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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            Scanning in America’s oldest show cave

            Location

            Virginia

            Scan time

            12 minutes

            Size

            500 meters

            Scanned

            Grand Caverns

            Industry

            Education

            Discovered in 1804 by Bernard Weyer in the heart of Virginia, Grand Caverns (formerly Weyer’s Cave) is the oldest show cave in the USA. During the US civil war, the cave was used by both Confederate and Union soldiers as part of the Valley campaign, during which time over 230 soldiers signed their names on to the cave walls. More recently, the cave has become a huge tourist attraction, due to its beauty, location and being surrounded by scenic trails for hiking, running, and biking, but it has also captured the attention of the scientific community because of recent discoveries of new passages and the rock formation changes over time.

            The town of Grottoes (where the show cave is located) partnered with Angel A. Garcia Jr. and his students from James Madison University to create a 3D map of the cave. The 3D point cloud is being used to measure Speleothems, monitor the human impact on the cave, create 3D printed models and to celebrate the show cave’s extensive history, shining a light on its geoheritage. In addition, it is a fantastic opportunity for the undergraduate students of JMU to get hands on experience with the handheld LiDAR scanner and the data it outputs.

            Angel A. Garcia Jr. chose GeoSLAM’s ZEB Horizon scanner to take on the task of mapping both the parts of the cave open to the public and the recently discovered, vast passages. He and his students capitalise on the speed of capture and accuracy of the scanner to review and analyse data in a quick and efficient manner.

            With the LiDAR we’ll be able to get into corners and see what hasn’t been looked at for a long time.

            Having originally purchased the ZEB Horizon back in February 2021 to collaborate and share data with partners scanning caves using ZEB devices in Puerto Rico, Professor Garcia began to see the potential and opportunities the scanner offered. Fast, accurate and handheld data capture opens a way to map an area without the need to GPS or complicated setups. In addition, the scanners ease of use means that undergraduate students can be involved in the project with limited to no training.


            Since beginning to use the ZEB Horizon, interest in Professor Garcia’s work with the SLAM scanner has escalated, and he has subsequently been invited to other universities to run workshops. In April 2021, he was approached by Grand Caverns to map the historic show cave.


            The public area of the cave is approximately 500 meters in length, 30 meters high and has stairways in places, so it is quite a large area to capture. Professor Garcia and his students were able to capture the entire public area in approximately 12-15 minutes, by simply walking and scanning. He pointed out that a terrestrial laser scanner would be able to capture the public part of the cave, but it would take days, not minutes, and due to the uneven surfaces of the non-public area of the cave, it would be impossible to get a tripod-based system down there. Alternatively, you could measure a cave using a distometer, but this could take months, if not years to complete.

            The ZEB Horizon was able to give them a quick accurate scan in 12 minutes, so the students could get to work reviewing the data for their various projects.

            It’s going be able to detect the stalagmites, the stalactites and it’s even going to be able to detect the cave shield because it’s that precise.

            The data is being processed using GeoSLAM Hub, and Draw is being utilised by the team to accurately measure the speleothems over time. The students can see the orientation, thickness and gather measurements using the LiDAR information alone. They are also hoping to use Draw to understand accurate dimensions of the cave. Furthermore, the 3D point cloud is being used as a base to 3D print the cave within a rectangular block, for further research purposes.


            The team continued to scan the cave over the summer, and Professor Garcia is working with the caving/spelunking community of experts to begin capturing the more problematic and recently discovered new passages of the cave. These areas have not designed for the public at the moment, so there are uneven surfaces and narrow corridors, but due to the ZEB Horizons mobility, capturing previously unseen parts of cave will be quick and safe.


            Professor Garcia concludes by saying that the 3D model will provide an opportunity for those who can’t physically enter the caverns, to learn what they are all about.

