Urban, industrial, and rural areas are characterised by the highest socio-economic impacts in terms of number of accidents, environmental damages, and monitoring of transformations (localisation and delocalisation), often with problems of revamping and reusing, which can make the existing infrastructure inadequate.
Nonetheless, data acquisition methods for Road Information Systems are well known and tested in extra-urban areas, and national, regional, and county roads, but not in urban, industrial, and rural areas, except for those zones in which the above-mentioned roads cross them.
The improvement of the productivity of MMS (Mobile Mapping system) in such areas, as well as the acquisition of data such as facades and commercial indications, can be achieved by equipping MMS with additional sensors like the mono-axial and bi-axial Laser Scanner and integrating the GPS and GLONASS positioning systems with the European GLONASS, which diffuses its signals not only via geostationary satellites, but also via the Internet. In case surveys require high precision (e.g. to the nearest centimetre), it is necessary to make use of differential corrections and RTK (real-time kinematic) with virtual master receivers.
The project objective was to apply new methodologies of data surveying for Road Information Systems in developing urban, industrial, agriculture areas.
The specific objectives were:
- integration of the different road infrastructure data acquisition and management technologies through terrestrial surveying by a vehicle equipped with advanced instruments (like EGNOS receivers, and the first operational GALILEO satellites), satellite surveying with a resolution of a metre, and GISs (Geographic Information System) to monitor socio-economic problems linked to infrastructures, like delocation and relocation of industry from the Northern-East of Italy to Central-Eastern Europe, and tourism;
- design and development of precision real-time positioning and monitoring systems for a fleet of moving detectors;
- definition of technical requirements for developing a large-scale numerical cartography of road paths;
- definition of procedures for surveying and measuring width and slope of roads using a mobile mapping vehicle (MMV);
- testing of positioning systems for detecting the position and trajectory of a vehicle moving at high speed;
- configuration of PCs and palmtop computers with Linux operating system, as well as installation and configuration of GPL (GNU General Public License) licensed software (such as MapServer and GRASS) for processing and displaying data from cartographic databases, and development of software for managing devices such as receivers and transmission and communication systems.
This project builds on the following previous experiences of the involved Research Units (RU):
- The MMS called GIGI (GPS Integrated with GLONASS and Inertial navigation systems) developed in 2000 by the University of Trieste. This MMS was conceived for surveying geometric parameters of roads to be inputted into a GIS, and it has been applied to the monitoring of urban transformations and to mapping in agriculture (the main demonstrations have been performed in agriculture and industrial areas in the eastern area of Verona along the European Corridor number 5)
- A high rate acquisition GPS (10 Hz) tested on racing cars by the University of Brescia, including in VRS (Virtual Reference Station) mode, thanks to a GPS reference Stations Network having Brescia as central node (an MMS has been set up to test this VRS method)
- A digital cartography of roads developed by the Politecnico di Torino to be used in road surveying
- A laser scanning, which has been installed on another MMS (VINCI’s) by the University of Pisa
- An airborne and satellite photogrammetry to be used in road surveying (University of Trieste)
- Cultural itineraries (University of Verona)
- An open source GIS (Astronomical Observatory of Cagliari).
The adopted methodology involved almost all the geodetic surveying methods (including photogrammetry and remote sensing). In this frame, the terrestrial methods (MMS) have been mainly used on vans equipped with GNSS receivers, Inertial Navigation Systems, and Digital cameras. GNSS has been used always in Differential or Interferential Mode and the Cameras have been synchronised with it. Several frames each second have been stored in onboard computers and then processed to determine the geometric parameters of a road and qualitative characteristics of the surroundings, visible in the frame. The survey by MMS has been integrated in some cases with aerial or satellite photogrammetry and optical spectrum analysis.
This project built on previous researches in road surveying, and intended to apply the methodologies for similar surveying to territorial planning as well as to safety and cultural heritages inventory. In all these case the already experienced MMS methodologies required the integration with other techniques, like laser scanners, remote sensing etc.
The results were new protocols for the different surveying purposes, which have been applied after this project to other EC projects, like MONITOR, 6FP and Galileo Joint Undertaking.
The main recommendations for further research are:
- to run MMS collecting and display data with the real-time comparison with previous survey for a LIVE analysis of the environment and prompt view of the modifications;
- to integrate MMS survey with aerial survey;
- to understand problems in real time by using NTRIP (Networked Transport of RTCM via Internet Protocol) protocols from GNSS reference stations.
The main recommendations are:
- to adopt MMS and integrated aerial survey for the territorial planning;
- to adopt MMS for Cultural Heritages inventory as well as for monitoring the correct use of the territory.