Let’s explore the unique benefits of mobile mappers for as-built documentation, together with some hard numbers on how they can help your projects.
This article is part of a series about mobile mapping for experienced laser scanning professionals looking to make the jump to this new technology.
In an earlier article, we gave a quick overview of mobile mappers, and the technology that makes reality capture at a walking speed possible.
In this article, we’ll explore the unique benefits of these tools for as-built documentation. Then, we’ll finish up with some hard numbers that quantify exactly how much these tools can help your projects.
by Sean Higgins
Benefits of mobile mappers
Mobile mapping devices offer benefits across the as-built documentation workflow. In addition to streamlining the capture stage when you’re in the field, they offer a variety of features and functionality that can improve your workflow downstream.
Using a terrestrial laser scanner (TLS) to capture a building requires planning the scanner position, setting it up, and breaking it back down – over and over again. Since you might repeat these steps dozens or hundreds of times while capturing a single building, the time saved by using a mobile mapper can be significant. In typical projects, we’ve seen mobile mapping devices offer a speed increase of 10X over terrestrial scanning.
Mobile mappers can handle a wide variety of indoor environments, from large, open spaces like auditoriums and warehouses, to narrow spaces like mechanical, electrical, and plumbing (MEP) rooms, and multi-floor spaces with staircases. That means a mobile mapper can be the primary device for your building capture workflow – minimizing the time spent switching between different devices on the job site.
3. FEEDBACK IN THE FIELD
Most mobile mapping devices use the tablet interface to show your scan trajectory and give intuitive visual feedback about which areas have been scanned. If any areas were missed, for instance if part of a room was not captured due to an occlusion, this missing data will be clearly indicated on the display. Some tablet interfaces also feature advanced algorithms that can indicate the quality of the scan data you have captured, show the locations where panoramic images were taken, and even calculate the accuracy of the scan data using control points.
4. LESS TIME SPENT ON REGISTRATION
A mobile scanner with hot-swappable batteries enables you to scan at a walking speed for more than an hour. That means you can capture a significant amount of the asset – certain cases up to 3,000 square meters – before beginning another scan. As a result, a mobile mapping device can reduce the number of scans you capture and help limit the time you spend on the tedious step of organizing and lining up your scans in the post-processing stage.
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