As laser scanning affects more surveyors, POB would like to know more detailed information on trends involving those tools. For the second year, BNP Media’s market research division worked with POB to conduct a study on trends in laser scanning surveying.

The study looked at the usage of laser scanning tools in workflow, previous training received for laser scanning tools, the interest in and likelihood for future training and attitudes toward how laser scanning tools are influencing surveying. The study found most of the surveyors who participated use total stations and GPS/GNSS, however, those with experience using laser scanners has increased over last year.

Laser Scanning/Imaging Tools Used

Respondents who use aerial LiDAR systems increased by 83% from last year, and 42% more surveyors this year are using time-of-flight terrestrial stationary laser scanners.

Experience is Increasing

While 59% of laser scanner users last year didn’t have any scanners three years prior (2010), only 41% of laser scanner users surveyed this year were not using scanners in 2011. Currently, more than half of laser scanner users are using more than one scanner.

More Scanners Being Used

The average number of scanners used by respondents is 2.63, while last year the average was 1.88.

Laser Scanning Tools Added

Nearly half of users surveyed have not added any laser scanning/imaging tools in the past 12 months, but 20% of users have added phase-based terrestrial stationary laser scanners and/or terrestrial mobile LiDAR systems in the past 12 months.

Applications Seeing Strongest Growth

While topographic mapping remains one of the highest applications seeing growth in demand, half of users are seeing demand growth in energy/utilities, which is a 100% increase compared to last year.

Attitudes Toward Trends

More than 2/5 of both users and non-users agree that the surveying profession has the opportunity to lead in laser scanning/ imaging implementation but isn’t moving quickly enough.

More Training Wanted

67% of laser scanner users don’t believe colleges and universities are adequately training the next generation of surveyors to correctly apply laser-scanning/ imaging technology, and 30% of non-users agree.

50% of users don’t believe professional societies/organizations are adequately addressing the challenges being created by laser scanning/imaging technology, and 34% of non-users feel the same way.

57% of users don’t believe there is adequate availability of laser scanning/ imaging education courses and training opportunities for surveying professionals, while 36% of non-users agree.

Planning Training

While 2/3 of users plan to train in the next 12 months, less than 1/3 of non-users plan to train.

1/2 of users and a 1/3 of non-users are interested in receiving laser scanning/imaging education through print and online articles.

Among users and non-users, college and/or university courses have the least interest.

  • 53% of users have interest in training through print and online articles
  • 53% of users have interest in video training, an 11% increase over last year
  • 53% of respondents who use laser scanners have interest in video training, a 26% increase from last year

Demand Changing

  • 25% of users believe demand for laser scanning has greatly increased
  • 43% of users believe demand has slightly increased
  • 25% of users believe demand has remained the same
  • 7% of users believe demand has greatly decreased

Purchase Decisions

In the next 12 months, almost half of users plan to purchase some type of laser scanning/imaging tools, with 23% planning to buy phase-based terrestrial stationary laser scanners. The majority of non-users do not plan on purchasing any laser scanning/imaging tools in the next 12 months.


Laser Scanning Report 2014 page 1
Click here to download the PDF of Laser Scanning Trends Report 2014