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How to utilize mobile laser scanning data for the AEC industry

Watch this webinar to learn how you can utilize mobile laser scanning data for the AEC industry

Key takeaways:

  • Introduction to GeoSLAM and our technology
  • How do GeoSLAM scanners work?
  • How can laser scanning/point clouds be utilized by the AEC industry?
  • Why should the AEC industry consider GeoSLAM scanners vs. other similar technology?
  • Sharing real life examples
  • Q&A

GeoSLAM Sample Data

View and download data in our free point cloud viewer

Here’s some helpful tips for the best viewing experience

  • If your internet connection allows, move the Point Budget slider to the maximum amount available to view all the points in the cloud.
  • Making the point size smaller using the Point Size slider makes the data easier to view and interpret.
  • In the tools section of the viewer, you can measure the distance and angles of features within the pointcloud.
  • Using the materials section of the viewer, you can use the Select Attributes dropdown to view by intensity, elevation and RGB (if point cloud is coloured).

Railway Line

Location: Norway
ZEB Scanner: ZEB Horizon
Scan time:
15 Minutes

Would you like to see a specific dataset that’s not on this page? Contact [email protected]

GeoSLAM Sample Data

View and download data in our free point cloud viewer

Here’s some helpful tips for the best viewing experience

  • If your internet connection allows, move the Point Budget slider to the maximum amount available to view all the points in the cloud.
  • Making the point size smaller using the Point Size slider makes the data easier to view and interpret.
  • In the tools section of the viewer, you can measure the distance and angles of features within the pointcloud.
  • Using the materials section of the viewer, you can use the Select Attributes dropdown to view by intensity, elevation and RGB (if point cloud is coloured).

Chemical Plant

Location: Europe
ZEB Scanner: ZEB Horizon/ ZEB Discovery
Scan time:
15 Minutes

Colourised data was captured using the ZEB Discovery backpack solution.

Would you like to see a specific dataset that’s not on this page? Contact [email protected]

Referencing using control points

Control points are points within a given area that have known coordinates. They are a key tool in the geospatial industry and can be utilised in a variety of ways, including georeferencing point clouds and aligning aerial images to terrestrial data. By using control points, surveyors are able to accurately map larger areas and position overlapping surveys of an area together. They can also be used in non-geospatial industries, such as construction and mining, to show clear temporal comparisons between multiple surveys of the same area. This method of georeferencing is also referred to as adjust to control.

Previously, checkerboards and spherical targets have been used as control markers – these items are captured in surveys and can be identified for georeferencing or aligning. The main drawback with these methods is that they rely heavily on human interpretation when processing, meaning that the processed datasets may be susceptible to an increased amount of error.

When capturing handheld surveys, GeoSLAM systems are able to collect reference points. These can then be matched with known control points to reference scans and increase the level of accuracy.

What makes GeoSLAM referencing different?

  • More accurate: GeoSLAM scanners are used with known control points and survey grade pins, rather than more traditional moveable targets. This reduces the margin of error within point clouds.
  • Save time: using known survey control points means there is no need to manually position individual targets before every scan. Data capture can then be repeated regularly, faster, easier and with no concerns that reference points are captured in different places each time.
  • Safer: in dangerous or inaccessible areas, targets are not required to be physically positioned on pre-defined control points prior to each scan. This reduces the time exposed to hazards and unsafe areas.
Geospatial

Geospatial

Easily reference point clouds and produce reports highlighting accuracy values.

Utilities

Mining

Regularly monitor site operations (e.g. stockpiles) and hazards.

Security & Defence

Construction

Compare changes over time and map progress onto predetermined CAD/BIM models.

Capture

All GeoSLAM ZEB systems are able to capture reference points using the reference plate accessory. These reference points can simply be measured by remaining stationary for periods during a scan and will be recognised during the processing stage. Points can be captured from a horizontal or vertical position, depending on which ZEB system is used, making it easier than ever to georeference datasets.

Process

Using the Stop & Go Georeferencing workflow in GeoSLAM Connect, datasets can be automatically referenced through a rigid or non-rigid transformation.

Scans are rotated and adjusted and reference points are matched to the known control points without changing the scale factor. A single transform is applied to every data point in the point cloud.

The scale factor of datasets is altered to suit the control points – every data point is moved to a new position; this means the relative positions of these points also changes. This method is better suited for poor SLAM environments.

A clean georeferenced point cloud is produced using both methods. An accuracy report of the transformation is also generated and includes an RMS error value.

