Sub Centimetre Accuracy and Improved Staff Safety Achieved On Highways

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Based in the Netherlands, Geomaat is a land surveying and engineering company that specialises in geospatial information, infrastructure and mobile mapping. With over 10 years in the industry, Geomaat upholds a high degree of innovation, quality and service–both nationally and internationally.

Geomaat was the first company to purchase a StreetMapper system that made use of 360-degree scanners. This technology is now standard of all current mobile mapping systems provided by 3D Laser Mapping.

Before the purchase of their mobile laser scanning system, their forty members of staff were mostly engaged in projects in the northern part of The Netherlands. Since their purchase of `StreetMapper’ in 2009, they can now work safely and effectively all over the country and elsewhere in Europe.

Figure 1 illustrates what was originally delivered. A few months later, 3D Laser Mapping worked with Geomaat to develop and deliver the StreetMapper POD–a protective housing for the system that allowed them to continue work in dusty and wet conditions.

Improving safety, accuracy and time
With the majority of Geomaat’s work being road and highway survey based, the safety of staff is of great importance. Safety must also be achieved without compromising the quality of work produced for their customers.

Traditional methods of measurement were previously used to carry out survey projects, such as the use of quads to measure automated white paint markings. This method of surveying had to be carried out at night with roads closed off. This was both costly and time-consuming.

A mobile mapping system was seen as the solution to keep staff safe, reduce time and money and maintain high accuracy across each project.

The Solution
StreetMapper was selected from 3D Laser Mapping following a series of rigorous field tests. It proved to deliver the best accuracy when compared to other systems on the market. The fact that it can be customised to suit a range of requirements meant that the solution was also favoured over other solutions.

`We need to achieve 0.1% slope accuracy when carrying out re-pavement projects. Another reason (for choosing StreetMapper) was the flexibility of the system; the Lifting Platform is especially handy for us. We wanted to maintain a specific vehicle for mobile mapping, so the lifting platform is perfect when you want to hide the system and park the vehicle securely–especially at night. Alfred ‘ Mulder, Project Leader at Geommat.

Flexibility across applications
Soon after delivery, StreetMapper proved itself to be a flexible and easy to use solution as Geomaat undertook a large project in Sweden.

`This project was very successful due to the 100% perfect support from 3D Laser Mapping. Following the on-site training received there was always someone on the other end of the phone to support us when we came to any difficulties. This support was vital when delivering against such tight deadlines from the end-customer. Alfred Mulder, Project ‘ Leader at Geommat.

The project involved scanning highways, in particular, the drainage system running along the sides of the roads. To accurately measure the drains, the framework of the system was raised to extend its field of view.

`One of the main advantages of the StreetMapper is the fact we can adapt it for use on different projects–as well as using the system on our survey vehicle, we have also mounted our system on the railway and also on a boat to map the coastlines. Mainly we use the system mounted on the vehicle for re-pavement projects, Digital Terrain Models (DTM’s) and As-Built Surveys, we also use it for free heights and bridge surveying. Alfred ‘ Mulder, Project Leader at Geomaat.

Geomaat’s highway surveying capabilities are unique, combining mobile mapping capabilities with specialist highways design, construction and maintenance expertise. Projects undertaken by Geomaat include; upgrading the A50 between Ewijk and Valburg on behalf of the Rijkswaterstaat, part of the Ministry of Infrastructure and Environment, a project to upgrade the runway at Johan Adolf Pengel International Airport and surveying over 500 kilometres of highway in support of LEM Contracts (Lifetime Maintenance).

The range of work that can be completed using the system is something that is constantly evolving and growing. Being one of the first users of StreetMapper in Europe, Geomaat’s biggest challenge when establishing the system was `pioneering through production’ During . this period of `trial and error’ each , application trialled, resulted in innovative and customised workflows, which are now second nature to the company and benefit other users of the system as well.

Unique software integration
Geomaat have since developed their own software to use alongside StreetMapper. To help with the high demand of their highways projects, a post-processing software solution was needed to automatically identify the white lines and barriers on the roads and also round shaped objects. With working with a research organisation in The Netherlands, Geomaat achieved their goal and have increased their efficiency.

"A 60km DTM project would have previously taken 50-60 nights to complete, but with StreetMapper we can deliver in 3 weeks using only 2 people! We have also saved huge amounts of money as we don’t have to close the roads anymore." Alfred Mulder, Project Leader at Geomaat.

StreetMapper Saves Time and Money while Keeping Staff Safe
Since the purchase of StreetMapper in 2009, Geomaat has been putting it through its paces, with numerous rewards. When asked to list the main benefits the system had brought to the company, it was noted that overall it was 50% cheaper than operating with traditional surveying methods. Money was saved on staff overtime no need to work through the night, making it an efficient, fast and secure system. Even on railways, they are no longer limited to night-scanning as the solution makes it possible for same-speed train carriage scanning.

Staff safety was improved as surveys can be completed using the mobile mapping system while removing the need to close streets and highways–No disruption is made to other road users.

As well as being safer and cheaper than traditional surveying methods, the accuracy is greatly improved, with data given in both absolute and relative terms. This data, once captured can be used over again on other future projects.

Finally, the robust system needs only to be serviced every 2.5 years, even under heavy use.

"Buying a mobile mapping from 3D Laser Mapping was a great decision–we have an amazing system that suits our needs perfectly and if you ever need any support–you always get an answer to your problem" Alfred Mulder, Project Leader at Geommat.

3D Laser Mapping is a world leading provider of laser scanning technology. We offer solutions that capture 3D data and then process this data to deliver information for making decisions.

Headquartered in Bingham, near Nottingham in the UK, the company employs over 35 highly trained, specialist staff. We achieve global reach through our branch offices in South Africa, USA and Australia as well as our network of international distributors.

We pride ourselves in offering the very best technical support in the business and run dedicated training packages and consultancy services to suit each customer’s need.

3D Laser Mapping is proud to serve our hundreds of customers which include mining companies, governments, academic institutions and blue-chip owners & operators of assets such as highways, power lines, railways and buildings to name but a few.

For more info contact: Eileen Pegg,;

A 1.543Mb PDF of this article as it appeared in the magazine complete with images is available by clicking HERE