Orbit GeoSpatial Technologies was founded in 1972 as a development company named Eurotronics, aiming to develop tools for the automation of mapping production using aerial imaging and photogrammetry. Eurotronics focussed on reducing the production cost by introducing new techniques into classic optical and mechanical photogrammetry improving the productivity, control, and accuracy while reducing time and investment cost.
Since 1974, the company started developing software and hardware tools for digital control of the mapmaking process. The very first full digital map production was achieved in 1978.
Through years of research, Orbit GT developed several automated processes in the field of mapmaking and geographic database management. Specialized versions of its software solutions are being used throughout the world. These software solutions were mainly ‘customized’ or ‘tailor-made’ solutions. During this period, Orbit GT shifted its focus from mapmaking to GIS software development, though today still active as database builders.
Since 1990, the third generation GIS software from Eurotronics became available using the name ‘GEO-C’, which integrates practical experience with State-Of-The-Art programming. Version 3.0 of this product has been rebaptized “OpenGIS”. This software product was one of the first GIS systems in the world to support storage of large amounts of spatial data in relational databases, with an open and standardized product.
Since 1995, fourth-generation GIS technology was initiated named ‘Orbit’ based on the all-new Java programming language. Orbit based solutions such as Orbit GIS, Orbit Strabo and a range of modules within a framework called ‘EDL’, gained momentum and became the market leader for local government and public safety solutions.
During the years 2000, Orbit GT was among the first to embrace mobile mapping and drone mapping. In 2007, Orbit GT flew one of the first drones to do stereo photography required for photogrammetric processing. An EDL-module was enhanced to create the first mobile mapping based Asset Inventory Management product in 2008.
In October 2010, the company founded as Eurotronics is renamed to Orbit GeoSpatial Technologies. The company continues to broaden its offering for governments and public safety, while at the same time deploying new initiatives towards the upcoming mobile mapping and UAV markets.
In January 2014, the company separated from the government and public safety business to focus fully on mobile mapping, and other emerging 3D mapping markets such as aerial oblique and indoor scanning. Orbit GT built up a global network of representants, linked with all and any hardware manufacturer, creating the first software solution and data standards for a broad application of 3d mapping. Orbit GT built a portfolio unique in the market to manage massive volumes of data typically used in Mobile Mapping, feature extraction and online sharing. Solutions are available on desktop, on-premises, and cloud-based.
In 2018, Orbit GT opens ‘Orbit GT Asia’, a Singapore office to address the growing Asian-Pacific market.
Today, Orbit GT is the market leader in 3D Mapping software solutions, with unique capacities for managing massive volumes of data, hardware-neutral solutions, and real-time fusion of street-level, aerial, drone, indoor and static data collection.
Orbit GeoSpatial Technologies is an independent family business. Today, management is executed by Peter Bonne, Johan Bonne and Herman Bonne, assisted by engineers in software development, photogrammetric engineering, surveying, services, education.
- Peter Bonne (CEO) focuses on Vision and Strategy, Business Development, Product Design, and Marketing
- Lomme Devriendt (CSO) heads the Sales Activities and Partner/Reseller relations
- Jeroen Vermeulen (COO) runs the Development and Customer Success teams
- Herman Bonne (CFO) heads the juridical, HR and account units
Orbit GeoSpatial Technologies is founded by Walter Bonne (1925-1998) as Eurotronics NV. Born in Ghent, Belgium 1925, a technical education taught him mechanical and optical design. In his first job, he learned about surveying and gained great interest in this field. He studied for surveyor in his spare time, and by 1953 went to Africa for a career as a surveyor. There, being employed by a large road & rail development company, he learned about photogrammetry and immediately understood the vast impact of such technique. Back in Europe, he founded his own surveying company, and got the degree of photogrammetric engineering at the ITC, Delft, Netherlands. He continued to give classes in that same school until 1969.
In 1962, he founded Aero Survey. With Aero Survey, he was one of the pioneers in independent photogrammetric map production. In 1971, he realized a national coverage of Belgium by orthophoto’s, flown within a single season, at that time a unique achievement.
Being skilled in mechanical design, optics, surveying, and photogrammetric engineering, he concluded that with the upcoming of computers many items in the photogrammetric production process could be improved. He undertook studies in electronics, founded Eurotronics in 1972 (Now ‘Orbit GT’), and started research and development. By 1978, hardware and software were built to automate the photogrammetric production process, and eliminate all manual phases : data captation, data processing, interactive correction and automatic plotting was realized.
From that moment on, the development of software for map production took its own way. By the mid ’80s, the ‘Mercator’ system was sold throughout Europe and South-America, providing many companies with specialized software for large scale mapping production.
In the ’90s, the hardware development again gained momentum which has resulted in the realization of the WB2000 Photogrammetric Production unit. It is fair to say this truly unique instrument, which combines precise mechanics and optics with electronics and GIS software, has been developed by a single man, assisted by his sons over the last years.
Walter Bonne died in 1998, age 73. His sons and daughter continue the business until today.