Once georeferenced using control points, point clouds can be optimised further using leading third party software:

  • Comparisons with existing CAD/BIM models
  • Point cloud to point cloud registration showing changes over time within a given area
  • CAD/BIM model creation

For more information about our third party partnerships, head to our integrations page.

Mapping hazardous mines under intense time constraints

Beck Engineering, an Australian mining engineering consultancy specialising in mining and rock mechanics analysis, needs to rapidly map mines under intense time constraints using versatile technology which is adaptable to any environment. GeoSLAM’s handheld mobile mapping solution was chosen as it is compact, portable and delivers a high level of accuracy. With GeoSLAM’s “go-anywhere” 3D technology in hand, Beck Engineering has been able to supply invaluable data regarding the direct effects of mining to better understand the implications of a deforming rock mass. Beck Engineering is now able to accurately measure the shape of an excavation or tunnel over time. As a result, tunnels are safer, better designed and more cost efficient.

We have continued to use GeoSLAM products as they have proven to be affordable, lightweight and sufficiently robust devices for their application underground. GeoSLAM continues to produce a high-quality device that is at the forefront of practical mobile laser scanning devices.
– Evan Jones, Senior Rock Mechanics Engineer at Beck

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    GeoSLAM Sample Data

    View and download data in our free point cloud viewer

    Here’s some helpful tips for the best viewing experience

    • If your internet connection allows, move the Point Budget slider to the maximum amount available to view all the points in the cloud.
    • Making the point size smaller using the Point Size slider makes the data easier to view and interpret.
    • In the tools section of the viewer, you can measure the distance and angles of features within the pointcloud.
    • Using the materials section of the viewer, you can use the Select Attributes dropdown to view by intensity, elevation and RGB (if point cloud is coloured).

    Building Block

    Location: United Kingdom
    ZEB Scanner: ZEB Horizon
    Scan time:
    45 Minutes

    Would you like to see a specific dataset that’s not on this page? Contact [email protected]

    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

    Minnesota Manholes – Scanning Safely and Quickly in Confined, Hazardous Spaces

    Industry

    Civil
    Engineering

    Location

    Minnesota,
    USA

    Size

    4,500
    manholes

    Scanned

    Sewer pipe
    network

    Public works and energy utilities are continually looking for new ways to protect the safety of their personnel in the field. With the help of the GeoSLAM ZEB Revo mobile laser scanner and the specially designed GeoSLAM Cradle, the cramped and hazardous spaces in manholes can now be captured in 3D without putting field workers at risk.

     “An engineering survey firm scanned the interiors of 4,500 manholes with the ZEB Revo for a Minnesota municipality,”

    What lies beneath the manhole covers found in nearly every city and town varies considerably. Some are access points to extensive storm water and sewer pipe networks. Others are entries into utility conduits through which water mains and electric lines are run. A few manholes are simply tight underground spaces where key pieces of municipal infrastructure reside.

    Regardless of their function, manholes and the assets they contain are difficult and sometimes hazardous to map. Not only are the interior spaces dark, dirty, confined and usually wet, they pose potential risks related to cave-ins, poor ventilation and rodent infestations. Above ground, the manhole access points are often in the middle of busy streets requiring set-up of a cone zone to try and protect workers from passing traffic.

    You capture the data you need for one job and then have information someone else might need for another without a second site visit.

    This combination of hazards compels workers to spend as little time inside the manhole as possible. As a result, they have traditionally captured only the measurements they need for the project at hand – usually with a surveying level rod.

    You capture the data you need for one job and then have information someone else might need for another without a second site visit. One of the most common applications is measuring the elevations of pipe inverts to map a water supply or drainage network in preparation for system expansion or maintenance. Personal hazards aside, making accurate asset measurements in a tight underground space with a long level rod can be challenging.

    The ZEB Revo is increasingly being turned to for these jobs because the handheld laser scanner is fast, accurate, and captures comprehensive point clouds. Most importantly, it keeps personnel out of harm’s way. Favoured for manhole environments because of its high IP rating, which means it can be used in dirty and wet conditions, the ZEB Revo can be lowered into the underground space with the GeoSLAM Cradle.

    manhole cover replacement, sewer system repair, sewerage; roadworks, traffic cones

    In just a few minutes, the lightweight device can capture 360-degree scans inside the space regardless of available lighting. Even if the assets being surveyed are offset from the opening or several meters down tunnels, the ZEB Revo captures the 3D scan data needed to generate an accurate point cloud of the subsurface space.

