Up Sucker Creek

Up Sucker Creek
Photo Courtesy of the Lake Oswego Library

Thursday, September 11, 2014

LIDAR: What it means to you

Along with current  problems with Sensitive Lands codes is what the City plans to do with Oregon's new LIDAR imaging that can show every tree and natural (and built) feature on private lands.  Perhaps more properties will be sucked into this onerous program, along with tree code permitting tracking, decks built without a permit, and so on.  For some people the detailed sounds like a good thing.  For others, it is one more government intrusion into our homes and lives where it is neither needed nor wanted.

A sharp-eyed citizen spotted a news article about the uses of LIDAR mapping being used for other-than geo-tech purposes and reported this at the City Council Meeting on September 2.  (Click on Citizen Comments and watch video.)  LIDAR has been used to map land for landslide and earthquake (faults) potential to aid cities in preparing for emergencies, and for denying building permits in such areas.  The problems occur when the mapping occurs for other than the general safety and welfare of the community.

If a government can make money from code enforcement, wouldn't you expect to see more codes so that more of our behavior could be criminalized and penalized?  And targeted?  For entry onto your  property?   And what city doesn't want to be "smart?"

Data-driven data for smart cities.  

CityScan provides cities and utilities a solution to manage their assets, ensure compliance with local ordinances, improve safety for residents, and increase overall efficiency. 

Is CityScan the Future of Code Enforcement?

Urban Land,  April 1, 2013   By Bendix Anderson
See CityScan marketing video on this webpage.  

From smuggled cigarettes to illegal billboards and overcrowded homes, Chicago-basedCityScan uses technology to identify a variety of infractions, which could lead to millions of dollars in revenue for cities.

Founded in 2011, the tech startup builds extremely detailed models and maps of urban areas. Synchronizing the data with zoning information and permit information, experts from CityScan can

flag potential scofflaws.
                                                            CityScan searchs for unlicensed billboards.

"CityScan is an inspector,” says    Orlando Saez, chief operating officer for CityScan. “We inspect, we observe, and we predict.” Because these inspections take place virtually rather than in person, hundreds of man-hours in initial site visits can be avoided. This allows cities to check on problems they would never have enough staff to identify otherwise.

To build its maps, CityScan gathers huge amounts of information—some proprietary, some public. The biggest data trove—provided by NAVTEQ, a subsidiary of Nokia—is obtained with light detection and ranging (LIDAR) technology. A LIDAR system can collect millions of data points per second as lasers are projected, strike objects on the street, and are reflected to detectors. Each data point comes with its own global positioning service (GPS) coordinates. Connecting the dots provided by these data points, the system can draw outlines of everything in the built environment from buildings to billboards—even small objects like doorbells and mailboxes.

Code Enforcement Goes High-Tech

CityScan uses street-mapping technology and public records to find hidden violations.

Urban Lab, Mar 7, 2013  Eric Jaffe

Chicago Challenge Cup Winner CityScan Is (Literally) Mapping Its Way to Success

Challenge Cup 1776, November 13, 2013  By Melissa Steffan 

Let’s talk about data. We’re seeing huge amounts of data being created in the health industry—and not many platforms for interpreting it in meaningful ways. How does CityScan fit in to that?
What I want to do is completely democratize the data sets. Let’s say we drive Chicago for whatever use case. We’re driving it once a year, but we make that data available at a fraction of the cost for an individual. There will be tons of private and public applications that can tie to this data set. We can bring down the cost disruptively.

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