Just prior to the lockdown a long-term client asked me ‘How are you going to deliver my survey project if you cannot get back to site during the Coronavirus lockdown?’
Physical site data captured, digital data processing and delivery
In explaining that we had already captured all of the site data we required to prepare the 3D model the previous day it became clear that his perception was that our activity was largely site based. While this is still true for our engineering and setting-out surveyors, there has been a digital revolution in the way we capture, prepare and deliver our surveys. I have spent over 30 years in design, architecture, construction and surveying and the pace of technological change in the past 5 years has been quite staggering and shows no signs of slowing down.
Laser scanning reduces time on site, while capturing more data
The adoption of laser scanning to capture site data has reduced the time required on site from weeks to days, improved dimensional accuracy and enabled the sharing of vital data to all stakeholders simultaneously. In reality the majority of our work is now virtual and remote from site. The large amounts of data reduces the need for return visits to a minimum.
Integrated virtual project teams
The biggest change is that rather than working in isolation we are now an integral part of the clients design team working in close collaboration with the professionals to understand their specific requirements and tailor the product to the precise level of information that they need to perform their role.
Our role therefore has increasingly become that of a data manager capturing, collating and distributing accurate reliable information in digital form.
Evolving technologies extending our service offering
The emergence of new technologies such as drones for data capture using video and photometric data are constantly improving and are being integrated with other methodologies to provide a wider range of services that were traditionally separate disciplines. The successful integration of these new technologies combining GIS, cartography, geospatial, topographic, below ground utilities, conditional and measurement surveys with ever increasing levels of data integration will continue to change our traditional role.
So it is perhaps my responsibility to communicate this message to our clients so that they can better understand the opportunities that these new ways of working can offer them.
Can we help with your survey project delivery?
Please get in touch so we can discuss helping you move your survey project forward during the Coronavirus lockdown and beyond.