The Advantages of an Aerial Survey For Large Scale Commercial Projects

For a large-scale commercial project, it’s imperative that everything is planned out down to the last detail. Accurate data is important to avoid coming in over budget or suffering significant setbacks. One method of improving upon a large-scale commercial project is to complete a thorough and accurate aerial survey. There are many advantages to using an aerial survey drone, both at the beginning and throughout a commercial project.

1. Reduce costs through efficient, accurate surveying.

Large scale accurate surveying has an upfront cost but saves money over the length of the project. At the beginning stages of surveying, unmanned aerial surveying is more affordable than the alternative — manned surveying with helicopters and aircraft. Accurate surveys make it less likely that there will be issues and reworks throughout the commercial project, which will save both time and money. By ensuring that the project is built on accurate data, an unmanned aerial survey can also ensure that the project doesn’t encounter roadblocks throughout construction. As surveying occurs at the very beginning stages of a project, a delay in surveying could mean a delay on the project completion date.

2. Make simulations and models for building, repairs, and renovations.

Advanced software solutions can be used to take surveying data and make simulations and models. These models can be used for everything from initial project development to future repairs and renovations. Large scale commercial projects aren’t just about building a project site — they’re also about the long-term maintenance of the project.

With this accurate, comprehensive data, a construction company can plan well in ahead for future repairs and renovations, and project out when maintenance and renovations will be needed to keep the project up to standards.

3. Scan everywhere from busy commercial areas to over-grown lots.

Commercial areas can be complex — as can lots that have fallen into disrepair. Regardless of where the aerial survey is being completed, UAV scanning can be used to produce accurate and high-quality images ad point clouds. UAVs can get closer to the ground than manned vehicles and can use advanced technologies, such as LiDAR, to map the ground even when it isn’t visible. On foot or manned scanning will not be able to get the high-resolution information that a commercial project needs — at least, not without significant cost and personal risk. If your commercial project is on an area that requires accuracy and complexity, UAVs will be the preferred method of surveying.

4. Cover large areas in a minimal amount of time.

The faster flights on aa commercial project can begin, the more successful it will be. It can take a long time for a ground survey to be completed, during which time you may not be able to begin your project. UAVs can cover exceptionally large areas in a minimal amount of time — and, as noted above, these large areas can be over-grown or complex, and the surveying and scanning will still be done with accuracy. And though manned aerial vehicles can survey large plots of land, they are not generally able to get close enough to get the high-resolution that an aerial survey drone can provide.

5. Satisfy Your Investors.

Ultimately, aerial surveys make a project more predictable and more affordable — two things that investors love. If you want to ensure the future success of your large-scale commercial products, an aerial survey drone is a wise investment. This will ensure the high-quality of your organization’s reputation — in addition to improving on the safety of your project overall.

When it comes to large-scale commercial projects, the less guesswork is done, the better. Aerial survey drones can produce accurate, in-depth reporting and surveying of a project environment, to reduce the chances that something could potentially go wrong. This is why they are increasingly being used throughout commercial projects, especially construction. For more information about the benefits of aerial survey drones, contact the experts at Landpoint today.

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Cut Maintenance Costs with Drone Pipeline Inspections

More than 2.7 million miles of pipeline operate over federal ground. As pipelines are further developed, it becomes necessary to improve upon their cost-effectiveness while not sacrificing safety. New unmanned aerial vehicle (drone) technology can help. Pipelines have to be maintained to remain safe, and there are many advantages to using unmanned aerial vehicles for these tasks. Through sensors and scanners, UAVs can be used to maintain large-scale pipeline projects at minimal cost.

The Importance of Safety and Maintenance

The energy industry is required to maintain strict safety standards. There are substantial risks that are inherent to moving large volumes of volatile and hazardous materials. Though pipelines are constructed to be as reliable as possible, they can still break down over time due to high pressures of liquids and gasses. Without UAV pipeline inspections, these pipelines have to be manually inspected by aerial flight crews or ground based crews.

