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Using LiDAR for site documentation

Location

Rovinj, Croatia

Scan time

20 minutes per scan

Size

1110m x 700m

Scanned

Campsite

Industry

Surveying

Whether you are cruising down the Adriatic coast, visiting the famous Game of Thrones filmsets in Dubrovnik or experiencing some of Croatia’s famous cities; with visitors to Croatia more than doubling since 2010, tourism has become an important part of the Croatian economy.


In the North sits the Istrian peninsula, a place known for its beauty, history, amazing food, and a place tourists flock to year on year both domestically and internationally. A sharp increase in visitors has meant that tourism sector has needed to adapt to the exponential growth.


The Maistra group is one of Croatia’s leading tourist companies. They manage 18 hotels, 11 tourist villages and 6 campsites in sought out destinations such as Rovinj, Vrsar, Zagreb and Dubrovnik. With so much property to manage, they need quick and efficient ways to keep their site documentation up to date. In early 2021 they approached GeoSLAMs Croatian dealer, Geocentar, requesting a scan of one of their campsites in Rovinj on the Istrian peninsula.

Working with the ZEB Horizon in Rovinj

Due to the size of the site, 1100m x 700m, the team at Geo-Centar opted to tackle the scan using GeoSLAMs ZEB Horizon, plus aerial photogrammetry. The aim of the survey was to create up to date campsite documentation in the form of 2D vector maps, high resolution 2D raster maps, georeferenced imagery, and a digital terrain model with contours. As a result of the campsites age and need to modernisation, the documentation will serve as a reference for design purposes.


Combining both high resolution orthophotos of the area with the point cloud from the ZEB Horizon, the team were able to capture data quickly, accurately and without disruption. By utilising the walk-and-scan method of capturing data, they were able to make light work of the task.

Being able to walk and scan is a true blessing in such situations since any other scanning method is either much slower or much more expensive.

In total, 10 scans were conducted which mainly focused on buildings, terrain covered with vegetation and other objects that would be tough to capture with aerial photography. Each scan took approximately 20 minutes, so the team were able to cover the entire 1100m x 700m in just over 3 hours. Using the scans, the team were able to extract roads, sports fields, fences, stairs buildings and roads.

Post Scan

During the scan, the team used a survey grade GNSS receiver to georeference the data. The team used GeoSLAM software to accurately georeference the scans which enabled them to correct any trajectory drifts that may have occurred during the scan. This further ensured that accurate and quality data was delivered to the client.

In addition, the team were able to georeference images taken alongside the scan and open them in GeoSLAM Draw. The software was then used to export the web version (HTML) of the top view layout containing the location of the images. This HTML was easily shared with investors and engineers working on the same project, providing a visual impression.

The pointcloud data was exported to 3rd party software, where the team were able to create the documentation and maps for their client.

Results

The team were successfully able to map the campsite and extract the data needed to create high quality survey maps, a digital terrain model and contours, which will now be used to modernise the campsite.

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    How Barberton Mines are using handheld LiDAR to improve efficiency and promote safety

    Location

    Mpumalanga, South Africa

    Scan time

    Approx. 10-15 minutes per scan

    Size

    Size differ per solution

    Scanned

    Barberton Mines

    Industry

    Mining

    Mining in South Africa

    The mining industry in South Africa contributes R350 billion to the economy annually, with an estimated R35 trillion of resources left to mine. Mining companies in Africa and across the globe are continually reviewing their ways of working and best practices for mining safely, efficiently, and sustainably. Research and development play a big role in these changes, with early adopters of new technologies benefitting the most. 

    Barberton Mines has been operational for 130 years and is located in Mpumalanga, South Africa. Consisting of several mines, including Fairview, Sheba, and New Consort, they produce ± 80,000 oz of gold annually. In recent years, Barberton has evaluated new technologies to make its mining processes fast, safe, and cost-effective.

    One of the ways in which Barberton Mines investigated new technologies, was by finding ways to improve their survey workflows. They adopted static-based LiDAR solutions to produce accurate 3D models and became one of the first users of handheld SLAM solutions in 2014. 

    Why did they choose handheld SLAM?

    While static-based scanners are highly accurate, the survey team at Barberton Mines needed a quick and versatile solution for the variety of mining methods employed on the different mines and ore-bodies. The goal was simple; to accurately and safely capture data daily for ongoing analysis of the mining production. In addition, they needed a solution that could easily handle the rugged terrain and environment that mines are so often known for.

    Barberton Mines chose to reassess their underground mapping technology to improve the speed and accuracy of their survey operations and increase productivity in the mines. 

    How GeoSLAM fits in at Barberton Mines

    Barberton Mines was the first mine in Sub-Saharan Africa to use GeoSLAM technology when they purchased a ZEB1 in 2014. The results and continued success on the mine prompted them to invest in 4 ZEB Revo’s in 2019, which are still in use today.

    The ZEB Revo is lightweight and accurate, making it the perfect tool for surveying. The survey team can complete scans of the mines in half the time, and the process is repeatable. These capabilities have contributed to Barberton Mines streamlining their workflows, long-term cost savings, and greater returns on investment. 

    The scanner’s ease-of-use only requires one person on-site to capture data. Furthermore, it doesn’t require professional training to use the equipment so operators can capture data in parts of the mine that surveyors cannot access for safety reasons. This casts a virtual eye on areas of the mine previously unseen by the surveyors and creates an opportunity to review old tunnels.

