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Land Survey Automation Challenge

Significantly expedite real estate and financing transactions via an efficient, autonomous property survey system. Read Overview...
Overview


The Problem

Can you disrupt an industry stuck in the stone age? Tech is sweeping across every single industry, turning traditional business models on their respective heads.

Next up? Land Surveys.

Can you bring drones, satellites, software engineering, or even harness pre-existing data to significantly expedite commercial real estate transactions?

Commercial real estate isn’t a “big” industry -- it’s massive. In fact, go ahead and take a guess.

Nope.

Try again.

Bigger.
How about $15 trillion per year?

We’re talking global-economy-scale relevance, here.

Unfortunately, the process for completing these transactions is frustratingly antiquated. As a result, the wealth of time, money, and expertise needed is unthinkable.

 A notorious component of successful transaction is the boundary survey. Not only can these surveys take more than a month to complete, but they’re incredibly expensive (some can cost more than $5,000) and need to be conducted on-site.
..by a human.

But what if there was a better way to conduct a successful survey?

What if commercial real estate developers could conduct not just any survey, but an ALTA certified survey remotely, and at a fraction of the current market cost?

By channeling the power of tech, we want to make boundary surveys more accurate, less expensive, and capable of accelerating the process for real estate and real estate financing transactions.

TL;DR: we want a way to automate a full-blown ALTA survey.
 

Why does this problem exist?

Simply put: no survey, no title insurance. No title insurance, no real estate transaction.


In a world where almost everything else has been optimized, why hasn’t the boundary surveying process been automated? 

Boundary surveys are generally complex, with the ALTA type being particularly intricate. A surveyor has to actually travel to and explore the site, before reviewing title and actually plotting the survey (a process that can easily take more than a month) with title review alone taking 2 to 3 weeks.


Creating a solution capable of doing all this—of highlighting improvements, easements, encroachments, rights-of-way, and the various other elements of land ownership—isn’t for the faint of heart.

 ALTA is also a trade association, offering title insurance and providing licensing rights to surveyors who want to be certified to conduct an ALTA survey. As you might imagine, they’re invested in maintaining the status quo. This can equal pretty serious resistance to new technology perceived as a threat.

These two roadblocks are adding an entire month (at the very least!) to each and every commercial real estate transaction in the United States.
 


The Challenge Breakthrough

Through the limitless power of tech, our mission is to help commercial real estate modernize as so many other industries have already. We want to bring property development and investment into the 21st century by streamlining one of the most bloated components of any transaction.



What You Can Do To Cause A Breakthrough

  • Click ACCEPT CHALLENGE above to sign up for the challenge
  • Read the Challenge Guidelines to learn about the requirements and rules
  • Share this challenge on social media using the icons above. Show your friends, your family, or anyone you know who has a passion for discovery.
  • Start a conversation in our Forum to join the conversation, ask questions or connect with other innovators.
Guidelines
Timeline
Updates 29

Drone Racing Is A High-Flying Adrenaline Rush

Nov. 14, 2017, midnight PST by Maureen Murtha

Drone racing. It could be coming to an arena near you.

It's gaining popularity incredibly fast – the Aerial Sports League has been around since 2011, the Drone Racing League (DRL) has been in business since 2015, and ESPN even broadcast the 2016 DRL Nationals last year.

If you don't know how it all works yet, drones fly around an arena at breakneck speeds, controlled by “pilots.” The pilots get a first-person-view from the drone streamed into a pair of goggles they wear, letting them control the craft as if they were actually flying in a cockpit.

It's a pretty incredible sight, because these drones can sometimes exceed speeds of 120mph. But they don't often reach those speeds, because they're usually too busy banking, diving, and spinning through the amazing courses designed to test the skill and endurance of the pilots.

Zooming Through a Futuristic Drone Racing Arena

Some drone racing arenas are fantastic. The courses are three dimensional (because drones can fly up and down) and full of psychedelic neon lights, shapes, and obstacles. They often take place in sports stadiums, though they can also be found in underground caverns, and, more frequently, in dedicated arenas of their own.

Other times the races take place in simpler settings, without a full-blown pre-staged arena. You can host a drone race in a field, a construction site, a garage – anywhere you have enough room (as long as you steer clear of unaware bystanders).

For most people drone racing is still a hobby, rather than a money-making opportunity. But that's set to change soon. Allianz, a major name in broadcasting involved in Formula 1 racing and many other sports, will be sponsoring the DRL 2017 championship. Drone racing could well become one of the most popular sports in the world, potentially beginning to rival the fame of eSports.

Eventually, drone racing broadcasts could include a set of goggles for the viewer, letting you see the race from the perspective of the drones themselves. The sport would become even more exciting, giving fans a way to experience the race in totally new ways.

While there isn't a lot of money in drones for the average enthusiast right now, there are still some large cash prizes to be won at some of these tournaments. If you want to see what a full-fledged championship drone race looks like, check out the final race of the World Drone Prix 2016, held in Dubai. The $250,000 first prize was won by 15-year-old Luke Bannister, beating out 150 other teams.

An Expanding New Realm of Sport

The world of drone sports has even more to offer. It's not just racing, there are also – drone fights!

You might already know about the robot battles that have been taking place for a while. But drones are getting in on the action too, and actually have been for quite a few years now.

The Aerial Sports League even has a “drone combat” category, which features drones bashing into each other until only one is left flying. There are one-on-one fights, and also big battle royales which involve many drones competing in the same arena in the aptly-named “Game of Drones.”

It isn't the most exciting sport to watch yet, but if you imagine what might come as people experiment and innovate, this could turn into a very cool sport (maybe we'll see drones with paintball guns attached, or electric zappers?).

