Cloud Computing, Drones, And 3D Laser Scanning In The Surveying And Mapping Market!

8 Jan, 2020

Land and aerial surveying companies are applying cloud computing technologies to their operations to standardize applications and business processes, and increase flexibility of data storage. Cloud computing is defined as a method for delivering information technology services, in which resources are extracted from the Internet using web-based tools and applications. The technology uses cloud-based data storages that enable the companies to save data on a remote database and access it across all geographic locations. It also helps in enhanced mapping and site analysis, thus improving the decision-making process on complex projects. Esri, an international supplier of geographic information system (GIS), offers ArcGIS online software which provides cloud-powered universe of mapping and analysis resources that increases the scalability and speed of complex projects. Additionally, the company has designed its cloud-based, ready-to-use global geographic content, Living Atlas of the World, which makes it easy to explore and download datasets, and include new data in mapping and surveying activities.

The global surveying and mapping services market was estimated at $40.7 billion in 2019, and is expected to grow to $49.9 billion in 2022 at an annual growth rate of around 7%.

Some companies in the surveying and mapping industry are also using unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) and drones for fast and cost-efficient surveying. Instead of theodolites, infrared reflectors, and GPS, surveyors can now use UAVs and drones that autonomously pilot with the push of a button. UAVs are an affordable alternative to on-field survey personnel, allowing the companies to complete the projects at a lower cost and with fewer staff. It also helps in capturing data that is more complete over the majority of a site, allowing onsite staff to focus on specific areas, which may require on-the-ground detail acquisition. Meridian Surveying Engineering Inc. is one surveying and mapping company that uses a drone managed by a certified pilot to quickly collect accurate site data.

3D laser scanning is another technology being implemented by surveying and mapping companies, to reduce the overall risks and project costs involved in surveying and mapping. 3D laser scanning is a non-contact, non-destructive technology that digitally captures the shape of physical objects using a line of laser light. The scanners capture the exact shape and size of the physical object as a 3-dimensional representation in the digital world. The adoption rate of this technology has been significantly rising due to its enhanced performance of site analysis in terms of visibility, accuracy in spatial reconstruction, and higher precision of data. According to a survey conducted by Point of Beginning (POB), a multi-faceted civil engineering, land surveying, landscape architecture, and materials testing firm, in 2016, around 37% of respondents were reported to be using 3D laser scanning technology in their land surveying firms, which was double the number of businesses using these 3D tools in 2015.