3D laser scanning is not just one more new tool in surveying and geodesy, it is a new philosophy in geometry capture and processing, which requires a new strategy and approach. This technology and technique opens new horizons for surveyors: instead of doing the same things faster/further (and unfortunately cheaper), as some vendors wrongly recommend while promoting their products,surveyors should enhance and expand their services and play a new role in every process and field that they can. Instead of selling data, dumb points or models, they can now sell knowhow, then $ becomes $$$.
However, in order to do that geodesy programs/studies should adopt the new "things". CAD, 3D Modeling, BIM, Geometrical analysis; design, and other new terms should become part of the vocabulary and syllabus. It is not a privilege for academic institutions to include 3D Laser Scanning in their programs; it is of their moral and professional obligation, cut and clear! There’s no question any more if 3DLS will become a new way, it is a highway already.
Last but not least: as always, it is not the money preventing 3DLS in becoming an attractive program in geodesy, surveying or other relevant studies, but mind fixation or fear. The money is just a straightforward (not to say primitive…) excuse.
For many years we tried hard to convinced relevant academic institutions in Israel (mainly geodesy and architecture) to step into the 3D laser scanning era, with no success (money, you know…). A year ago, we were contacted by the head of the department of Interior building and Environmental Design at a respective college of Engineering Design and Arts near Tel-Aviv. He asked for a meeting. "We decided to establish a new section for digital documentation," he said, "We believe 3D documentation will become a conventional tool in all future AEC activities hence, we want to get our students ready for this era, shortly arriving." It took me 2 minutes to understand that revolution knocks our doors: architects, engineers, contractors, project manager and other AEC professionals will do themselves at least significant part of the jobs. As soon as instrument prices will be dropped down and post-processing automation will be effective we’ll see them around. This might be either the "bright side of moon" -progress and more demand or the dark side of it- competition, depends on us only. We decided to be a part of it.
Sure enough, as always, money was a problem but, we decided to look at it as a challenge, definitely not an obstacle.Leica Geosystems HDS has an attractive education program including hardware, software and maintenance. Together with Eli Etkes sons- Leica Geosystems rep to Israel, we convinced LGS to make it affordable and the college raised the required funds for the system. However, the main issue was raising fund to run the program during the first 5 years.
We had to find a win-win solution, a compound one.
Purchasing of education program prevents the institution of selling services for profit.
Archeology and conservation organizations very often suffer from lack of budget and we in the industry unfortunately, have to refuse such jobs with too low budget too often.
We at Mabat 3D Technologies regularly need to develop software and applications to support our activities, it is a costly task.
Computer sciences students are looking for interesting, advanced and practical imaging and data processing projects. Naturally, real project with industry are highly preferred.
We therefore involved 2 non-profit organizations and 2 universities and put all the above ingredients in the pot. A great dish came out.
The colleges architecture students executing scanning and processing works for the archeology/conservation bodies that pay as much as they can. The students practice and learn and the archeologists get the best for rather small budget. Industry would make it that way.
Mabat 3D purchases practical industrial applications and projects from CS department in that college at a reasonable cost and they share the money with the architectural department. All sides enjoy it very much.
Mabat 3D stuff supports the education and training program and contribute a lot to its success while enjoying this direct contact with the academy.
And last but not least: we get so many great ideas from young, smart and very active students.
We started it few months ago and it works. Believe me it works great.
You would probably ask me how we managed to put all these smart people from different disciplines and institutions in such cooperation. Well, this is the 1 million dollar question