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Laser technology adds third dimension to land surveying

February 16, 2009
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Stephen Dafoe
correspondent

Motorists driving through Grande Prairie’s busy downtown core last fall could be forgiven for missing an extensive surveying project being conducted for the city.

No roads were closed and no detours were set up.

The only indication that something was happening was a small piece of electronic equipment mounted on a surveying tripod.

Stephen Vickers, project manager of Grand Prairie-based Focus Corporation, said his company used a terrestrial laser scanner last October to scan several blocks, as well as some public open spaces, to provide the city with data on their grid system.

“We were able to capture a huge amount of data – 81 million survey points – more accurately and quicker than using conventional techniques,” he said, adding that the emerging technology allowed his company to reduce project time by about 50 per cent over traditional surveying methods.

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