Traditional aerial flight crews are prohibitively expensive, which can ultimately lead to a pipeline company performing inspections less often than they should. This further increases the amount of overhead for the company, which can adversely impact how competitive and profitable the company can be. UAV pipeline inspections solve these problems, by providing fast, convenient inspection options, which improve overall reliability and safety.

The Advantages of Aerial Sensors

UAVs aren’t just used to perform visual inspections on pipelines. UAVs can be fitted with a number of sensors, which can be used to detect different types of pipeline damage. Some of these forms of pipeline damage wouldn’t be visible to physical inspections and therefore could not be caught by on foot inspectors. Catching these issues early on will lead to reduced costs and improved safety.

Detecting Thermal Leaks With Drones

Drones can be used to automatically sense increases in temperature surrounding the pipeline. This can reveal dangerous leaks before the leaks have been physically detected. Any leaks can then be recorded through GPS so that the leak can be located to be repaired as soon as possible.

Detecting Gas Leaks through Air Quality Detection

Thermal imaging isn’t the only way to detect gas leaks. Drones can also be fitted with sensors that are designed to detect issues with air quality. Methane and ethane can be detected through these sensors. Reports can then be generated regarding the precise location of the methane or ethane leak, so they can then be investigated by maintenance crews.

By performing these gas detection tests frequently, pipelines can reduce environmental damage and potential safety issues. Altogether, this creates a safer and more consistent work environment, as well as protecting the company’s reputation.

Locating the Precise Locations of Pipeline Damage

The archiving of damage data for future reference is one of the major challenges for modern pipeline maintenance. UAV pipeline inspections can be done frequently to identify any issues that have arisen before they become problems. As mentioned, the precise location of any identified damage can be reported and logged, which ensures that this type of damage isn’t missed and doesn’t become more significant over time. By making inspections faster, more effective, and more accurate, pipeline companies are better able to perform these inspections on a timely basis.

Identifying Physical Damage and Environmental Concerns

Finally, drone pipeline inspection is also able to see evidence of physical damage and environmental issues. Drones may be able to identify exposed pipelines, erosion, or the overgrowth of plant-life that could be slowly intruding upon the pipeline project. This can be done over uneven terrain, which may not be easily physically inspected.

Drones can provide extremely comprehensive UAV pipeline inspections, with a wide array of sensors and imaging. All of this can reduce the maintenance costs associated with pipeline installation and production. For more information, contact the experts at Landpoint.

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Tips for Finding the Right Municipal Land Surveying Company

When it comes to municipal land surveying, it’s important to find both an accurate and cost-effective solution. Municipalities will need to compare multiple quotes for their land surveying to determine which surveyor is best-suited to their needs. But what should municipalities be looking for in a surveyor? Here are some tips for finding the right land surveying company for your municipal projects.

Getting the Right Scanning Technology

Municipal land surveying projects can be completed either through high-resolution laser scanning or high-resolution photo imaging. These two technologies are referred to respectively as LiDAR and photogrammetry. Some land surveying companies will provide both technologies, while others may provide only a single service. Still, others may be able to blend the two technologies, for even clearer and more accurate imaging.

In general, LiDAR is a more expensive but more precise solution, which can be used for producing surveys in areas that may be over-grown or otherwise obscured. Photogrammetry is a less refined solution, which can provide highly detailed 2D and 3D point clouds, but only of what is visible from the air and line of sight. Photogrammetry is also a technology that is highly reliant upon its software, as the data acquired through photogrammetry needs to be converted and analyzed with algorithms on powerful computing nodes.

Using Unmanned Aerial Vehicles

UAVs are well-known for improving the safety of work sites. Unmanned aerial vehicles can perform land surveys without risk to the operators. Ground survey teams can take a long time whereas air crews must travel by helicopter and plane. To maintain the safety of an air crew, the air vehicle must remain at a safe height. Comparatively, UAVs can fly much closer to the ground, thereby capturing more details of the terrain.

Many land surveying companies are now moving towards UAVs to improve safety, cost, and quality. UAVs are less likely to cause delays in a project and cost less overall, due to the fact that they don’t require a crew to operate. This also means that a municipal project can be scanned more frequently at a lower cost, thereby reducing the chances that the project may need to have portions of it redone or corrected.

