Laser scanning technology has been in use for more than a decade, with cutting edge applications ranging from surveying historic monuments to streamlining road construction, creating video games and even solving crimes. However, the high cost and substantial learning curve traditionally associated with the technology have prevented many surveying firms from taking the leap. With the cost of hardware dropping dramatically over the last several years, how close is laser scanning to becoming a mainstream technology 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 laser scanning and imaging trends as reported in the study.

There’s Room for Growth

27% of surveyors currently use laser scanning or imaging tools, while 81% use GPS/GNSS and 94% use total stations.

It's Not Just a ‘Phase’

Of the eight laser scanning/imaging tools currently used in surveying workflows, terrestrial laser scanning/LiDAR are the most common.

Experience Matters

On average, laser scanning/imaging tool users have 4 years of experience and own 2 scanners.

Clients Are Asking for It

72% Say Demand for Laser Scanning and Imaging Services Has Increased in the Past 12 Months.

Top 3 Applications for Laser Scanning/ Imaging Services

  1. Topographic Mapping
  2. Transportation
  3. Architectural/BIM

Technology Champions Are Needed

27% believe the surveying profession is LEADING THE WAY in laser scanning and imaging.

43% believe the surveying profession has the OPPORTUNITY TO LEAD in laser scanning and imaging implementation but isn’t moving quickly enough.

19% believe laser scanning and imaging technology isn’t NECESSARY for most surveying tasks.

11% believe surveyors will inevitably be LEFT BEHIND in the application of laser scanning and imaging technology.

The ‘Pulse’ Is Steady

Among those who plan to purchase laser scanning and imaging tools in the next 24 months:

  • 42% plan to buy time-of-flight (pulse based) terrestrial stationary laser scanners
  • 32% plan to buy terrestrial mobile LiDAR systems
  • 32% plan to buy phase-based terrestrial stationary laser scanners
  • 16% plan to buy UAVs


Laser Scaning trends infographic
Click here to download a PDF of this year's study