3D Laser Scanning Services and Virtual Construction

Today’s construction project managers have to deal with challenges that their predecessors could never have imagined. Whether it’s building new infrastructure projects to support a growing population or replacing aging infrastructure that no longer functions as required, project managers frequently find themselves having to address multiple levels of complexity, while simultaneously ensuring speed and efficiency.

Since they’re facing new challenges, it would not make sense for project managers to continue relying on the modeling tools they commonly used in the past. Tape measures, levels, and other simple tools may have served them well before now, but they’re simply not up to the challenges facing modern construction projects. Groundbreaking new technologies such as 3D laser scanning and building information modeling (BIM) are helping engineers and project managers take a new approach to addressing the new challenges facing them.

Modern trends in BIM

BIM is not a new concept, but some recent developments are making it possible for industry leaders to start applying BIM in new, innovative ways. One example of such a trend is the growing importance of mobility in BIM. Now, with growing numbers of companies able to provide mobile access to their stakeholders wherever they might by in the world, it’s easier than ever before to get BIM models to the people who need them to do their jobs well, right when they need them.

Another trend that’s opening new doors in BIM is the growing affordability of 3D laser scanning. It is now easier than ever for companies to capture extremely detailed and accurate laser scans of a site or building, and then feed that data into their 3D BIM models. This ensures that those models will be as accurate as possible.

Working with a complete 3D laser scanning services provider helps increase efficiency

One result of the growing availability of 3D laser scanning is that a lot of new scanning providers are making their way into the marketplace. These 3D laser scanning services providers offer their customers varying levels of experience and expertise, so it’s very important that customers take the time to properly evaluate the decision and make the right choice.

Ideally, you would want to work with a provider that offers end-to-end services, from the initial scanning all the way through to delivering the final models. Working with the same company for all these services will help streamline the process and cut down on duplication of efforts. This means that your finished models will be ready for you to use sooner and that you may end up paying significantly less than you would if you sourced services from multiple vendors.

Provide complete, accurate information across the entire project

Today’s laser scanners can take up to 1 million measurements per second. Clearly, we’re talking about a level of detail and accuracy that previous generations of construction professionals would never have thought possible. Feeding these scans into BIM models and pairing them with the results of photogrammetry conducted by drone is a great way to help stakeholders across the entire project make better, more informed decisions. By viewing an area exactly how it currently exists, and then modeling proposed changes before they’re made, construction project managers can take a lot of guesswork out of the equation.

In addition, BIM models based on laser scanning data allow office workers to make sure their project documentation is exactly right before they send it off to the field for use. Getting these things right in advance is a great way to cut down on expensive and time-consuming rework.


Why Land Survey Companies Are Focusing on Automation

With increasing complexity and a customer base that is growing all the time, oil and gas companies are always on the lookout for new opportunities to increase efficiency and improve results across the project lifecycle. Land survey companies that work closely with oil and gas companies to enable their success have taken up this charge, exploring a variety of new technologies to help drive automation. By automating key project tasks, land survey companies can help their oil and gas companies enjoy a number of key benefits, and ultimately be successful in a changing industry landscape.

Read on for a closer look at how land survey companies are using automation, and how this new trend might benefit you.

Faster turnaround times and lower costs with GIS

For many project managers in the oil and gas space, the land surveying process has long been a necessary evil. Although a good land survey can drive value throughout the project lifecycle, there will always be people who look at it as one more hurdle they have to clear before they can start on the actual project work.

Luckily, with modern technology such as GIS mapping, these project managers can take advantage of automation that allows them to get quick and cost-effect surveys without having to sacrifice accuracy. By removing manual data capture and processing from the equation, today’s land survey companies are providing their customers with a more efficient approach to getting the survey data they need.

More data to be shared across project stakeholder teams

Across industries, the advent of big data is helping key stakeholders make better, more informed decisions, and the oil and gas industry is certainly no exception. Land survey companies can use drones to help their customers take this data-driven approach.

These unmanned aerial vehicles can cover more terrain than traditional land surveying teams, including difficult-to-reach areas. This ensures that oil and gas companies will have plenty of relevant survey data to share with their engineers, planners and construction managers. As a result, none of these stakeholders will ever find themselves in the dark; instead, they can feel confident they have the insights they need to make the right decision.