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              Scanning a Caribbean hospital with the ZEB Horizon to create a BIM model

              Location
              Location

              Otrobanda,
              Curaçao

              Scanned
              Scanned

              St. Elisabeth
              Hospital

              Size
              Size

              22,346
              Square Meters

              Scan time
              Scan time

              20 minutes
              per scan

              Industry
              Industry

              Surveying

              Constructed in 1855, with the help of the Franciscan sisters, the St. Elisabeth hospital has played an important role in the Otrobanda City district on the Caribbean island of Curaçao, for over 160 years. The large hospital served as the main hub for medical care, and was historically used as a place of healing for other island nations nearby.

              Having been deemed no longer fit for purpose according to international standards in 2011, it was decided that a new hospital would be constructed next to St Elisabeth’s, and in 2019 the Curaçao medical center was opened to the public. St. Elisabeth hospital was closed in November 2019, after 164 years of service to the island.

              In 2021, Ellen de Brabander, from Urban Studio, was appointed by the survey bureau ‘Landmark’ with the task of scanning the hospital, in anticipation of renovation projects. Ellen chose the ZEB Horizon for the task, and later created an accurate BIM model using the point cloud data. In addition, Ellen is working on creating a virtual tour of the hospital, so it can be entered and explored from anywhere in the world.

              Due to the large complex nature of the building, with several floors and many individual rooms, the task of capturing and measuring the hospital was an enormous one, in terms of time frame. Originally Ellen was going to scan the building using a total station, however because the hospital is broken into 6 sub-buildings, an average of 3 floors per sub-building and many individual rooms per floor, the total station was quickly ruled out. Furthermore, with difficult to access areas, the bulky nature of a tripod-based system would not be ideal for capturing the hospital in its entirety, or fast enough.

              After assessing the options, the team decided the best way to capture the building would be to use a mobile 3D scanner, due to the lightweight nature, speed of capture and ease of use. Ellen chose a ZEB Horizon for the job and was able to seamlessly walk through the hospital’s complex buildings, capturing data as she moved.

              The 3D scanner of GeoSLAM was able to reduce the time of the measurement and as a result the delivery time was met. The measurement time would normally take several months, which was reduced to days

              Having decided on the ZEB Horizon, she was able to capture both the interior and exterior of St Elisabeth’s hospital in just 6 full working days, which was an extremely short amount of time compared to traditional measuring equipment. 52 scans were conducted in total, at approximately 20 minutes per scan and the area covered (including exterior and interior) was 22,346 square meters. The complex nature of some of the spaces were captured effortlessly because of the manoeuvrability and compactness of the scanner.

              The scans were processed and merged using GeoSLAM Hub before they were converted in Autodesk Recap and taken into Autodesk Revit to be modelled. The model of the hospital was sent to the client and the process from capture to model was documented in a video, which can be seen here:

              3D BIM model of Caribbean hospital

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                Creating a digital twin of Cistercian Landscapes

                Industry

                Education

                Scan time

                3.5 hours

                Location

                Franconia, Germany

                Size

                3 hectares

                Scanned

                Cistercian Landscapes

                Background
                With the adoption of digital technologies such as laser scanning, photogrammetry and other digital tools becoming ever more prevalent in conservation and preservation; it is easy to see why, in 2017, the University of Bamberg launched a new master’s degree, ‘Digital Technologies in
                Heritage Conservation’. Spearheaded by Professor Mona Hess, the course covers the integration and adoption of digital technologies in heritage conservation and its further development, as well as raising the profile of this research topic. In addition to running the course, Professor Hess and her team often employ their skills and expertise in the field, creating 3D digital models for preservation purposes, to build knowledge of certain areas or to educate a wider audience about a new culture.

                The 3D recording is a methodological tool for the representation and interpretation of cultural heritage, landscape and architecture, to build knowledge, create meaning and make culture accessible to all.

                The Scan
                In 2020, Professor Hess was approached by ‘Cisterscapes | Cistercian Landcapes in Central Europe’ and was tasked with contributing to the digital recordings of 2 gardens. The scan would focus on the baroque agricultural buildings with designed gardens; Ebracher Hof in Mainstockheim and Ebracher Hof in Oberschwappach, both properties of the Ebrach Monastery.

