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SUMO Services and the Broken Wand!

Updated: Jan 31

Most surveyors would delight in being able to flick a magic wand or click a button, and for the survey process to instantly be complete. Sadly this is not the case.

There is a complex, well-developed process - from a client's initial contact with the survey provider to receiving the end survey deliverable. In the case of a laser scanning survey, understanding what happens with the scan data after the surveyor collects it on-site, can be as essential as understanding how it is collected.

SUMO Services and the Broken Wand

We all know by now, that the process is as simple as putting the 'magic box’ (image below) on the tripod, pressing the scan button and hey presto it's done… but what happens next?

Laser Scanning equipment

Above: Laser Scanning equipment

Registration process

Regardless of the model of laser scanner used on site, the data must go through a process known as registration first. At SUMO, we use what are considered to be the three most significant registration software packages on the survey market: Lecia Cyclone; Faro Scene and Trimble Realworks. Using the software, we combine various sections of scan data that may have been collected separately to create a pointcloud. Depending on the project and the scanners used, this process is semi-automatic. But in practice, SUMO works on an average ratio of one-half day’s registration time per full day of site scanning.

Pointcloud image

Drawing process

Thereafter, the drawing of a project is a manual process and is the stage at which we spend the majority of our time. When commissioning work, one of the most significant issues that a client should be mindful of, is how long after the initial site visit, will the survey drawings take to be completed. Also whilst taking into account the site survey itself, registration time and manual drawing time. This means that it is often extremely useful for clients to specify the date that they actually need the deliverables by and not just when they would like the site survey work to be carried out. Unfortunately, there is no option to flick a magic wand and utter of the magic spell Reparo and the drawing of the project is magically complete!

With the advancement of technology, our surveyors are now on-site for less time. This can be misleading to a client who thinks that after the on-site works are complete, the deliverables will be available for viewing. At present, the draw-back of the amount of office work required, is that clients must be patient for the deliverables post-site visit. But, looking at this in a more positive light, it means that there is less room for errors caused by the automation of an instant deliverable. Instead, SUMO’s expert CAD Technicians manually draw the deliverables to ensure the highest possible standard of survey drawings.

Looking to the future, as technology advances we may see the development of reliable automated survey deliverables. We have already seen this development in Revit (BIM) and Topographical information. But the question remains, will we see automation for Measured Building projects? The Jury is still out. At the moment the wand remains broken. But one thing we know for certain is that should technology advance to this point, SUMO will be at the forefront of the advancement. SUMO will continue utilising the latest equipment in our survey offerings!

Revit (BIM) image


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