August 10 – Munich to Kaufering (55 km, 33 miles)

August 10 Route Map

This morning I got to take a close look at Martin’s computerized van. He owns a company that surveys, photographs, and documents roadways. In order to do this, he and his partners have spent the last 10 years building an integrated system of video cameras, GPS receivers, 3-d laser scanners, inertial navigation systems, computers, and related software. It’s all mounted on top of, and inside, a standard panel van. It’s basically a Google Street Car on massive doses of steroids. The idea is that while they drive along roads, the system is scanning the roadway and creating a georeferenced digital elevation model of it, while at the same time recording georeferenced video and still photos. It’s a pretty amazing looking system.

After looking at Martin’s van I went by train to visit Klaus Blachnitzky’s family in Kaufering, which is about 55 kilometers west of Munich. I arrived there around 2:00 pm and was met by Tim Blachnitzky, Klaus’ grandson. After a short walk from the train station to his house, I met his wife and three kids. We all then took a drive to the nearby town of Landsberg, where went on a walking tour of the old part of town. Tim and his wife Britta pointed out all the interesting sights such as the town wall, guard towers, the old – but incredibly ornate – churches, and so on. Interesting stuff. After that we went to Tim’s Dad’s house. His Dad, Horst, is Klaus’ son. We had a good time reminiscing about Klaus and afterward went via autobahn to a nearby biergarten for dinner, where Tim’s brother Ben met us. I took the train back to Munich and arrived at Martin’s house around 11:30 pm.

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