    Finally, the lack of extensive training required to learn how to operate the scanner benefits new employees and the mine in general. It takes less than an hour to learn how to use the equipment and to process the final point cloud data, allowing surveyors to spend more time assessing final deliverables and finding ways to improve efficiencies in the mining process.

    GeoSLAMs scanners have exceeded our expectations and have helped to achieve our goals where other mapping methods could not.”
    – Thys Smith, Chief Surveyor at Barberton Mines

    Solutions

    Having originally invested in handheld scanners for underground mapping, Barberton Mines have since adopted the technology for other applications, further increasing their return on investment. The scanners are now operating across three key aspects of Barberton’s mining process.

    Production Progress Mapping

    The original and most common use for scanning is Production Progress Mapping. Barberton completes daily scans of the mines, bringing the data back for regular analysis of production progress mapping. 

    The scanned areas are approximately 300 m3 and using GeoSLAM technology, they can scan large areas in about 10-15 minutes. In addition, because the scanners are handheld, production at the mine isn’t compromised by having to stop miners from doing their jobs while scanning is in process. 

    Using the ZEBs, surveyors no longer need to be underground for extended periods, unlike previous methods. They begin their scans in a safe area, proceed to the mining faces, and finish back in the safe area while capturing the data needed – a completely repeatable and efficient process.

    Stockpile Measurements

    Barberton Mines has 5-6 stockpiles that make up 4000 cubic tons of material. They frequently measure the volume of these stockpiles, to ensure they have accurate and up-to-date information on their resources. 

    Simply walking around the stockpiles with a scanner and importing the data into 3rd party software, provides the survey team with all the information they need to produce required reports. 

    Health and Safety

    One example of where scanning has improved health and safety is the mapping of transport shafts. To comply with safety regulations, surveyors frequently scan the shafts to look for rock movement or deformation that might require further investigation. 

    They found that scanning tunnels from the chairlift with a handheld scanner was quicker than previously used conventional methods, like Terrestrial Laser Scanning (TLS) or by hand. Handheld scanners only require the operator to ride the chairlift down- and back up again, without interfering with production.

    The scanners are frequently used in these applications and their robust nature means they have never needed repair or maintenance.

    Conclusion

    Fast, efficient, and accurate data capture from GeoSLAMs handheld LiDAR scanners have proven to be a huge benefit for Barberton Mines. The repeatability of the scans has provided a great return on investment and the durability has meant that despite being used in challenging environments, the scanners have endured. The increased speed of data capture has led to safer work practices for the surveyors, and the walk-and-scan method has resulted in no disruption to the daily work of the mines.

    With the scanner’s versatility, the survey team is still finding new applications where the technology can be utilised in the mining environment.

    It is paramount for us to understand our client’s needs, especially in the ever-changing environment of mining. GeoSLAM provided the ultimate mapping solution that best addressed those needs, resulting in improved accuracy and overall productivity.”
    – Gustav Fick, SME – Subject Matter Expert UAV & 3D Scanning at OPTRON




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      The role of LiDAR in bringing ‘Industry 4.0’ to Norwegian forestry

      Location

      Ås,
      Norway

      Scan time

      Approx. 10-20 minutes per scan

      Size

      250 Sq/m plots

      Scanned

      Norwegian forests

      Industry

      Forestry

      SFI SmartForest and LiDAR in Norwegian forestry

      The SFI SmartForest is a part of the Centres for Research-based Innovation scheme of the Research Council of Norway. It aims to position Norway’s forestry sector at the forefront of digitisation by 2028. The primary goal of the 8-year research centre is to improve the efficiency of the Norwegian forestry sector by enabling a digital transformation, using innovative technologies, such as LiDAR. They aim to increase productivity, reduce environmental impacts, and review other significant climate benefits.

      SmartForest are focusing on silviculture, forest operations, wood supply, and the overall digital information flow. The hope is to bring industry 4.0 to the Norwegian forestry sector by having a free flow of information and real-time communication, through innovative and enabling technologies.

      The interconnectivity of data and technology will not only result in the long-term success of the forestry sector in Norway but also contribute to limiting potential environmental impacts.

      LiDAR is one of the enabling technologies that will help them collect accurate data for ground truthing. The point cloud is forming a basis for deep learning models that can eventually apply to much larger mapped areas.

      Why is mobile LiDAR required?

      The forest is dense with trees, the floor is often rough terrain, and it is usually hidden beneath a thick canopy of vegetation. To capture 3D models of the forest, SmartForest need a mobile LiDAR solution that can map from the ground and a UAV-based LiDAR solution to capture properties of the tree canopy.

      Data acquisition is only one part of a larger workflow that can include segmentation algorithms, allowing for further exploration of the physical attributes of individual trees such as tree height and distribution. It’s important for the data to be precise, to ensure accurate monitoring of the forest.

      An obvious solution was a static-based terrestrial laser scanner (TLS), however, despite the accuracy levels being incredibly high, the speed of capture was impeded by the need for several scans in one area. As the project progresses and the need for scanning larger areas increases, TLS becomes a less likely option.

      Another choice was a UAV-based solution that can capture large areas in a short period of time. Though SmartForest works with UAV to capture the forest canopy, it’s less effective at penetrating thick vegetation to collect forest floor and trunk data than it is from the ground.

