From paper maps to laser scans

Paper Maps to Laser Scanners
Author: Renata Barradas Gutierrez

Laser scanning, along with GNSS and remote sensing, has revolutionised the surveying profession in the last years. With the possibility to capture large amounts of data in a relatively short time, laser scanners are must-have instruments for collecting data that range from a simple topographic survey to a 3D model to preserve cultural heritage.

Future surveyors and Architecture, Engineering and Construction (AEC) professionals will need to be equipped with the right tools and be trained with the skills to solve challenges for a wide range of applications to keep up with competition and react to business opportunities.

Digiscript Philippines Inc., a company specialised in 3D measurement and digital building modelling technology solutions, conducted a hands-on training program for students of Don Bosco Technical College (DBTC) in the Mandaluyong Philippines on how to use laser scanning technology and imparted the benefits of this technology to help them develop new skills in their field.


Hands-on for HDS

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As processes digitise and businesses digitalise, surveyors will have to adapt new trends to offer better, faster and more specialised services to their clients. Unfortunately, 3D laser scanning training is rarely available in civil engineering and land surveying programmes. Additionally, private companies may offer training at a high cost inaccessible to most surveying students.

Aware that students should leave the pens and paper maps aside and be prepared to collect and share information digitally, Digiscript inspired young potential surveyors by introducing students to High Definition Surveying (HDS). The company’s experts taught engineering and architect students the HDS applications for as-built, engineering and heritage preservation.

As part of the teaching agenda, Digiscript conducted an actual 3D laser survey of DBTC's old building and guided students through a hands-on training on how to install Leica Cyclone point cloud processing and modelling software, how to navigate and visualise 3D point clouds, and how to prepare as-built drawings. Students were able to learn how to use the scanner in a very short time thanks to the versatility and ease of workflow of the Leica ScanStation C10.

“It is very important for us students to stay updated with the latest technology,” said Eric Solis, architecture student at DBTC.

“We are glad to know that there are more efficient ways of doing as-built drawings,” continued Paulo Riviera, engineering student at DBTC.

Universities and colleges have to adopt in their curricula the latest changes in surveying and documentation to offer the skills that professionals need to meet the industry’s demands for 3D laser scanning technology. Knowing the benefits that laser scanning offers, students will be able to identify and create business opportunities and keep up with the competition.

“Exposing technical college students to HDS technology will prove to be advantageous in the educational field for engineering students and also for future HDS projects in the community at large,” said Ronald Sampayan, director of Digiscript for the Philippines and Indonesia and engineer alumni of DBTC.


Preserving the past to teach the future generation

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While teaching students the benefits of laser scanning technology, Digiscript scanned the old building of DBTC, a building that has witnessed 300 years of history, and has an educational institution for technical professionals for more than 60 years.

The data generated from the laser scanning helped Digiscript to create as-built drawings in 2D and 3D for the conservation and building plan of DBTC’s old building. The deliverables also included a fly through 3D animation of the college that will help marketing the school to increase its exposure.

“This is a historical event where the old building will be preserved forever,” concluded Fr. Demetrio Carmona, vice-rector of DBTC.


Taking the lead

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Digiscript pioneered HDS in the Philippines in 2008. Since then, the firm has worked providing custom tailored 3D solutions for extensive projects and applications for various industries.

“Delivering value is what we guarantee,” expressed Conrad Alampay, president of Digiscript.

Whether it is ensuring a clash free Mechanical, Electrical and Plumbing (MEP) design, fabrication of support structures or pipes, understanding the general topography of a site, or capturing the intricate geometries seen in historic sites, Digiscript has been generating business in a developing emerging market with Leica Geosystems laser scanning technology.

“We empower our customers by providing results using Leica Geosystems solutions to help them measure, manage, design and visualise the current physical environment so that a comprehensive and unified understanding of their sites is obtained,” said Sampayan. “It is through this understanding that ideas are formed, visions become clear, and avenues for taking action are revealed in the ultimate goal of shaping a progressive tomorrow.”

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