When there is a choice, most organizations should go land surveying companies that utilize drone technology, as there are few advantages to using manned aircraft.

End-to-End Data Collection and Processing

Some land surveying companies only collect data — the data is then sent elsewhere for processing, after which the data may be sent still elsewhere to be stored. Each of these stages can delay a project, as the land surveying company itself will not be able to guarantee when the data will be processed or where it will be accessible. Alternatively, there are some companies that perform end-to-end data collection.

End-to-end data collection companies can complete everything from the initial survey to data storage and distribution themselves. With internal processing, they can guarantee delivery and ensure that the end product is of high quality. Further, with cloud-based data storage, the surveying company can provide instant access to the data that has been collected from anywhere in the world.

All of this will reduce costs. Companies that can do everything internally can provide a complete, all-in-one package for all of their services. Companies that must outsource part of their operations are going to lead to a more expensive project long-term.

The most affordable solution isn’t always the best solution. When it comes to land surveying companies, you need to determine whether the company has the right mix of technology and affordability. The above tips can help you drill down to the features that your municipality needs while saving money. Contact Landpoint to find out more.

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How Oil And Gas Engineering and Surveying Companies Are Evolving

From drone data collection to SaaS solutions, the way that surveying companies are collecting, storing, and distributing data is changing. Oil and gas surveying companies are changing the way they do business to reduce overhead, improve safety, and produce better results overall. Here are just a few ways these companies that offer surveying and engineering support are evolving with the times.

Hybrid Cloud Solutions – Interfacing with key parties

Surveying companies are collecting more data than ever before. Rather than providing two-dimensional reporting, surveying companies are now providing detailed three-dimensional point clouds, models and simulations. For the oil and gas industry, in particular, this is incredibly important; the improved accuracy and quantity of the data can make the project both faster and safer, as there will be fewer unexpected discoveries and delays.

This data has to be stored somewhere. By storing data on hybrid cloud infrastructure, surveying companies can improve the accessibility of data, reduce the possibility of it being lost, and store large volumes of data without any personal investment of data space.

Utilizing Software-as-a-Service

Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) moves computational power and data to a remote server, rather than having to perform complex calculations or data modeling on-premise. Surveying and engineering companies utilizing SaaS can provide more detailed results faster, and often at a lower overall cost to the customer. These SaaS suites are highly competitive and make it easier for businesses to scale, as they no longer need to invest in physical infrastructure and hardware. For instance, you can view billions of survey grade points in a web browser or on a mobile device.

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Implementing Machine Learning and Automation

The more an oil and gas field project can be automated, the better. In recent years, the oil and gas industry has embraced the Internet of Things, adding sensors onto their construction projects and automating many of the routine maintenance processes. In engineering and surveying, oil and gas companies are looking to improve the amount of automation they do and add machine learning improvements, such as areas where 3D printing can be utilized.

Drones or UAVs (unmanned aerial vehicles) are another area in which robotics and automation are being used to improve the consistency and cost of surveying. Through drones, detailed surveys can be completed in a fraction of the time.

Investigating AR and VR

Many engineering and construction companies are looking into augmented reality and virtual reality systems. Augmented reality allows construction companies and engineers to view aspects of their surroundings through a digital overlay, while virtual reality lets engineers, developers, and planners enter into a virtual simulation of the world. Both of these can be combined with the appropriate surveying data to run simulations and explore projects before they are completed.

These are only a few of the new trends that are emerging. With advanced technology, engineering and surveying companies can collect the data they need faster, more accurately modeling their projects and ensuring that they come in under budget and on deadline. Technology is constantly changing and improving, and oil and gas companies are going to need to be aware of these new advancements if they want to remain competitive.

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4 Ways Pipeline Surveying Services Are Changing

As the oil and gas industry continues to evolve, pipeline surveying has become even more important. Pipeline surveying has to be completed both thoroughly and efficiently; an inaccurate survey can be environmentally dangerous and physically hazardous, while a lengthy survey can cost a business substantial amounts of money due to commercial commitments. New technologies have made it easier for pipeline companies to get the results that they need in a cost-effective way. Here are a few ways in which pipeline services are changing.

