How Has 3D Laser Scanning Helped the Surveying Industry?

Posted by Team - 02 September, 2015


You've probably seen land-surveying equipment out in the world before – those strange-looking, brightly colored tripods often seen at construction sites. Land surveyors map out and measure the land and surrounding environment of construction sites and other types of property. They use mathematics, technology, and equipment to create an accurate portrayal of the property. Their surveys are used to draft blueprints, map dig locations, and collaborate with engineers. Land surveying is actually one of the oldest professions in the world.


Some of the earliest evidence of land surveys is nearly 3,000 years old! Before technology changed the way surveyors analyzed and mapped the land around them, they used chains, steel bands, and slide rulers to measure the land. Obviously, land surveying during these times was inaccurate and significantly time consuming. These days, surveyors use advanced technology, like 3D laser scanning, to create realistic surveys with pinpoint accuracy.

3D laser scanners use a mix of lasers, lights, and x-ray technology to scan the physical attributes of the land around them. They use enhanced mathematics to turn data about the land into a visual 3D representation. These devices offer land surveyors quite a few advantages:

Increased Efficiency

Land surveyors no longer have to walk the perimeter of the land, taking multiple measurements and collecting other data. Now, 3D scanners do all the work quickly and accurately. That means land surveyors can spend more time realizing data instead of collecting it. 3D scans can be used to create 3D models, which land surveyors can present to clients. This is particularly helpful for clients who aren’t mathematically minded and may have trouble visualizing what all that land data means.

The Ability to Work From Anywhere

Before 3D laser scanners, land surveyors often had to work on and around obstacles to obtain accurate measurements. 3D laser scanners dominate every aspect of the environment. Whether taking aerial measurements or assessing water depths, 3D laser scanners can be used in a variety of ways to provide multiple solutions to space issues.

Incredible Accuracy

Land surveyors have to rely on their sharp minds and precise measurements to create accurate maps of the land. Obviously, there’s always a margin for human error. But with 3D laser scanners, the data collected is as accurate as possible. Using 3D laser scanners in conjunction with other technology, surveyors can create accurate maps, drawings, and models.

This gives civil engineers, oil and gas companies, and other entities reliable models of their properties for whatever their use may be. Digital models created from 3D laser scans are extremely precise. They show how a space is truly laid out, even down to the way the sun hits certain elements of the land. This is incredibly useful for surveyors and their clients.

Saving Time

3D laser scanners reduce the amount of time it takes to survey the land and collect data. In fact, they reduce fieldwork time by 50-70%. What's more, they collect this data at lightning fast speeds and with unbeatable accuracy. This saves on labor costs and cuts down on the time land surveyors have to spend on a particular project. Not only is this helpful to the surveyors themselves but also to the industry as a whole.

Currently, there’s a shortage of land surveyors in the U.S. This means the few surveyors left are getting bombarded with work. 3D laser scanners cut down on the time it takes to complete a survey and process data, so surveyors can spend more time with their clients and less in the field. Thanks to 3D laser scanners, many companies report an approximate 50% reduction in overall project turnaround times.

Property Lien Guide


Topics: Surveying

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