A 3D survey, whether done with a sonar, laser, or drone, pursues to make an exact real-world model. In order to use survey data as a digital twin of its authentic counterpart, the survey data must include geospatial information in addition to mere shapes and visual data. Survey data consists of millions of points, forming a point cloud together. In this point cloud, each point has its own geographic coordinates.
What is a geographic coordinate system?
A coordinate system is used to determine the relative position of a certain point on the Earth’s surface.
Coordinates are expressed as X and Y values, which are measured as a distance from the known origin, and which present the point’s location with respect to latitude and longitude.
When creating a 3D model, the third dimension comes from height. The height reference value expresses a point’s distance (height) from some reference surface. Height reference system varies in different countries or areas.
Performing a survey, the accuracy of location is fine-tuned in the post-processing phase, as the errors of survey equipment’s GPS locations are minimised using a known base station as a reference.
After surveying and post-processing, an exact 3D model is formed. It is easier for the surveyor to verify the correct coordinate system before the actual field work, but the coordinate system of the survey data can also be changed in the post-processing phase.
Asset management requires georeferenced survey data
The property’s location is one of the most essential information in asset management, so the 3D models are usually uploaded to a GIS (Geographical Information System) platform to ensure their efficient use.
When the survey data is in a correct coordinate system, the model fits accurately on the map, which allows the utilisation of the location in different maintenance and property data management procedures.
The below video shows a simple example of georeferenced hydrographic survey data being utilised with hydrographic depth tools with just a few clicks online.
Online platform for utilisation of georeferenced survey data
The platform used in the video above is GISGRO, an online port management software, which allows the surveyors and asset managers to visualise the survey data in map view and in 3D view, tied to a certain coordinate system.
Metadata, or additional asset information, is in coordination to ensure it is easily usable in communication between management and maintenance personnel, and other stakeholders.
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