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UK's Plowman Craven cautions success in Scan-to-BIM still involves expertise

AEC Magazine, November/December 2014, Vol. 75
AEC Magazine's 2-page feature from long-time HDS user Peter Folwell, Plowman Craven's director of BIM deliverables, provides insight into the rapid evolution of laser scanning technology, its interplay with BIM demands, and some of the essential considerations for conducting good data collection to meet deliverable needs. Folwell discusses hardware trends driving non-surveyor professionals into the market of accurate measurements and how appropriate expertise trumps access to equipment. Folwell also provides insight into the necessary considerations for good data acquisition, like angles of incidence, surface reflectivity, on-board hardware calibration and system monitoring, target vs target-less registration, and a scanners ability to see targets at range. Folwell also discusses growing demands on software to keep up with huge point clouds, and recommends good data management. Folwell's final comment, “Just because the data may look right, it does not mean it is right” summarizes his overall emphasis on expertise and real understanding of hardware and software capabilities to reduce project risk and add value to real-world versatility of laser scanning solutions. In order to meet this, Plowman Craven has added their own BIM modeling expertise and experience to their foundation surveying and laser scanning expertise.