      After looking around the market, they opted to try mobile laser scanning as a solution that could quickly capture ground data to an accuracy high enough for their needs.

      Vegetation, trunks and terrain

      Trunks and terrain

      Terrain

      Working with GeoSLAM’s ZEB Horizon

      SmartForest chose GeoSLAM’s ZEB Horizon scanner for its speed of capture, ease of use, and mobility. Projecting 300,000 laser points per second with a range of up to 100 meters, the scanner produces dense point clouds of large areas, in a short period of time. The accurate point cloud includes the forest floor, debris, tree trunks, and thick vegetation.

      Frequent data acquisition is a key part of SmartForests plans and GeoSLAM’s handheld LiDAR scanner, alongside UAV data capture help to achieve this. The ZEB Horizon’s ease of use makes data acquisitions a repeatable task and the high accuracy of data provides a foundation for deep learning models.

      The point clouds are processed in GeoSLAM’s software package and imported in 3rd party solutions, where sophisticated algorithms are applied to segment the data. Automatic segmentation of the tree trunks allows for easier tree counts and tree segmentation provides precise forest inventory, down to the individual tree. The digital separation of trees will lead to the extraction of features such as wood quality, biomass, and other ecologically relevant variables.

      Scanning with the ZEB Horizon is a very efficient way to collect ground truth. Eventually, we want to use it for large-scale mapping applications.

      Conclusion

      The long-term plan for the SFI SmartForest is to bring industry 4.0 to the Norwegian forestry industry, using emerging and enabling technologies. Handheld LiDAR scanning has been identified as an efficient way to map the forest from the ground, providing accurate point clouds which serve as the basis for deep learning research opportunities.

      They hope to use GeoSLAM’s ZEB Horizon for other applications in the future, having seen the versatility of the scanner.




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        Providing innovative solutions using UAVs

        and LiDAR scanners

        Location

        Savannah,
        USA

        Scan time

        From 10-30 minutes

        Size

        Varies depending on scan

        Scanned

        Large exterior spaces

        Industry

        Surveying

        Delivering accurate representations of built environments

        Shamrock+, based in Savannah Georgia, provides creative and visual solutions to individuals and businesses through photography and 3D data collection services. Using UAVs, cameras, sensors and software, Shamrock+ delivers accurate representations of built environments for their clients.

        Shamrock+ largely works within Architecture, Engineering and Construction (AEC), however, they also assist professionals with projects in the Real Estate sector. Their solutions include photography, progress documentation, creating 3D data visualisations, and as-built.

        Shamrock+ originally used a static-based LiDAR solution to produce their 3D point clouds. Though highly accurate, they needed a faster solution for collecting data. Additionally, they needed a versatile scanner that can be mounted to UAVs and cars to capture larger areas.

        As a result, Shamrock+ chose to work with GeoSLAM’s ZEB Horizon scanner.

        What used to take hours to scan, is now taking us significantly less time to cover more areas.

        Using the ZEB Horizon laser scanner on UAVs

        The ZEB Horizon has significantly reduced the time needed to scan, whilst simultaneously delivering accurate data. The easy-to-use solution and simple setup mean the team could immediately begin scanning.

        Many of the areas Shamrock+ capture are large exterior spaces, and the 100m range of the ZEB Horizon make it the ideal solution. The team carried out an architectural scan of an approximately 10,000 sq. ft Community Bible Church (CBC) in Savannah, GA. This project consisted of 3 individual scans of the interior building and its surrounding area, with the scan time ranging from 10 to 30 minutes.

        Shamrock+ uses the ZEB Horizon laser scanner on UAVs, handheld and with GeoSLAM’s car mount accessories. The versatile solution provides Shamrock+ with the ability to switch from air based data capture to scanning large areas in a very short amount of time.

        Creating 3D BIM files, floorplans and more with GeoSLAM technology

        Shamrock+ has completed more than a dozen projects to date, each with its own challenges. From scanning building interiors for renovation, to mapping acres of land for topographical data, the ZEB Horizon has proven to be a tool that can overcome the challenges it has faced so far.

        Shamrock+ processes the ZEB Horizon’s data using GeoSLAM Connect. They also internally integrate the point clouds into other software platforms to create 3D BIM files, floorplans, elevations, contours, and much more.

        By using GeoSLAM’s technology, Shamrock+ can capture large acres of land in a short period of time. This speeds up their data collection process without sacrificing accuracy, which allows them to spend more time on creating high quality visual solutions for their clients.

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          Surveying Interior and Exterior Environmental Features

          Location

          Kansas,

          USA

          Scan time

          Approx. 20 minutes per scan

          Size

          Over 1 million sq/ft per year

          Scanned

          Buildings and Underground Oil Tanks

          Industry

          Surveying

          Collecting Accurate Measurements of Buildings for the Military

          The Kansas Adjutant General’s Department coordinates resources for local, state, and federal use. They also develop internal use documents for the military, including surveying building interiors to create up-to-date and accurate floorplans for military members within Kansas.  

          They have about 35 sites throughout the state, with some locations 100s of miles away from the headquarters. Further, the Adjutant General’s Department manages approximately 250 buildings state-wide, totaling around 2 million sq. ft. of interior space. These factors have led to some difficulties in keeping up with projects, and any changes to the buildings and layouts.

