The Re/Cap – Issue #11: First Amendment Mapper + 3D & AR in Surgery + Wildfire Digital Twins

Hello Re/Cappers!

Before we cover some legal brouhaha over a drone pilot, survey licensure, and the U.S. Constitution, let’s revisit a first for the American court-drone courtship.

Singer v. City of Newton was a 2017 case which illuminated how at odds federal airspace could be with local ordinances.

So Michael Singer is a physician, inventor, and drone enthusiast residing in Newton, Massachusetts. This modern-day Da Vinci wants to use his cherished flight fleet to deliver medical supplies. The city of Newton says forget your flights, take a hike, Mike. Registration snafu this, 400 feet below private property that, and so forth.
Leonardo da Vinci self-portrait
Possible last known photo of a 550-year-old Massachusetts resident & drone wiz. Image credit World History Encyclopedia.
Singer returns with a vengeance, telling an appellate court something along the lines of, “I know federal law better than these yahoos, I’m in the clear.” The appellate court goes “You are indeed, Mike!” and overruled the city of Newton.

Perhaps best of all, this overachiever could moonlight as a lawyer – he represented himself! Ouch, Newton.

Anyhoo, click that first link for a broad Forbes overview, and the second for some nitty gritty courtesy of Harvard Law Review; It’s quite the tale.

What’s Cappenin’ This Week: A court holds court on drones & surveying, orthopedic surgeons get 3D & AR empowerment, NASA looks to digital twins for wildfires, 3D software & beginner drones get 2024 rankings, and an AEC Error of the Week with so much gridlock in the nation’s capital, it makes the U.S. Congress look like SEAL Team Six.

Last week on digital bio-twins, photogrammetric automation, an AI divide in UK geospatial, LiDAR monitoring crops like the world’s best parole officer, and a don’t-forget-your-helmet AEC Error of the Week.

North Carolina Court Says No Survey License, No Drone Mapping

It’s been five years since the North Carolina Board of Examiners for Engineers and Surveyors ordered drone pilot Michael Jones, who held no survey license, to cease his mapping, survey, and photogrammetry services.

And a federal appeals court just echoed the same sentiment.
Michael Jones flying a drone
Drone pilot Michael Jones. How’s your smile after 5 years of legal turmoil? Image credit Institute for Justice.
The gravity of the first amendment aside, this may prove to be a consequential ruling in the mapping and survey domains, with what precedent means to the American legal system. Read up on the multi-year legal duel below – which shall still carry on – courtesy of AP News.

Screw It: Osteosynthesis Augmented with 3D & AR

Osteosynthesis treats bone fractures by adjoining them to screws, plates, wires and the like. It’s not a new treatment per se, but it sure is getting treated to some new tech.
Specifically, a 3D camera system has been developed that will potentially introduce orthopedic AR systems non-invasively, “eliminating the need for the invasive AR markers conventionally required.” The real endgame? Implants better placed, patients better off. Make an appointment with the peer-reviewed study below, being sure not to miss the process and photos.

Where There’s Smoke There’s NASA: The Wildfire Digital Twin Vision

Six universities. Over 20 researchers. Hundreds of burn paths forecasted.
NASA fire map
A NASA fire map. To think the blazes could worsen before improving... Image credit NASA.
That’s the aim of NASA’s Wildfire Digital Twin Project. The hyper-collaborative venture will use machine learning, AI, and sensors  every which way to redefine what it means to model fire activity, smoke, and particulates. Read NASA’s playbook below: the methodology, funding, simulations, team & firefighter focus, and particle tracking.

Reality Capture Ranking: The Best 3D Modeling Software & Beginner Drones

Finding a curated hub of the best reality capture hardware and software, analyzed to a T, can be a herculean task.

But it’s one techradar was up for, at least in 3D modeling software and drones for those just getting their wings.
Tina Turner Simply the Best album cover
Techradar channels this legend just for your 3D and drone needs. Image credit IMDb.
A note; sponsorship may be present, but techradar is transparent about it. Regardless, the dissection within each entry is rigorous. Oh, and take advantage of the “jump” feature to the article’s left for utmost relevance to you.


DC Metro Silver Line System Map
Is it called the Silver Line because it’s what happens to your hair while waiting for it? Image credit Travel Weekly.
Good things come to those who wait? Considering Districtians of Columbia waited longer than a two-term presidency for one rail line and extension, they should have #freefare4life!

Washington D.C.’s Silver Line was a runaway train of blunders, from cracked concrete panels and tie deficiencies, to unlevel tracks and fouled ballast. And that’s only the half of it.

Oh, what could have been, with prudent reality capture and digital twins. Specifically, laser scanning verifying concrete panel dimensions and steel coverage against specs before installation, with scan data integrated into BIM models for virtual visualization and analysis.

Continuous monitoring of as-built track elevations, integrated with digital twin, would highlight areas not meeting rail tolerances. Laser scanning installed track plates could identify gaps or flatness issues against rails and ties. Photogrammetry along tracks could document issues like concrete tie deficiencies causing uneven tracks.

It’s droolworthy, the 20/20 hindsight of scans, maybe some 360°s and BIM leveraged from boring to boarding. Fewer derailments, less rework, and far smoother arrivals. Reality capture may not have solved D.C.’s costs, traffic woes, and legislative bickering, but it surely would have kept this project from going totally off the rails.

Silver Line’s 2014 problems after five years of delay-riddled construction
Silver Line’s 2018 problems
Silver Line’s 2019 problems

Mini Re/Caps, Podcasts, and Media

Happy capturing, and we’ll see you in next week’s Re/Cap! If you liked what you just read, a share will do the industry a built-world of good! 

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