Applying 3D Scanning Technology to Geospatial Applications

Applying 3D Scanning Technology to Geospatial Applications

Terrestrial laser scanners are extremely useful because of their versatility; the most likely projects for adverse conditions are ones taking place outdoors. Most scanners have settings and/or filters to deal with outdoor conditions like sunlight, distant objects, and sky conditions. Typically, working during direct sunlight hours is not recommended, doing this creates “noisier” point clouds which require more extensive post processing clean up. Also inclement weather should be avoided (wind, snow, and rain) since data can be corrupted due to movement of the instrument. Improvisation and creativity will often help in gathering data when needed, such as ensuring the stabilization of the scanner using counter-weights.

Performing an entire project on a single scan setting is not always the most efficient method. For example, scans that require long distance capture of targets, the operator should be aware of which setting gives them the best chance to capture those targets. Whereas scans with the sole purpose of preventing “shadowing” or filling in scanner blind spots should have a different setting.

When considering whether or not to deploy a terrestrial laser scanner, it helps in knowing what has been scanned and what has not. Each available scanner has options to customize scan settings and this versatility allows for project creativity. The potential and on-going uses of large volume laser scanning are being taken advantage of in your industry and being well-informed will help drive a successful scanning business.


Understanding The Process In Five Steps:

The Importance of Defining the Project Scope

Every customer contacts us with a goal in mind. However, they may not know what has to be done to achieve that goal. At ECM we begin every project with a customer visit and a full evaluation of the scope of the project. This is the most important part of the process. Understanding the objectives of the customer sets the stage for establishing equipment type, scanning technique, modeling process, and ultimately the customer’s end result.

Understand BIM to CAD Comparison

We understand the need to have control over every aspect of your project. ECM engineers are sensitive to company policies and non-disclosure agreements. Our engineers will not only walk you through the process, but they will identify every level of detail so you understand every step and what comes next in the process.

You tell us your specification requirements and we will build the model to match. All you have to do is send us the CAD and any accompanying PDF files for us to get started. You will work with a dedicated engineer who will review your templates and work within your comfort zone.

Selecting the Right Technology

Land Surveying is not just about experience and technique in the field, it is about understanding and adopting the science of measurement otherwise known as “metrology” to the world of construction, architecture, facility planning, historic preservation, and overall infrastructure.

ECM has over 15 years of experience in the metrology industry ranging from dimensional measurement, scanning and modeling, reverse engineering and part-to-CAD reporting. Land Surveying and Building Information Modeling (BIM) combines the science of measurement with special software to create the end-goal for the customer.

Our engineers have experience with the leading scanning equipment in the industry and we partner with the OEMs that manufacture the equipment. When you choose ECM, you know you are putting your trust in a company that has the latest and greatest technology to provide you with the highest quality results.

Choosing Your Scanning Method

A scan typically ranges from 2 minutes to 30 minutes depending on the density, sampling, and field of view settings. Some scanners are able to record a panoramic photograph which is superimposed onto the point cloud resulting in colorized RGB data points. Each point cloud created does not have any positional reference to the other scans. In order to reference several scans together, software will require using targets or in the case that targets aren’t used; the scans overlap each other. Each scanning technique will result in an accurate and full point cloud, however, only the use of targets will ensure accuracy maximization.

Reviewing the Results

Many variables can occur that will affect data quality and time spent out in the field. The skill in knowing how different variables will affect the data typically comes with more scanning experience; however, all outcomes can usually be predicted beforehand with proper understanding.