About Amerisurv| Contact    
Magazine | Newsletter    
Flickr Photos | Advertise    
HomeNewsNewsletterAmerisurv DirectoryJobsStoreAuthorsHistoryArchivesBlogVideosEvents
 
advertisement


Subscriptions
Software Reviews
Sponsored By

Continuing Series
     RTN
An RTN expert provides everything you need to know about network-corrected real-time GNSS observations.
Click Here to begin the series,
or view the Article PDF's Here
76-PageFlip Compilation
of the entire series
Test Yourself

Got Answers?
Test your knowledge with NCEES-level questions.
  Start HERE
Meet the Authors
Check out our fine lineup of writers. Each an expert in his or her field.
Wow Factor
Sponsored By


Product Reviews
Partner Sites

machinecontrolonline 


lbszone.com

GISuser.com

GeoJobs.biz

GeoLearn

 

Spatial Media LLC properties

Associates

ASPRS

newsnow 

Home arrow Archives   The American Surveyor     

A Dimensional Shift Print E-mail
Written by Ron Lowry and Keith Holloway   
Monday, 22 November 2010

While it has its roots in architecture, the principles and benefits of 3D modeling can apply to all disciplines, including surveying and engineering.

The road to a successful construction project can often be blocked by disjointed lines of communication and fragmented, unreliable data. If a fluid process isn’t created from the beginning, miscues are bound to occur. Whether or not the project goes smoothly starts with the surveyor, a highly skilled technician capable of determining the terrestrial or three-dimensional position of points and the distances and angles between them. Accurate point lists, plat maps and topographical plans are essential to modern-day architects and contractors, who prefer integrative digital collaboration and a more team-oriented approach to data collection and delivery.

In recent years, advanced building modeling software has enabled project teams to use coordinated, consistent information throughout the design/build process. The ability to enhance the analysis of appearance, performance and cost has resulted in a faster, more economical and environmentally friendly delivery of projects. One key technological development driving this trend is Building Information Modeling (BIM), which allows for the three-dimensional exploration of a project’s key physical and functional characteristics digitally — before it is built.

BIM utilizes 3-D modeling concepts, information technology and software interoperability to design, construct and operate structures. The basic idea involves generating information in a format that can be viewed and/or accessed by all stakeholders during the project’s lifecycle. This means that as the information passes from surveyor to engineer, engineer to architect, architect to contractor, and contractor to owner, there should be no “re-inventing” of information.

The ultimate success of BIM lies in the ability of project members to create a solid platform for an improved, more efficient means of producing useful and reliable data critical to the building process.

Role of the Surveyor
Because it involves buildings, many people think BIM is just for architects, but it is important to surveyors and engineers as well. Traditionally, architects and contractors collected 2-D information from surveyors and used it as background information, not as functional modeling information. In recent years, the ability of surveyors to generate deliverables in 3-D and higher dimensional formats has allowed for a more fluid process, which, in turn, saves time and money.

By uploading underground utility, contour and gradient data in a digital model that can be interpreted by civil engineering software, surveyors can provide precise and trustworthy information to architects and contractors. Armed with this comprehensive 3-D model, design professionals can make better-informed decisions in the early design phase. Moving forward, the information can be used to generate consistent documentation, which can be leveraged beyond design for construction and facilities maintenance. It can also be linked to other project information and be used repeatedly for many different purposes.

Site Functionality
Providing accurate strata on a construction site is essential to avoiding problems as the site plans develop and building begins. Surveyors, therefore, play critical roles in increasing efficiency by creating a blueprint for efficacy from the start. BIM, along with modern geographical tools such as global positioning systems (GPS), arm surveyors with the tools needed to create reliable models upon which everyone on the project team can build. For example, the surveyor and civil engineer, using advanced BIM software, develop a highly accurate, digital 3-D model of a land development site. After receiving a copy of this model, the contractor loads a variant of it directly into the onboard computer of a GPS-equipped bulldozer or excavator. Using GPS and on-site laser-based positioning systems, the equipment operator compares real-time locations with the current site model and completes earthwork to unprecedented levels of accuracy.

When a surveyor puts relevant data into BIM model form, it can be leveraged by other members of the project team and used for collaboration, visualization, reporting and archiving purposes, and as the seed to grow the project. The BIM model can consume and incorporate data from many different sources, including the architect’s building; the local utility company’s infrastructure; the landscaper’s plant layout; the engineer’s drainage plan; the surveyor’s surface, boundary and easements; and the developer’s new street names.

