Topcon technology supports one-of-a-kind preservation, renovation project in
City, universities honor TPS President Ray O’Connor
LIVERMORE, Calif. -- October 18, 2012
Topcon Positioning Systems (TPS) and its president and CEO, Ray O’Connor, were
honored by the City of Pompeii, Italy and four Italian universities for
assisting with the “preservation and renovation” of the historic landmark of
Old Pompeii, one of Italy’s major tourist attractions with 25,000 visitors a
day, was literally “falling apart” after 2011’s record rainfall, according to
one report. The Italian government, through the University of Naples and the
City of Pompeii, allocated 120 million Euros to the preservation of the old
Pompeii, located near present-day Naples, was partially destroyed and buried
under 10 to 20 feet of ash and pumice in the eruption of Mount Vesuvius on
Aug. 24, AD 79. The city was lost for nearly 1,700 years before it was
rediscovered in 1748.
Also involved in the project is the United Nations Educational, Scientific and
Cultural Organization (UNESCO), which designated Pompeii as a World Heritage
Site. Topcon’s Italian distributor – GEOTOP Topcon – and its president and
CEO, Ivan Di Federico, will work directly with the government officials and
the four universities (a consortium known as Benecon).
Before restoration on the city could begin, site mapping and precise
information about ground and building movements had to be done. That’s where
TPS came into play.
Topcon won the bid to provide precise survey, mapping and GIS equipment and
software for the project. O’Connor’s personal involvement in the project was
rewarded by the announcement that he would receive the “key” to the City of
Pompeii, as well as receive an honorary master’s degree in architecture from
the University of Naples.
O’Connor said, “It is a very high honor, indeed, to be recognized by the mayor
of Pompeii and the prestigious University of Naples. However, it is a much
higher honor to be part of an incredible cooperative undertaking like working
together to preserve one of the world’s most important and impressive
“It is rewarding to know that today’s technology is being used to preserve the
past so future generations can observe and learn about one of the world’s most
important and impressive events.”
Di Federico said, “The archeological site will become a ‘laboratory of
innovation.’” He said the first project objective would be “the creation of a
3D mapping system. Survey teams will recreate the site in a virtual form with
great precision by overlaying images and laser scans to precisely measure the
distance between each point, thus creating the old city in 3D imagery.”
This reality technology, he said, “will allow for visitors to see themselves
in the original environment, as if they were Roman citizens of Pompeii before
the devastating volcano explosion.”
Additionally, Benecon will “have a cultural database, which combines
background information – historical, natural and chemical – to add to the
wealth of information that presently exists about the city and its history.”
As the first archeological site in the world to use technology in this
fashion, Di Federico said, “This project will be a top priority for Topcon and
will include collaboration with Topcon technology groups in Livermore,
California, Europe and Japan.”
Topcon’s three-year contract is with Benecon Consortium Society, a combination
of four universities – Second University of Naples, University Federico II,
University of Salerno and the University of Sannio.
Topcon equipment being used on the site includes the IP-S2 mobile mapping
system, IS imaging station, NET-G3A reference station receivers, GR-5
receivers, Tesla controller for field applications, GLS-1500 laser scanners,
antennas and software. The contract also allows for technical assistance and
professional expertise provided by the company.
Topcon Positioning Systems, Inc. (TPS) designs and manufactures precise
positioningproducts andsolutionsfor theglobalsurveying, construction,
agriculture, civil engineering, mapping and GIS, asset management and mobile
control markets. TPS’ parent company, Topcon Corporation(Tokyo Stock Exchange
– 7732), was founded in 1932.
Topcon Positioning Systems, Inc.
George Smith, 925-245-8603
Director of Communications Services
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