Rapid and Accurate Facility Mapping

At GeoAfrika Surveys we strive to constantly keep our pulse on innovation. We were amongst the first in Southern Africa to invest in Global Positioning Systems (GPS) in the late 90’s and Drone platforms in 2012.

Our investment philosophy when it comes to new technology is simple. We watch for new advancements, allow the innovation curve to progress and rigorously test manufacturer claims. This process ensures we employ only appropriate and tested resources on our clients projects.

Current Issues

The lack of current, accurate building plans is a significant issue that can stall the development and management of built environment assets. As land surveying professionals we are often requested to survey these assets and produce as-built plans for engineers, architects, facility managers or asset owners. Depending on the size, age and usage of these facilities the documentation process can be arduous and expensive – even with relatively modern day tools (static laser scanners, Matterports etc). The operational requirements of the facility often also dictate a very small window when measurements can be undertaken – requiring either upscaling of resources or longer project timelines.

GeoAfrika Surveys have recently invested in an innovation that mitigates these issues – a next generation, wearable mobile-mapping device. The technology utilizes advanced Simultaneous Localization And Mapping (SLAM) algorithms –  similar to those found in self-driving cars – to map in real-time as a surveyor navigates through a facility. The coarse SLAM mapping data is coupled with measurements onto high-order survey benchmarks in post-processing to produce a highly accurate point cloud dataset from which any number of deliverables can be extracted. The point cloud is colourised using the camera configuration on the device which also produces a seamless 360 degree photo tour of the facility.

What can this new technology offer?

The utilization of this device means that sites can be captured up to 10x faster than conventional methods. A single days capture can cover anything from 8000 – 15 000sqm depending on the usage and facility layout. The imagery and mapped data can be accessed – via the cloud – to any mobile or connected device approved by the secured data portal. The combination of these two datasets provides a rich and accurate geospatial dataset of the facility – which could be used for any one of the following applications:

  1. Architectural | Engineering | Construction (do we want to expand on the below at all?)
    1. Floor Plans
    2. 3D CAD Models
    3. BIM Modelling
    4. Remote Site Visualization
    5. Construction Progress monitoring
  1. Facility Management
    1. Lease Area Plans
    2. Remote Site Visualization – procurement, planning
    3. Embedded facility management (with 3rd party plugin – SAP, IOT etc)
  1. General Management
    1. Factory Planning
    2. Remote Site Visualization – staff training, management, insurance audits
    3. Centralized Asset management

For more info email us on surveys@geoafrika.co.za or contact us here

About the Author: Juliette Rowlett

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