Five reasons to consider laser scanning in 2013…

Blog 5 photo c10 scannerI hope you are off to a wonderful New Year! In the theme of the New Year, I continue to be amazed at all of the new applications for laser scanning that our clients are coming up with or projects they inquire about measuring.

Hopefully this blog will inspire you to think of opportunities to utilize our services in 2013 to make your next project even better.

As-built data capture has always been a challenge for the AEC community and owners of assets. The outdated methods of gathering data are time consuming and lack accuracy and utilizing these record drawings can be inexact.

LandAir Surveying uses the latest technologies to help our clients. Whether you are looking for accurate as-built floor plans, historic preservation of a structure or MEP surveys in the plenum of a ceiling, we have an accurate and cost-effective solution for you.

Over eight years ago, we began utilizing the revolutionary technology of laser scanning. Our first laser scans were for the transportation industry, performing bridge surveys. Through these and other projects, we found laser scanning to be superior to traditional methods of data capture for a number of reasons:

#1: They are more precise.

A laser scan takes multiple scans to collect millions of data points. These scans are then registered together to generate a single three-dimensional “point cloud” that can be measured accurately and provides distances and elevations between points on X, Y & Z coordinates.

#2: They are versatile.

Laser scans can produce (when used with digital color photos) survey quality files, fly-through videos, BIM Models and CAD drawings.

#3: They are fast.

A single laser scan can be collected in around six to eight minutes. This enables crews to take many more scans and capture more detailed data than ever before. It also allows for accurate surveys to be done with minimal interruption to building occupants.

#4: They are safe.

Laser scanning provides a safer environment and allows crews to measure in places that would have previously been impossible.

#5: They save you money!

Finally, laser scanning almost always pays for itself. Here are a few examples of ways laser scans can save you money on your next project. Here are a few examples of ways laser scans can save you money on your next project:

  • You can always revisit the original scan multiple times from your computer desktop without the time and expense of traveling to the site again and again. With a laser scan, you can even revisit the site from your desktop years after the initial scan.
  • The quality of data collected can minimize or eliminate the need for construction reworks and field retrofitting.
  • The number of change orders due to erroneous design and unknowns in the field are dramatically reduced.
  • Material waste is reduced and the amount of production in the shop is increased.
  • Coordination between design and construction teams is greatly improved by providing visual documentation for discussion.
  • The speed of design is increased by providing accurate as-built conditions and clash detection.
  • Bid documents can be created from as-built data, resulting in lower-priced bids and a quicker schedule.

As you can see, the reasons for laser scanning are compelling. But what types of projects are best suited for this technology? In our experience, we have seen the greatest return on investment for laser scanning on projects that are complex and difficult to measure. Those projects with precise measurement requirements and a required speed of data gathering typically yield the greatest return on investment.

We have scanned miles of tunnels, airport conveyor systems, MEP structures that look like pipe “spaghetti,” hotel and casino atriums, and theaters and stadium grandstands with thousands of different sized structural beams. Laser scanning was by far the best solution for these projects.

While complex projects are great opportunities to utilize laser scanning technology, other advances in virtual design and construction solutions have allowed us to provide results for less complex environments.

New software and measuring solutions allow us to provide detailed as-built drawings and 3D models for hotel rooms, retail spaces, classrooms and offices with amazing speed and at a greatly reduced cost-per-square-foot over traditional architectural surveys. Field measurements to productions of floor plans and even Revit models can now be delivered in days.

From the industrial, manufacturing and energy sectors to hotels, hospitals and retail spaces – LandAir can provide solutions to make your next project more efficient and affordable.


Mitch Dorsett has over 15 years in the building and construction industry and serves as director of business development for LandAir Surveying. Mitch is rapidly becoming an expert in 3D data capture and virtual design and construction, having attended and represented LandAir’s laser scanning capabilities at SPAR, RTC and Autodesk University in 2012. Contact him at or visit

3D Laser Scanning

Advances in 3D data capture are changing faster than ever. How can we help you in 2013?

First, let me say Happy New Year to all of our clients who have supported us for the past 25 years. We appreciate you and are honored that you choose LandAir Surveying to team with you on many interesting projects across America.

Over the past seven years of traveling down the road of 3D data capture and using multiple platforms for LiDAR data collection, we have seen this technology expand into almost every field of design, construction and manufacturing.

It has been fascinating to watch the world change from 2D plans to 3D data sets and models. And in the process, modeling is becoming cheaper, faster and easier.

Having attended international conferences and through speaking to groups across the country, we have seen and studied with interest what is going on in the U.S., Europe, Japan, India and Asia. The whole world of design and construction is making this shift!

Daily, we talk with firms both domestically and internationally about the diverse issues of 3D design and construction to equip us with the knowledge we need to be your trusted resource for new approaches to surveying projects.

For example, we have been producing surveys for the transportation industry since 1998. I can remember when we had to actually put our surveyors out in traffic (with approved safety measures, of course). Now, with our scanners, we can stay off the shoulder of the road and capture all the required data without putting anyone in harm’s way. This is standard practice now and, as an owner of a surveying company, very important to me personally.

Approaches to projects are changing not only in transportation, but across all industries.

Last year, we produced a 400-acre topographic map with 1-inch contours in very, very dense foliage. Just two years ago, we would have had to field survey this project. But by using a combination of aerial LiDAR and strategic surveying techniques, we were able to produce the job at 1/3 the cost of a traditional field run survey.

In 2013, we plan to expand our technology, using drones to capture data on specific projects. This is already being done across the country and the technology is moving from military grade and unaffordable to civilian grade and absolutely affordable.

So, how can we help you this year? For one, we can show you how surveying tools are changing and getting better. We can discuss with you when to use airborne LiDAR to document and produce data over a city, county or state.

We can show you when the conditions are right to use mobile LiDAR and put together a team to make your project successful.

We know when to use helicopter platforms for LiDAR over fixed wing aircraft, and we can show you how to model the inside of an existing building faster and more cost effectively than ever before.

We look forward to being a valuable resource for your firm and hope to continue working with you in 2013 and beyond. The design world is changing very fast and we are committed to changing right along with it.

Have a great and profitable 2013!


Tate Jones has over 40 years of experience in land and aerial surveying and was one of the country’s earliest adopters of 3D laser scanning technology. A nationally recognized expert in the field of 3D data capture, he has worked with hundreds of clients in the engineering, architectural and construction industries. Contact him at or visit