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Making Geospatial Data More Accessible

3 minute read

The proliferation of 3D data in geospatial is leading to an urgent need for digital tools that increase usage of the large data files, shifting data analysis from “the specialist to the generalist.”

A recent article in The American Surveyor, “Collaborating with Confidence,” takes a look at how Trimble Clarity, a cloud-based application included in the Trimble Connect collaboration platform, is helping surveyors like Jarrod Black PLS, a surveying and mapping director for Georgia-based Rochester & Associates Inc., get vital, easy-to-understand project data into his clients’ hands.

Whether utilized by land surveyors, civil engineers, land developers or site managers, Trimble Clarity is a secure, cloud-based solution that allows professionals to visualize and share three-dimensional point cloud data with clients quickly and easily. It also directly integrates with Trimble Business Center, enabling users to publish their 3D point cloud and imaging deliverables from the Trimble SX10 Scanning Total Station or other Trimble VISION instruments.

With Trimble Clarity, clients have access to rich data in a full range of observation types, including survey line work and points, point clouds and station panoramas. The technology gives users explicit control of the client experience, offering a familiar viewing environment and — most importantly — enables straightforward, productive cloud-based collaboration with customers.

As a result, surveyors and their clients are better able to communicate with each other by using features for measuring and annotating high-density 3D scan data. “It’s invaluable to the end user because it’s bringing a scale into your computer,” Black notes in the article. “If you’re just looking at plan sheets, it’s very hard for you to visualize the space. This tool allows you to visualize the space and also get a sense of the scale.”

An example can be seen in one of Black’s recent client projects. The job, he explains in the article, required him to gather point cloud data for multiple levels of a historic building.

With Trimble Clarity, Black says he was able to easily share just the right amount of rich 3D information and imagery so the project architect could access the dimensions to order and place furniture, and also better understand the placement of specific utilities.

The digital tools helped Black communicate more effectively with his client, mainly because with Trimble Clarity, a user’s clients don’t have to be experts in technical engineering software to view and use the data in a standard web browser.

“It gave them a good sense of the scale spatially … it brought the spatial realm into their computer,” he says in the article. “[Trimble] Clarity makes it extremely easy for a client who just wants to peruse the data without having a whole lot of skill in doing anything point-cloud based.”