Data can be fed directly into machine control

Just as data is helping humans do their jobs better, it can also help improve the way construction machines such as graders and pavers operate. By feeding data directly to these machines, construction project managers can feel certain that the machines will operate exactly the way they should operate, based on the actual conditions around them.

No matter how experienced human machine operators are, they are still human, so there will always be the possibility for them to make an expensive and time-consuming error. Automating this aspect of the project can help ensure precision, and provide one less thing for the project manager to worry about.

Monitoring site changes to help with planning and construction

Gathering land survey data manually is expensive and time-consuming enough the first time around; as a result, very few companies would bother with performing this process more than is absolutely necessary.

On the other hand, gathering data with drones is such a quick, streamlined process that there’s nothing to stop a company from performing multiple surveys. This allows them to keep up with any changes that might be occurring at the site over time so that they can properly account for those changes when creating their project plan.

Final thoughts

For oil and gas companies, the challenge is clear: companies that make the most of automation can gain a competitive advantage, while those that don’t will fall behind. Shouldn’t you work with a land survey company that shares your dedication to pursuing automation? Contact Landpoint


Drone Surveying: How Surveyors Overcome the Data Deluge

In the drone surveying industry, like in many other industries, data is becoming more important than ever. As survey results become more accurate and detailed, UAV survey companies will have to handle larger amounts of data. Those companies that are able to keep up with the data deluge will be able to provide their clients with unprecedented levels of business value, delivered without delay. At the same time, companies that aren’t properly prepared for exponential data growth will find themselves overwhelmed, and the surveys they collect will be of little value to their clients.

As a result, project managers that need to hire a drone surveying provider should stop thinking about potential providers as drone companies, and start thinking about them as data companies that happen to use drones. This post will explore what that shift in perspective entails.

Transfer and process data quickly

Capturing data during the initial UAV survey is certainly important, as getting the survey right is integral to eventually getting the project right. However, once the data has been captured, speed becomes the new priority.

If a surveying provider can transfer data from the field with no latency—a real challenge in the age of massive data growth—and automate key aspects of the initial processing, then they can provide their clients with a useable product in less than 24 hours. This ensures that the land surveying process won’t form a bottleneck that prevents the project from being completed on time and under budget.

Make data easy to store and access

Even after the data has gone through initial processing, surveying providers can offer their customers greater business value by helping them store that data. Many surveyors provide cloud storage options for their customers. As a result, those customers can feel confident they’ll always have the storage capacity they need, without having to build the storage infrastructure themselves.

In addition, a cloud storage platform can be used to ensure universal access to the stakeholders who need it, from any place and on any device. Ideally, the surveyor will allow users to access the data they need in a non-proprietary web interface.

Make it easy to find key insights hidden in data

One of the greatest challenges any organization can face when it comes to data is separating the data that’s pertinent to a particular project from the data that isn’t. As the amount of data entering systems continues to skyrocket, this will only continue to become more difficult.

Surveying providers can help their customers tackle this issue by creating advanced algorithms that help automate this process. Instead of requiring users to manually comb through mountains of data looking for the bits that interest them—an extremely time-consuming and expensive process—these algorithms do most of the heavy lifting, leaving the clients with only the data they need.

Create the ideal infrastructure for managing data

One of the reasons it’s so important for surveyors to provide data services to their customers is that it’s simply not practical for a customer to build a hardware infrastructure to manage that data themselves. The rate of data growth is so rapid that it increasingly makes sense for a few service providers to manage data on behalf of their customers, taking advantage of economies of scale.

Surveying providers are able to provide top-of-the-line data management infrastructures, based on the latest hardware, because managing their customers’ data is an integral part of their business. This allows them to develop expertise and efficiencies that customers would never be able to develop on their own while keeping up with the latest changes in land surveying.

Final thoughts

In an era increasingly defined by data, it’s no longer enough for a surveyor to simply capture data for their customers and then leave them to their own devices. To learn more about how a data-savvy drone surveying provider can create important benefits for your project, contact us at Landpoint today.