Total stations are becoming a baseline tool for land surveyors and geospatial professionals. POB’s 3D Surveying Trends 2016 and 2017 study, completed in February 2017, shows 92 percent of respondents are using total stations. This is statistically identical to the 91 percent in the 2016 report. There has, however, been a rise in the use of GPS/GNSS. Use of those tools rose by 12 points to 84 percent in the 2017 study.
The tools at the center of the study, 3D tools, also experienced an increase from 28 percent in 2016 to 38 percent in 2017. Modeling software and point cloud data continue to lead the 3D tool category. An interesting result was the rise in the use of photogrammetric cameras reported by respondents. While some other studies from late 2016 had been showing a decline in acquisition or use of photogrammetric cameras, the 3D trends study shows a 13 point increase (to 44 percent of respondents).