                The aim of the scan was to create reliable information, assess the landscapes development status and design management plans for maintenance and conservation. Professor Hess, accompanied by PHD student Carla Ferreyra, visited the sites in October 2020 to conduct the scans. With approximately 3 hectares of land to cover, the team needed a SLAM scanning solution that was quick, easy to use, suitable for both indoor/outdoor use and a solution with reliable results. Professor Hess chose GeoSLAMs ZEB Horizon with the ZEB Pano, because of the rapid data acquisition throughout the site up to 100m.

                Other laser scanning techniques were considered in the planning process, however none quite provided the freedom the ZEB Horizon did, often
                with restrictions around mobility and time. In September 2020, a similar scan had taken place using a terrestrial laser scanner (TLS) of a specific
                area of the Mainstockheim garden. In comparison, the GeoSLAM scanner reduced the time and labour costs when completing the scan. The team were able to complete their scan of Mainstockheim (including an interior space of the baroque building) in just under 3 hours.

                In Oberschwappach, the total scan time was approximately 30 minutes. Their only concern during the scan was encountering the general public, however due to the lightweight nature of the ZEB Horizon and Pano, it was easy to avoid busier parts of the garden. Where they did encounter other guests (due to their curiosity over the scanner) Professor Hess and Carla simply repeated the scan of that specific area. All in all, the scan was a success, and Professor Hess and Carla were able to deliver on their task.

                The Results
                With the completion of the scan, not only does Professor Hess have fresh scan data that can be used to educate the next generation on how
                digital technologies can be used in heritage conservation, but they are also being used to extract 2D information, such as orthophotos, plans
                and sections in 1:50 scale and BIM models. Furthermore, videos of the scan were created – these serve as informational and educational
                pieces of content. Finally, the scans serve to raise awareness of these historic gardens, promote a scientifically accurate recording and also makes the heritage accessible to all. Professor Hess is currently using the scanner and scans for research & teaching, and she has observed that a lot of her students are enthusiastic about the speed of the process.

                Looking Forward
                In 2021 Professor Hess is looking to extend the project further at Ebrach Abbey and the gardens, to contribute to the Cistercian Cultural Heritage
                project. Additionally, she is looking to create a digital twin model of a historic city using the ZEB Horizon, to research semantic 3D city models with
                information about urban heritage in the project ‘BIM to Twin’.

                Scanning on the Istrian Peninsula

                Location
                Location

                Rovinj,
                Croatia

                Scanned
                Scanned

                Campsite

                Size
                Size

                1100m x
                700m

                Scan time
                Scan time

                20 minutes
                per scan

                Industry
                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, Geo centar, requesting a scan of one of their campsites in Rovinj on the Istrian peninsula.

                ZEB Horizon | Scanning 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. Due to 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.

                10 scans were conducted in total, mainly focusing 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. Finally, the team took photos of important object using the ZEB-Cam.

                GeoSLAM ZEB Horizon’s long range, strong SLAM algorithms and ease of use make it the perfect tool for this job.

                Post Scan

                During the scan, the team used a survey grade GNSS receiver, to georeference the data. Utilising GeoSLAMs adjust to control feature, in GeoSLAM Hub, the team were able to accurately georeference the scans, enabling them to correct any trajectory drifts, that may have occurred during the scan, ensuring accurate and quality data was delivered to the client.

                In addition, the team were able to georeference the images taken with the ZEB-Cam, open them in GeoSLAM Draw, which 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.

                Scanning a cavity with the ZEB Horizon

                Location
                Location

                Hattorf/Wintershall
                Facility, Germany

                Scanned
                Scanned

                Cavity

                Size
                Size

                70m Deep

                Scan time
                Scan time

                N/A

                Industry
                Industry

                Mining

                GeoSLAMs German dealer, Laserscanning Europe, were recently tasked with scanning a 70m deep cavity in a mine 500m below the earths surface. Using the ZEB Horizon on a cradle, Laserscanning Europe were able to successfully and safely capture the data, and this is their account of the job.

