The GEO Business 2019 show, which took place in London in late May 2019, showed a receptiveness of the surveying industry to new software and forms of handling the fast-growing amount of data generated by surveys. Not by accident, the event took place in tandem with the GeoDATA Forum, which included a number of seminars on managing point clouds, data privacy, and analyzing data from Geographic Information Systems (GIS). While the software and analytics side of the show seemed focused and purposeful, the hardware Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM) side was less so. Some businesses bet on the traditional total stations for surveying, with added benefits like theft protection, while others believed surveying robots for highways could render total stations obsolete in some cases. Some believed that inspection should be performed with accurate Light Detection and Ranging (LiDAR) point clouds, while others were in favor of the power of 360° Red, Green, and Blue (RGB) cameras. The current multifaceted polarization of the industry is better encapsulated by the acronym that managed to become both a buzzword and a dirty word at the event: SLAM.
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