With 3D printing on the verge of going mainstream, 3D motion control making gaming more realistic, and 3D design tools aiding the visualization of everything from buildings and infrastructure to underground pipelines, 3D innovation is everywhere.

What role is 3D technology playing in surveying and mapping? We asked you to tell us in a study conducted by BNP Media's market research group. Here are the top 3D trends in surveying as reported in the study.


Surveyors Still Prefer Traditional Tools

The majority of surveyors are using total stations and GPS/GNSS, while only 39% are using 3D tools. 43% have partnered with another firm to access or share 3D capabilities.


Data Management is a Key Area for 3D

Surveyors are using 3D tools such as modeling software and point clouds to help them to manage data collected in the field.


Top 5 Applications for 3D Services

  1. Topographic mapping
  2. Construction
  3. Architectural/BIM
  4. Energy/Utilities
  5. Hydrography/Bathymetry


Demand is Growing

68% of respondents say that demand for 3D services has increased in the past 12 months.


Technology is Driving Demand

Democratization of 3D technology and new technologies with improved 3D capabilities are the biggest drivers in the demand for professional 3D services.


Surveyors Need to Capture Opportunities in 3D

57% of surveyors who currently use or have access to 3D tools and 41% of surveyors who have not used or had access to 3D tools believe that the surveying profession has the opportunity to lead in 3D but isn't moving quickly enough.

31% of surveyors who have not used or had access to 3D tools believe that 3D technology isn't necessary for most surveying tasks.

21% of surveyors who currently use or have access to 3D tools and 15% of surveyors who have not used or had access to 3D tools believe that surveyors will inevitably be left behind in the application of 3D technology.