It sounds like a very expensive way to have fun – purposefully breaking costly aircraft – but these drones are built for battle, and the damage is usually to the cheap rotors which can be quickly replaced.

 

It's a good time to be a drone enthusiast. If you want to get in on the racing action but you don't have a drone yourself, you can try out the free DRL Racing Simulator. You can race your friends through real courses, and participate in global competitions.

As fun as drones can be, they're even more valuable when it comes to business and commercial purposes. We think they could help out big time in the $100,000 Land Survey Automation Challenge, a global competition to create a more efficient way to conduct property surveys. Drones can be programmed to conduct these surveys, saving an incredible amount of time, money, and labor.

The winners of the Concept Phase of the challenge will be announced soon, so be sure to keep an eye on the challenge for upcoming developments!


UPDATE: Challenge to Stay Open Until Winner Found

Oct. 16, 2017, 2:11 p.m. PDT by Maureen Murtha

Hello Community!

Thanks for the sustained interest in the Land Survey Automation Challenge. We appreciate you and your enthusiasm!

The William Warren Group did not receive any qualified submissions to the recent Prototype Phase of the competition.  We know we have some of the top innovators working on this challenge, so our best guess is that the challenge was too audacious for the current state of technology. So we would like to allow you to participate without the burden of a time limit!

As a result of this, we will be leaving the challenge open until a winner is found.

This is good news! If anyone has a solution moving forward, they may submit anytime.

Questions? Comments? Please leave them in the comment section below! 


Want to know what ideas were submitted in the Concept Phase?

May 7, 2017, 9:34 p.m. PDT by Kyla Jeffrey

Check out all of the entries, including those from our six winners, here: https://herox.com/AiLTA/entries

This is also a great way to find that key teammember you are looking for! Comment directly on their submission or click on their image to go to their profile and send a private message.

 

          

 


We Have the Winners for the Concept Phase!

April 25, 2017, noon PDT by Maureen Murtha

The long wait is finally over, and we're excited to announce the Concept Phase winners. We know you're excited to find out if you're on the list, but first (while we have a captive audience) a few additional items.
 

Big Thanks

On behalf of HeroX and the William Warren Group, we want to extend a HUGE thanks to everyone in this crowdsourcing community. Congrats to you -- because winning aside, you're all pretty awesome just for being involved. 


Prototype Phase

With this announcement of these winners, we also mark the official launch of the Prototype Phase, which is open to everyone, regardless of whether they took part in the Concept Phase. That means even if you didn't submit this round, you still have an opportunity to compete! 

We've also made some important revisions to the challenge, including giving you more time to develop your prototype and removing the discovery of historical documents from your overall time and automation goals. Read about the changes here.

 

Collaboration

Interested in joining forces for this next phase? We've got a great way for you to do that. You can check out the competitors who entered the Concept Phase right here and see if you have the skills they're looking for. See if anybody is speaking your language (in some cases literally), and you might have a powerful team in the making!  If you'd like to start a conversation, the Forum remains an excellent resource for getting to know each other. (Psst. there's already a couple of people looking for a coder...in case you're interested, you can contact them here.)

 

 

Concept Phase Winners


The Vreeland Institute - $5,000

  • Aerial Land Survey System - ALSS: Our Aerial Land Survey System (ALSS) provides a comprehensive solution to the challenge of integrating the benefits of unmanned aircraft systems with the practice of land surveying, to add value to traditional fieldwork, while maintaining the highest standards of the profession.

J K - $5,000

  • ATLAS - ALTA Transitional Land Assessment System: Combinatorial use of novel RTK GPS/IMU/ laser angular measurement drones remotely controlled with automated document search and synthesis
  • Willing to merge with another team and looking for expertise in selected technology/capablity providers for drone platforms, remote ctl, image tools. Contact Here.

3 Alarm Mapping - $5,000

  • UAV, 360 GPS Cameras, & AI to improve ALTAs : Create orthomosaic photo of a property from a UAVs and 360 cameras then process the photos using AI to recognize features on the photo which leads to a decrease field collection time and drafting time which saves time and money but still being in the field to comply with the local laws.
  • Willing to welcome another individual onto their team with expertise in deep learning AI programming and photo stitching algorithms programming. Contact Here.

Vũ Quang Thành - $2,500

Jeremy Martinez - $ 2,500

  • Drone-Assisted Intelligent Land (DAIL) Surveying: The DAIL Survey decreases the time and cost of land surveys by using advanced imaging technology to analyze data collected by a remote-controlled drone. Reference discs placed on the ground at desired intervals capture the land contour, while artificial intelligence software produces the map/plat.
  • Willing to welcome a team member with expertise in programming using the IBM Watson Developer Cloud, electrical engineering, imaging and data-mapping. Contact Here.

Chad Balauro - $2,500

  • Centroid: Making land data and attributes available in a single open platform to those involve in real estate transactions wound eventually create automation in an assembly manner.
  • Looking for expertise in PLS, Legal, Python, web technologies, Java, Computer vision, machine learning, deep learning and ai. Contact Here.

 

And just like that, the Concept Phase comes to a close. Thanks again for your efforts, support, and interest in the Land Survey Automation Challenge. We can't wait to see all of your submissions in the next phase! 

 


Stay Tuned for Concept Phase Announcement

April 18, 2017, 7:46 a.m. PDT by Kyla Jeffrey

Greetings Innovators!

 

The Judging Panel and William Warren have been hard at work and they need just seven more days to determine the winners of the Concept Phase. Stay tuned for an announcement next week.

 

We have also brought Challenge Designer MacKenzie Ward back on board to re-evaluate the challenge timeline (extend it!) and make any tweaks to the Prototype Phase submission requirements based on the concepts you proposed. The Prototype Phase submission form will open next week when the new timeline is announced.

 

Thanks so much!

Kyla | HeroX


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