Between the Poles: No More Excuses
Everyone that has developed these easy-capture technologies provides some manner of workflow for the data, mostly in the cloud as many have you send the images/lidar to the cloud for processing into point clouds and/or meshed models. Everyone has a viewer; this is encouraging and provides a way to share the data with others. This is good if an enterprise, a utility, or city has settled on a solution that can host their captured utility data in an easily accessible portal. These hosted portals have become quite sophisticated and can ingest or reference other geo data, like GIS themes, to seek to build a one-stop-shop or digital twin. Yet this often means a layer of data management skills and experts. This is also changing.
Easier Data Management
Australian asset management software firm Skand has been providing solutions for captured data globally for many years, and has received international acclaim. They began with a focus on AEC inspection but have expanded to encompass asset management. In recent years, their approach has changed to embrace the idea that simplicity leads to broader implementation.
“We spoke with more and more surveying companies and digital engineering companies,” says Skand founder Brett Chilton. “And we started to see a bit of a theme around the fact that they often do not understand that they are really capturing very rich data, but simply delivering it to a client. And we asked what the client doing with all the data.” What they found out was that this rich spatial data was being limited to the domain of technical people, and that anyone outside of that realm may never get a shot at it. Chilton and his team viewed this as a tremendous, missed opportunity; “It was an opportunity for a firm to come along and create a window into that world, for non-technical users,” says Chilton. “But it had to be something on a level that I could hand to my Dad.”
Meaning no disrespect to his dad, or anyone else’s, Chilton explains that it is about building a user experience that requires no special knowledge. “I couldn’t just give it to my dad and say, ‘Hey, have a look at this really cool 3D space we’re building’… you know, too many buttons. And before you know it, he’d be handing it back saying, that’s cool, but no thanks.” His is true even within enterprises, utilities, cities, etc.; no matter how valuable that an application could be for asset managements, it will founder if it is not widely adopted.