The world of land surveying is changing. The introduction of new technologies such as unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), 3D modeling, and cloud-based data storage platforms have made it possible for surveys to be faster, more accurate, and more cost-effective. As these technologies become more commonplace, it’s no surprise that construction project managers are changing their surveying expectations as a result. For these leaders, what they once considered exceptional service is now becoming the norm.
While these individual technologies have been incredibly influential within the world of surveying, the wave of the future will be for surveying providers to combine them into a complete, end-to-end land surveying solution. As a result, project managers will no longer have to shop around to get different surveying services from different places. Pairing these new technologies together will help land surveyors make the most of each of them, while also providing their clients with a faster, more streamlined experience.
This post will examine the steps found in end-to-end surveying solutions before taking a deep dive to look at the potential benefits of choosing an end-to-end solution.
The Four Common Processes Found In End-to-end Surveying Solutions
- Field collection
The first (and most important) step in an end-to-end surveying solution is the actual process of collecting data. In the past, many land surveyors would not have provided services extending beyond field collection, and project managers would be left to their own devices to figure out a way to turn the raw data into something they could use.
Of course, nothing that comes later on in the solution can proceed according to plan unless the data gets captured quickly and accurately. This is why so many surveyors depend on advanced UAV technology to ensure optimal surveying results. That being said, there are still circumstances where it would benefit a client to use traditional surveying methods. Ideally, an end-to-end land surveying solution provider would offer a variety of data collection options.
- Data processing
Where end-to-end solution providers really start to provide value is at the data processing stage. Rather than forcing clients to source processing services for themselves—which can be slow and potentially costly— end-to-end solution providers ensure that data processing is as quick and automated as possible.
Ideally, a surveyor will be able to provide a powerful computing infrastructure, which can be helpful both for moving data from the field to the data center quickly and for turning raw data into deliverables. For very large jobs, a surveyor should be able to pull in additional computing power from a cloud services provider. When data moves from freshly collected to finished deliverable with no bottlenecks or delays, the entire turnaround time may be 24 hours or less.
- Data storage
It’s a coincidence that one of the main benefits of modern surveying technology (very detailed and accurate surveying results) also gives rise to one of its biggest challenges (moving and storing massive amounts of data). With new surveys creating volumes of data that surveying clients most likely aren’t prepared for, having an end-to-end solution becomes essential.
Cloud-based data storage provides the flexibility for surveyors to scale their data storage capacity up or down as needed. As a result, they can avoid overpaying, and pass the savings on to their clients. In addition, their clients are spared the stress and expense of building out their own storage infrastructure to handle the tidal wave of new surveying data.
Once survey deliverables have been created and stored on the surveyor’s platform, the final step is to make sure the client can access those deliverables when and where they need them. Once again, today’s land surveyors are achieving this goal using cloud computing technology.
With a cloud data platform, an end-to-end solution provider can ensure their clients get uninterrupted access to their data, wherever they happen to be in the world, and on any device, they prefer to use. The centralized nature of the platform will help keep everyone on the same page, even if they aren’t in the same place. In addition, the surveyor can provide security capabilities to make sure that access to the data is limited strictly to the people who actually need it.
What are the Advantages of an End-to-End Solution?
If, as we contend in this post, end-to-end solutions are set to become increasingly popular in land surveying, then there must be some specific advantages that clients expect to gain from using them. In this section, we’ll be taking a deeper look at some of those benefits.
Faster overall turnaround time
For many construction project leaders, land surveying is a necessary evil: they need complete, accurate results to make informed decisions, but at the same time, they would prefer to get those results as soon as possible, so that land surveying doesn’t serve as the bottleneck that keeps the project from moving forward.
Speed is one of the key selling points for many of the new surveying technologies; at the same time, capturing data quickly doesn’t provide much of an advantage unless the other steps in the surveying process happen quickly as well, and there are no delays between the steps. Getting end-to-end land surveying helps streamline and coordinate all the steps in the process in order to ensure a rapid turnaround.
A more seamless experience
When a client gets their land surveying services from multiple places, it can be stressful to keep up with who’s supposed to do what next. In turn, this can take project leaders’ attention away from more pressing issues.
On the other hand, when a team works with an end-to-end service provider, they simply inform them of the deliverables they need, and then they don’t have to worry about it again until the final deliverables are ready.
More cost-effective surveys
By stringing together all the latest surveying technologies and cutting down on unnecessary duplication of efforts, today’s end-to-end land surveying providers are often able to offer their clients a more economical surveying experience, without having to sacrifice on data quality to do so.
When it comes time to source land surveying for your next major project, keep in mind that you have a choice: you can choose to work with a single provider that will make your life easier, or you could choose to pay more sourcing a la carte capabilities from multiple providers, potentially leading to a more stressful and time-consuming experience.