Business value of photogrammetry in infrastructure projects #bsl2015

Stage 2: Business value of photogrammetry in infrastructure projects

 2:15 PM – 3:15 PM

Photogrammetry is one of the most promising areas in bridging the physical world and the synthetic. Especially in civil and infrastructure construction where surveying traditionally is a manual and labor consuming task. The convergence of several trends such as miniaturization, cloud computing and augmented reality has enabled NCC to combine technologies to create an autonomous surveying platform based on a photogrammetry and traditional surveying techniques.

At NCC this has not only given us the opportunity to accurately survey larger areas with the same resources but it has also contributed to giving the surveyor role a new and innovative face.

We will outline some of the key drivers behind the program together with some figures on the potential savings photogrammetry can give.

Showing a number of use cases for a small Arial platform only using a camera; from initial area assessments increasing the accuracy in bids to calculating total volumes extracted from quarries, determining progress on road construction to producing as built accurate models of sewage and freshwater pipes in residential areas. Quickly capturing reality data and moving it into the virtual world creating a correct representation of the current environment to be used in the design, both for new production and for renovation.

Learning Objectives

  • Business value of using photogrammetry
  • Current limitations and pitfalls
  • Key uses cases for UAV platforms for photogrammetry


Patrik Lindvall
Manager ICT Applications – NCC Construction Sweden

Core value as a company of looking forward.
Lots of speculation about the future by futurists
4p bottom line
Demands are coming from society. Expectations of those growing up in our society are very different.
The next generation workforce. A consumer based product brought back into the company to meet the expectations of the youth.
The earth is over 4 billion years old but did not come with a built in FM system.
Risks are drivers in infrastructure.
Poor quality initial data, gathering has risks so how to be more efficient and attractive.
We are becoming lightweight nomads. Not fixed to a place or company.
They wanted to change their industry. Make it more attractive.
More high tech than heavy tech.
Needed a platform to get a camera high into the air.
Two things drive this. Adoption, awareness, understanding, support and champion. Change to UAV raised awareness as its was pretty cool in an engineering company. Understand by doing. It means you can support it better and a better informed customer when procuring 3rd parties. Gave 6 champions as an outcome.
2015-04-09 14.22.11
Technical was solved in 2 months after talking to photographers.
Then came legal and insurance in order to operate the machines.
The IT was only 5/10%
2015-04-09 14.32.01-1
Visual inspection by the building inspector reducing cost of access and safety risk.
Use of picture models. You get the site hooked on this info, they will not want to go back. This will create a demand on design. This will put the demand on the customer to specify it.
Being able to do vertical is inspections save costs on kit and reduce health and safety risk
Some images can be use directly and some need processing.
Is the weather a limiting factor, depends on what you want to capture. Contrast, shadow elinaition, colour.
Asphalt roads are harder to number crunch than open pit quarries.
Higher accuracy, lower flight speed. Lower accuracy, higher flight speed.
Looking for a balance between bandwidth versus local processing.
It’s a not a toy, it’s a platform for efficiency and safety.
A UAV is classed as a commercial aircraft.
Regulations vary around the world. U.S. Have to be trained pilots, Sweden they retrained a QS.
Potential restriction on aerial photography.
Issues with capturing images of people.
Problems with unprofessional “actors”
With all these problems why not get a third party. Immature market, varying quality and levels of professionalism.
Looking to set the standard for 1cm photogrammetry.
Due to the size and complexity of quarries UAV outperformed laser scanning.
60% lower costs and 10% better utilisation. Most of all improved work safety.
 2015-04-09 14.34.35
To renew our industry we need the right people.
Be responsible and fly safe.
Lidar is under investigation but payload issues. Limited to 7kg.
Auto runs but you must have an operator as backup and keen in line of site. Manual take of and landing.
Permits to fly in cities. Have to be well away from airports. Fly in fenced off areas.
Takes 5 days to train a pilot.
Operator launches, observes and lands. The rest is controlled by a mission planner.
Visual inspections has a pilot and the inspector controls the camera.
Establish visible markers on the ground for controls and georeferenced.

About Shaun Farrell

I have been involved in the construction sector since 1986 and over the years I have seen things change dramatically. Much of the change has been directly as a result of technology. This blog will be about the key combinations of People, Process and Technology. Any views expressed here are strictly my own.
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