How can you cost effectively collect accurate and detail data on a busy municipal street and all the while keeping your survey crews out of harm’s way?

The safe collection of survey data on a busy municipal street has its many hazards and can be very costly. The dangers of moving traffic cannot be overstated, since even a vehicle moving relatively slowly at 20mph could strike your workers and do serious physical damage and even death. When you couple that danger with the need to collect below grade information by entering manholes and you can have a mess on your hands. The safe collection of surveying data is costly as you figure in the logistics of traffic controls, confined space entry controls, and slowed data collection time. Additionally, lane closures are huge traffic impacts causing heavy economic costs due to delays and business closures.

During these tough economic times municipalities are getting hit the hardest with budget constraints and every dollar saved is truly welcome. The industry knows that accurate and detailed topographic maps of above ground and below ground features of a street will keep construction costs down by minimizing change orders due to inaccuracies found in the design drawings. A penny pinched in data collection can easily cost you thousands of dollars unplanned re-design and construction change orders.

The solution is using a combination of surface 3D Laser Scan for surface topographic from sidewalks-pedestrian areas with below grade 3D Laser scans of manholes. White Shield uses a Leica C-10 HDS to survey streets, buildings, landscaping, power poles and lines, and utilities. In planning a project, we locate our scanner positions to easily pick up every physical feature important to the design. The most critical components being gutter flow lines, surface manholes, valves, and meters, storm inlets, building faces, electrical lines, and even buried lines marked by our utility locate company. The below grade features are easily collected by the scanner since the instrument records the different colored paints left by the utility locate company. In manholes and utility tunnels, the number and types of pipe can be a Gordian knot to unwind. At White Shield, we slice the Gordian knot by using a 3D void laser scanner that is inserted on a pole into the void to collect the required data. Our geomatic technicians simply pop open the manhole cover and extend the void scanner into the manhole on a pole while secured at the surface. The whole process takes less than 10 minutes per manhole keeping time in the street at a minimum. This protects workers without dramatically impacting traffic.

The entire 3D laser scanning data from surface and below grade collection efforts is combined into a single point cloud using Cyclone software. The process of combining all the data from each laser scan setup is called registering the point cloud which can number in the millions of points requiring as much as 50 to 100 gigabytes of data storage per project. Water and wastewater pipes are extruded into 3D objects in our models, all the while maintaining their proper spatial geometry with the surface scan data. A complete 3D representation of the streets above and below ground features are the result all at survey grade accuracy.

The number of and types of deliverables that can be developed by our CAD department is vast depending upon the needs of the planners, architects, and engineers. The most common deliverable being produced is a two-dimensional topographic map of the street with all subsurface utilities map. Additional deliverable products include three-dimensional maps of the street and all features. Architects and planners may be interested in the 3D modeling of building and streetscapes. The list of deliverables is only constrained by your imagination, as we can mine the data for our clients from a dimensionally accurate 3D environment.

Our clients now have the ability to work with accurate and highly detailed 3D models of the existing streetscape combined with the normally hidden subsurface network of pipes and utility lines. The hidden world is now integrated into our 3D realm enabling planners, architects, and engineers to make better design decisions and also avoid costly unplanned construction change orders. If you have any interest seeing a demonstration of 3D scanning and modeling service, please call or write us here at White Shield.