          The team found that when remodelling buildings, they were having issues getting as-builts completed in time. As-builts are documents that are used to compare a building’s design plan versus its final measurements. They also provide accurate blueprints of the building, and the surrounding land, as actually constructed at the end of the project.

          Being able to have one person go out to capture all of the data and have the most current floorplans, along with the accuracy of the scanners is a gamechanger

          Kansas Adjutant General’s Department Use of the ZEB Revo

          Scanning Properties to Keep on Top of Changes Made

          To tackle these issues, the team decided to adopt LiDAR laser scanning technology to aid them in their projects and found GeoSLAM’s ZEB Revo to be the best option. By acquiring GeoSLAM’s technology, the Kansas Adjutant General’s Departments’ goal was to scan over half of their 2 million sq. ft. of interior space every year.

          The ZEB Revo is handheld, accurate and fast, providing the team with a perfect tool. In addition, the simplicity and ease of use means only one team member needs to travel to a site, when necessary. Previous methods of data capture were not as quick or accurate. The ZEB Revo data capture leads to a faster return on projects, higher levels of accuracy, and a high return on investment.

          By using the ZEB Revo, the Kansas Adjutant General’s Department have updated over 1 million sq. ft. of interior space, achieving their overall goal, with just one technician visiting half of the sites per year. The speed of capture of the ZEB means that the average time it takes the team to carry out a scan is just 20 minutes. By collecting accurate measurements, they can now regularly update their GIS database, which provides up to date floorplans throughout the state.

          Data from the ZEB Revo is also used to create ‘X-Ray’ views of their properties for future plans and layouts.

          team member collecting accurate measurements with the ZEB Revo

          Collecting Accurate Measurements with the ZEB Horizon

          Recently, they have expanded their use of handheld LiDAR technology by acquiring a ZEB Horizon, which they use for a variety of reasons. The increased range and data capture points make the ZEB Horizon a great option for large exterior scanning. This is important to the Adjutant General’s Department as they cover land of up to 50 acres.

          Scanning Environmental Features to Work out Contour Lines

          The Kansas Adjutant General’s Department also have tanks that contain hazardous material which they need to track carefully. Using the ZEB Horizon, they scan exterior environmental factors to figure out contour lines within their complex. This helps them work out where any spillages of hazardous material would be, should one occur.

          Using the ZEB Horizon to Ensure Current Asset Management

          With the ZEB Horizon, the team also carry out exterior scans for asset management. Due to the scanners ease-of-use, one engineer can attach it to a truck and drive around their complex. This enables Kansas Adjutant General’s Department to scan their entire site and keep on top of their buildings and resources.

          The team are also looking to expand this by attaching the ZEB Horizon to a UAV in the future.

          Collecting Accurate Measurements of Underground Oil Tanks

          The ZEB Horizon’s time saving, and accurate scans have proven to be a cost-effective method of data capture. For example, scans of underground empty oil storage tanks showed that the Kansas Adjutant General’s Department had been over estimating the tanks collection capacity, leading to an adjustment of the servicing contract.

          Processing Data into Point Clouds and Third Party Integration

          Since The Kansas Adjutant General’s Department acquired GeoSLAM’s technology four years ago, they have carried out approximately 2000 scans, and this number continues to rise.

          Further, the contractors and architects that create as-builts are now using The Kansas Adjutant General’s Department to quality check their work for accuracy. Using GeoSLAM laser scanners, they help find errors in specifications and relay that information to the contractors.

          floorplans created after collecting accurate measurements

          With the help of Seiler Geospatial Division, Kansas Adjutant General’s Department have been able to significantly improve their workflow. To find out more about Seiler, click here.

          seiler logo

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            ZIEN24 use GeoSLAM scanners to create measurement reports for the Real Estate Market

            Location

            Netherlands

            Scan time

            Approx. 15 minutes per scan

            Size

            Varies per scan

            Scanned

            Residential & commercial properties

            Industry

            Real Estate

            Real Estate in the Netherlands

            Real Estate is a fast-moving and highly competitive market. Companies are reliant on good customer relationships based on trust. They realise the importance of providing accurate measurements and specifications of the properties they are advertising. Buildings incorrectly measured could be under or overvalued, which could result in complaints, invalidate a sale, or damage their reputation.

            This is particularly pertinent in the Netherlands, as they have placed a high level of importance on delivering accurate floorplans when advertising a property. In fact, a new regulation was introduced in 2010 after properties in Amsterdam were sold at a higher cost, after being overvalued due to incorrect floorplan measurements. The regulation, BBMI, requires businesses advertising properties to provide accurate floorplans or face potentially heavy fines.

            This required businesses to think differently about how they could quickly and accurately assess the properties they were advertising.

            How ZIEN24 create Measurement Reports for Real Estate

            Rotterdam based media and marketing company, ZIEN24, realised they needed to modernise how they measure properties in light of the regulations. ZIEN24 produces content and digital floorplans for estate agents, covering all types of residential and commercial properties.

            The company began measuring properties using laser rangefinders, which were not only time-consuming but also not cost-effective. The company received complaints when properties were not measured within the limits of the regulation, and the team had to occasionally return to properties to re-measure them. In addition, ZIEN24 was sending both photographers and surveyors to properties, which was not cost-effective or ideal for their clients.

            Having worked with point clouds previously, ZIEN24s co-owner, Boy Van Houten, thought that they could be the solution for accuracy. However, they needed a setup that was quick and effective, so static-based systems were not an option. After researching different scanner options, they decided to try GeoSLAM’s ZEB Revo RT with the ZEB Pano accessory.

