tied to ESRI’s ArcGIS Desktop 10.x software to create 3-D features.  We also use ESRI’s Data Reviewer and other tools ensure attribute data and topology are accurate.

We have been producing 3-D airfield maps for the past 4 years and have collected 58 airfields all across the globe.

We provide deliverable products in shapefile, ESRI file geodatabase, or Google Earth (KML) formats.  Shapefile are the most common open data standard mapping deliverable, while the ESRI file geodatabase is probably the most widely used.

Here is a screenshot of an airport terminal and parking ramp that we extracted using stereo imagery.

3-D Feature Extraction of an airport terminal
3-D Feature Extraction of an airport terminal visualized in Google Earth

VerticalGeo has been tasked to produce a comprehensive vertical obstruction dataset that includes power-related and cultural data layers using targeted feature extraction over focused AOIs.  This project utilizes open source information and current vertical obstruction database to target feature extraction using imagery over the selected AOIs.  VerticalGeo has verified the information of over 500,000 known obstructions and located over 300,000 previously unknown vertical obstructions since 2015.

We have finished an update of the vertical obstruction database in the following areas:
– Northeast US                                   – Hawaii
– Libya                                                  – Morocco
– Algeria                                               – Tunisia
– Indonesia                                          – Thailand
– Bolivia                                                – Paraguay
– Mozambique                                    – Malawi
– China                                                  – India

Here is a screenshot of a small sample of our Vertical Obstruction identification work:

Vertical obstructions surrounding Toronto’s Pearson Int’l Airport

Identifying vertical obstructions improves the safety of flight for our DoD and civilian aircrews as they transit numerous countries across the globe. The red dots on the above screenshot represent powerline pylons and the blue dots represent light standards either along roads or within athletic areas.  Every dot on the map represents an obstacle that is taller than 50 feet.  Most are between 50 and 100 feet, but there are occasional vertical obstructions that reach up to 1,000 feet or more.  We use a proprietary process to determine the location and height of each vertical obstruction, assuring accuracy and quality of the data we create. If these remain unidentified they create a substantial risk to our aircrews. The work we do eventually makes it into FAA and DoD flight charts to help promote safety of flight.