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Aerial Filmworks, Vision Team partners, share the 2018 Pultizer Prize awarded to the USA Today team for Explanatory Journalism for “The Wall”, a monumental project about effects of the proposed border wall between the USA and Mexico.

Aerial Filmworks delivered real-time augmented reality overlays on aerial video that visually depict the border location. This graphic layer dramatically shows how the border does not always follow the Rio Grande River. The augmented reality video can be interactively viewed from any location on the border simply by clicking on a map. Aerial Filmworks, in partnership with Blue Marble Geographics, built a custom extension for the Global Mapper application to manage and locate the geo-referenced video.

Aerial Filmworks also developed a custom integration of the Riegl VUX1LR LiDAR scanner that was nose-mounted on a helicopter to scan diverse terrain from the Gulf of Mexico to the Pacific Ocean. The LiDAR team delivered high resolution 3D point clouds to build a virtual reality experience as a free download for USA Today viewers to use with VIVE headsets. 100 megapixel geo-referenced images from the Phase One iXU-RS1000 camera were acquired simultaneously and “draped” on top of the 3D model for the VR experience.

“Our LiDAR system delivered a detailed 3D model of the deep canyons in Big Bend National Park for the creation of an amazing VR experience. I compliment USA Today on their vision to use the newest technology to bring a complex story to life in such a meaningful way.” ~Ron Chapple, CEO – Aerial Filmworks