            Why ZIEN24 chose to work with the ZEB Revo RT

            The ZEB Revo RT is highly accurate, fast, and easy to use. As it requires minimal training, ZIEN24 taught their photographers to scan properties when they’re on location taking marketing photos. This negated the need for a surveyor, saving ZIEN24 money which could be passed on to their clients. The scanners accuracy largely removes the risk of human error, and ZIEN24 have not received any complaints since starting to use GeoSLAM scanners back in 2019.

            The addition of the ZEB Pano allows them to take informative 360 degree panoramic photography, at a much quicker pace, during a scan. The ZEB Pano stores the exact location of each panoramic image within the scan, enabling more accurate and less intrusive property surveys. This is vital for ZIEN24, as the popularity of virtual house tours increases within the real estate industry.

            The GeoSLAM scanner not only gives us confidence in the end product but gives our clients peace of mind knowing that our fully-automated measurements are highly accurate.

            How the ZEB Revo RT has helped ZIEN24 with their Real Estate services

            As the scanner captures in real-time, the photographers can easily ensure that they are capturing every room, as they walk around. Furthermore, the speed of capture, 200m2 in 15 minutes, means that more properties can be assigned to photographers per day. The data is then processed in their offices in China, and accurate floorplan reports are typically turned around within 24 hours.


            The ZEB Revo RT has also helped them to expand into other markets, and they now offer scanning services to support BIM models.




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              Surveying Avalanches in the French Alps

              Location

              Savoie Region, France

              Scan time

              2 hours

              Size

              3000 sq/m

              Scanned

              Avalanches and Snowpacks

              Industry

              Education

              Assessing Levels of Energy Radiation through Differing Conditions

              Climate Change is often attributed to greenhouse gases, however, there are also other factors that affect the Earth’s climate. One example of this is the ‘Earth’s radiation budget’. Earth’s radiation budget is energy that enters the earth’s atmosphere that is reflected, absorbed, or emitted by our planet. If the budget becomes out of balance, it can cause temperature increases or decreases in the Earth’s atmosphere.

              A team from the Institut de Physique du Globe de Paris (IPGP), a world-renowned geosciences organisation, have conducted research in this field. Their research focuses on how differences in surface roughness effect the amount of microwave radiation picked up by satellites.

              Comparing Surface Roughness of Snowpacks and Avalanches in the Vanoise Massif Mountain Range

              For their research, the team have been concentrating on snowpacks and avalanches in the Vanoise Massif Mountain range. They aim to compare the two satellite observations to assess the effect of the change in roughness when avalanches form using radiative transfer modeling. This is the process that measures radiation from the Sun into and out of the Earth. High levels of sun radiation can cause snow to melt which, in turn, can cause avalanches.

              The Vanoise Massif Mountain range is in the Granian Alps, in the Savoie region of France. It is the third highest massif in France, sitting at 3,885 meters at the summit Grande Casse. The range is the location of France’s first National Park, the Vanoise National Park.

              The Mountain Range’s Dangerous and Difficult to Access Environments

              To collect data from the snowpacks and avalanches, the team needed an accurate 3D model of the area. Vanoise National Park is a no-fly zone which meant that UAVs were not an option. Additionally, the team did not want to spend extended periods of time on the mountain due to the risk of avalanches. This ruled out more time-consuming methods of scanning, like terrestrial laser scanners.

              As a result, the team needed a more efficient way of mapping the difficult area. They decided SLAM was their best option and chose to use GeoSLAM’s ZEB Horizon with the backpack solution.

              We were looking for a portable, versatile and affordable LiDAR scanner solution and GeoSLAM allows us to meet all our constraints.

              Using ZEB Horizon to Safely Map Avalanches in the Vanoise Massif Mountain Range

              The walk and scan method and versatility of the ZEB Horizon stood out to the team from IPGP.  The specificity of the environment meant they needed to use technology that was easily movable and durable. In addition, the backpack solution was essential because it meant that the person carrying out the scan had their hands free to help them navigate the rough terrain.

              Furthermore, the ZEB Horizon’s speed of capture meant the team were able to scan the 3000 sq/m area in approximately 2 hours. This ensured that they did not spend too long in the hazardous mountain range, whilst capturing the accurate data they needed.

              Creating Accurate Data to be used in IPGP’s Research

              The scan was processed using GeoSLAM’s software package. The resulting point cloud is being integrated in IPGP’s research analysis and modelling.

              The ZEB Horizon’s ease of use and accuracy means the scan data can be compared with the data collected from the satellite observations. This is known as ground truth analysis and helps with clarity within the research. The scan data also aids with data calibration which allows for atmospheric effects and obstructions to be considered when analysing the final data.

              The positive outcome of the data has encouraged the Institut de Physique du Globe de Paris to plan additional surveys in this area.

              Monitoring environmental changes are just one of the ways GeoSLAM customers are using their mobile mapping devices, alongside more common everyday uses like measuring buildings or construction sites.

              Thanks to the team at Institut de Physique du Globe de Paris for sharing their story with us.