1. UAVs Are Becoming Commonplace

Drones, also known as UAVs (unmanned aerial vehicles), are steadily becoming more common throughout pipeline surveying. Traditional surveys were either done on foot or done by manned aerial vehicles. Neither of these were optimal solutions for many projects. On the ground, surveyors were often unable to get highly detailed information, needed to work slowly, and simply could not traverse some areas. In the air, manned vehicles were expensive and could not get high-resolution images of lower terrain. Both of these options were potentially risky to surveyors.

Comparatively, drones are great for pipeline surveying because they can cover large areas of the ground from a low vantage point, getting higher resolution images without any associated risk.

2. LiDAR is Being Used Interchangeably With Photogrammetry

Another technology that surveyors are utilizing to deliver more accurate results is LiDAR and Photogrammetry. LiDAR is a method of surveying that uses lasers to map the ground below. This mapping can cut straight through underbrush, thereby producing more accurate pictures of the terrain. As 3D modeling and simulations become more important to the process of construction, LiDAR becomes the more popular type of surveying. In more open areas, photogrammetry is the method of choice for producing point cloud deliverables, which used photos and 3D representations of the land to create a model of the terrain.

Though LiDAR is better for some situations, it is also more expensive.

3. Working With End-to-End Providers

In the past, surveying companies may have worked with data analysis firms or may have outsourced much of their work to third-parties. Today, pipeline surveying is better done by companies that can provide end-to-end service, collecting their data and analyzing their own data to create better, more accurate, and more consistent results.

Advances in Software-as-a-Service technology and cloud-based data processing has made it possible for more surveying companies to handle their own data, reducing their reliance upon third-party processors. This reduces potential delays as well as improving the overall accuracy of the process, as data does not have to change hands.

4. Bringing Data to the (Hybrid) Cloud

It’s easy to see the influence of the cloud across all industries, and pipeline surveying is no exception. Through a hybrid cloud, organizations are now able to connect to their surveying data from anywhere, thereby making it easier for project managers, engineers, and construction teams to all work together. Cloud access can provide for more thorough reporting and analysis, and ensure that data is not lost. Data storage itself has become prohibitively expensive otherwise, as many organizations need to collect tremendously large volumes of data for their 3D models.

It’s easy to see how pipeline surveying may look in five or even ten years. Not only are UAVs going to be used more often, but the quality and accuracy of scans are likely to continue to improve. 3D modeling is going to become more important at the early stages of project development, and many construction companies may start using augmented reality and virtual reality during their pipeline surveying.

As of now, pipeline surveying has become a faster, easier, and more reliable process through the adoption of new data collection and analysis technologies. From the advantages of aerial drones to the data processing power of the cloud, pipeline surveys are now safer, more affordable, and more efficient.

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How Professional Land Surveyors Can Close the Gap Between Engineering and Construction

Intelligent modeling is becoming important to the engineering and construction industries, with organizations that support BIM now far more competitive than businesses that have not yet made the jump. BIM is still a new and emerging technology with many improvements to be made and applications to be discovered, and land surveying may be able to help bridge the gap that now exists between engineering and construction.

The Advantages of BIM

Business intelligence modeling creates accurate, 3D models of projects. Engineers can build structures and properties across surveyed land, in order to determine the most optimal configurations of these projects. 3D models create a more reliable simulation of the way that a project will be, identifying potential project flaws through simulations. Engineers are able to analyze their design elements, improve potential conflicts, and simulate scenarios such as tracking the sun throughout the year.

Essentially, 3D BIM give engineers the opportunity to “try before they buy.” They can create complex digital simulations of a project that will reveal potential risks and issues with the project before the project even begins, therefore improving the success of the project and reducing the amount of time the project will take. In terms of cost analysis, 3D BIM makes it possible for businesses to project different changes to their structures that could save them money, reducing cost while not sacrificing on quality.

By doing work on 3D BIM, engineers can provide more valuable information to construction companies. However, they need to start with the right data and technology in hand — that is where professional land surveyors come in.

