The landscape of surveying is changing, and this is good news for clients and their design teams.
At Orms we like to ask our clients to procure 3D surveys for our projects to allow us to start design work sooner and get access to more detailed and accurate information. While 3D survey models are more expensive than traditional 2D, they save design team’s time and offer access to very detailed point cloud information. This can be invaluable on large scale or heritage projects.
Access to 3D surveys early in the design process allows design teams to focus on design sooner, rather than spend time on building existing building in 3D to allow for design work to begin. 3D surveys provide access to more detailed information early in the design process and give more confidence to the client that design issues that may have been overlooked using 2D information will not go unnoticed.
At present, to turn point cloud data into an intelligent 3D model with doors, walls, roofs, floors, and windows someone needs to interpret data and model every single item manually, but this might be changing soon. Multiple companies are now trying to automate this process. Once they are successful this should hopefully translate into cheaper and faster 3D surveys for designers and clients.
The way point clouds are captured is also changing. It is no longer the case that all data is scanned by a static station (scanner on a tripod), that needs to be moved by operator between rooms (and often into multiple locations within one room). Survey companies are starting to use mobile mapping stations more akin to Google street view cars technology.