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

Software Reviews
Sponsored By

Continuing Series
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







Spatial Media LLC properties




Home arrow Archives   The American Surveyor     

Editorial: The 3D Train Print E-mail
Written by Marc Cheves, PS   
Saturday, 04 February 2012

A 206Kb PDF of this article as it appeared in the magazine—complete with images—is available by clicking HERE

The winds of change continue to blow, and blow they did in Denver. At the January 2012 International LiDAR Mapping Forum (ILMF) we proudly launched our latest venture, LiDAR Magazine, the only contemporary geo-publication dedicated solely to LiDAR technology. ILMF, now in its 12th year, attracted more than 700 registrants and offered beginner to expert sessions, complete with a well-rounded exhibit hall and plenty of networking opportunity. Some of the high-level technical sessions at ILMF pertained to the science behind LiDAR, covering such things as bare-earth DEMs derived from point clouds gathered with leaves on versus leaves off, and even more exotic subjects such as echo digitization and waveform analysis. But there were also plenty of basic sessions for the folks just now investigating this inevitable technology.

To the everyday surveyor, much of this is still uncharted territory. If you're in a position to diversify, this is a great event to attend. Rather than fill The American Surveyor with this information, we've chosen to offer it through a separate magazine--if you want to receive it, just ask. We've also worked to find the middle-ground, or topics most relevant to traditional surveyors. At ILMF, we caught up with an old friend, Joe Betit, who has researched the 3D field for years, relentlessly investigating opportunity rather than waiting for someone else to do it for him.

Survey managers like Joe, who co-wrote last month's cover feature about the Bechtel subway project in northern Virginia, are using every technology they can get their hands on to effectively manage projects. "There is no one single silver bullet," says Betit. "Complex infrastructure environments now require integration of high accuracy 3D survey systems, construction management database systems, robotic and GPS surveying for layout and as-builts, engineering 3D CAD models, laser point clouds, construction management and scheduling. Data interoperability and integrated 3D survey/construction systems are the keys to success."

According to Betit, 3D imaging technologies are valuable for structure monitoring, surface deformation, clearance verification, the monitoring of crane movements under bridges and overhead wires, ground and adjacent structure topographic mapping, train platform clearances and as-builts.

Scanning-wise, Betit has used Riegl mobile mappers, as well as Riegl, Trimble and Leica scanners for static scans. To integrate conventional surveying tasks with scanning tasks, he has placed his scanning staff alongside the survey monitoring and control densification group. As the saying goes, iron sharpens iron.

Since the dawn of recorded history, mapmakers have translated our three-dimensional world into two dimensions. At ILMF, Lewis Graham, CTO of GeoCue Corporation, made a presentation during an ASPRS Hot Topics session and predicted that within five years all imagery will be 3D. As I have talked with surveyors across the country, I have encountered quite a few who don't want anything to do with scanning. Granted, it's always been pricey to get into it, but with the prices for scanners approaching that of the price for a robotic total station, and a less than rosy horizon for traditional land development surveying, the 3D Train may be just the ticket.

Marc Cheves is the editor of the magazine.

A 206Kb PDF of this article as it appeared in the magazine—complete with images—is available by clicking HERE

< Prev   Next >

 American Surveyor Recent Articles
Thought Leader: The Short Cut Method
I began my quest to become a land surveyor many years ago in Nebraska. I had the good fortune to have had a job wandering around the state retracing mile after mile of GLO surveys. These large scale boundary surveys offered all sorts of learning experiences. One of the object lessons came ....
Read the Article
Jason E. Foose, PS 
Decided Guidance: Boundary Fixed by Common Grantor
The case of Atwell v. Olson presented the Supreme Court of the State of Washington with the question of whether an agreed line between grantor and grantee is binding on subsequent owners? Here's another look at a grantee's meaning of the word "half." Unlike the case Wood v. Mandrilla ....
Read the Article
Barnes and Tucker 
Surveying the Colorado River Aqueduct
During the 1920s, the city of Los Angeles was burgeoning. Demographics were changing and geographic boundaries were being pushed out in all directions. Oil was booming, industrialization was in full swing, and water was in high demand. Southern ....
Read the Article
John Stenmark, PS 
Indoor Mobile Mapping Takes Off at LAX
Airports are key components of the global transportation infrastructure. They are complex, expensive investments that require tight management. In order to achieve efficient operations and optimized return on investment, it's essential to have ....
Read the Article
Larry Trojak 
Station to Station
Though most facets of the construction process stand to benefit from building information modeling (BIM), general contractors and construction managers could gain the most from the push toward its implementation. BIM, after all, is designed to help ....
Read the Article
Dave Lindell, PS 
Test Yourself: Thinking Inside the Box
A square's diagonal is intersected by a line from another vertex to the midpoint of an opposite side. A circle is inscribed in the triangle opposite the midpoint as shown. What is its radius if the side of the square is "s"? ....
Read the Article
Wendy Lathrop, PS, CFM 
Vantage Point: A Few Words
"Proceed to the route." These are words I sometimes hear from my car's GPS--as if I would be asking for directions if I knew how to get to the route in the first place. Yes, this is a machine's response that does not take human frustration into account. But even human communication can take ....
Read the Article


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


Trimble Intros
S5 Ti-M

press [at] amerisurv.com
Online Internet Content


News Feeds

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

Need Help? See this RSS Tutorial

Historic Maps

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 



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