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SWRG ProGeo: SFM, LIDAR and Digital Resources

ProGeo is an annual one-day conference held by the South-West Regional Group (SWRG) of the Geological Society. This year, the ProGeo conference was held on 26th October at the Kenn Centre near Exeter.  The theme was centred around Resources in the South West of England.

Rod Smith, Associate Director at JGP was one of the speakers at this year’s conference.

Rod presented a talk on the Use of SFM, LIDAR and Other Open Source Digital Resources.  The talk covered a number of digital resources, which can be particularly useful in geotechnical engineering applications.

The increasing availability of Open Source software programs means that there are now a number of free alternatives to costly commercial computer packages. In addition, the move towards making digital data resources available through initiatives such as ‘Open.gov’ and ‘Inspire’ projects creates more opportunities for using these programs. Open Source software programs include Structure from Motion, GIS and sophisticated mathematical packages. Specific reference was made to their application in rock and coastal engineering.

In addition to a short description of the open source programs, several examples of their use in real applications were demonstrated.  These ranged from rock slope assessments, structural retaining wall condition surveys and sink hole reconnaissance.