                Data captured by Laserscanning Europe

                Scanning with the ZEB Horizon | Words by Laserscanning Europe

                The object of measurement is located in the Hattorf/Wintershall mining facility of the company K+S Minerals and Agriculture GmbH. This is a cavity (underground, vertical conveyor system) about 500m below the earth’s surface with a depth of 70m.

                The cavity no longer has the original storage volume due to material deposits from years of operation. The environment is dusty and it is expected that material will be deposited within the conveyor system at any time. In addition, the cavity is not accessible to humans from any opening and access is only possible through 1m diameter openings.

                The objective was to obtain a three-dimensional survey of the conveyor system with highest possible resolution for inspection of the systems condition. Furthermore, strict compliance with all work safety regulations, with minimal risk for the measuring team, was required.

                For this job, a mobile laser scanner was used. Thanks to its specifications, the GeoSLAM ZEB Horizon is ideally suited for the special conditions underground. The scanner is also suitable for surveying a cavity that is only accessible from above through a narrow shaft.

                The scanner was mounted on a cradle, which was modified to minimise rotational movements when lowered. A 50m rope was attached to the cradle, which was used to lower the measurement system into the cavity.

                Furthermore, trained members of the mine rescue team were on site to provide security and enable the scanner to be lowered and retrieved safely.

                Measurement Procedure

                01

                Preparation of the survey: mounting of the scanner on the cradle and mounting of the rope system for lowering and raising the scanner

                02

                Starting the measurement at the upper end of the opening to the cavity

                03

                Lowering of the scanner, 50m deep, while the ZEB Horizon captures data

                04

                Raising the scanner, 50m high, while the ZEB Horizon captures data

                05

                Finishing the scanning process at the upper end of the opening to the cavity

                06

                Ascent from the mine and analysis of the scan data in the office

                Workflow of the analysis

                Following the survey, the scan data was processed using the GeoSLAM HUB software. The raw data, i.e. the processing of the point cloud from the data of the laser sensor and the IMU, is automated as much as possible. In the case that a scan was not automatically processed (e.g. because few geometric changes are found in the object space), the focus of the SLAM algorithm can be influenced by adjusting various parameters. Once the data has been run through GeoSLAM Hub, a complete point cloud of the cavity is available in .laz format. All other common point cloud formats can also be exported with little effort.

                Since the scanner could only be lowered linearly on the rope, the earth deposits shadow smaller areas inside the cavity.

                Results

                The result of this scanning is impressive. This cavity, which is not accessible to humans, was successfully surveyed with the help of the GeoSLAM ZEB Horizon. The point cloud documents the dimensions of the cavity according to the requirements. Further missions with the GeoSLAM ZEB Horizon with similar objectives are already being planned and implemented.

                ZIEN 24 scans 5000 properties in 5 months using GeoSLAM

                Industry

                Real Estate

                Time

                15 mins per
                scan

                Location

                Netherlands

                Size

                5000
                properties in
                5 months

                Scanned

                Residential and
                commercial
                properties

                The real estate market is fast-moving and highly competitive. Estate agents are reliant on customer relationships based on trust and reliability. They realise the importance of providing accurate measurements and specifications of the properties they are advertising as any miscalculations can not only invalidate a sale but can damage their reputation. This is particularly pertinent to the Netherlands in order to meet the BBMI standards guaranteeing the quality and accuracy of estate agents’ floorplans.

                Zien24, a Rotterdam-based media and marketing company, produces content and digital floorplans for estate agents covering all types and sizes of residential and commercial properties. As the company grew and acquired more clients, they found that the traditional terrestrial survey techniques were too slow and laborious to meet their needs. To secure scan data and photographic imagery there were multiple site visits, and large properties over 400m2 were difficult to measure. Also, data manually captured on a notepad meant there could be mistakes resulting in back and forth between the scanning technician and the production team.