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                How LiDAR Can Help Detect Change at a Community Micro Hydro Power Generation Site

                Location

                Congleton, UK

                Scan time

                25 Minutes

                Size

                100m x 100m Area

                Scanned

                Micro Hydro System

                Industry

                Surveying

                Discussions around climate change, and how we can lessen our environmental impact, have become increasingly more relevant in recent years. This has driven some companies and communities to explore different ways of producing renewable technologies, to reduce dependency on fossil fuels. One method for gathering renewable energy is by using Micro Hydro power generation.

                Hydroelectric power generation relies on a constant water cycle. Nature is perpetually replenishing this, making it a good clean source of energy. This method of producing electricity using hydroelectric power generation is what the Congleton Hydro Project has set out to achieve.

                Dane Valley Community Energy Ltd (DVCE), a non-profit community benefit society, developed and constructed the project. DVCE is a volunteer led organisation, run by a small team of volunteer directors, who have all worked within Engineering and Management Companies. Funded by the community of Congleton, the project aims to generate enough carbon-free electricity, using hydroelectric power generation, to power 60 homes within this local area.

                Utilising an Archimedean Screw for Micro Hydro Power Generation

                For this project, the team set up a Micro-Hydro System, including an Archimedean Screw. The hydroelectric energy is generated by the nearby Havannah Weir River. The energy is extracted by using the water flow to turn the Archimedean Screw, which is connected to an electrical generator.  Having constructed the whole system in just 12 months, DVCE were able to produce their first load of electricity in a relatively short space of time.

                The area surrounding the Archimedean Screw required significant and extensive ground works, together with a substantial walkway, powerhouse, and piped water inlet system. Whilst designing the project, it became apparent that a core worry would be movement of the terrain, due to weather and time. As a result, they decided they needed to frequently monitor this surrounding area.

                The Archimedean Screw has a life expectancy of 40 years, and the team hope to make returns on their investments in the next 20 years. In addition to generating clean energy, a core objective is to generate an annual surplus, which will fund the local community. It is therefore essential that any change in land stability does not impact the planned generation. The team decided that a monitoring system would help identify any movement so that timely corrective action could be taken.

                Tracking Changes in the Land and Facilities Management

                Via a family member (Dr Jonathan Owen), the team acquired a 3D handheld laser scanner, GeoSLAM’s ZEB Go. The handheld nature of the scanner will mean they can track land movement and vegetation rates over time. In addition, they can map the on-site building to help with facility management and storage.

                GeoSLAM Connect’s Stop and Go Alignment can help the team align these scans, as it would give them a more accurate view of the exterior and interior areas together.

                GeoSLAM technology is ideal for this type of work, due to the uneven terrain. The mobile device can map an area by simply walking around, whereas systems that require a more complicated setup would struggle to scan the area promptly.

                The Benefits of GeoSLAMs Technology

                The ZEB Go’s speed of capture enables DVCE to carry out scans of the 100m x 100m area surrounding the Micro-Hydro System in just 25 minutes. As the team are detecting change in the ground movements and vegetation, they can frequently scan the area to track any issues that may arise. A great way to document the area, as frequently as DVCE need.

                The ZEB Go’s ease of use means the team would not need to be survey trained for the scan, unlike more complicated to use scanning hardware. Further, the ZEB Go’s capabilities save all the team from having to repeatedly return to the site, as just one individual is needed.

                The team were impressed with the ease that the ZEB Go was used to survey the complete site, with no tripods being needed and no complicated set up.

                Creating Accurate Georeferenced Point Clouds

                Whilst capturing the data, the team laid down control points using a GNSS receiver. This allowed the team to georeference the data using GeoSLAM’s software. Now the surveying pins are in place, the team can simply georeference the data for each scan they conduct.

                Implementing control points was important for DVCE as it allows for clear comparisons between multiple scans of the same area. Georeferenced data places the scan in the real world and makes the data even more accurate. This will benefit the team as they continue to scan the Micro-Hydro System’s surrounding areas in the future and detect any gradual change.

                The ZEB Go delivered an accurate 3D replica of the area that continues to help DVCE in their project.  The versatility of the ZEB Go and resulting point cloud means the team can look into new ways to interpret the data – protecting this vital equipment for both the environment and local community.

                Jonathon was the lucky winner of our ‘Win a ZEB Go Competition’ at GeoBusiness 2021.

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                  3D Mapping Informal Settlements in Bengaluru, India

                  Location

                  Bengaluru, India

                  Scan time

                  25-27 minutes per scan

                  Size

                  40 acres

                  Scanned

                  Informal Settlements

                  Industry

                  Surveying

                  Accurately Mapping Informal Settlements in Bengaluru, India

                  The informal settlements in Bengaluru, India, house roughly 16% of the city’s population and there are around 500 recognised in this area.

                  Currently, Bengaluru is going through a period of modernisation and urbanisation which has caused the city limits to expand. As a result, the local government must provide documents of every house, detailing accurate measurements of its structure, such as boundary lines and roof heights.

                  The government has plans to formally declare ownership of the settlements to the people living in them, which means a map of the whole area was needed.

                  The Informal Settlements Narrow Lanes and Changing Environments

                  A team from a reputed geospatial company appointed by government, surveyed the area and collected this data. This involved mapping the informal settlements in Bengaluru with their complex layouts. The task was challenging as they include many narrow lanes that are difficult to access. Additionally, people were going about their daily activities.

                  Furthermore, some parts of the settlements are in dark and cramped areas whereas others are in direct sunlight. Consequently, the team needed to find adaptable solutions and technology that could handle these difficult environments, as well as deliver on the task in hand.

