Chen, PE, PLS, is a professional engineer and land surveyor who founded Dynasty
Group Inc. in 1994 and now serves as the firm’s president. Dynasty Group has
offices in Chicago and has also completed projects in mainland China. A new
series of articles by Chen on the topic of project lifecycle management can be
The management of digital infrastructure data for long-term utility has emerged as one of the pressing issues of our time. Fortunately, in the field of infrastructure and construction, there is an obvious and logical underpinning for all the many types of digital data created.
We may not necessarily be thinking about data ownership when we prepare our survey contracts, but one way or another it is addressed. In a digital age when projects routinely generate vast amounts of data that can be readily repurposed, the question of who owns the data becomes increasingly important.
Most surveyors and, more specifically, owners and managers of survey firms, would say that our work is project-based—that is, we tend to speak of the “Jones Boundary Survey” or the “Smith Construction As-Built” when we divide up our workdays. However, product-based business models may be more relevant given recent developments in survey deliverables.
Good as-built surveys have the potential to be incredibly valuable to the owners and operators of infrastructure facilities and to all stakeholders in large infrastructure projects. However, attaining quality as-built surveys isn’t always easy under the current system.
Modern surveyors use some of the most progressive infrastructure technologies available to generate vast quantities of digital data. Ironically, this wealth of rich, useful, skillfully gathered information is somewhat inaccessible and invisible to many project stakeholders. What is the solution to this dilemma?
True digital data management that takes advantage of current technology hasn’t yet arrived. However, things are changing fast, and we will soon see data management that effectively serves all of a project’s stakeholders, at all phases of a project’s lifecycle.
In the January 2020 issue of POB, find out how surveying and monitoring played a key role in Long Island Rail Road's much-anticipated main corridor track addition. Also in this issue, learn about emerging trends for drones in 2020.