The RIS index of Flemish inland navigation charts, an electronic atlas for inland skippers, was due for an update in spring 2013. A camera-equipped boat provided by surveyor office TECCON travelled the inland waterways; VITO translated the camera images into a useful tool. Skippers can download the maps and use them for navigation.
In spring 2013, surveyor office TECCON bvba was instructed by NV De Scheepvaart and Waterwegen en Zeekanaal NV to collect raw data in order to update the electronic navigation guides of the Flemish inland waters. TECCON equipped a camera boat with several observation cameras, which recorded locks, bridges, shores and the river area. The vessel followed the rivers along both shores. With panoramic cameras, the entire surrounding area of the boat was recorded. 3D laser scanning LIDAR (LIght Detection And Ranging) technology enables exact distances and heights to be recorded.
The pictures and laser images were used to update the digital inland navigational charts. However, the data are also extremely useful for other policy domains (public works, geotechnics, tourism). Thus, NV De Scheepvaart and Waterwegen en Zeekanaal NV decided to make the raw data (pictures and laser images) accessible online. VITO provided its expertise.
Based on the raw data, VITO developed an online platform, which is widely accessible. Users can consult this database and select the parameters which are of use to them. VITO refined the software, which offers diverse possibilities, including: consulting panorama and laser images, digital 3D measurements, volume calculations and 3D profile extraction.