Like many of you, back in 2004it was not uncommon for me to hear,Your team is going to scan that with that laser thing?around many of our meetings and offices. Today, Langan has a scanning and modeling team comprised of 7 scanning systems, over 20modelers and that laser thing is a critical part of our surveying and mapping services. The answer to that question was solved with an investment that combined time, staff, client education, system knowledge, and more importantly innovative uses for the data.
After our recent purchase of Leicas Pegasus mobile mapping system the question has evolved to,You can drive around with that laser thing and collect survey grade data? Just like terrestrial scanning and many other leading edge technologies that question is being answered within Langan in the same manner.
Langan has always held a strong belief in innovation and is constantly seeking advanced ways that serve our culture and clients. With scanning and modeling services becoming widely accepted in many market sectors we recently began looking into new technologies. Our team was tasked to provide two (new to Langan) technologies that we could implement along with a wish list of requirements that would help build the new group. They responded back with Unmanned Aerial Systems(UAS) and Mobile Mapping Solutions. After a few team meetings it was determined that due to regulatory environments the UAS market could require more lead time and we should put our efforts into the evaluation of a mobile mapping system.
We were well aware that mobile scanning was not new and like many technologies is changing at a very rapid pace. In the past Langan has subcontracted the service and had rented a system from time to time. Each time we learned more about the various systems, potential uses and markets that these systems are predominant in. Due to the cost, system transportation issues and data reduction times our team never used a system they felt fit the firms culture and our needs. In addition, we know that with certain technologies being an early adopter does not always result in success. Sometimes it is better to wait for a technology and its targeted markets to mature and become stable before joining in. The timing question of when to invest in a technology is one that each professional and firm must answer based on their beliefs, markets and culture.
The team put together a wish list of requirements that fit our needs. That list included a light weight platform, portable (not being tied to one vehicle), multiple scanner options, video and/or still photography, popular data formats, rapid data reduction times, upgradable, and a reasonable price point. One other request came from the team; hire a system manager that was experienced in large scale mapping projects and big data.
The research period took several months and included manufacturer platform reviews, a deep dive into potential clients, existing service providers, existing market sectors and lastly, the recruitment of a service lead. Lets face it the purchase of a mobile mapping system is one of the largest purchases a firm can make and its success will be a result of the staff chosen to implement it and use it as well as the system choice. For us this meant filling the service lead prior to completing the research into which system to purchase. The service leads commitment to the system and relationship with the vendor was vital.
Our search for the service lead ended with a simple introduction to a potential hire, Stephen Ellis, GISP, CMS. He brings over 29 years of experience in engineering, mapping, survey, geographic information systems (GIS), and information technology (IT). Stephen was eager to join the team and have input into system andstaff choices as well as thedirection for which the new group would take.Since his technical and business experience matched Langans culture,he joined the research team.
When our research was complete the solution for Langan was found in Leicas Pegasus Mapping system. It fulfilled the requirements the team originally assembled a year ago, and it is purposely built for the market sector we see it fitting into.Based on a very solid relationship with Leica, a purchase agreement was completed and delivery was set for the end of September 2014.
One advantage of the research period was having the time to build a buzz around the future purchase. This buzz pointed us to potential projects, teaming partners and alliances that have grown into billable projects for our mobile mapping team. Some of these projects were put on hold by the end client until we secured the system and completed the Pegasus training. For us this pointed to a commitment by our clients that is not only based on prior success working with Langan, but on the capabilities of the system we chose.
The acceptance of this service has been overwhelming and without a major marketing effort we have secured projects that will keep the team busy for months to come. This success in winning these projects and future work is founded in a strong relationship with Leica, the belief that finding innovative solutions for the data and lastly a working relationship with the other Pegasus owners. The firm is a strong believer in information sharing and has found the current Pegasus community to be very helpful. We have had several conversations with these users and have Leicas support in starting a Pegasus owner group.
When looking back at how Langan evaluated the possibility of adding this new high-end service offering it is clear that success will be built on a combination of staff choice, system choice andlong term relationships.
For more information on Langan or their process on system choice you can contact
Founded in 1970 and headquartered in Elmwood Park, N.J., Langan (www.langan.com) provides integrated site engineering and environmental consulting in support of land development projects, corporate real estate portfolios, and the oil and gas industry. Langan employs more than 800 professionals and has regional offices in New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Connecticut, Virginia, Florida, Ohio, North Dakota, California, and Texas. Langan International, the firm’s wholly-owned subsidiary based in New York, provides all technical disciplines from offices in Abu Dhabi, Dubai, Athens, Doha, Panama and Istanbul.