The advantages of using 3D laser scanning technology are being seen more often in the surveying and engineering world than even just a couple of years ago. More clients are specifically requesting laser scanning services for a variety of different sectors including architecture, plant facilities, educational institutions and municipalities.
Because I am an end user of laser scanning technology, I get excited whenever a manufacturer comes out with something new. Some advances are more exciting than others, but the most thrilling development I have seen in the last five years occurred the other day.
As surveyors, we take great care in understanding sources of errors in measurements, and strive to find ways to decrease or eliminate the effects of errors. With each instrument we use, we need to have an understanding of the sources of errors that can come from it.
It has been well recognized that 3D laser scanners are a useful tool for a wide variety of surveying and engineering projects where existing conditions need to be documented. Many organizations are incorporating 3D laser scanning into their daily workflows either as specific scan jobs or as regular surveying activities.
Laser scanning, also known as 3D imaging, terrestrial LIDAR, high-definition scanning and 3D laser scanning, is becoming less of a specialized service and more a part of everyday surveying. Part of the reason behind the growing acceptance of this technology is that today's laser scanners, to borrow from some of the manufacturers' taglines, are "friendly" and "think like surveyors."
It has been said that "if you can dream it, you can build it." The architects who came up with the design for the new Station Place Building in downtown Washington, D.C., must have been doing a lot of dreaming. The new home of the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) is a 1.6-million-square-foot, 10-story office development located next to the historic Union Station. It features a prominent glass atrium lobby-composed of a complex, double-curved cable net wall and skylight. Complex also describes the level of surveying applied to this unique structure.