Infrastructure Group Benefits from Drone Technology in Smart Motorways Project

The international infrastructure group Balfour Beatty is reaping the rewards of using drones on major construction projects, including work on a multi-million-pound 'Smart Motorway' upgrade in the Midlands region of the UK with support from UAV specialist Heliguy. The group is utilizing unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs or 'drones'), including the recently released DJI Phantom 4 RTK, to enhance safety, increase efficiency, gather data faster, improve asset productivity and gain high-accuracy results. The UAVs are being used for quicker stockpile measurements, informative aerial progress reports and accessing hard-to-reach areas. Balfour Beatty has turned to drone expert Heliguy as its preferred supplier,... (read more)
2019-04-09 10:39:43

The Digitalization of Construction

Creating an Industry Fit for the Future
It is estimated that the global construction industry will grow to US$10.3 trillion by 2020. Arguably, the development and investment in ever-more innovative digital tools will be key in enabling that growth. More and more businesses across Europe are beginning to embrace the fourth industrial revolution (Industry 4.0) and the opportunities digitalization presents. In this article, Leighton Davies, regional business manager for geopositioning at Topcon Europe Positioning, discusses how today’s technologies enable us to work more efficiently, safely and accurately than ever before, and what they could mean for the construction industry’s future. At the turn of the millennium, who would... (read more)
2019-12-11 02:53:03

Using Drones in Construction for Aerial Inspection, Photogrammetry or Lidar

Drones are creating new workflows, processes and applications in construction design, surveying and mapping, and many see them as the future of the construction industry. Rick Rayhel, Microdrones' sales manager for United States' Western Region, is one of those people; he's seen first hand how drones can enhance the construction business. In the U.S., drones have only been used to aid construction in the last couple of years. On the precipice of drone potential, Rayhel said, “There’s never a lack of ideas or interest on what can be done with drones.” Perhaps the biggest advantage of drones in construction, though,... (read more)
2019-10-22 08:49:04

The Evolution of the Smart Surveyor

5 Trends Affecting Surveying, Bringing about the Next-generation Surveyor
Surveyors are a versatile and flexible bunch. As the current COVID-19 situation has proven, this group, like others, has had to find new ways of operating. As illustrated by this article itself, which was originally planned as a presentation called 'Sensor Fusion for the Smart Surveyor' at the International Federation of Surveyors (FIG) Working Week 2020, adapting to a new platform for information sharing is becoming the new normal. In FIG Commission 5 – Positioning and Measurement and FIG Commission 6 – Engineering Surveys, the focus is an ever-evolving adoption of new technologies and integrating methods with various instruments and... (read more)
2020-05-08 02:17:02

GNSS Receivers – Evolution or Revolution?

Past, Present and Future of Positioning
Satellite surveying… are there any industry professionals out there not using it on (almost) a daily basis? Over the last 30 years, GNSS has become the main positioning instrument for most applications, writes Huibert-Jan Lekkerkerk. Of course, there are still some exceptions where correct (relative) positioning is needed and dedicated optical systems such as a total station or level instrument are used, but even these are often set up over control points determined using GNSS techniques. This article investigates the developments in GNSS over the last decade and attempts to predict the future. Around a decade ago, a review of... (read more)
2019-01-30 08:43:20

Tackling Instrument Theft in the Construction Industry

Instrument theft is a growing concern for the construction industry, with many businesses vulnerable to opportunistic criminals. Yet in 2019, only 61 incidents were reported to the authorities in the United Kingdom. This low reporting rate is having a detrimental impact on the industry, as it means that the scale of the issue may not even be fully understood and as a result finding a solution to the problem is difficult. What Makes the Construction Industry Vulnerable to Instrument Theft? The construction industry is a prime target for thieves, thanks to the use of expensive equipment and the low rate... (read more)
2020-03-31 01:04:19

The Role of Surveyors in the Evolution of BIM

Building information modelling (BIM) is becoming more commonplace within construction sectors globally, combining technology with improved collaboration to better manage projects and give them the best chance of complying with time and budget constraints. However, the BIM life cycle and efforts to espouse it are almost futile if surveying is taken out of the equation or, more realistically, brought in too late. It can be good to have a structure that is successfully using BIM to be delivered on time and within budget, but if it or any of its components are in the wrong position the consequences can be... (read more)
2019-09-09 10:25:08

Indoor Mapping: We Have Only Seen the Beginning

Indoor mapping is often associated with the rise in location-based services, but over the past few years there has been a growing demand for indoor mapping for a much wider range of use cases. In fact, it is fair to say that the evolution of indoor mapping has only just got started. Read on to find out why. The biggest trend is that mobile indoor mapping is taking on more of the work traditionally performed by static laser scanners. Some of the earliest adopters of simultaneous localisation and mapping (SLAM) technology were surveyors and engineers. Faced with growing demand for... (read more)
2018-09-20 08:48:58

Seeing the Future: AI, BIM and Digital Twins

Digital Construction Week 2019
During Digital Construction Week (DCW), which was held at the Excel in London from 16-17 October 2019, there was one seminar stream on geospatial surveying and two specifically on building information modelling (BIM). But relevant topics such as artificial intelligence (AI) and visualization, as well as BIM, cropped up in many of the other sessions. The most used buzzword was 'digital twin', which was heard in many talks and in the exhibition booths. The term digital twin is used quite flexibly, but essentially it implies that an object must have a digital representation which can be presented visually, i.e. a virtual... (read more)
2020-02-11 08:57:24

Leica Geosystems Introduces New Generation of Manual Construction Total Stations

The next generation of Leica iCON manual total stations further propels the industry to move from traditional analogue layout methods to digitalized construction layout techniques. Now integrated with the well-established and construction-tailored field software Leica iCON build, the iCON iCB50 and iCB70 allow users to easily digitalize and embed BIM workflows in their construction processes. The iCB50 and iCB70 enable construction professionals to layout complex structures, increase accuracy and minimize delays. Featuring a new integrated 4G modem, the iCB70 enables the operator to transfer construction data between the office and the instrument on site. “With the new generation of iCON... (read more)
2019-07-19 11:02:24
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