Maptek has released version 3.5 of its laser-scan modeling software, I-Site Studio. This version, according to the supplier, includes general enhancements in performance and usability. Filtering can now be done based on point selection, rather than the entire scan dataset. When used in conjunction with the new freehand or polygonal lasso selection tools, it reduces the time required to remove stray points caused by dust or other transient objects. The ability to quickly create a 3-D PDF means that rotatable models can be shared with others who don’t have specialized viewing software. I-Site Studio 3.5 users can also export to a Universal 3-D file, allowing information to be immediately shared with decision makers at all levels. The I-Site Studio release coincides with the launch of a dedicated geotechnical module that offers more extensive tools than basic Studio. Stereonet plots allow users to plot slope and slope direction (dip and strike) onto a two-dimensional graph, helping to identify discontinuity sets and analyze the stability of rock slopes. Contours can be added for pinpointing data of interest. Rose diagrams reveal the frequency of data vs. the direction of the data for identifying directional trends. Coloring surfaces by the dip or strike values of the individual facets helps to highlight discontinuities and planar areas, making it easy to see fractures. Overlapping surfaces that have been scanned at different times can be compared to reveal extent and rate of movement; for example, to identify a slow-moving failure in an open-pit mine. Surfaces can be tinted based on changes from a previous surface and data can be exported to measure distances from previous and base surface measurements.

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