    “The first benefit of laser scanning [in manholes] is safety. The second is you collect a very comprehensive and complete data set. You capture the data you need for one job and then have information someone else [in the organization] might need for another…without a second site visit.

    frontier precision logo

    COWI embraces mobile mapping technology to measure buildings

    Industry

    Engineering

    Scan time

    6 months

    Location

    Various,
    Denmark

    Size

    400
    buildings

    Scanned

    Municipal
    buildings

    Digital technology is changing the way we design, construct and maintain our infrastructure. With the built environment ever more complex, traditional 2D data is not up to the task. As we move towards a more intelligent, more integrated, BIM-focused methodology, 3D data is becoming the norm. To stay ahead of the competition, surveying firms need to integrate innovative engineering approaches, digital technologies and intelligent data.

    COWI is a multi-discipline engineering and planning firm based in Denmark. We have been eager to accelerate survey workflows and, as a result, have embraced digital engineering and added several GeoSLAM solutions to our arsenal of specialist scanning equipment. In just 6 short months since acquiring their first handheld laser scanner, a two-man team at COWI has used the ’go-anywhere’ mapping device to survey the interiors of some 400 municipal buildings; mapping over 16,000 rooms and measuring more than 300,000 m2 .

    We can now measure building plans 10-times faster than we used to with total station or traditional survey equipment.

    GeoSLAM’s solutions are changing the way we survey buildings. We can now measure building plans 10-times faster than we used to with Total Station or traditional survey equipment. Our decision to purchase another GeoSLAM solution was easy. With their handheld devices, we surveyed more buildings with more rooms in six months than traditional survey equipment would have allowed in many years. And we were able to capture more information in the process.

    industries hero
    industries hero
    cowi logo

    Builders By Design introduce GeoSLAM into their workflow to reduce survey times

    Location

    London, UK

    Scan time

    6 – 8 scans per day

    Scanned

    Residential
    Properties

    Industry

    AEC

    Established in 2001, Builders by Design Ltd are a multi-disciplinary design and construction company based in London. Their expertise and services are mainly in the residential sector for new builds, conversions, and extensions. The core business is a combination of collaborations via competitive tender, negotiated contracts and design and build. They also have a bespoke joinery workshop facility in Park Royal, designing and fabricating furniture, kitchens, windows and doors. One of their greatest achievements to date, was being selected as the main contractor for Peacock House, a new build in Aldeburgh, Suffolk which was awarded a National and Regional RIBA award and was longlisted for Grand Designs House of the Year in 2017.

    We spoke with Director, Nick Phillips, following their recent purchase of their GeoSLAM ZEB Revo RT to get an understanding of how this was helping to support their business. Previously, external companies were appointed to produce the 2D surveys which proved to be expensive, time consuming and not without errors and omissions.

    Traditional 2D surveys instructed, would only take limited data, meaning important details on areas, such as staircases were incomplete. Inevitably there were times during the later stages of design and construction that the absence of such details required re-working of proposals. The manual process was also not very efficient, as it could take a full day for 1 person to survey a 3-bedroomed house and several weeks to receive the results. Nick identified that projects with existing structures should always start with comprehensive 3D data, which led to the purchase of the GeoSLAM ZEB Revo RT to enable 3D data capture in-house.

    Before purchasing the ZEB Revo RT, other scanners were considered, such as terrestrial and static, but there were time and software limitations to adopting these more traditional systems. Using these methods was not efficient enough for Builders by Design, as they needed technology with speed, accuracy, and ease of use. Using GeoSLAM handheld solutions meant they could complete between 6-8 scans a day, with the accuracy they needed, whereas a static scanner may only achieve 1-2 scans a day. With current Covid-19 restrictions, having a single operative on site for only 30-minutes to complete the internal and external data capture can bring logistical advantages where a property is still occupied.

    Builders by Design have integrated the ZEB Revo RT as an integral part of their digital workflows, providing all the stakeholders with dynamic visualisation material for project design. They use the ZEB Revo RT to scan the 3D point cloud, importing the data into CAD software to create 3D models and 2D planning documentation for the design team. Working in 3D environments together with other visualisation tools has also created a transparency and understanding of design intent between the Architect, the site team and the client that could not have been achieved with 2D plans, sections, and elevations.

    Having utilised the GeoSLAM ZEB Revo RT in-house to identify the many benefits to the business, they plan to collaborate with external Architectural and Design practices undertaking their own digital transformation journey, to build templated 2D documentation of existing buildings, 360° site photos, 3D model and bespoke CAD packages. In closing, Nick emphasised that: