3D Digital Survey Revolution

  1. I have recently had an article published online about The 3D Digital Survey Revolution.
  2. Local surveyors have had the opportunity to leverage incredible technological change over the past 40 years.
  3. We now have a new opportunity – 3D laser scanning and the 3D fusion revolution.

Continuing with the focus on the local surveyor, I had almost forgotten about an article, with the same title as this post, that I wrote last fall. It was recently published on line, and in case you haven’t come across it I will provide a few highlights.

First of all the impact of changes in technology on the surveying profession over the past 40 years have been amazing. I know many of you will not even be able to appreciate this, but I got a BS in Civil Engineering using a slide rule. In 1976 I bought my first computer – a Texas Instruments TI-55. When you turned off the power you lost all of your work, but it was still a giant step up from log tables.

The surveying and mapping profession has been on the leading, some would say bleeding edge of all of the major disruptive technologies – the PC, the laser, satellites, digital electronics, CAD, GIS, GPS, the Internet, and now 3D laser scanning. Question – has the average survey professional taken advantage of this technology to improve their standing? Unfortunately, I would have to answer no, at least in the US.

Now a new opportunity is presenting itself – 3D laser scanning, which is part of a much larger 3D digital survey, or my new favorite term for all this, 3D fusion revolution. A perfect example of the need for the surveyor to be one of the leaders of this disruptive technology is the debate I am having on how to specify real world coordinates for a data standard. This is the surveyor’s turf.

So as in the past with GPS, GIS and now 3D laser scanning we have an opportunity to take a leadership role. Let’s step up.

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