Articles and Accolades
When looters discovered Colombia’s Ciudad Perdida (“Lost City”) in 1972, it earned status as one of the greatest archaeological finds in modern history. A half-century later, the site of this ancient civilization remains extremely difficult to explore, with some of the world’s densest jungle obscuring its secrets.
Then the GEO1 team showed up.
In 2019, the firm partnered with National Geographic explorer Albert Lin to map the area using a helicopter equipped with light detection and ranging (lidar), a laser technology that remotely captures geographic data. It can peek through a thick forest canopy to detect what’s underneath.
Archaeology is facing a time crunch. Thousands of years of human history risk imminent erasure, from tiny hamlets to entire cities - temples, walls and roads under grave threat of destruction. Urban sprawl and industrial agriculture are but two culprits, smothering ancient settlements beneath car parks and cattle pastures. International conflict and climate change are also damaging vulnerable sites, with warfare and water shortages destroying pockets of history across the world.
Based in a converted helicopter hangar at the Hawthorne airport in Los Angeles, California, the firm GEO1, a subsidiary of NV5 Geospatial, offers lidar services to utility companies and archaeologists alike. Ron Chapple, GEO1’s founder and CEO, came to lidar from a previous career in aerial cinematography. A few years ago, Chapple, 65, was hired to film an electrical transmission line for a municipal client. He and his team did the job so well, they joked, they should have won an Academy Award for best electrical infrastructure film. But as they were packing up their gear, another crew arrived, commissioned to capture imagery of the same transmission line. One of them pulled out a strange new device – not a camera, but a sensor. After trying it out themselves, Chapple and his team invested in their own light sensor equipment.
GEO1 Emailer, 12/23/2022
GEO1 acquired ultra high-resolution aerial imagery to produce a digital replica of Notch Peak, Utah. The images were merged using photogrammetry and served as the foundation for the Virtual Reality simulation.
Additionally, GEO1 is pleased to announce that Limitless Flight’s first Virtual Reality experience, produced using imagery we collected, received the 2022 Thea Award for Outstanding Achievement in Connected Immersion. The international award recognizes innovation and exceptional achievements in various categories in the themed entertainment industry. GEO1 also submitted this project to the annual MAPPS Excellence Awards.
GEO1 Emailer, 11/10/2022
The GEO1 team is excited to share that the Digital Twin it helped produce for Vancouver International Airport (YVR), in partnership with GeoSim, has received the Excellence in Industry Innovation Award by the BC Tech Association. The award was announced at the 2022 Technology Impact Awards in British Columbia.
GEO1 Emailer, 09/14/2022
GEO1 acquired video and lidar of the entire US/Mexico border in a Pulitzer Prize winning endeavor for USA Today. Aerial video offered viewers the ability to observe the division from above, while lidar was used to create an interactive virtual simulation, allowing users to walk alongside key points of the wall. GEO1’s work was accompanied by interviews that conveyed the stories of the individuals and communities living along the border. The result was a ground-breaking, comprehensive report of the border that outlined its challenges and complexities through film, virtual reality, and journalistic storytelling.
GEO1 Emailer, 08/17/2022
Over the years, GEO1 continues to demonstrate the power and versatility of lidar in archaeological studies.
Project: La Mojana | GEO1 acquired lidar and nadir imagery of La Mojana, a remote floodplain in Colombia, to supplement archaeological studies in the area. Researchers were able to use the data to model flooding, to explore how pre-Columbian societies manipulated, managed, and thrived off the land.
Project: Ciudad Perdida | The GEO1 team worked closely with National Geographic explorer Albert Lin to acquire lidar data in Colombia's Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta — an isolated and difficult-to-access coastal mountain range. The data GEO1 provided was used to model and analyze the densely overgrown mountainside — which would have taken years to survey by foot.
GEO1 Emailer, 07/28/2022
As a highly responsive team providing survey and lidar data acquisition and analytics, GEO1 thrives on challenging logistics, fast turn-around times, and demand for innovative solutions. Established in 2014, the award-winning GEO1 team enables creative vision through use of the newest lidar and imaging sensors. Our skilled operators uniquely configure each acquisition project to provide lidar and imagery that serves individual client needs.
GEO1 Emailer, 07/13/2022
While all the other pillars at GEO1 are foundational to the work that we do, safety is always the utmost priority. With every new project, a significant portion of the planning process is dedicated to considering the risks involved and how they can be mitigated. Beyond the planning stage, we continue to discuss and adjust workflows to ensure safety. This applies to every level of the workflow, and for every individual on our team, ranging from data protection and cybersecurity to workplace safety.
GEO1 Emailer, 06/29/2022
The winners of the CARIGEO ‘Your Caribbean Story’ were announced last week! Students from across the Caribbean submitted compelling and insightful projects demonstrating the use of GIS to assess and enhance sustainable development in their local communities. GEO1 sponsored the award for the best submission related to issues and resolutions regarding Climate Change. We hope this reflects how strongly GEO1 values and aims to encourage the use of GIS to address climate change and enhance environmental resilience across the world. Josef Paty, a student at the University of West Indies, received the GEO1 award for his project ‘Planting Tomorrow in Trinidad and Tobago’.
