LiDAR Data Processing: Why It Helps to Have a Surveyor Who Does It In-House

LiDAR data processing: what is it, and why is it important to have a surveyor who does it in-house? When you collect LiDAR data information, the data is either processed by the surveyor, or it’s sent out to a third-party processing plant. When data is processed by the surveyor, it is more likely to be made available quickly, and the risk of error is reduced. 

LiDAR Data Processing: Why Does the Data Need to be Analyzed?

When LiDAR scans are completed, they produce a large array of completely unprocessed information. LiDAR sends out lasers and detects when the lasers hit something. By calculating the amount of time it takes for the lasers to hit something, LiDAR can figure out the distance. But that calculation is incredibly important, and needs to include things such as how quickly the drone was moving; otherwise, the landscape could be stretched and warped. 

A property land surveyor will collect LiDAR data. But the raw data isn’t going to tell anyone much of anything, because it relies on processing to create an actual map. Thus, terrestrial laser scanning is actually done in two parts. The first part is the data capture, and the second part is the data analysis. Many property land surveyors will submit their data to a third-party for analysis, but an end-to-end surveyor does it on their own.

Why Is It Good to Have a Surveyor Who Does Their Own Data Processing?

First: Having an end-to-end surveyor saves you money. Rather than having to essentially pay two companies to complete different tasks, you’re paying a single company to collect data and then analyze it. Since it all happens within a single company, they can give you a better rate. A surveyor who doesn’t perform their own analysis will need to pass the cost of third-party analysis on to you.

  • Before-Oil & Gas Facility
    After-Oil & Gas Facility
    Laser Scan Oil & Gas Facility Model

But it isn’t just about cost; it’s also about time. When done by third parties, data processing can take much longer, because your property land surveyor isn’t in direct control of the process. You may need to wait a significant amount of time for your survey, which simply isn’t acceptable during the survey stages of many projects. For many projects, nothing can be done until the survey has been completed, and a significant delay can cost a lot of money.

Accuracy is also important. Having an in-house data processor makes a property land surveyor more accurate. LiDAR data is only as accurate as the collection process, and surveyors need to ensure that the data is accurate. Someone not involved in the process of trying to interpret the data could be wrong about the data. How high the LiDAR camera was, how fast it was moving, and whether it was tilted will all control whether the data could potentially be incorrect. 

And there are other issues. A land surveyor is the only one who can legally testify to the accuracy of a data set, because they’re the only ones who are able to reliably guarantee the data set. If a company doesn’t provide end-to-end data analysis, it’s very likely that there may be some difference between the data collected and its analysis. 

Storing and Distributing Data

In addition to collecting and processing data, the data will also need to be stored and distributed. Not all companies will handle all of this: You may need to store and maintain your own survey data once it’s been completed. Landpoint automatically connects its data sets to industry-standard software suites, which make it possible for surveys to be shared and accessed from anywhere. This solution prevents data from being damaged or overwritten, while still letting companies leverage them to the fullest extent. 

When it comes to terrestrial laser scanning, there are two important processes: data collection and data analysis. A surveyor who does both will be more cost-effective, accurate, and timely. If you work with a company that splits up its surveying and processing, you’re more likely to experience issues related to accuracy. 

Are you ready to find out more about the benefits of LiDAR laser scanning? Contact Landpoint to find out what sets us apart. 

Surveys at Scale - How Landpoint Tackles Survey Projects of Any Size

Connecting Design, Engineering, and Construction: Surveys at All Stages of the Process

Surveys are used throughout all stages of the construction process, from a pre-construction survey to ongoing maintenance and repair surveys. A good survey can identify potential problems with the construction site, locating security flaws and hidden dangers. Here’s an in-depth look on how surveying can improve the effectiveness and safety of construction projects. 

During the Design Stage: Before a Project Starts

Surveys excel before the project even starts. A pre-construction survey will be completed to gain a better understanding of the site that is to be developed. Surveys can detect changes in elevation that have to be addressed, as well as any existing construction that needs to be broken down. If there are trees and rocks that need to be cleared, this will be noted during this stage. 

Once a 3D survey has been taken at the beginning of a project, it can be used in a 3D simulation. These simulations are used to test out designs; architects and engineers can place their construction in a 3D world and see how it will interact with the surrounding environment and weather. The more accurate these surveys are, the more accurate the project can be.

Simulating a project early on reduces the risk for costly construction reworks. When everyone involved can see exactly how the construction will look (and all elements have been accounted for), it’s less likely that the project will run into issues.  

During the Construction: Keeping the Project on Time

During a project, surveys can be used to compare construction plans and models, identifying any major issues and avoiding them before they become time-consuming and costly. Surveys can check the construction site to see if there are any issues emerging, such as security issues or safety hazards. Additionally, these surveys can compare the finalized design with the current product, to make sure that major construction milestones are being met.

Drones can be fitted with both LiDAR (to scan the construction site) and sensors (to identify issues such as overheating). Photogrammetric scans can also be added for more human readable data. Once scans have been completed, construction companies can make sure that the project is shaping up as it should be. If any sensors are triggered, the drones can automatically report its GPS coordinates.

Drones are particularly useful during large scale construction projects, such as pipelines, as they can scan the area more consistently than a human surveyor. A human surveyor may take days to cover the entire construction site. A drone can perform a quick flyover, and can even connect to the sensors located on the IoT. 

When these scans are taken, they can be sent directly back to those in charge of the building development. This provides complete transparency throughout the construction process and gives stakeholders the opportunity to interject if the project doesn’t seem to be going the way that they expected.

After the Construction: Maintenance and Repairs

Construction surveying and layout doesn’t end once the project is done. Once the project has been completed, a final survey can be taken to make sure that everything was built correctly. After this, regular inspections can be used to fine wear and tear. In the pipeline industry, inspections may find areas in which overgrowth could be threatening the line. In wind farms, regular inspections can identify equipment that may be close to breaking.

Performing these types of regular inspections allows a company to find, locate, and mitigate damage much faster, controlling the fidelity of the project and its potential for downtime. Regular inspections improve the safety of a construction site, and ensure that the final project is updated and repaired efficiently. The longer a site goes without needed repairs, the more expensive and extensive those repairs become.


Drone construction surveying and layout is one of the most cost-effective methods of controlling a construction project. Before, during, and after the project, drones can be used to make sure that the project is proceeding on a timely basis. Drones help with identifying repair and maintenance issues even when projects have been completed. From the beginning of a construction project to the end, surveys are able to yield fantastic results. Want to learn more? Contact Landpoint today.

Surveys at Scale - How Landpoint Tackles Survey Projects of Any Size