How Backpack Mapping Transforms BIM Documentation

As every building construction professional knows, having accurate and timely documentation is key to ensuring that projects are completed on time and on budget. All too often, however, existing documentation is inaccurate, out of date or missing, and obtaining documentation during construction is time-consuming and complicated. This situation leads to guesswork and, ultimately, rework. Reality capture in the form of point clouds and imagery provides an attractive solution, but what’s the best way to capture reality indoors and out, as well as up and down stairs?

Backpack mapping systems are ideal for these applications. By combining cameras synchronized with LiDAR profilers, backpack mappers capture an existing facility or building construction site for full lifecycle BIM management and documentation as quickly as you can walk, whether you’re in hallways or stairways, inside or outside. Data capture is simple without the need for total station support or survey control due to the GPS and other high accuracy navigation sensors running inside and on the backpack. The resulting 2D and 3D floor plans, elevations, and fly-throughs provide accurate documentation that can be used by all stakeholders to support project success.

With all of these benefits and more, why wouldn’t you use backpack mapping for construction documentation?

Below are two videos demonstrating actual data collection speeds and how to document your building using the most popular CAD platforms.

The first video shows the speed of BIM documentation using the Leica Pegasus:Backpack as well as the speed of importing the resulting large point clouds and imagery into a typical project’s CAD. The second video digs deeper into the workflow using all Leica Geosystems and AutoCAD software.

At AU2016 in Las Vegas (Nov.14 – 17), I’ll be giving backpack mapping demos and sharing BIM documentation strategies at the Leica booth. Please stop by or connect with me ahead of time to set up a one-on-one consultation. I welcome the opportunity to help you solve your construction documentation challenges.

 Lastly, a webinar with focus on software along with case studies will be presented on November 9. Please follow this link to register for Mapping Technology in a Backpack webinar:

With two decades’ experience in geomatics engineering and 12 years in laser scanning, Frank Collazo teaches people to use laser scanners to solve problems. After earning a BS in Geomatics Engineering, Frank worked in the field and office for civil/survey companies for eight years. He used total stations, data collectors and GPS, working my way up from rod-man to party chief. He processed data to create maps, topos and TINS. He then spent five years in laser scanning, training Leica Geosystems’ HDS sales managers and customers, testing HDS hardware and software and interfacing with HDS developers and users. He also wrote the “Field Traverse, and Topographic Workflow” sections of the HDS Training Manuals and the “HDS Public Safety and Forensics Training Manual for Laser Scanning.” Today, as a mobile 3D reality capture consultant for Leica Geosystems, Frank works with AEC firms and public safety and security agencies to show them how to capture reality accurately and present it with the best methods. Follow Frank on LinkedIn for the latest updates.

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