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How Computers are Transforming the Ways in Which Land Surveys are Carried Out


It seems as if computers have become a ubiquitous part of our daily lives. We rely upon these gadgets to keep up to date with global news, to check our emails, to communicate with friends, and to order to latest trending products. While their impact upon the consumer community cannot be denied, it is important to note that they have also transformed countless other sectors.

The surveying community is a perfect example in this sense. Modern software packages offer degrees of accuracy and reliability that would have been all but impossible only a handful of years ago. What technologies are now employed and what advantages do they have to offer?

Laser Scanning Instruments

Laser scanners now boast incredible levels of precision. Similar in some ways to traditional forms of radar, these units will emit a beam of highly focused light. This light is then reflected off of objects in the distance (such as hills or structures). The time in which the light requires to return is then measured in order to determine metrics such as distances and dimensions. The main takeaway point here is that laser survey scanners are able to provide amazing degrees of accuracy. They can therefore be used when undertaking complex projects.

Firms such as Boels likewise offer a host of unique options thanks to the modular nature of this technology. Examples include optical levels, surveying staffs, GPS rovers, and even robotic field stations. The units themselves are also equipped with user-friendly technology. This signifies that even those with relatively little technical experience can leverage their benefits. Still, there are other interesting advancements directly associated with the advent of modern computers.


Lidar is an acronym for Light Detection and Ranging. In some ways, these systems function similarly to computer-controlled laser range finders. The main difference involves the ways in which they are applied. Most Lidar scanners are used to determine discrete elevation changes on the surface of the earth from a top-down perspective (such as from a satellite or an airborne unit). They can offer extremely high resolutions, so accuracy is not an issue.

Another interesting observation is that the lasers themselves are capable of penetrating relatively dense materials. This is why Lidar is often used to identify and map underground anomalies (such as ancient ruins, electrical feeds and water pipes). In fact, the laser wavelengths associated with Lidar can even be employed to accurately map the ocean floor. Thanks to complex computer algorithms, this data is then collected and displayed as a visual readout. Lidar is now becoming an extremely popular option throughout various industries including (but by no means limited to) agriculture, archaeology, biology, autonomous vehicle handling, conservation, and soil science.

All of the technologies outlined above would not be possible without the presence of modern and efficient computers. Not only has land surveying become an exact science, but the sheer number of options will continue to increase. Considering how quickly this industry has evolved, we are only left to wonder what the future may have in store.



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