Professional Land Surveying and Business Intelligence Modeling

To be accurate, 3D BIM needs to begin with a detailed representation of the surrounding area. For some projects, such as an inner city building, this may be less important. For others, such as oil and gas pipelines, this is an important factor. Structures are going to need to be developed around the surrounding environment in a way to take advantage of that environment. Consider solar panel installations: they need to be configured so they can take advantage of the sun throughout the day and year, without interrupting each other, and while taking up as little space as possible.

Professional land surveying can be done that will take a 3D scan of the surrounding area. This extremely accurate, high-resolution scan can be digitally modeled and used to build structures. From there, the structures can be created with more realistic and accurate simulations, easily making it so that construction can begin and end on schedule. Engineers will find it easier to work with accessible data, while the engineers and the construction team will be able to collaborate and communicate based on a clear 3D design.

Most importantly, the land surveying that is completed at the beginning of a project has to be as accurate as possible; inaccuracies in the early stages of surveying can cascade into serious problems later in the project. Any delays or complications during the survey process will translate into time and budget overages later on, as engineers and construction workers will have to adjust.

In general terms, BIM makes it easier for engineering and construction teams to work together, as they can view an accurate representation of what the project will be, and they can easily collaborate based on this shared data. Engineering and construction teams will be able to modify areas of the project on-the-fly to test out new recommendations and to experiment with differences in build and material. And it all begins with the process of land surveying.

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Why It Makes Sense To Use a UAV for Energy Projects

Tips for Choosing High Definition 3D Laser Scanning Services

Speed, cost, and accuracy — there are many factors you need to consider when you’re choosing a high-definition, 3D laser scanning service. If you find the right service, you won’t need to compromise between these very critical factors. However, you’ll need to take care to find the right service and the solution. Here are some of the most important benefits you should consider when comparing different services.

Request UAV-Acquired Data

Chances are good that you have heard about drones being used for aerial data collection. UAVs can collect extraordinary amounts of data extremely quickly and can drill down to get very high-resolution scans. While a traditional, terrestrial laser scan may still be needed in some cases, most surveys can now be done by drone.

When it comes to high definition laser scanning services, accuracy is extraordinarily important. Low-resolution scans conducted either high up by plane or low to the ground may make it more difficult to complete simulations and analyze the relevant data.

Get the Latest, Most Accurate Scanning Technology

It may be worth it to consider the age of the scanning technology that your service is using. As the number of LiDAR applications grows (think cutting-edge technology like self-driving cars), so too does the technology. Data processing tools can now be used to automatically identify certain landscape features, drilling down to architectural and engineering features and offering not only scans but simulations that depict the surrounding area.

Organizations that use the latest technologies will be able to provide the most value to your business by offering scans that are not only of a higher quality but also faster and more cost-effective.

Look for Fast, Streamlined Data Processing

Organizations that complete end-to-end data analysis and processing, such as Landpoint, are preferred, as they can move from surveying and scanning directly to creating representations and simulations of your scanned space. The more streamlined a process is, the less likely you are to run into issues and roadblocks or need to wait as data is transferred from one entity to another to be processed.

If you want to reduce the chances of error and improve the general accuracy and efficiency of your operations, it’s best to work with a single data scanning and analysis company. An organization that has fast turnaround times and is able to analyze and process data in as few steps as possible is going to fit into your operating workflows more easily.

Find a Service With Online Data Sharing

Online data sharing, including SaaS solutions and integration with other third-party products, can make life easier for your organization. Through online data sharing, your organization can easily disseminate data to all of your offices. Your ideal high-resolution scanning service should be able to provide your data in a format that is easy for your organization to plug into its workflow.

In addition to online data sharing, you may want to look for third-party integration that works with the software suites that you have available, such as industry standards including CAD platforms. This will make it easier for you to import and work with the data once it has been completed and analyzed, and sidestep issues of conversion and further analysis.

High-definition 3D laser scanning has undergone developed quote a bit in the past decade. Higher resolution imaging is available at lower costs and increased accuracy, but you still need to be able to find a reliable partner to work with. If you’re looking high-definition 3D Laser scanning services, consider inquiring with Landpoint today.

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