The Changing World of Land Surveying (part 4)
Dave Zacharias, P.L.S.
In previous BME articles, we discussed LiDAR, a remote sensing technology that BME Associates is currently utilizing to gain better topography for your projects and as a means of helping you to control your costs. We also talked about KMZ file creation for Google Earth. Our land surveyors are currently utilizing this technology to not only help us in the field, but allowing our clients the ability for a stake-less, stake-out they can use for visualization of lots, roads and utilities. We also discussed 3D Modeling for Machine Control and how we are underway with that modeling for our own site designs and for sites designed by others. We would love to discuss your project needs and how to best get you moving forward with any of these technological improvements in the land surveying world.
This month we want to delve a little deeper into technology we saw coming last time, but is indeed now here for us to use and provide you with new and better deliverables that can add value to your projects.
Unmanned Aerial Systems (drones) are here!
This technology is now in our hands as a means of improving our efficiency and we believe we will be better prepared to offer you deliverables that were not traditionally in the realm of the land surveying industry.
Our own Justin Freida is now a Certified Remote Pilot flying under the rules of FAA section 333. We are taking flight with our new DJI Phantom 4 Pro drone equipped with a 20 megapixel camera and are learning what our client wants and needs are relative to remote photography and video. We plan to soon incorporate the aerial photography capabilities to model sites for simple 3D model generation as well as topographic surveying. We thought LiDAR was an improvement to quality data over conventional surveying. The new modeling capabilities will move from LiDAR generating one point per square meter (minimum) to UAS derived topo capable of one inch per pixel if desired.
As we continue to investigate how to best integrate this technology into the world of our clients, we think about putting a LiDAR puck on the drone to generate quality 3D building models for Architectural rehab use and client infill projects. We think about putting an infrared camera on the drone to help researchers study plant development or perhaps monitor green infrastructure success or otherwise. So give us call to discuss where your imagination has taken you, and to see if we can help you land safely!
Remote Hydrographic Surveys
And lastly, Remote Hydrographic Surveys. At the time we were looking into remote boats for the purpose of providing hydrographic surveys of river, pond and lake bottoms. While at the time, that didn’t end up being a fit for us, we look forward to someday soon perhaps being able to add a single photon LiDAR puck to a drone and have the capability of penetrating water for bathymetric surveys. We anticipate single photon technology on a drone will bring efficiency and safety to our pond bottom surveys. We also anticipate that this technology will provide better survey coverage and allow users to more accurately define their pond maintenance needs and reduce their costs.
BME Associates is committed to utilizing the latest technologies in an effort to bring our clients a better deliverable with added value for your projects.