Browser-based Solutions Simplify Point Cloud Data Sharing

As the economic impact from COVID-19 continues to unfold and social distancing requirements change work environments, surveyors and geospatial professionals are looking for new ways to access data-rich files remotely, engage with clients and teams when they can’t be on-site, and win new business. 

A global pandemic, or not, the growth of point cloud data workflows was already creating a pressing need for tools that allow more people, across more generalist roles, to benefit from the data. 

Having a just-right tool to satisfy project requirements can make all the difference in fast and effective communication with all stakeholders. 

Considerations around data sharing

When surveyors want to get a project into a client’s hands, they may be considering these questions: What level of detail does the client require? How much skill do they have in dealing with 3D models? Are they set up with the right kind of software/hardware to receive the information?

Depending on the answers, a simpler and quicker report might be enough to satisfy their needs, especially if the client only wants to visualize a project, get a sense of scale or go a bit beyond 2D plan sheets.

This is the challenge surveyors face when they want to share information from massive data sets collected from their optical, photogrammetry, or scanning systems. That is: powerful data and software can be too cumbersome or technical for some stakeholders to work with.

As hardware has become less expensive, more surveyors are making use of the wide range of data capture technologies, and as a result, are collecting massive data sets. But while the process of collecting the data may be straightforward, what to do with the data is not. 

A typical pain point is: “I have successfully collected a bunch of data, but I don’t really know what to do with it.”

Collaborate internally
Internal collaboration is made easier with cloud-based viewing of projects.

Easier viewing, sharing

One of the major benefits of “the cloud”—data storage servers located in remote centers all over the world that are accessed over the internet—is the ability to access data from any internet-capable device without having to store the data on that device.

At the same time, technology improvements are easing storage challenges and empowering more seamless information and data exchanges between disparate groups.

Because data sets are getting so large and mailing hard drives is cumbersome and inefficient, surveyors are starting to utilize cloud storage locations, such as Trimble Connect, Google Drive, or Dropbox.

As part of their workflow, a cloud-based application such as Trimble Clarity can be invaluable by enabling easy sharing and viewing of projects on any device and bringing scale into end-users’ devices and computers for visualization and collaboration.

Stepping into the cloud

Geospatial technology providers are increasingly moving to the cloud to help customers avoid the need for massive $10K computers and $8K desktop licenses to store and process data. The cloud is a more efficient means of storage because the data lives in one place where users can work on it from different browsers and devices. 

The cloud lowers the barrier of entry. Once the data is stored in the cloud, it should not have to move again, which also reduces processing time. 

A cloud-based application like Trimble Clarity enables surveyors and geospatial professionals to easily share projects and progress updates with teams and clients, allowing end-users to interact with data without needing a third-party software installed on their computer or device.

With Trimble Clarity, surveyors can stream their data and generate public or private links to share their projects, easily bringing a spatial realm into their communications.

Data sharing
Share your data with stakeholders, take notes and create actions.

 

Benefits of 3D viewing

Trimble Clarity’s single world view organizes projects based on their location on the globe and enables them to be shared, viewed, annotated, and analyzed.

Clarity world view
Clarity’s ‘world’ view where projects sit in their actual location on the globe.

Probably one of the greatest advantages to a cloud-based point cloud viewing solution is the ability for the data to be automatically updated when it needs to be. 

Trimble Clarity also:

  • supports an unlimited number of projects (no data size limits)
  • increases the speed of communication between surveyor and stakeholder
  • delivers actionable insights
  • avoids information bottlenecks by putting the right data into the right hands

Whatever the features of the software you use, the cloud makes it easier to solve problems through collaboration.

Learn more here.

 


About the Author

Trimble-Geospatial
Trimble Geospatial

Trimble Geospatial provides Land Surveying, GIS, Scanning, Mobile Mapping, Remote Sensing, Photogrammetry and Forensics professionals with industry leading hardware and software solutions.