                  The area in question is a no-fly zone, which meant that drones were not an option. However, other methods for capturing data such as static scanning wouldn’t be feasible because of the busyness of the area. The cramped streets also meant the team would struggle to use a backpack solution either.

                  Scanning Difficult to Access Areas with ZEB Horizon

                  A fast and effective way to map the informal settlements was to walk through the complex passages, and a handheld laser scanner was the most suitable option. The geospatial company chose GeoSLAM’s ZEB Horizon scanner, due to its quick method of capturing accurate data and ease of use. The lightweight solution means that only one person is required to scan an area at any one time. This is less disruptive to the surveying team, which in turn is cost effective for them and their client.

                  The extensive maze of restricted passages and dead ends did not affect the versatile SLAM technology. By using the ZEB Horizon, the team were able to scan 40-45 different areas of the settlements. The team captured smaller areas of the informal settlements in a single scan ranging from 25-27 minutes. The team mapped larger areas over multiple scans, sending them to the client individually.

                  The ZEB Horizon provided good quality data and allowed us to scan difficult to access areas accurately and efficiently.

                  Creating accurate point clouds for the client

                  The final scans were imported into GeoSLAM Draw where orthophotos were automatically created. As a result, the engineers could make accurate measurements in a timely manner. In addition, the point clouds were exported to Terra Solid, where further information was extracted for the final report.

                  The final data delivered on their client’s accuracy goals. They were able to smoothly extract the boundaries and roofs of every single house in the informal settlements.

                  GeoSLAM’s technology in use elsewhere

                  This is not the first time that GeoSLAM technology has been used to map informal settlements in India. The ZEB Revo was used to accurately scan the settlements of Mumbai in 2017. The resulting 3D point cloud helped to extract information about the elevations and sections of each house frontage.




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                    Surveying Boston City Hall

                    Location

                    Boston, USA

                    Scan time

                    Approx. 20 minutes per scan

                    Size

                    Over 1 million sq/ft

                    Scanned

                    Boston City Hall

                    Industry

                    Surveying

                    Boston City Hall was built in 1968, to help boost the city’s economy after years of stagnation. The building and surrounding plaza sought to modernize the city’s urban centre, reinvigorating the run-down neighbourhood of Scollay Square.

                    Despite the public investment project being welcomed by the people of Boston, the buildings ‘brutalist’ style of architecture created debate amongst the locals, with some suggesting you either love or hate the concrete design. In spite of the concerns from the public, the city
                    hall has been home to the mayor of Boston and the city council for over 5 decades, and the ‘brutal’ style of architecture has become part of Boston’s rich history.

                    To encourage more people to use Boston City Hall and to increase accessibility, it was decided in 2017 that the City Hall would be renovated to serve a more modernized purpose. The infrastructure upgrades include better access to utilities, plants and fountains in the plaza area, with the intention of encouraging more people to visit.

                    The Horizon was a gamechanger…it’s just amazing in terms of the scanning distance, power of the sensor and the ability to easily capture the entire plaza.

                    Peter Garran and his team, from Aerial Genomics, were appointed by The City of Boston and Sasaki with the task of scanning both the interior and exterior of the City Hall, in anticipation of the renovation project. Spanning 9 floors and housing multiple individual rooms, as well as a busy plaza area, the task of mapping the building threatened to take several months to complete. Also, the City Hall is an active office that contains confidential rooms and Aerial Genomics did not want to disrupt everyday operations too much. Considering their options, the team decided the fastest and most cost-effective way of mapping the building and its surrounding area would be to use mobile LiDAR scanners.

                    They chose a ZEB Horizon to scan the exterior and inside the Main Hall. The ZEB Revo RT was used to map the buildings vast interior. These scanners were chosen due to their speed, accuracy and mobility. By simply walking around the building, Peter and his team captured the large layout, saving them time.

                    As they were scanning during the pandemic, it was key for Peter and his team to spend as little time as possible in the building and compared to other scanning methods, GeoSLAM’s scanners were able to deliver on that goal. With the ZEB Horizon, Aerial Genomics captured both the exterior and interior of the Main Hall in just 4 scans, and in less than 2 hours. This scanner was specifically chosen to scan the Main Hall due to its 100m range being able to capture the high walls. To help combat getting in the way of the City Halls’ day-to-day business, the team were given limited amounts of time in the evening to scan a multitude of rooms inside the Hall. Using the ZEB Revo RT, the team could scan the almost 1 million square feet interior, in just 4 nights, consisting of 5 hours each night.

                    The scans were processed using GeoSLAM Hub and merged to create one point cloud, by Aerial Genomics. The manoeuvrability, ease of use and accuracy that the ZEB scanners provided meant the data collected was ready within a week, to be created as a BIM model to send to the architects. The simple, easy to use solution meant the architects could start thinking about the redevelopment and renovation, without the need to visit the hall during a pandemic. The final BIM model, created in Autodesk Revit, is still referred to today.

                    Video courtesy of Aerial Genomics
                    Surveying Boston City Hall

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                      Mapping a decommissioned power station

                      Location

                      Cape Town, South Africa

                      Scan time

                      8 Hours Total

                      Size

                      Approx. 117,000 m2

                      Scanned

                      Power Station

                      Industry

                      Surveying

                      ZEB Family | Safely surveying a hazardous power station

                      All over the globe, countries are looking to nuclear and hydro renewables, not only to provide their electricity needs but to meet climate goals. This is resulting in the shutting down of coal-fossil power plants that no longer have a role to play in a fast-changing world.

