GIS Tech News (#102)

17 Nov, 2010 By: Cadalyst Staff

Simplifying Access to Laser-Scanning Data

As the popularity of laser scanning grows, being able to manipulate the data efficiently becomes ever more important. IMAGINiT Technologies' Scan to BIM software speeds workflows by giving Revit users direct access to point clouds.

By Cyrena Respini-Irwin

Laser scanning has advanced by leaps and bounds during its relatively short history, increasing the accuracy and ease of a variety of measuring and modeling tasks. Whether you're creating digital terrain models, reverse-engineering car parts, or analyzing crime scenes, there's a laser-based technology that can help.

In architecture and construction, users have embraced laser scanning as a practical solution for collecting as-built data. There are often discrepancies between a building's blueprints and its current form, due either to changes during the original construction process or remodeling and expansion projects. For older buildings in particular, this information may have been lost — or never have existed in the first place.

"Scanning is a rapidly growing field," said Beau Turner, director of business development for IMAGINiT Technologies (a division of Rand Worldwide that merged with Avatech Solutions earlier this year). What's behind the surge in popularity? "A lot more projects are being retrofitted," Turner said, whether it's done to save money, preserve historic buildings, or achieve green design goals such as LEED certification. In the next 10 to 20 years, Turner noted, an estimated 60% of building projects will take place on existing structures.

According to Turner, companies are also attracted to the level of accuracy and the time savings they can achieve compared with traditional survey methods. "With laser scanning, you're looking at a millimeter of tolerance across an entire structure." Improvements in the capabilities of scanning technology are also spurring adoption: "Even a year ago, [the number of points collected for a project] measured in the millions; now it's in the high millions and billions of points." Read more »
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Cyrena Respini-Irwin is Cadalyst's senior editor.


Mark Your Calendar: GIS Events

Webinar: Overview of LizardTech Express Suite and LiDAR Compressor
November 23–December 14, 2010
11 a.m. PT
The free webinar is aimed at geospatial professionals and decision makers exploring the features of LizardTech's line of geospatial image products. This session will focus in particular on the recently launched GeoExpress 8, which introduces the MrSID Generation 4 (MG4) format for compression of raster data. Read more

6th International gvSIG Conference
December 1–3, 2010
Valencia, Spain
Knowledge for Change is the slogan for the 6th International gvSIG Conference, which is organized by the Association for the Promotion of FOSS4G and the Development of gvSIG. Read more

GeoDesign Summit
January 6–7, 2011
Redlands, California
This annual event introduces geospatial technologies into any type of design process, such as developing a community project or conducting scientific research. Attendees can take part in the development of GeoDesign concepts, technologies, and tools. Read more 

For a complete list of CAD meetings, conferences, training sessions, and more, check out our calendar of events on Are you hosting an event that you would like to include in our calendar? Submit details at least two weeks in advance to


What's New at

Cadalyst On the Edge Webcast: The Truth About Environmental Performance Software
In the effort to create greener products, environmental performance software is but one piece of the puzzle. Tune in on November 18 as we discuss how sustainable product development requires new knowledge, skills, and processes — supported by technology and applied across the product lifecycle — and what it means for your organization. Read more

How Can Apparel Companies Use 3D Software to Streamline Sample Development?
By replacing physical samples with digital models, clothing companies can save money, speed product development, and give buyers a better understanding of their products. Read more

Avatech Tricks Tutorial: Scaling Images in Autodesk Inventor
You can use a 2D image as the basis of your next 3D model, but only if you know how adjust the image to full scale. Read more

Equip Your Workforce for Success on the Road
Managing a mobile CAD staff means more than buying laptops. Arm yourself with this checklist of essentials. Read more


About the Author: Cadalyst Staff

Cadalyst Staff

Add comment

Note: Comments are moderated and will appear live after approval by the site moderator.

AutoCAD Tips!

Lynn Allen

In her easy-to-follow, friendly style, long-time Cadalyst contributing editor Lynn Allen guides you through a new feature or time-saving trick in every episode of her popular AutoCAD Video Tips. Subscribe to the free Cadalyst Video Picks newsletter, and we'll notify you every time a new video tip is published. All exclusively from Cadalyst!

Follow Lynn on TwitterFollow Lynn on Twitter

Do you use any augmented or virtual reality (AR or VR) technologies in your workflow?
Not yet, but we are planning to implement it.
No, but we think these technologies could hold value for us.
No; these technologies do not hold value for us.
Submit Vote

Download Cadalyst Magazine Special Edition