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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