Trimble Acquires Gatewing to Expand its Survey Solutions to Include Aerial Mapping

The acquisition broadens Trimble’s industry-leading platforms for surveying solutions. Financial terms were not disclosed.
UAVs in combination with photogrammetry are an emerging technology providing an innovative platform for flexible aerial imagery acquisition. Easy to use and flexible, UAVs provide users the ability to create orthophotos and Digital Surface Models (DSM) from aerial imagery for mid-sized areas previously only accessible at higher costs and with longer planning cycles. UAVs are used in a variety of applications including preliminary surveys for corridors and rights-of-way, volumetric surveys, high-level topographic surveys, land fill inspection, and much more.

Gatewing’s solutions include the X100 UAV and Stretchout desktop software for digital image processing and analysis. The X100 is an ultra-light, 2 kg (approximately 4.4 lbs) class UAV that allows fast and simple image acquisition. It consists of an airframe; an integrated GPS, inertial system and a radio; a 10 megapixel camera; and battery. Using the Trimble® Yuma® tablet computer, a predefined area is planned and the flight of the UAV is fully automated from launch to landing. The terrain is mapped through parallel flight paths and consecutive, overlapping camera shots during flight. The ground control station (GCS) is used to monitor the mission and allows an on-site image quality check. In addition, the GCS provides the operator with the option to intervene and abort the flight if needed. The image set consists of a number of digital images that are tagged with the GPS coordinates.

Designed to be intuitive and easy to use, Gatewing’s Stretchout desktop software uses advanced computer vision technology which automates raw image processing to deliver georeferenced orthophotos and accurate DSM. As an alternative to the desktop software, users can upload images to Gatewing’s cloud solution, which automatically processes the images based on the users’ requirements. After a few hours, users can download their georeferenced orthophotos and DSMs from the cloud server including feedback about the results for quality assurance.

The Gatewing business will be reported as part of Trimble’s Engineering and Construction segment.

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