New for summer – our ‘Industry Insider’ series!

Over the coming weeks, we're going to be asking prominent people in the survey industry to outline their three most rated geospatial industry innovations/changes in around 100 words or so...and anything goes!

Over the coming weeks, we’re going to be asking prominent people in the survey industry to outline their three most rated geospatial industry innovations/changes in around 100 words or so…and anything goes!

We’ll be sharing these thoughts on LinkedIn and have some great names lined up!

We’ll be adding each addition to our ‘Insider Series’ to the KOREC blog to build up a picture of what those in the know really rate.

Polly Hopkins, Company Secretary of Storm Geomatics, specialists in surveying in water

Polly has been with Storm Geomatics since day 1! Her expertise lies in understanding and researching Storm Geomatic’s clients’ pain points, then ensuring that her colleagues address these by providing solutions through the best methods of data capture.

Polly’s three most rated innovations/changes:

The increasing use of photogrammetry to produce highly accurate and detailed models of both the built and natural environments are now readily available to a wider number of geospatial surveyors. The increased use of photogrammetry is possible because of:

Increasing power and memory storage of computers too process large volumes of data and media that compliments data capture capabilities and processing. Such as photogrammetry.

Software innovation focusing on being specific to client needs to accelerate the process of problem solving. For example, GeoRiver® River Channel processing software that is a result of collaboration between Storm Geomatics and engineer clients to produce an understanding of specific requirements to solve flood solutions.

To conclude; photogrammetry, the power of the computer and functionality of software are all innovations that will greatly enhance geospatial data capture and ensure processing of data is accelerating the process of problem solving.

Ron Bisio, Senior Vice President at Trimble, with responsibility for the Geospatial and Transportation sectors

Ron joined the company in 1996 and has held several marketing, sales and general management positions prior to taking over worldwide responsibility for Trimble Geospatial in 2015. He earned a master’s degree in business administration from the University of Denver, a master’s in regional planning from the University of Massachusetts and an undergraduate degree in geographic information systems & cartography from Salem State University in Salem, Mass.

Ron’s three most rated geospatial industry innovations/changes

• Digital twins will be central to addressing infrastructure needs across the world. The collaborative, connected environment of the digital twin also applies to BIM, where mixed reality solutions support a new way of working with architecture, engineering and construction models throughout the building lifecycle, from design and demolition. 

• The cloud enables changes in data collection and processing and is broadening the surveyor’s role in bringing all elements into a connected workflow for customers to get their work done.

Mobile mapping and laser scanning are transforming engineering and construction by capturing highly accurate data about bridges and roadway infrastructure, while improving safety and productivity.

Gavin Schrock, Licensed land surveyor and consulting editor of GoGeomatics

Gavin Schrock is also a practicing, licensed land surveyor, technology writer, administrator of a cooperative real-time GNSS network (RTN) and consulting editor of GoGeomatics. He has worked in surveying, mapping, geodesy, monitoring, data management, satellite navigation, and GIS in public works, commercial development, defense, and utilities.  @schrockg

Gavin’s four most rated geospatial industry innovations/changes

Practical Augmented Reality for Construction and Surveying

The face-box AR systems, like we see promoted in consumer markets, were never going to be practical—or safe—for field or worksite environments. The realisation of true “mixed reality” was long overdue for AEC applications; I’d been waiting for this for decades, ever since I saw those heads-up displays in fighter aircraft and thought “why can’t we have this in the field?” Then along came the Trimble XR10 in 2019, based on the HoloLens 2, later productized as for construction layout earlier this year, powered by the FieldLink MR application. The future just got quite bit closer. Ok Trimble, now give us a tilt-prims-pole to go with it!

Cobots for Surveying

Sure, we are long way from full-on robots as field crews, but the benefits or automation, particularly to boost productivity and reduce common sources of error are already being realised with “cobotics” instruments.  A “cobot” is often defined as “a computer-controlled robotic device designed to assist a person”. A prime example in surveying is advanced scanners like the X7 that self-calibrate, perform automated fine levelling, and progressively self-register multiple scans. Another is the robotic platforms, like the surveying robo-dogs (and follow-along equipment pods) that take their cues from their human party chief/coach. Expect to see robotic total stations and UAS get a bit more “coboty” in the near future.

The Time to Upgrade Your Survey GNSS is Now

It’s good move to help firms keep up with the present more-work-than-they-can-handle situation. But also, in this tight job market, the latest kit can help attract and retain staff. GNSS rovers have undergone a dramatic leap forward just in the past few years with the Galileo and Beidou constellations reaching full complement in 2020. Rover manufacturers had to boost processing power and completely revamp RTK engines, like in the R12, to fully leverage an expanded slate of modernized signals. There have been noticeable gains in speed, multipath mitigation, ability to work in sky-view-challenged environments—not to mention sensor integration like no-calibration tilt.

Pay-as-you-go High Precision GNSS

A unique combination of GNSS hardware and software-as-a-service (SaaS) provides very affordable high-precision—on an as-needed basis. Late last year, I got to test-drive the Trimble DA2/Catalyst system, and found that under most conditions, it performed just as well as a high-end surveying rover. With a small investment in an antenna, you use credits to essentially “rent” the high precision receiver/RTK engine. Perfect for those with occasional or seasonal needs or seeking to outfit a large team for a term project. In 2017, the first generation of Catalyst demonstrated that software-defined-GNSS-receivers were practical; this latest gen system improves the user experience, better leverages multiple constellations.