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Mapping Marvel: Off the Beaten Path

February 2, 2023  - By 0 Comments
Paris Austin, head of product – New Technology for OxTS, tries out the new backpack at historic Minster Lovell Hall. (Image: OxTS)

Paris Austin, head of product – New Technology for OxTS, tries out the new backpack at historic Minster Lovell Hall. (Image: OxTS)

More than 400,000 sites in the United Kingdom are on its historical registries. English Heritage site Minster Lovell Hall is located in Oxfordshire, also the home county of inertial navigation company OxTS. The picturesque ruins of Minster Lovell Hall, a 15th-century manor house, include the hall, a tower and a nearby dovecote.

The hall was built in the 1430s by William, Baron of Lovell and Holand — one of the richest men in England. It was later home to Francis, Viscount Lovell, a close ally of Richard III. After changing hands several times, the hall was abandoned and eventually demolished in the 18th century, leaving the extensive remains that stand today.

(Image:OxTS)

(Image: OxTS)

The buildings are grouped around a central courtyard in a plan characteristic of a late medieval manor house. For OxTS, the site proved suitable for testing its prototype backpack. The site features dense tree canopies on one side, tight doorways, narrow views of the sky, and plenty of height to test the angled mounting of the survey-focused lidar for when GNSS is denied. Open-sky areas allowed the OxTS team to return to real-time kinematic (RTK) surveying before moving on to another section of the site.

Reconstruction drawing of Minster Lovell Hall as it might have appeared in the 15th century, by artist Alan Sorrell. (Image: English Heritage)

Reconstruction drawing of Minster Lovell Hall as it might have appeared in the 15th century, by artist Alan Sorrell. (Image: English Heritage)

The prototype backpack is based on the OxTS setup for vehicles but was created to enable quick data collection without a car. It is equipped with two Hesai lidar sensors, a new OxTS prototype inertial navigation system and an antenna. The team can connect it to a laptop for configuration and to optimize lever arms and the boresight. Once post-processed with OxTS Georeferencer software, the point cloud below was produced.

OxTS designed the backpack to meet a growing need for localization and georeferencing in both GNSS-denied areas and those that cannot be reached by car, including the construction, environmental, conservation and heritage industries.

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Tracy Cozzens

About the Author:

Senior Editor Tracy Cozzens joined GPS World magazine in 2006. She also is editor of GPS World’s newsletters and the sister website Geospatial Solutions. She has worked in government, for non-profits, and in corporate communications, editing a variety of publications for audiences ranging from federal government contractors to teachers.

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