Yahoo Finance, 06/21/2022
The GEO1 team is pleased to announce that we are now an NV5 company. NV5 is a leading engineering firm offering comprehensive and invaluable solutions across multiple industries. GEO1 has collaborated with NV5 on several award-winning projects, and we are excited for the opportunity to further this long-standing relationship.
GEO1 Emailer, 06/14/2022
The GEO1 team travels the world for projects, and has always been compelled to promote ecological resilience through our work – like scanning immense glaciers in the Himalayas, or Hawaiian islands before and after volcanic eruptions. Lidar data of these landscapes are instrumental for research and preservation, and can be used alongside other datasets to measure change and monitor ongoing initiatives.
GEO1 Emailer, 05/25/2022
In 2021, GEO1 acquired lidar, RGB, and NIR imagery of the Muir Woods National Monument. The award winning endeavor was planned and executed in partnership with The Earth Archive, who will receive the data at no cost, to support their ultimate goal of lidar scanning and archiving environmentally significant areas around the world. The data will also be incorporated into the USGS 3DEP database and made publicly available to download for independent analysis.
GEO1 Emailer, 03/31/2022
GEO1 prides itself in employing innovative technologies and workflows to deliver the most effective and efficient solutions. One of the best examples of that is our process of acquiring high resolution imagery for structural integrity inspections. Using Falkor — our proprietary technology for georeferencing images — our team is able to produce high resolution images that contain metadata reflecting the location of the object being photographed — from transmission towers and oil wells to stop lights and street signs.
GEO1 Emailer, 03/09/2022
The GEO1 team has countless hours of experience acquiring and processing lidar data for various uses, and customizes each flight to ensure efficiency and data accuracy. We’ve collected thousands of electric corridor miles across the US for engineering, wildfire mitigation, and storm hardening initiatives, and know how to overcome the unique challenges presented by utility lines.
The Regional Committee of United Nations Global Geospatial Information Management for the Americas (UN-GGIM: Americas) and the Caribbean Geospatial Development Initiative (CARIGEO), along with other partners and sponsors, are hosting the inaugural 2022 CARIGEO student competition. In this event, students are encouraged to find solutions for local issues through GIS, and expand knowledge of their community and environment by supplementing research with GIS analysis.
GEO1 Emailer, 02/15/2022
GEO1 is proud to announce that the firm received multiple awards at the recent MAPPS Geospatial Excellence Awards.
The Geospatial Excellence Award for Small Projects to GEO1 (Muir Woods)
The Geospatial Excellence Award for Data Acquisition and Processing to NV5 Geospatial and GEO1 (Kilauea)
The Geospatial Excellence- Membership Choice Award to (tie):
GEO1 (Muir Woods)
NV5 Geospatial and GEO1 (Kilauea)
We believe these awards reflect the exceptional work of the GEO1 team and their constant efforts towards producing outstanding work. The awards were also made possible by the invaluable partnerships that GEO1 is fortunate to have with other firms in the industry.
Lidar Magazine, 02/11/2022
GEO1 acquired data that will be used to produce an accurate forest inventory and a lasting digital archive of Muir Woods National Monument. A publicly accessible digital replica of the forest grants anyone the ability to explore the forest and reveals the possibilities for access and education in our world. The project also demonstrates the feasibility of large scale lidar acquisition and the value it presents in environmental research.
Muir Woods Report
Muir Woods Poster
Lidar Magazine, 01/27/2021
In a remote river valley in Colombia, GEO1 acquired data revealing settlement patterns of an ancient civilization. The project, a result of close collaboration with The Earth Archive and the Center of Archaeology and Remote Sensing, sought to demonstrate the versatility of lidar in archaeological research. The data GEO1 provided built upon historical surveys of the area and was integral in transforming perceptions of both ancient civilizations and the use of lidar to study them.
La Mojana Report
La Mojana Poster
Lidar Magazine, 06/12/2020
"As my company pivoted from aerial cinema to aerial remote sensing, I looked at our sector from a fresh perspective. What were the differences, and what was similar? We have always been collecting data from a helicopter. Whether that data is pixels from an 8K camera or 2,000,000 laser pulses every second, the end result is a data set that needs to be processed, edited, and interpreted by a larger team. Managing and manipulating that data for the purposes of analytics is similar to the general workflow of editing video clips into a feature length film. Different skill sets may be needed, but the concept is the same."
USA Today, 05/06/2020
GEO1 was awarded a Pulitzer Prize for Explanatory Journalism in partnership with USA Today for an extensive video and lidar survey of the US/Mexico border. We delivered almost 2,000 miles of geo-referenced video, lidar data, and high-resolution imaging for the project. The interdisciplinary endeavor used virtual reality, aerial video, 360-degree video, documentary video, photos, podcasts and interactive maps—as well as more than a dozen stories—to examine and document the border between the USA and Mexico.
Lidar Magazine, 03/26/2020
"In 2009, a client request for high-resolution video of an electrical transmission circuit drove this group of aerial cinematography experts to consider and eventually adopt lidar for 3D visualization. Having honed their craft within the high-stakes world of entertainment and visual effects, GEO1 applies world-class technique and special forces style deployment capabilities to exotic surveying and mapping projects."