                With ZEB Pano an average house of 200m2 is scanned in just 15 minutes, from walking in and walking out the door

                “We realised we needed a faster and more accurate surveying method to meet our clients’ requirements and GeoSLAM’s ZEB Pano was the obvious choice,” says Karl van Duffelen, Reality Capture Manager of Zien24. “We are the first real estate company to use mobile scanning in our region and it’s been a game-changer for us. The fleet of handheld scanners is very simple to use, which means we don’t have to spend a lot of time training staff. In one visit we can now capture both error-free scan data and high-res photos, and ensure we haven’t missed any spaces. So it saves us a huge amount of time and the homeowner doesn’t need to be home all day or have multiple visits.”

                real estate

                The lightweight, handheld ZEB Pano is not only easy to operate but is robust and reliable to scan even the most difficult to access places, quickly and accurately. Capable of capturing 43,000 data points per second and high-resolution panoramic imagery at the same time, the ZEB Pano stores the exact location of each panoramic image enabling quicker, more accurate, and less intrusive property surveys. 3D measurable information and imagery captured with the ZEB Pano uses the leading SLAM algorithm and enables the creation of both 2D and 3D floorplans.

                Thanks to GeoSLAM’s ZEB Pano fleet we have scanned over 5000 houses in just five months!

                 “The ZEB Pano has revolutionised our workflow and allows us to produce floorplans faster than ever before – we can now create a digital floorplan of an average 200m2 house in 15 minutes,” Karl van Duffelen continues. “We’ve scanned over 5000 properties in just 5 months including hotels, offices, factories, warehouses and even castles. The ZEB Pano 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.”

                 The ZEB Pano fleet has enabled Zien24 to cement their leading position in the Dutch real estate market, and expand into new markets as they offer scanning services to support BIM models.

                Zien24 take in delivery of their ZEB Pano systems

                Virtual Singapore – creating a dynamic 3D city model

                Industry

                AEC

                Time

                100 hours

                Location

                Singapore

                Size

                376 ground
                floor void
                decks

                Scanned

                Apartment
                blocks

                Singapore is home to some of the most profitable financial services, manufacturing and oil-refining corporations in the world. But with its accomplishments come some very specific challenges for a city-state which is limited by space but still demanding growth.

                Determined to future-proof Singapore’s success, the country has embarked on one of the most ambitious digital twinning projects the world has ever seen – creating a dynamic 3D city model and collaborative data platform, including 3D maps of the region.

                At the initial stage of the project it quickly became apparent that aerial imagery alone would not be able to capture ‘void decks’ – open spaces typically found on the ground floor of the city’s apartment blocks. These areas, which are sometimes underneath the tower block structure, are used for everything from games areas, bicycle parking, hosting wedding receptions and wakes, and, as estates grow, facilities such as shops, medical centres and even schools.

                In the face of fierce competition, GeoSLAM’s ZEB Revo was selected as the most innovative and efficient solution to collect data from these important community spaces.

                A huge time saving exercise which would ordinarily have taken 40 times longer using traditional surveying methods

                With a handheld “go-anywhere” ZEB Revo, field teams quickly captured a dense and accurate point cloud of an entire void deck, which was then used to model the deck geometry and incorporate this into the existing building models.

                376 buildings with void decks were scanned using the ZEB Revo, taking approximately 100 hours – an enormous time-saving exercise which would ordinarily have taken up to 40 times longer using traditional surveying methods.

                The ZEB Revo is often used alongside terrestrial hardware as the products are highly complementary. The data output can be easily combined through geo-referencing or scan-to-scan matching and then used to build complete 3D models. In this instance, the combination delivered highly detailed and rapid results while significantly minimising costs too.

                Beautiful laser show at the marina bay waterfront in singapore