In an environment where surveyors, civil engineers and general contractors face tight deadlines and even tighter budgets, they need to work accurately and efficiently. With the aid of BIM and other high-tech tools, they can automate much of the construction process and dramatically improve productivity, thereby completing site construction projects faster and more profitably.

About the Authors
Ron Lowry (left) is the chairman of RLF, a leading Winter Park, Fla.-based architecture, engineering and interior design firm. Keith Holloway is project manager and BIM coordinator for RLF.


 
< Prev   Next >

 American Surveyor Recent Articles
Editorial 
Thought Leader: Land is Too Important to Be Left to Land Specialists
A while back I was searching the Internet for an old treatise on land titles. A Google query yielded a book published in 1914. The author was Charles Claudius Kagey and the book was titled "Land Survey and Land Titles, a book for boys and girls, a reference volume for property owners, a text ....
Read the Article
Jason E. Foose, PS 
Decided Guidance: Wacker vs. Price - Irony in Sevenfold
This month's case takes us to Phoenix, Arizona in 1950. The Arizona Supreme Court went all guns-a-blazin' in Wacker vs. Price (216 P.2d 707 (Ariz. 1950)). Maybe it's just me, but I'm sensing plenty of irony and have taken license to point it out along the way. I like what the Court did with this case ....
Read the Article
Allen E. Cheves 
Around the Bend - A Visit to Carlson Software
The Ohio River is one of America's greatest, running near 1,000 miles between Pittsburgh and the Mighty Mississippi. Much of the coal and other products that fueled our nation's industrial expansion flowed between the shores of this maritime ....
Read the Article
Lee Lovell, PS 
Surveying & Mapping Economics Part 3 - Customers & Services
This article continues an inquiry into the economic conditions of the Surveying and Mapping industry (NAICS 541370) using data from the U.S. Census Bureau. This time we will look at customers and services. The data comes from the Economic Census conducted every 5 years on American ....
Read the Article
Jerry Penry, PS 
True Elevation: Black Elk Peak
Black Elk Peak, located in the Black Hills region of South Dakota, is the state's highest natural point. It is frequently referred to as the highest summit in the United States east of the Rocky Mountains. Two other peaks, Guadalupe Peak in Texas and ....
Read the Article
Larry Trojak 
Bringing The Goods - Mobile Scanning an Integral Component
When Jim Smith, Jerrad Burns and Charlie Patton left the Memphis division of a major construction company in 2015, they took with them the knowledge of how to get even the most complex jobs done and what equipment could best serve them in making that happen. So when they joined West ....
Read the Article
 
Lee Lovell, PS 
Test Yourself 41: Integers, Integers, and Integers
ABF is a 5:12:13 triangle, ACF is a 48:55:73 triangle, ADF is a 3:4:5 triangle, and AEF is a 7:24:25 triangle, all with integer sides and inscribed in a semi-circle. What are the lengths of BC, CD, and DE? ....
Read the Article
Wendy Lathrop, PS, CFM 
Vantage Point: Sunset or Sunrise?
While we often think of legislated government programs as static, they do change over time. Such evolution and opportunity for transformation are part of the dialogue in reauthorizing these programs. Every so many years there is a sunset on each government program, and this September is the ....
Read the Article
 

deliciousrssnewsletterlinkedinfacebooktwitter

Amerisurv Exclusive Online-only Article ticker
Featured Amerisurv Events
List Your Event Here
please
contact Amerisurv


Google
 
AMERISURV TOP NEWS

Spectra Precision
SP90m Receiver

GOT NEWS? Send To
press [at] amerisurv.com
Online Internet Content

Sponsor


News Feeds

 
Subscribe to Amerisurv news & updates via RSS or get our Feedburn
xml feed

Need Help? See this RSS Tutorial

Historic Maps
Careers

post a job
Reach our audience of Professional land surveyors and Geo-Technology professionals with your GeoJobs career ad. Feel free to contact us if you need additional information.

 

Social Bookmarks

Amerisurv on Facebook 

Amerisurv LinkedIn Group 

Amerisurv Flickr Photos 

Amerisurv videos on YouTube 

twitter

 




The American Surveyor © All rights reserved / Privacy Statement
Spatial Media LLC
905 W 7th St #331
Frederick MD 21701
301-620-0784
301-695-1538 - fax