                      Opened in 1962, the Athlone Power Station was the last coal-fired power station operating in Cape Town, South Africa when it stopped generating power in 2003. The iconic cooling towers, which were known by locals as “The two ladies of Athlone” and had long been a feature of the Cape Town landscape, were demolished several years later.

                      The efficient user-friendly GeoSLAM equipment enabled the team to safely and comprehensively survey this hazardous and complex plant.

                      Proper planning was essential as demolition can be potentially hazardous for the safety of personnel due to the plant’s age-structure, and onsite teams often having to operate across split levels, in total darkness. The removal of contaminated waste can be equally challenging. Cost is also a major factor and companies responsible for shutting down plant are continuously looking at ways to be cost effective while providing a reliable, fast and efficient service.

                      Aurecon, a global engineering, design and advisory company, won the tender from the City of Cape Town to project manage the site for the final stage of decommission. This involved surveying the plant whilst stripping, clearing and removing unused material, redundant equipment and certain historical structures. Their task also included securing all remaining structures, leaving the site in a secure state and registering servitudes for remaining bulk services. Aurecon found Athlone to be a challenging project due to accessibility issues and lack of light. Also, because of the Power Station’s historical importance, salvaging certain unique equipment had to be considered. The team needed a simple and effective solution that could accurately map the site quickly while keeping them safe in a tough environment.

                      Aurecon chose to work with mobile LiDAR scanners so that the historians, structural engineers and environmentalists could have the data they needed, without having to enter the potentially dangerous site. For the Athlone project, GeoSLAM’s ZEB Revo RT scanner and ZEB Pano camera were used, as well as the ZEB Horizon and ZEB Cam. The building’s interior and exterior were scanned with the ZEB scanners The two data sets were merged to provide a full 3D point cloud of the entire building.

                      Using the Pano, the team generated photos that were incorporated inside the point cloud, so that the offsite survey team could have greater visualisation of the site to feedback commentary. The efficiency of the scanners and speed of capture meant that unlike other scanning methods, the team could repeatedly capture the site. This meant that decisions and assessments could be taken frequently, without the need for lots of people to visit the dangerous site.

                      In total, the whole facility was scanned in three days with data sets processed overnight, a total of eight hours. The combined datasets were available within a week, which enabled Aurecon’s modellers to commence work on the classification of components in the power station.

                      The final 3D point cloud representation of the interior of the power station enabled the engineering team to assess and quantify the amount of salvage and scrapped material to be removed from the site, and to plan the logistics of the removal in context with the physical shape and size of the existing building.

                      The accurate 3D model equipped the stakeholders with information that allowed them to safely and precisely analyse for activities such as material quantification, condition assessment and the preparation of decommissioning method statements.





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                        3D Scanning Construction and Demolition Waste

                        Location

                        Egypt

                        Scan time

                        17 minutes per scan

                        Size

                        82,823 m2

                        Scanned

                        Construction and demolition waste

                        Industry

                        Construction

                        The government of Egypt (GoE) are leading several initiatives to reuse and recycle the ever-increasing quantities of construction and demolition Waste (CDW) around the country. These initiatives include a national strategy and action plan to effectively manage around 40 million tons of CDW generated annually. They target to recycle 50% of CDW materials by 2030. One of the major challenges facing Municipalities in Egypt is calculating the amount of CDW accumulated, due to illegal dumping of waste being common place in cities.

                        Commissioned by the Ministry of Environment and the GIZ institution, HBRC (Housing and Building National Research Centre) have been tasked with finding effective methods for quantifying and characterising the amount of CDW in four Egyptian Governorates (Gharbia, Kafr-El-Sheikh, Assuit and Qena).

                        This project paves the way to developing an optimal construction and demolition waste management strategy in Egypt. The research team used GeoSLAM’s ZEB Revo RT SLAM laser scanner to map the construction waste piles. The scan data is a sound method for quantifying waste volumes over a period of time, due to the ease of capture and accurate data.

                        The traditional surveying of CDW accumulations was not practical as CDW locations are difficult to walk through and experience rapid changes to the waste quantities.

                        The ZEB Revo RT is ideal for rapid data capture in real time, making it the perfect tool for this job. By walking through the construction and demolition waste sites, the team are mapping as they go, shortening the amount of time spent in a hazardous environment, reducing health and safety risks.

                        The simplicity of the solution means that anybody can capture the data, with minimal training, making the scans repeatable as often as needed. Covering an area of 84,823 m2, the research team conducted 12 scans, dividing the route into zones and each scan lasted an average of 17 minutes.

                        Once the scanning was complete, they opened the data in GeoSLAM Hub where the point cloud can be viewed and prepared for GeoSLAM Volumes. Using GeoSLAM Volumes, the researchers could accurately calculate the quantity of construction and demolition waste. The findings were reported back in a presentation during the third International conference on Smart Cities.

                        This way of calculating volumes is fast, efficient, cost effective, safer than other methods and repeatable, making the SLAM scanner the right tool for the job. The research effort opens the door into the utilisation of 3D modelling of construction waste management sites.

                        The application of laser technology would enable the quick and accurate estimation and modeling of waste quantities.

                        https://youtu.be/3iEXCsonWBg

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